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March 7, 2003
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Getting to San Juan

1:05 pm: It's actually 2 something by Houston time, but it's not too much of a problem. It's been a very interesting day today. Basically it's a travel day with a bunch of flying.

It started way too early. I kept waking up, but forced myself back to sleep. I finally gave up and got up at 5, a minute before my alarm went off and I went upstairs and nursed Jet for a good half an hour. It's the last time I'll get to for a while, and it was good to just get to do it. I was really glad to have one last chance at quiet time w/ him. I'll miss the little guy.

I put him back to sleep when we were done, and I went downstairs, took a shower, and got dressed. I only had four things on my last minute list, and I got them all in before I ate my breakfast. When I went out to the kitchen John, Jet, and Dad were all there. Jet had gotten up five minutes after I'd left his room and he was wide awake and happy as a clam. He was running around, eating things, and playing with people. So I got to play with him a little, feed him a little of my Kashi, and then hug him and kiss him good-bye when it was time to leave.

We left at 6. John drove to the Goodell's, and they came right out the moment we arrived. We got them loaded up into the Eurovan and headed right out. We got there in good time, as 470 was completely open. I-25 was stuffed with traffic but we were lucky enough to not have to deal with it at all.

At DIA, there was only one person in front of us in the international line. So we got through very quickly, and the flight was leaving from the A concourse, no special international holding pen or anything, so we weren't delayed at all. It took us just as much time to get through as it did when I was flying to Oakland.

So Kai's fears about how long it would take to get through everything for an international flight were pretty much unfounded for us. I was mildly peeved. I wanted my sleep and I wanted to not to have to wake up Jet so early, but so it was. I guess it was far better to do this and not have to scramble than it would have been to get there late and find that there actually were other barriers.

The first flight was nothing. The Houston airport was pretty crazy and we found that our flight had moved across two concourses, so we got to walk all the way from the end of one concourse all the way to the far end of another. It was a good walk to have between long flights. A god stretch of the legs. At the far end Joan said that she had to eat something, so we stopped and got a hot dog for her, and they had V8's on display, so I asked for one, and they bought one for me. Joan got one for herself, too.

That tasted really good. I don't regret not eating any more than that. I really don't need it and they're going to be serving lunch on the plane. If I had really needed lunch I would have stopped at the Popeye's in the concourse. It was pretty good to see it there, along with several other things I think of as being Southern food or even New Orleans food.

So we're off on the second leg and I'm already tired.

1:18 am: So I'm even more tired, now. Ah well. The second leg was four and a half hours, and the only thing that helped me out was the fact that I was sitting next to a mechanical engineer that worked in a power plant in Puerto Rico that worked almost entirely off natural gas. They take natural gas in off tankers on the ocean, use it to power steam turbines, and then reuse the steam to desalinate water. That was really cool.

It was just fun to sit next to an engineer. On the other side was a very quiet, very polite Southern teenager. It was a very long flight to be by myself, but it went okay. I wrote, I knitted, I talked, and I even asked for a cookie! The lunches came by, but they forgot to put a cookie on my tray, so I asked for one for me and for the other engineer and we got them. It was an okay cookie, but actually asking for it was keen in and of itself.

We got here in San Juan, Puerto Rico at 7:30, took us about an hour to get our luggage. We found a taxi, got to the hotel, and amused the cab driver when Ray pointed out every Burger King and, finally, right at the hotel, there was another one and he said, "All Right! A Burger King, right next to the hotel!" That got a grin out of the driver, while he'd been completely still before that. He asked where we were from and when Ray said, "Colorado." he replied with, "Sheeit. It's cold there." Hee.

He dropped us off in good humor. We got checked in and met to go out for dinner. We all headed down the main street in front of the hotel, and we found a little Mexican place that was very yummy. It had great carnitas, tender, juicy, fully flavored pork. John got chilequiles, which was a lovely little concoction with hot peppers, whipped eggs, corn tortillas, chicken, and lots of other good vegetables. I was afraid of the hot peppers, but they weren't that hot. It was really yummy.

Then they offered us dessert, and there was tres leches cake. It was delicious, along with the 'decaf' espresso in hot milk. It was wonderful. It was also just a bit too much food, but it was worth doing.

While we were sitting there, Joan's and Ray's friends arrived, they found us and came in and sat down with us. We then walked through that part of town, and saw stores, other restaurants, and hotels. It was hot out, and humid and my skin felt oddly happy. I really liked that. We nearly found the ocean, but didn't go quite far enough and then headed back to the hotel and the casino there. Joan and her friend got some nickels and played slots while the rest of us hung out. Rob, the friend's husband, went to sleep. Ray hung out with John and I while we drank a couple of drinks. John got a beer, and I got a Bailey's on ice. It was good. Simple and good.

We went up and went to sleep soon after and it was very useful in getting me to sleep after I pumped. I was glad of that. It was already past midnight by the time we went to sleep, but I'm still mildly on Colorado time, and if *feels* like it's only a bit after 10, now. Given that we're likely to be up late and get to sleep in late, it seems like the right thing to do to just not adjust to the local time.

I still keep pinching myself whenever I realize that we're *here*, and we're going to leave on a cruise. I still can't quite believe it.

I managed to call home before going to sleep. Jet was still awake and playing, and Mom and Dad were doing well. Mom said that Jet loved pushing the buttons on their watches and getting them to light up so they asked him to say, "Please Gung Gung!" to get Dad's watch and "Please, Po Po!" to get Mom's watch to light up, so he's saying that all the time. They went out for a walk and Mom even got Jet to take the phone! He said, "Hello!" "Hello!" to the phone, and seemed to listen when I talked to him. That was very cool. I was very glad to talk to him.

It was good to find that they were feeling good. I also got to apologize to Mom about last night, and she was good about accepting that. I felt better for saying it. Whew. I'm glad.

I think everything will be okay.

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