It’s a beautiful morning, and after breakfast we decide to try one of my favorite places (and one of K’s least favorites), Yellow Submarine. We also decide we will try to swim north of Yellow Submarine to the Harbor Village hotel at Eden Beach. We park on the main road that runs along the water and get into the water on the northernmost part of Yellow Submarine.
We start out by swimming north towards the Harbor Village. There is always big tarpon here and we see some almost immediately upon getting in the water. The current isn’t terrible, and we are working against it as we swim north. Apart from the tarpon, and one Chain Moray Eel, we don’t see too much apart from the usual suspects. There used to be a lot of Whitespotted Moray Eels here, but the authorities are afraid that a viral disease which nearly wiped out all the moray eels on the island has had a resurgence. We certainly have seen less than in normal years.
We make it to the mouth of the harbor that gives Harbor Village its name. On either side there are rock formations which hold a myriad of sea life, and we see a nice puffer in the southernmost one, but it quickly retreats into the rocks. It’s a working harbor, so we look to see no boats are approaching, and quickly swim across the mouth of the harbor to the rock formation on the northern side. Almost immediately I spy the tail of a large Green Moray Eel at the bottom of the rocks. I can’t see his head, but I know which end it’s on, so I dive down and put my camera into the crevice that it’s hiding in. I can’t tell for sure, but I think that it looked up at the camera. I do two more dives to try to get some extra footage just in case. They are so imposing looking, but very shy and skittish, and rarely are seen out of their hiding places except at night.
We swim along the rock piles that the hotel added years ago to try to encourage coral formation, but which after all that time are still pretty much just piles of rocks. We swim back towards the southern side of the harbor mouth against a stiff current. Once we turn the corner to the southern side of the rocks the current decreases dramatically, and we don’t have any other issues with it.
We see a lot of tarpons, I count six swimming around us at one point, and swim south to the Yellow Submarine dive shop that gives this snorkel spot its name. The reason K doesn’t love this spot is that many of the local fishermen tie their boats up in the shallows, so you are always going under and around boats and lines. There are far less boats here today, and K pronounces it the best time we’ve ever been here. We get out of the water and drive back to the Divi. We take a dip in the pool and have some lunch. Afterwards we decide to do a house reef snorkel. We don’t see anything too unusual, but I do see the Ocean Triggerfish in the distance, so it’s obvious it’s been hanging around here lately. We get out of the water and head to the room to shower and get ready for dinner. We have a rum drink as we watch the sunset.
Dinner tonight is at Patagonia, an Argentinian steakhouse. We share a Parma ham and melon appetizer, and we both have sirloin strip steaks, with K getting a blue cheese sauce and baked potato, and I get a pepper sauce with excellent fries. We accompany the meal with a lovely Argentinian cabernet. We walk back to the Divi, where we have some of the ice cream we bought from the store. I watch a bit of the Sunday night football game, mainly to watch the scores from earlier, and am happy to see that the Pats have beaten the Broncos 38-15. The Pats now have a full-blown quarterback controversy, though I still think Mac Jones is the better choice. We drift off to sleep readying ourselves for the last Woodwind trip we have planned. Dee arrives back home tonight, but I doubt she’ll be on the trip tomorrow morning. I haven’t told K yet, but we will be doing our 35th wedding vow renewal on the boat tomorrow. Shhh!
It’s K’s birthday today, and we get to celebrate with a trip on the Woodwind. We have met a nice couple from New York, P & K, and they have also booked the Woodwind for today’s trip. We have breakfast and walk down to the dock to meet the ship. When we arrive on the dock we see Isa, Donna, and Sandor there as well as Marfa the photographer. No Dee, alas, but we didn’t think she’d be here this morning anyway. Alejandro, who owns the photography studio that Marfa works for stops by to give her some supplies. We chat with him for a while to hear about his plans to sail west to Columbia (where Alejandro is from), and then north to the Yucatan peninsula, East to the Florida Keys then south back to Bonaire. They leave in early November and hope to be back in Bonaire by late May, early June before hurricane season begins.
