Saturday, October 25, 2008


It's Saturday evening and we're back in the States, in Houston. I've just demolished a plate full of Texas ribs! Yum!!
We had another interesting day. It was dry all night and early morning. We had lots to do to close up the house for a couple of months. Don and Rachel walked up the hill to Dennis' house to borrow his ladder so Don could put up the hurricane shutters. The rain held off, the gate was still closed and locked but Dennis came down to unlock it just as they approached it. It did start to rain as they were hanging the shutters, but not too hard, and then stopped.

We did some laundry, washed some dishes, covered all the furniture, emptied the fridge and freezer and gave the contents to Merlin or Kaleen, and emptied the trash and garbage. All the deck furniture got moved inside and the propane tanks, too. Merlin came down to say good bye, then Colin stopped by. Next Kaleen and Kelly came down. We hated to say goodbye, even for a couple of months.

We threw a few things into the suitcases and were ready to go when Dennis came to get us. (Don had moved our car up to Colin and Kaleen's garage.) It was still dry as we threw our bags into the back of Dennis' pickup and climbed inside. Just after he dropped us off and we were standing in the line to check in, the skies opened up and it poured.

The Continental line was long and slow moving. We noticed that there were some angry people ahead of us. Security had sent them back to check some items: an umbrella (a weapon!), a ceramic pot (?!). Whew. Were they ever ticked off. We finally got checked in and then went through immigration, paid our exit fees and went to security. We all made it except for Lance. He got sent back to check his hammock swing. Apparently the wooden poles were weapons! They wanted to charge him $26. to check the chair. He refused, saying he would just as soon break the poles off over their counter as to pay an additional $26. They went ahead and checked it without charge or comment.

We had a little snack of empanadas and bean quesidillas and something to drink before boarding the plane. Our flight was on time and our boarding process was smooth. The final screening before boarding includes a manual search of all carryons, but no one was wanded, no shoes removed and nothing was confiscated that I could tell. Nice. It was still raining, although not pouring, as we walked out across the tarmac and climbed the stairs to the plane. No lunch served on the flight, only a tiny bag of peanuts and something to drink. The flight to Houston was full but uneventful. No movie, just a bunch of old reruns.

Landed a few minutes early. The customs agent studied my passport, looked at me, looked at my passport, typed something into his computer and then stared at the monitor. It took a lot longer than usual. I thought he was thinking that I no longer looked like my 9 year old passport photo. Don thought that he was checking to see if there was a warrant out for my arrest (ha ha, very funny). He finally let us go.

After we claimed our bags and went through immigration, we walked out and got right onto the Doubletree shuttle. I didn't even have time for an asthma attack! (Houston polution.) Warm chocolate chip cookies awaited us at the Doubletree as we checked in. Then we discovered that our new credit card had apparently not been activated by our banker and it was denied. So Rachel put both rooms on her charge card. We got up to our adjoining rooms and she got a call saying that there was a problem with her card, so back down she went to straighten that out. Sheesh!

We were starving, having had no real lunch, so we headed to the grill and I had fantastic Texas barbequed ribs. Yummmmmmm!!! It was a great meal for everyone. And then we all went back to our rooms and crashed, too tired to stay up for the BBWS, which Lance said was the big, beautiful women [something] Halloween party. Nope, way too tired for that.

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