Saturday, March 28, 2009

cab, plane, plane, cab, cab, plane, tram, bus, car, HOME.

The last travel day was very long; we left Luna Beach (after having to pay a ridiculous $50 for a lost key! really, people!) around 10:15am and got home at 6am the next morning. It shouldn't have taken that long, but we seemed to run into one thing after another that required patience.

When we got to the airport in Coxen Hole for the flight to La Ceiba, we were worried about our remaining flights because the ticket agents at TACA couldn't find our reservations in the system. At all. We'd changed our flights coming out to Roatan with a little trepidation, since the agents on the telephone had told us we were not allowed to do that - it made no sense, and the gate agents in Honduras said of course, it's no problem. So when we weren't in the system, our anxiety was piqued a little. We got to the gate for the short SOSA flight from the island to La Ceiba, and saw the plane we'd be on. I swear, it looked like a cross between a very old Volvo and the Spruce Goose. It was a huge boxy shape with excess airplane on the top, somehow. I wasn't sure it could be airborne, and as we taxied on the runway I said a lot of secret prayers. Please let us not crash in the ocean. If we do, I'm really sorry for anything I've ever done to hurt anyone. If we do, please help our children. Please don't let us crash. Please please please. It was very hot, but we made it to La Ceiba just fine.

And luckily, the TACA agents in La Ceiba confirmed our flights all the way to JFK, and gave us boarding passes. Whew. As always, though, TACA provided absolutely no information about the flight once we were in the waiting area. No announcements were ever made, there were no signs anywhere, people just randomly seemed to know when to go, and it had absolutely nothing to do with the scheduled departure. People started leaving the waiting area 30 minutes before we were supposed to board the plane to San Pedro Sula, and Marc ran to check - yep, we were supposed to be on that plane. Bizarre and annoying.

We had a 6-hour wait in San Pedro Sula, and if ever there were an awful airport to hang around, it would be San Pedro Sula. I guess the airport in Delhi is worse, but not by much. (Marc didn't think it was such a bad airport....and really, I guess it wasn't, really. It was air conditioned and clean, and the gate agents were friendly enough. I didn't like it because of the lack of communication, and the fact that we were just stuck in one large room that felt like a holding pen. I just have a grudge because TACA was so uncommunicative and the room felt so gloomy.)

So anyway, we'd planned to take a cab to a restaurant to kill time, even though all the airport personnel seemed startled by our choice. The cab was $15US, and the restaurant we chose seemed a bit strange but we'd had no information. There was a strip mall nearby, so we went to a little bakery called the New York Bakery (complete with a skyline and Statue of Liberty on the front window) to kill some time. It was only 4:00, I think, and too early to eat dinner. We drank cokes and talked, and at 4:45 walked over to the restaurant. The food was pretty good, the place was strange, but it was a nice experience. We were the only people in the very large restaurant, and the lights were kept turned off until the very end of our meal. We asked the woman who served us to call a cab, with our minimal and halting Spanish. The cab driver said the ride to the airport would be $50US, so we argued and then a bunch of women came out of the restaurant (the daughters of the woman who served us? no idea). There was no clear communication, the daughters said 10 5's, 50, and at some point someone said 13 so we got in. The cab driver was clearly pissed off and aggressively turned the radio up SO LOUD my whole body was vibrating. I thought he wanted to upset us, so I determinedly did not act upset but rather as if I were enjoying the music. We got to the airport, Marc gave him $15 - which included a tip! - and he glared at Marc and gave him the dirtiest look. Whatever.

So again we waited, and again there was no information provided anywhere in the waiting room. The wheelchair brigade was there again, and we really think many of the same women were on our flight home as were on our flight to Honduras. Very very strange. The flight was ok, though we got a late start and a long wait on the ground with no AC, sweltering and very very hot. But the flight was ok.

It took 45 minutes for our luggage to finally come out at baggage claim, and we went to the tram to go out to the far-flung long term parking. OK, it was nearly 5am at this point, we're tired. And we're told the tram is broken and doesn't go to our stop, we have to get out at the stop before and take a bus. Oy. We're so tired. But we have pretty good luck, the tram comes, and the bus arrives after only 5 minutes of waiting. We get to the car, never got lost, and took off for home. Real tired, by the way.

We always have a hard time getting home from JFK; it doesn't help that we're always tired when we're coming home from JFK, and it's usually late at night. Last night was not only dark but raining. Cold. We were turned around, kind of lost, but finally found our way. The RFK (come on, it's the Triborough) was down to 1 lane, so we decided to take the Midtown Tunnel home. Traffic was strangely heavy on the FDR, everything seemed to go against us, and we finally got home and in bed at 6am. Tired, tired, tired. I woke up at 11am and here we are. I miss Roatan. I miss being away on vacation, away with Marc, snorkeling, the Lobster Pot, time to lounge. We look forward to going back next year. It was an absolutely wonderful vacation.

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