We head out on the Woodwind for the traditional three stop snorkel trip to Klein Bonaire. At the first stop we see two turtles, but both are too deep for me to film. I dive down and try to get some footage of a few Rock Beauties, a beautiful yellow and black fish. We also see a single adult sized squid, who scoots away before I can even point the camera at it. We also see several large French Angelfish. We don’t see anything too unusual at the second or third stops except for a large Tiger Grouper who manages to stay just far enough away from me to not be able to film it. They are protected here as they are severely overfished. We get back on board and have a few beers while Isa and her crew serve lunch. K sits in front with me, P & K, which is unusual as she generally sits near Sandor. It’s a good thing she’s come up here on her own, as I’m assuming this is where we’ll do the vow renewal as we sail back towards the Divi. Just as we are leaving Klein Bonaire, we are surrounded by a pod of dolphins which frolic around the boat. Because the sun is so bright, I think I’m filming them, but I’m not, though I do get one cell phone pic of one just under the surface. In any case, it’s a special thing since this is only the third time, we’ve seen dolphins on our 22 trips on the Woodwind. It’s a great birthday present for K.
Isa announces after lunch that we need to stop at the Harbor Village as they’ve “forgotten dessert”. I fall for this lie completely as we head into the port. K smacks me on the arm, and I look at her to see tears in her eyes. Then I look at the dock, where Dee is waiting with her husband Ulf and another woman we don’t know, who we later learn is Adrianna. Dee and Adrianna get on board and give us big hugs as usual. Dee announces to everyone that it’s our 35th anniversary and says some very kind words about how she feels we are part of her and the Woodwind’s family. She reads some vows I had written from memory and does an amazing job. Here are those vows.
We gather here on the Woodwind to celebrate the vow renewal of M and K on their 35th wedding anniversary. Do you K promise to love M for the rest of your lives and to put up with his strange obsession with taking pictures of eels? Do you M promise to love K for the rest of your lives and honor her love of pufferfish, squid and spotted eagle rays? Under the beautiful Bonaire sun, we celebrate this 35-year union, and hope it lasts for many more years, until you both snorkel off into the sunset.
We both have tears in our eyes at this point, because, let’s face it, I’m a sap. Ulf had asked me what our song was while I was communicating with him and Isa about the trip, and I tell him that our wedding song was The Love Cats by The Cure. I figure they will just play the song, but Dee and Adrianna bust out saxophones, and play along with the music. Dee then sits and talks to (mostly) K and Adrianna plays Happy Birthday by Stevie Wonder, Isn’t She Lovely, and Just the Two of Us, as we sail back into the Woodwind dock. After a health scare a few years ago, Dee is crossing off bucket list items, hence the El Camino de Santiago, and learning to play the sax. Adrianna is her sax teacher.
We get our usual big hugs from Dee, and we head off to the pool for a dip. We then head to the jetty for a house reef snorkel. K finds the Flying Gurnard again, and we see a small turtle, probably the same one we’ve seen around the Divi this past week. We also see a small boat very close to the end of the jetty, but by the time we swim over there it’s gone. we leave the water, do the usual dip in the pool, and then head to the room for rum drinks. P asks us if we saw the boat. We said we did, and he tells us that it was some locals who were netting fish at the end of the jetty, which they are not supposed to do. The dive master scared them off but reported their boat info to STINAPA, the entity that protects the reef and water.
After showering and changing we watch a beautiful sunset and then head off to the Brass Boer, one of Bonaire’s fine dining restaurants. Situated at Delphin’s Resort, it’s a ten-to-fifteen-minute drive away from the Divi. We are seated in a small double seat, and order drinks. K has a gin and tonic and I have a delicious tropical mocktail. I’m not drinking this evening as I’m driving. They have a five-course surprise menu, but there are too many fish we don’t eat on their menu, so we opt for three courses each ala carte. First, we are given a small amuse of a crisp filled with seasoned beef, chorizo, and kim-chi. This is spectacular. Next, they bring a small roll that has a fork with a garlic clove, and a small grater built into the plate. You grate the garlic on the grater, add olive oil and salt, and you make your own garlic oil for the roll. Very cute.
