A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Travel Hell

I’m back from Belize, but before I continue with travel accounts and photos, let me say a not so brief word about the Ass that is American Airlines.

David and I ended up being two of those poor bastards stranded by the closure of DFW due to a rainstorm. Our itinerary was as follows:

12pm Leave hotel via taxi and go to tiny airport in San Pedro to take tiny plane.
1pm Tiny plane ride to Belize City
1-5 pm Wait for plane (scheduled 4:15) to Dallas Fort Worth
5-9 pm Fly to Dallas, circle Dallas for 1.5 hours, miss flight to Austin which was cancelled anyway
9-10:30pm Immigration, Customs, and a huge ass line to be told that we couldn’t be rescheduled until 9:45 the next morning, and that they wouldn’t pay for a hotel, but they could book one.
11:30pm Arrive at hotel (David went to sleep, I did a load of laundry and then dreamt that I couldn’t sleep all night, woke up at 5:30am on…

6:30am Taxi back to DFW
6:45-10:15 Waited in a huge fucking line to check our bags back in, because the morons who booked us on the flight the night before didn’t un-check our bags. Don’t ask.
10:15-12:30 Waited for our flight to Austin (scheduled for 9:45) to leave – it was grounded because the flight crew was delayed
1:15pm-2:30 Waited at the luggage carousel in Austin for our bags to arrive. They sent about 5 down at at time.
3:00 Got home, collapsed.

I figured we spent about 8 hours standing in lines over the last day and a half. American Airlines sucks beyond the telling of it. They were understaffed, under prepared, and largely unhelpful. I overheard a few employees talking, and they were pretty much as disgruntled as the passengers. I tell you, they are not at the top of my list of companies to work for, own stock in, or ever frequent again, if at all possible. I could add my complaint to the hundreds or thousands lodged in the last month, but the ineptitude and lack of accountability seems to be epidemic throughout the company, and as my studies in leadership over the past year have shown, probably starts at the top.

The frustration level of the crowds waiting in endless lines was palpable, even when I wasn’t consumed by my own. AA didn’t make announcements or give much personal attention to the people waiting, but security guards walked up and down, presumably for crowd control.

Honestly, it’s hard to write anything witty or even biting about this experience, it was so exhausting and irritating. I’m just thankful that David and I are home safe, and so is our luggage.

Next time, I’m renting a car in Dallas and driving the fuck home.

Blogging on Boxing Day in Belize (with pictures!)

Yes, I am officially an Internet Weenie. I’m sitting in another (sweltering) internet cafe, blogging away. But this time, dear readers, you get pictures as well!

Turns out our hotel has wireless, but it’s bloody slow. Bloody slow is the best way to describe most services on this island. Things do not happen at New York City kind of speed. I know, we’re on vacation, but waiting 1.5 hours for your damn food when your starving starts to bug. I’ll say no more.

Just kidding.

Here we have a picture of the species Davidus Quimbius in his native habitat. As you can see by his protruding eye sockets, he is naturally adapted to his environs.

David has been having a nice time diving, though the morons who run his diving company “forgot” to pick him up yesterday morning. Such is the disadvantage of not staying at a tidy, American-run dive resort. The advantages are making more of a contribution to the island’s economy, being able to eat a variety of food, and not having our passports confiscated at the door. Less convenience, but also less Big Brother.

David took a picture of me snorkeling but I refuse to publish it, or allow all those stupid ones and zeros to remain in existence. Not. Pretty. Also, I suck at snorkeling, and the water continues to be murky. I’ve found my niche in wandering into town, buying stuff for people (yes, you), and falling asleep in hammocks while reading. Not a bad way to spend a week. We’re doing an all day snorkeling/sailing thing on Thursday, our last full day here, so that should be fun, if I remember to take Dramamine and we don’t go too fast.
All the pictures in this lot are underwater, but stay tuned, I’m planning a photo-journalistic expose for tomorrow.

Yes, that’s a shark.

Having a million cable channels in our hotel room has not proved to be helpful in keeping me outside, but what is vacation for if not slacking? I’m just slacking on my slacking, is all.

We’ve had a couple good meals. Lobster is prevalent and good, though expensive. My mom asked what the food was like at Capricorn, so I’ll try to remember. Let’s see, abject boating terror, two shots of tequila.. I think I had fish of some kind. We had a spicy but soupy ceviche that was pretty nice. There’s sort of pseudo-Mexican food here, but none of it has been that great so far. Honestly, I totally can’t remember what I had for dinner, other than it was fish-based and tasty. We had rum-soaked chocolate cake with a candle in it for dessert – the waitstaff sang to me and had to hold a hurricane lamp around the candle so the wind wouldn’t blow it out for me. Then the terror filled ride back. Did I mention I’m not a boat person?

