Sunday, December 07, 2008

The uneventful events of an eventful trip.

The two writer's blogs that I still contribute to from time to time: Sunday Scribblings and Writer's Island Journals, both posted prompts this week that are perfect for describing our trip last week to San Antonio, Texas. S.S. #140; traditions, and WIJ. # 9; if only.

Seven or so years ago, D. and I started a tradition of traveling down to San Antonio, Texas during the first week of December. I'm required by my professional association to acquire continuing education credits every two years to maintain my accreditation. There is a week long meeting in San Antonio that fulfills that need. Our grand daughters Live in Corpus Christi, Texas; a 2 1/2 hour drive from San Antonio. By choosing this meeting every year we are able to spend a few days with our grand daughters and meet my professional requirements; a win win situation. We all look forward to this time together just like we enjoyed family gatherings in the past at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

A pascal of minor changes took place, from last year to this, in the details of our excursion, which were noted only because of their number. With some easy adjustments, we were not only able to continue past activities but to add a new activity to embellish our memories.

Last Saturday, Nov. 29th, D., and I drove to Ottawa, stopping at the duty free to pick-up two bottles of Blackstone Merlot, (one bottle was $14.00 but two were $20.00. Saved one for when we got back home.) and ending up at the hotel near the airport. We ordered pizza to go with our wine. It was the same type of pizza we'd ordered last trip; Greek. D. informed me that she didn't like this one, she recalled after delivery, because of the copious amount of olives and too much Feta.. We'll break with tradition next year and order something she prefers. In the morning we drove to the Park-n-Fly left our car and took the shuttle to the airport. Routine, no mishaps or veering from tradition.

There were a couple of changes at check-in. You may recall that the airlines started charging a fee for checked baggage because of the dramatic increase in the cost of jet fuel. The cost of fuel has dropped like a rock but they're still charging for checked baggage; go figure. It wasn't the amount so much as the idea, ya know what I mean? Anyway, the check-in and issuing boarding passes went without a glitch. Next comes the checked baggage scan. Mine went through without a hitch. D. however was called aside to explain to the male TSA agent what a certain item was that they had seen on the scan of her luggage. What? Me tell? Nope, not on your life!!!!!! You might go over to D.'s blog Koffeebean, and see if she'll reveal the rest of the story or not. If not, at least you'll get to see tons of photos of our trip.
Next: customs, immigration, coffee, muffin, tinkle time and board our 0615 flight to Chicago.

Uneventful flight arrived on time in Chicago. We had brunch at the Prairie Tap. They didn't serve coffee so D. went next door to Starbucks. Not a huge deal but there is a little anecdote that I thought of as somewhat odd human behavior. While giving my order to the counter girl there was a lady next to me waiting for her order. A male, probably her son from the sound of the conversation, comes over to said lady and says that their plane has started boarding. She tells the counter girl to cancel the order. The ordered burgers are on the grill and so the girl says, do you want the water you ordered? Now mind you the order has been paid for in advance. The lady nods in the affirmative, saying yes. The girl isn't hurrying to get the water but in just a couple of minutes the lady leaves; no water, no burgers, no refund, just poof, gone and out twenty bucks. Duh, excuse me but what just happened here?

Our meals were quite tasty and satisfying. We found a book store to wile away some time before the flight to San Antonio. I had been reading "The Red Badge of Courage" by Crane on the flight to Chicago but was nearly finished, so I picked up "Six-Word Memoirs" edited by Smith Magazine, and D. and I read some of those before our flight boarded.

I have to lose some weight. The middle seat is too narrow for a comfortable 3 hour flight.

San Antonio was warm and welcoming, our bags were there and intact. We took a cab to the hotel and by 1530 were on the river walk for our customary lunch, wine, margarita at Zuni restaurant on the river walk; Normal. routine and very relaxing.

If only I could see the future.

After lunch we walk to the Rivercenter Mall to take a cursory browse of the bookstore. Not there. Gone. Kaput. Dust. No they didn't move, they went out of business. Dillard's? Did they go out of business too? Nope, moved. OK, thanks.Skipping ahead a bit here 'cause everything is basically unchanged from year to year: D. shops, I go to lectures, we meet for lunch on the Riverwalk, back to lectures and more shopping. Nap. Supper. Waddle back to room uncomfortably stuffed with incredibly tasty food and wine.

Did I mention that Walgreen's has moved?

Tuesday night we discuss the arrival of the girls with their dad the next evening.
D. "You're done at noon tomorrow right?"

rel. " That's the way it usually is, let me check just to be sure. Oht-oh, good thing I checked. We're off Friday at noon, not tomorrow."

D. "That actually works out better. Now we can all do something together with the girls!"

In the past D. and I would spend Wed. afternoon shopping and meet our son and the girls at six for supper. Everyone, sans grandpa, spends the next two days sightseeing and shopping and after supper grandpa gets to take the girls to the bookstore. So this little change was welcome and D. set about looking for something we could do on Fri. afternoon.

Did I mention that the hotel internet hook-up was phenomenally poor. Checking e-mail was a tortuous task! Fortunately they only charged us for one day's service.

The weather turned cool, 50's, which was just fine with the two polar bears from the north but the folks from south Texas found it a tad chilly.
For the rest of the week the group shopped, wrapped Christmas presents, ate, walked, and walked and met grandpa for evening meals and riverwalk walks. Macy's substituted for Dillard's, except they couldn't find the dress Hailey wanted so Momma will get some money from us to find it in Corpus. D. found a Borders out near the airport and included it in the Fri. PM plan which also had a trip to the zoo and the Japanese Tea garden on our agenda.

Did I mention that my meeting was informative and I renewed some old acquaintances made some new ones. Oh, and they had a breakfast buffet every morning instead of the bagels and coffee of past meetings. I bought a couple of Anesthesia books: hope I get to see them again.

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Blogger Tammy said...

Flight cancelled and lost luggage too. Yikes! I loved all of D's picture's but nothing about what was in her bag. lol Glad you had a good meeting and time for family.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Puss-in-Boots said...

Don'tcha hate it when shops move or go out of business? The going out of business can be so disappointing...especially when you want to show it to someone.

However, all things being equal, it sounds as if you always have a lovely time in San Antonio.

3:23 AM  
Blogger Churlita said...

I still want to know what was in D.'s bag. I guess it will remain a mystery.

3:19 PM  

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