K’s three dishes are Filet Americain (beef tartare with chorizo, Amsterdam sour, sour bomb), Straticciatella (Italian buffalo cheese with pimentos chive and asparagus), and Duck Breast and stew (with carrots, and a hay gravy with star anise). There was an actual eggshell on the side, that was filled with duck meat and a creamy custard that had a slight hay flavor. It was amazing. My dishes were Oxheart Cabbage (cabbage with pistachio, fermented cabbage sauce and orange), Sweetbreads and Langoustines (with peanut barbecue sauce, pineapple, and pumpkin), and Cheek of Veal (braised with potatoes and sauerkraut). For dessert we get the Blue Cheese (Toasted white chocolate, blackberries, fennel, and pistachios). And the Trick with an Egg, which was white chocolate egg with mango mousse inside that is cracked over bed of coffee, pineapple, and vanilla.
Finally, after dessert we are given a final goodbye gift of an “iced coffee dessert” which is a small dollop of caramel served on a frozen block, covered in a coffee ice cream, and topped with small coffee “caviar”. It’s a perfect end to a lovely meal, though K is pretty much wiped out from the busy day. We haven’t made definite plans for tomorrow, so we drive back to the Divi, and collapse into bed, falling asleep almost immediately.
We wake up a little later than normal and have our next to last “island eggs” meal of the trip. Island eggs are scrambled eggs with chorizo, onion, peppers, tomato, and cheese. There is a cruise ship in port today, so we head down to the craft market to see if any of our friends are there. We stop first at the Caribe Inn to get some Bonaire calendars for 2023, a wonderful calendar of photos by an American ex-pat who takes beautiful pictures. We walk into town an K gets a psycho bunny t-shirt. I have been wanting to get some full foot fins so that when we do house snorkels or go on the Woodwind, I don’t need to wear my diving boots. We walk to one of the many dive shops in town, one that I know has a wide variety of fins for sale. I find some that feel fine in the store, and I also pick up an extra snorkel for me, as the plastic top of mine has a piece missing, and it’s letting in water whenever a wave comes near it.
On the way back we stop at the craft market and get another Hawaiian ice, tamarind for K, and mango for me. The people who press dead pieces of coral into clay are here, and K buys a turtle necklace as a gift for a friend. They have another plaque that differs from the two we have, and after eating our Hawaiian ice, and a discussion, we go back and buy it. Back at the Divi with loot, we stash it and decide to try Windsock today, the snorkel site near the airport that we lollygagged too much to go to on Saturday. We drive south towards the airport and pull over to park.
This area used to have large swaths of living fire coral and staghorn coral, but the inner reefs are decimated, and almost all the coral is dead. Dead coral still attracts nice fish, though, as algae grows on it that they eat. We don’t know the reason for this damage. It could be the warmer than normal water, a beach that is much loved and heavily used by locals, or people not using reef safe sunblock. In any case the coral is in pitiable condition, and though we see some barracuda, a large needlefish, and some other nice fish, we get out quickly as it’s depressing to see the coral condition.
After snorkeling Windsock, we stop at the next beach area north of Windsock, Te Amo Beach, where the Kite City food truck sets up. One would never expect to get high quality tuna tartare and sashimi from a food truck, but Kite City always delivers, and we split those two plus a spicy “Boom Boom” burger. The food is all great and we return our plates, pay, and head back to the Divi. We arrive, swim in the pool a bit, and head into the water for a house snorkel. I decide to try my new snorkel here and I quickly find out I’ve bought a diving snorkel, that has a waterproof valve on top to prevent water from getting into the snorkel while under water. This doesn’t preclude me from using it, but it’s very disconcerting whenever a small wave hits the top of the snorkel, it shuts the valve which also prevents me from breathing in. A quick breath out opens the valve, but later in the room, I remove a small rubber piece from the valve which is how it shuts so completely. I don’t have a problem blowing water out of the snorkel if it gets in from the top, or when I free dive. I’d much rather do that than ever feel like I can’t breathe through the snorkel. Once I remove the valve, I have no further issues with it.
