Tuesday, May 20, 2008
  The Final Day - Belize Blog
April 30

5:42 a.m. – Back to where to trip started…not just Cancun, but the airport. It’s too god-damned early, but thankfully due to my travel neuroses, I answered the bell.

The bell came from my watch and alarm clock. It did not come from the front desk, until some time after I got out of the shower. The front desk guy sounded a bit annoyed: “I’ve been trying to call.”

Yeah, 20 minutes late.

The queue at the Continental ticket counter is beginning to get pretty long. It’s completely past the tensa-barriers and snaking into the main foyer area. But I’m an elitist, so I get to skip the line.

Plenty of those folks flying steerage kind of sneered at me, but I didn’t really mind. In fact, I was a little annoyed that I had to wait a whole eight minutes.

After breezing through security – and I do mean breeze…Jesus, do they check for anything? I had liquids, gels, etc. I didn’t take my shoes off…

I walked through duty free and tried to figure out a way to unload my 350 pesos (roughly 35 bucks). There were no change counters open at quarter to 6 in the morning (go figure) and didn’t want to use the dinero to eat – remember, I’m elite and they feed us – so I wait and ponder a way to work this out.

Speaking of flip flops…I’m going to have to get used to wearing closed toe shoes again. And not having a few beers a lunch. Or watching Telemundo.

5:54 a.m. – The entire line from the Continental ticket booth is at Starbucks. You’re better off drinking the water.

6:11 a.m. – I thought I had a fool-proof way to change the pesos. Buy a bottle of agua (30 pesos), pay with 350 pesos, and ask for USD back. Great idea…on paper.

She gave me change in pesos. So now I’m down to 32 bucks of monopoly money. Shampoo.

7:12 a.m. – This morning’s breakfast selection in First Class is corn flakes or a delicious ham/egg/cheese sando. Sides include yogurt with fruit. And a bloody mary.

I really wish I was on Caye Caulker and not in seat 2F.

8:59 a.m. – Almost wheels down at George Bush Intercontinental. The in-flight movie was “Mad Money.” It was mindless drivel, but I didn’t completely hate it.

I turned the Continental in-flight entertainment to the Latin Soundscape channel – consider it methadone for the trip. What did you expect, the shampooing Spin Doctors? I hope customs is a breeze.

10:27 a.m. – I think I’m halfway home to New England. Between the walk from the plane, to passport control, then to the baggage claim, then to another customs desk, then through security (where they actually checked stuff and made me take my flops off), then to gate C-45, it was at least 400 miles.

A few observations & events along the way: the money changers in the airport are the modern day misers. I had 320 pesos. That’s roughly 32 bucks. Cashing it in, I got $21.21 back. The clerk asked if I wanted a receipt. I said no. I didn’t need documentation of me getting effed.

Also, do airports purposely find the most miserable folks to drive the courtesy carts? Seriously, what’s the job interview like: “Are you miserable? Do you hate people? Do you have road rage? Sweet, you’re hired. Welcome to the family!”

How can I be expected to wear non-flip flops tomorrow?

10:48 a.m. – I’ve got a Kathleen Turner lookalike next to me, who has seemingly dropped everything she owns on her seat, started pulling other people’s luggage out of the overhead to put hers in, and had at least four blankets and pillows laid out in the aisle.

The flight attendant was not amused. Neither was the guy in 2F.

12:33 p.m. – (switched back to Eastern time) I drank a liter-sized bottle of water in the airport and had a bloody when I arrived on the plane. Once we reached cruising altitude, I raced to the bathroom and peed for roughly three minutes.

The train wreck/V.I. Warshawski doppelganger next to me is the kind of person who doesn’t stand up when you need to get by on the airplane. So I made sure she got a face full of ass on the wiggle by.

I also hope I get gas from my elite lunch – cheeseburger, tomato basil soup, and fruit – because I’ll also share that with her.

1:58 p.m. – Just finished a book, that I’ve had for two years and never read, in two days – “Patriot Reign” by Michael Holley. Liked it, but didn’t love it. Might try his book on Francona when I get back.

On the epicurean side of things, the cheeseburger was solid. Not the best, not the worst. Certainly a better choice that the grilled chicken salad. They did have the nice shiraz I liked, so I switched to that.

Looking forward to a nice cup of Dunks when I land. Another two hours, and I’ll be in Boston. From the land of truly dirty, parasitical water to the land where Dirty Water means you’re my #1 place.

3:42 p.m. – Touchdown at Logan. I plan on drinking from the bubbler (because I can) and then right for a large, skim, one sugar at the Dunks. I’ve missed that in my time in loco perro land.

4:38 p.m. – Commencing with the train portion of the “Planes, Trains, Automobiles” trip back to Rhode Island. Made the 4:35 commuter rail to PVD by a hair, should be there in about 55 minutes.

5:02 p.m. – My feet are shampooing cold. I’m wearing a long sleeve t-shirt. I have to go to work tomorrow. The Go-Go’s “Vacation just came on the iPod.

A week without you, thought I’d forget. But two weeks without you and I still haven’t gotten over you yet…
 
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