Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Peru-Brazil 2013 – Day 0

Today is the day. Annie woke up early and worked, and worked, and worked until at last she produced a large backpack bursting at the seams and with an 8-month pregnant belly, a slightly smaller backpack from which dangled a pair of sandals, and a lot of loose little packages that I was supposed to carry in my backpack! All this took until 3 pm, so I had to find alternate forms of entertainment.

Part of my fun was to help Aunt Nancy with her computer. She is fairly good with the computer, which she claims as her own domain. Uncle Grady, on the other hand, has little to do with the computer and bitterly complaints that “Nancy is just trying to keep me out of it.” I hear the same complaint from my Mom with regard to my Dad, as she is convinced that “He is keeping me in the dark.” Sounds like a common ailment.

After helping Nancy with the computer I headed for downtown Glendale, for a couple of hours of book browsing and people watching. I ended buying an old John Carter book, and a rare Tarzan and the Foreign Legion novel, a Lonely Planet guide to Peru, a book on the Archaeology of Agriculture, and three books of Comissaire Maigret. Not to worry, I am not carrying all these books with me in our adventure. They will stay in Annie’s car, which is now parked on the side driveway of Nancy and Grady’s house.

Nancy finally found last month’s Consumers Report, in which the magazine had rated all the domestic airlines in terms of value for your money, service, cleanliness, meals, entertainment, and comfort. And there it was, in black and white: Spirit Airlines ranked at the bottom of the pile, last of last, worst of worst! Oh, crap. Fine, it is only a 5 hour trip to Fort Lauderdale, and the another 5 hour trip from Fort Lauderdale to Lima. What can go wrong?

Finally it was time, and Nancy and Grady drove us to the airport, and sent us on our way with all sorts of recommendations to be safe. We stepped into the airport, to see a gleaming array and computers and not a person in sight. The stupid computers were, of course, not working, so we went to the counter where the sign clearly said the counter was open from 4 pm to 12 am. I checked my watch: 6:30 pm. There was nothing else to do but wait, and go to the bathroom, and wait some more, and weight the backpacks (Annie’s came in at 38 pounds, just right for the 40 pound limit!), and wait, and weight ourselves (enough to say that I should loose a few pounds if I want to make it to old age), and . . .  finally the people from Spirit came, cool as lettuce, and in five minutes we had our boarding passes on hand. Of course the flight does not depart until 10:15 pm, so we have a couple of hours to kill, but now nothing can go wrong.

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