I also try my new fins on this house reef snorkel. They feel OK but seem tighter than in the store as I swim around the usual house reef snorkel. We see mostly the usual suspects with a few nice scorpionfish out and about. We return to the jetty, and when I remove my fins, my feet are very angry looking and red. Obviously, these fins are not for me. I’ll drop them off at the Woodwind later during the week as a donation as scuba gear is no-returnable once used.
We grab some rum drinks and watch another great sunset. Dinner tonight is in the room, some cheese and crackers and prosciutto and melon with olives. Very low key and nice for a change. We get to bed early and realize how quickly our second week is going. Soon we’ll be back to the drudgery of the 40-hour work week again.
There’s another cruise ship in town this morning, so it’s a good idea to get as far out of dodge as possible. P & K have been telling us about a place north of the retired oil refinery that we’ve heard of but have never been able to find. They offer to have us follow them since they’ve been there before, and we agree. It’s called Candyland and P says it’s the best coral he’s seen on the main island. Once you get to the main gate of the refinery, there is a dirt road to your right. This is the road that you follow for about a mile to Candyland. There are other sites north of Candyland, one of which the Hawaiian Ice people told us about, and now that I know how to get here, I think we may investigate those in the future.
The entry and exit into the water are very well marked, but it’s still a bit challenging as there are large coral heads on either side of where you get in, and you must be careful not to let a wave drive you into them. The water here is also a bit choppy. I will say that this is some of the nicest coral on the main island that we’ve experienced so close to shore in such shallow water. Nearly equal to the coral quality off Klein Bonaire. We see tons of the usual suspects, plus a lot of Black Durgeons, which we generally only see regularly at Klein Bonaire. We also see a small Lionfish, unfortunately. We leave the water and get back to the cars.
P&K were also telling us about snorkeling Bari’s Reef which is front of the Sand Dollar Resort where they have stayed before. The gate to Sand Dollar is closed, but there is a dirt parking lot next door which we can use, and we gear up and head into the water. We snorkel north towards the Sand Dollar, and see only so-so coral, but a wide variety of sea life. Apparently, Bari’s Reef has some of the highest fish diversity on the island. There are nice rock and coral outcroppings along the shore that provide a lot of shelter for fish of all sizes. We see a moderately sized Rainbow Parrotfish, our second of the trip. The first was deeper and moved away from us quickly as they are wont to do, but this one is munching on the coral and rocks, and I’m able to get closer than usual for some film of it. We see another Ocean Triggerfish in the depths, and a large Fire Worm along the rocks.
Just as we’re getting ready to get out of the water, I see a Spotted Eagle ray in the sand flats. I yell to K, as she loves Eagle Rays, and we haven’t seen one in several years. I dive down and film it, and follow around for a while, yelling out to P so he can get some pictures of it as well. K is ecstatic that she’s finally seen another Spotted Eagle Ray, and we vow to add Bari’s reef to our permanent snorkeling list. We get out of the water and go to a nearby local burger joint with P & K for lunch. P & K have some errands to run, so we say our goodbyes, and we head back to the Divi.
After a dip in the pool, I dry off and then head into town to go to the Van De tweel supermarket to get some smoked chicken from Kip Tukkie. I see him outside, so I head into the store as we planned on getting some potatoes to nuke for baked potatoes and a cucumber to go with our smoked chicken for dinner tonight. I also notice a lot of people with eggs, so I go by the display, and while it’s only about a quarter full, they do have some. I grab a dozen. When I return, I offer P & K some eggs since they’ve been without for a while as well, and we now have more than we can use for the remainder of the week. We sit and read for a while before the sun goes down as we’ve planned a night snorkel for this evening. P is going to tag along as his K doesn’t like night snorkeling, and he doesn’t want to go alone (a wise decision).
