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One of the flight attendants is a riot. As we are ascending he is whispering over the PA, “Your eyes are getting heavy. You want to sleep. You don’t want anything to drink. You don’t want any peanuts. You just want to sleep.” Later on, when he is taking our drink orders, he rushes over to the PA and says that if we are wondering what those big circles are, to our left, they are pizza farms. In the winter, that’s where they grow frozen pizzas.” He is a riot!
I order a rum and coke. Well, okay, I order two. The flight attendant passes out snacks. I take some pretzels. He tells me to take something else, after all, “this isn’t United.” When he is trying to charge me for the rum and coke his machine won’t work, so he says I get it free.
I have all I need for a good flight.
It is a smooth flight, except for one big bump. I guess there have been bigger ones. I get off. I get through immigration pretty quickly. I go through Customs, but get the red light. I am worried because it was so difficult to zip up my suitcase. The Customs agent moves things around a little bit and they take some things out of my travel bag. He is able to zip up my suitcase, which alleviates my embarrassment over how full it is. I walk through the gauntlet. Nobody tries to mess with me because I have perfected that, “Don’t f**k with me” look.
I get outside and look for a sign with my name. I have booked with a different company this time. It is a new company and I was offered a special rate. I can’t find my name. Some people ask who my transportation is with and they are not familiar with this company. I suspect that is because it is so new. The one guy says he can take me for $65, which is more than what I have paid for a round trip with this other company. As if. I keep looking, and then the woman who I was talking with sees the guy with my name and comes to get me and takes me to him. I am relived. The guy takes me to the area where the vans are and says it will be five minutes and then disappears for close to 15 minutes. I am starting to think about what my Plan B will be.Then he shows up and takes me to the van. My feelings are bordering between relieved and aggravated. The driver gets me to Iberostar Paraiso, but he doesn’t know where the Grand is. I tell him where to go. He doesn’t seem to speak much English, but we get there. I have got to get back to Rosetta Stone.
We finally arrive. The bell boys don’t look familiar to me. They take me into the bar and I say hi to Gustavo. I have a glass of champagne (okay, it’s sparkling wine, because it didn’t come from that specific area of France, but for simplicity, I will call anything that is bubbly white wine, champagne). René, the head butler, comes out and greets me. Then the bell boys take me to my room. Havana Siete and the pillows I requested are there, as I requested by email. Victor comes and checks me in. It’s always so good to see him. I unpack.
I take a picture and put it on the Facebook page, saying surprise. Except someone who was told I was coming posted about it before I did this, so it wasn’t the surprise I intended.
As you can see, my hair has immediately wilted. Gotta love that humidity.
I finish my bubbles. And drink in the beautiful view.
It’s a little difficult to do the Ceremonial Removal of the Watch by myself, but I manage it.
I unpack. I order room service. They have brought me limes. I make myself a rum and coke.
My room service is delivered, smoked salmon. I eat it on the balcony.
I take a deep breath, and slowly exhale. It is always good to be back in Paradise.