This is a cool sponge of some kind.

I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday and staying warm and malaria-free, like us.


More from Belize

So I had a pretty good birthday here in Belize. I shopped and blogged in the morning, then met David back at the hotel, had lunch and did some snorkeling. Visibility isn’t so hot by the shore, so I’m going to sign up for a half day trip one of the mornings David is diving.

We took a water taxi to a place called (fittingly) Capricorn for dinner. It was really good, but I’d read that the water taxi ride at night was the best part. “Best part” is apparently a synonym for “Utterly Terrifying”. I have never been on a boat that small, going that fast. Apparently, I was not cut out for piracy. The restaurant was good, though, though the prices here are not low. Two shots of tequila was not enough to dull the abject terror of the ride home, but I made it in one piece, dinner still intact.

It’s very hot today, and I seem to have packed exactly the wrong clothes. In Honduras, I didn’t do much walking, mostly lounging and swimming, so several swimsuits and wraps were plenty. Here, I have to walk a mile into town, and I have one pair of ratty cutoff jeans to do that in, so today I’m shopping for shorts that cost less than $50.

David forgot his hat at home, so I got him a nice one, but he was distressed by the fact that it has a pirate on it. Apparently the pirate skull and crossbones is the emblem for Belize tourist crap, it’s very hard to avoid. So he will just have to suck it up and deal with the pirate.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas, I’ll be posting again shortly thereafter.


Birthday in Belize

Howdy folks,
I’m writing from a handy (and cheap) Internet cafe in San Pedro, Belize. We, and our luggage, got here safely yesterday, though not quite at the same time. The puddle jumper plane from Belize City to San Pedro was tiny, I couldn’t decide whether to be exhilarated or terrified. Bit of each, I guess.

Our hotel is fairly modest, but there’s a wharf, a hammock, and free rum punch. Can\’t ask much more than that. This trip is different from the one to Honduras; there we were isolated in our resort and our every need was pretty much covered. Here, we have to find restaurants and such, fend off charming Rastafarian beggars, and resist the temptations of street vendors. I found a souvenir store with some nice stuff on the cheap though, along with a yoga studio and this here Internet cafe. David is off diving at the moment, but should have his afternoons and evenings free. I think I’m going to take a snorkel tour, maybe tomorrow, and then settle in to some serious lounging.

San Pedro is a strange mix of upscale little establishments, overpriced tourist restaurants, and abject poverty. Everyone is friendly though, and nobody seems to be on a timetable. Letting go of the hectic pace of my last several months is a challenge for me, but I think I’m up to it. The water isn’t as clear as Honduras from the shore, and there’s more litter, so I think boat snorkeling is probably the plan.

I hope you all have an excellent Christmas, I’m sure, Internet junkie that I am, I’ll be writing again soon. Feliz Navidad!


Ode to Ebay

In general, I am not a huge Ebay user, but I have been known to dabble. I bought a bunch of saris from India which I used to drape the ceiling of my bedroom at my old apartment. I get my favorite perfume for about half of what it costs new (Annick Goutal Vanille). And recently, against all odds, I found my favorite jeans. Again.

A couple years ago Old Navy created Perfection in Jeans. Ultra Low Rise Flare Stretch Short Jeans. They only made them for a short time, and while I bought two pairs, I wore them into the ground within a year. Being short and round, it is difficult to find jeans that fit properly. Low rise on most people is up to my sternum. Let’s not even talk about the travesty that is “slightly below the waist”. It’s not. So while Ultra Low Rise would make me look like a skanky ho if I was five foot 10 inches, at my diminutive height, it’s just right.

These jeans just fit. Snug on the hips, loose on the legs, soft, comfortable, and they look really good. After pair #2 died, I set up an auto search on Ebay for the jeans in the hopes of locating another pair. After buying 3 pairs that were too high in the waist, too big, too long, I hit the jackpot and found another pair. That pair was laid to rest about two months ago.

Today the universe smiled upon me and I won another auction for Ultra Low Rise Flare Stretch Short Jeans. If the baby Jesus is truly smiling upon me, these will be the real deal, and by Christmas I will have one more precious pair of my most favoritest jeans ever.