We get in the water just as the sun is setting, and I immediately see some Spotted Spiny Lobsters along the rocks of the jetty. It’s amazing that there are so many hiding where you can’t see them at all during the daylight. Night snorkeling is a completely different experience than day snorkeling as there are many fish that are nocturnal, and most of the daytime fishes are hiding and sleeping. We see lots of lobsters, probably close to 20, as well as several Lionfish which also have been hiding in the rocks. P points out an Yellowline Arrow Crab which looks like an underwater Daddy Longlegs. I see some of the small squid, and the octopus hiding in its den underneath the Elkhorn coral. We also see a live shell of some sort that I hope to identify later (it’s known as a Music Veloute). We see some divers doing a night dive with a tarpon hanging around them. We’re all getting cold, so we swing back around the jetty. There are some small Red Night Shrimps in the rocks as well, and I think I get some nice footage of them before leaving the water.
We say our goodnights to P & K, and head into our room to tuck into some Kip Tukkie smoked chicken. We have it with our microwaved baked potatoes, a sliced cucumber, and some beer. Afterwards we finish off the ice cream we bought and head to bed exhausted. Time is really creeping us on us now, and tomorrow marks the first of just 2 more full days on Bonaire.
There are cruise ships the rest of the week, so we decide after breakfast (island eggs!) to go down to Lac Bay today. It’s another great spot that we couldn’t do last year, since you must walk 200-300 yards in knee to chest deep water over undulating sand to get to the reef. We park near Jibe City after following a line of golf carts full of cruisers. The golf carts were the worst idea ever allowed on the island, since they can’t go as fast as cars, and the drivers refuse to move over on the roads to let drivers pass them.
We walk straight into the water at Jibe City past the fledgling wind surfers and out to the reef. This was the first time we accomplished this without arguing so I took it as a win. The tide is coming in, so we swim against it for the final 50-yard push to the reef. The water is rough and shallow. We’re wary of being tossed into some coral and damaging it, so we reluctantly call it quits after a short while. We do see some cool stuff, like live conch, two large puffers, and an Ocean Triggerfish that promptly swims into the deep when it spies us. We also see a Rosy Razorfish, a weird fish that hovers over a depression in the sand and then dives into the sand as you approach.
We go back to the Beach bar at Jibe City for some lunch. K orders a chorizo quesadilla, and I have the special burger which is the most ridiculous burger I’ve ever had. A full beef patty, with cheese, lettuce, tomato, chorizo, and pulled pork, with fries, of course. We talk to two cruisers from Texas at the bar and the wife offers to buy the dirty white t-shirt that one of the bartenders is wearing. They have switched to a black model, since the white ones get so gross, but this woman passes up a chance to buy one of those, she wants the white one. The bartender goes out back, changes into a black shirt and hands her filthy white one over. The bartender initially resists, but the cruise woman insists on giving her $20 for the shirt.
We leave Lac Bay after lunch and head back to the Divi. We hang by the pool for a bit, then go on a house reef snorkel with P & K. I’m happy that we see the Goldspotted Eel again so P can see it as they are very rare. We don’t see much else except the usual suspects, so after a while we get out of the water and head to the room to get ready for dinner.
Dinner tonight is at the restaurant At Sea, another bougie place that has tiny fancy food, which we love as much as a meat laden burger. When we are on our second course P & K come in looking for someplace to eat for their last dinner in Bonaire, as they fly to Curacao tomorrow. We haven’t known them long, but I look at K and remark that this isn’t their kind of place. After perusing the menu, they say goodbye, and move on looking for something a bit closer to their style.
We have a fine meal that consists of six small plates that we share, and one that was just for me. First, we are given some savory macarons (I forgot to note the flavor) and a second amuse of a parsnip mousse. The shared plates were Ceviche of Lionfish with couscous, pumpkin and cilantro, A veggie dish with various preparations of corn (divine!), Truffle risotto with soft egg, Beef Steak Tartare with arugula, capers, onion, pickles and egg yolk, Pork Belly with beet and orange balsamic, Duck Breast with celeriac, potato, and spinach. My dish was a foie gras terrine with pear compote. K had the chef’s special desert which was a French cake with raspberries and grapefruit. I had the Guilty Pleasure, which was different preparations of chocolate and caramel, and included a small chocolate covered ice cream bar. We finish up and head back to the Divi to sleep. Tomorrow is our last full day on the island, and I’m already bummed about returning to reality, even though I don’t go back to work until Tuesday.
Our last full day on Bonaire is always bittersweet, and after breakfast we head down to the Woodwind dock to give them my unusable fins. Dee is onboard and she refuses to just take the fins. She offers to trade me for a different pair, and some dive socks to make them more comfortable. I tell her I’ll try them but will bring them back if they’re not to my liking. After we leave Dee, we head to the car and drive back to Bari’s Reef where we saw the Spotted Eagle Ray earlier. We don’t see anything too weird beyond the usual suspects, though K finds the Rainbow Parrotfish again, we find a Barred Hamlet, and we see three large Black Jacks which were also there on our previous visit. We finish up and get out of the water. There is a large iguana sitting on the rocks where we exit, and I grab some footage of him before we get back to the car. We leave Baris Reef and head to the gas station to get gas before we return it.
When we get back to the Divi, we have lunch, the rest of our smoked chicken on sandwiches, and a couple of Amstel Brights as well (there were some on our second trip to Van De Tweel). We rest after lunch for a while then head into the water for a house snorkel. We see many scorpionfish and a small green turtle as well as the usual suspects. K thinks she sees a Green Moray in the rocks and I dive down and stick the camera into a crevice where it might be. It’s there, as I notice later when processing the pictures, but it never looked at the camera. We return to the jetty, and get out, head to the room and get ready for dinner.
Our last dinner on Bonaire will be at Joe’s, a nearby restaurant that we like. For appetizers K orders the Goat Cheese with mixed nuts, sugar bread, apple and Parma ham. I have the Beef Carpaccio of dry aged strip loin, pine nuts, aged cheese and piccalilli. For mains, K has the Pork Tenderloin, with a bacon crumble, brie panna cotta, and port syrup. I have the slow roasted Veal Cheeks with garlic au jus. K gets the Pandushi Pina Colada, cooked coconut with pineapple, almonds, and vanilla ice cream. I have the Red Fruit Cobbler, a Passionfruit sabayon, red fruit ice, and whipped cream. Every meal at Joe’s ends with a complimentary shot of their house made liqueur Yess (pronounced Jess). It’s a mix of fruit, spices and pepper, and makes a nice aperitif. We walk back to the Divi and pack up what we can to make check out tomorrow easier. It’s off to bed to dream of fish and the inevitable crash back into reality tomorrow.
It’s a melancholy Saturday as check out is at 10am. We get up early, have our last island egg breakfast and head out by 7:30 am to get a morning snorkel in before we must leave. We get down to the water, but my camera doesn’t appear to be working. Initially I was going to forego going to get a new battery, but K convinces me to do so. I walk back to the room and change out the battery, test it quickly, and then walk out of the room, leaving the room key on the counter near the door, so I wouldn’t forget it. After spewing out some choice expletives, I head to the front desk to get a new room key. The woman at the desk is having issues with her computer, so she asks the security guard to go to the room with me to let me in. He does, I grab the key, and head to the jetty, where K has been circling visiting with the big puffer who lives at the end.
I gear back up and head into the water for our last regular house snorkel, south to the Woodwind dock, north to the jetty and around, then further north to the dive dock, then back. I’m trying to take footage of any usual suspects that I feel I haven’t gotten good footage of when K points out an octopus out and about just below us. I start filming it, and it’s obvious that it’s missing an arm. Either he lost a fight with a predator or another octopus, it has only cost him one arm, and he’s none the worse for wear.
We continue when a few yards away I see a bar jack hovering over a rock. Bonus octopus! This second octopus has all its arms, and I follow him it for a while until he eludes me by going into the rocks to avoid my nosy camera. I get some footage of a smaller puffer as we go around the jetty, and once again, the other octopus is in its den under then elkhorn coral. Our third octopus of the morning. The only thing that could be better is if we saw the Flying Gurnard again. We don’t but as I’m filming an orangespotted file fish, what comes into my field of view? Yup, a fourth octopus! This one is smaller, and it hides quickly, though I manage to get some nice footage of it before it does. It’s amazing we’ve seen so many octopuses this morning. Maybe we need to come out before breakfast in the future. We make our way back to the jetty steps, and unfortunately leave the water for the final time.
We return to the room to shower, change, and finish our packing. We check out and hang out in the shade until 11:30 or so, then make our way to the bar. We order a bucket of Sol beer (still no Amstel Brights at the Divi), and have to wait until noon to order food. We get our usual Coconut Shrimp, bitterballen, and Bonairian cheese balls. The food is taking a while, and the bartender apologizes. Finally, the bitterballen and shrimp arrive. Another server brings what we think are the cheese balls, but they can’t find any in the kitchen, so they bring us some more bitterballen (not good as K doesn’t eat them), and some OK small spring rolls. We finish up and pay and call a cab to take us to the airport.
The cab arrives and we make our way to the short drive to the airport. We go through customs and security and wait for our plane. After we get settled on the plane, I snap a few shots of the island through the window as we take off. On the way from Bonaire to Atlanta I watch Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (4.5/5) my favorite Spider-Man movie since the original Sam Raimi ones. I was going to watch another Spider-Man movie but it’s too long, so I settle for watching Beetlejuice instead. It holds up well (4/5).
We land in Atlanta, head into the bathroom to change, and then walk towards the dreaded customs line. Generally, we spend anywhere from 30-45 minutes in this room, snaking along in an amusement style queue line that doesn’t have a nice roller coaster ride at the end of it. Today, however, there are only 25-30 people ahead of us in line, and by the time we make it to the front of the line, only one family of five is ahead of us. We go through customs, then head downstairs to get our baggage, only to move it to a different area. I’ll never understand why we must do this. Since we made it through customs so fast, we 15-20 minutes for our luggage. After moving our luggage, we head to the equally short security line. We make it through that line and are at our gate in just about 40 minutes from the end of our flight, with about 20 of those minutes spent waiting for our bags. A new record.
We get some crappy airport pizza for dinner and get on the plane to Boston. It’s not a long enough flight to watch any movies I want to see, so I opt for two episodes of The Office, and some college football. After last year’s taxi debacle, we had decided to use the livery service for both to and from the airport. We get our bags and make it to the limo stand where we are supposed to meet our driver at 12:50 am. There are three livery cars there, but none of them are ours.
I text the livery company and they give me my driver’s name and phone number. They say he’s “on location”. I call him and he says he’ll be there in ten minutes or so. He calls me back in ten minutes to say he’s in the tunnel (!) and will take a further ten minutes to arrive. He finally arrives at 1:15 AM, and never apologizes about being late. Otherwise, he is professional, and we pull up in front of home at 1:40 am or so. I will email the company tomorrow to let them know that I’m not happy with the service. After speaking to a manager, the trip home was comped, then mistakenly re-charged two weeks later, then credited again after a strongly worded email. We drag our bags and ourselves into the house and get ready for bed. Another too long of a last day, but the visions of octopuses playing will dance in our heads as we sleep and get ready to crash back into reality.