Neither Sue's gig cleaning teeth nor my gig at the airplane factory were providing sufficient job satisfaction. We just didn't have enough power and excitement. So, we got a little training, and we can now arrest you, confiscate your airplanes and cars, and frisk you if you are tall, dark and handsome. We are having quite a bit of trouble finding anyone worth frisking, but we will persevere.
Before I tell you all about my exciting weekend, I'd like to introduce my new partner in crime. Her name is Susan and she's 41. I'm not kidding. If you start to confuse the two of us, just remember: I'm the tall one.
Calvin in Madrid after a special (just for Calvin) security search. I have no idea why that was necessary. He hardly looks sinister to me. Maybe he didn't brush his teeth. That's a good possibility since I wasn't around. More photos will go up when I finally get to see them. All I know so far is: Seb drank beer in Ireland, and they swam in the Drome in France.
There are two old forts in Old San Juan. We explored one together, and Sebastien explored one alone while I hid from the sun and played with my new decks of cards. I collect playing cards from around the world. Seb took most of these photos. The views were gorgeous. Me and my balls. I hate war. I hate artillery. The lookout below was added during WWII. The view from the inside: You don't want to annoy the men making illegal transactions in the streets while you are wearing orange on a small island. He's wearing this same outfit today. It works equally well for bicycle rides as it does for tourist forays. The tunnels were cool and quiet, not a bit scary. Just my size: No one could have gotten me in this one: And that is the end of the photos from our trip to Guadeloupe. Soon I shall have photos of a trip to France to share.
Once my teeth were properly cleaned and we left our stinky grotto, we had a wonderful time in San Juan. It was one of the best days of our trip.
We used vouchers to take a taxi ride to Old San Juan. It is the part that was originally settled and used to have a wall all around it, along with a couple of forts. According to what we read, the island used to be called San Juan, while the city used to be called Puerto Rico (rich port). It was the first good stop for ships coming over to the Americas from Europe (and the slavers coming from Africa). Whoever controlled Puerto Rico controlled access to the Americas.
We spent the day exploring, walking the streets and the waterfront. I sat on a cat: These crazy people were actually happy to let dirty birds sit on their heads, arms and hands: I think that our lunch entertainment used to lead David Letterman's band: Lunch was great. It was a little restaurant behind a clothing and gift shop. We both had smoothies, and I had a really good vegan, gluten-free meal. Pictures of Saint Sebastien can sometimes be disturbing, so maybe someone removed a couple of tiles so that small children wouldn't be traumatized: I'm married to a very tall man who buys me tepid, clean water whenever I need it: A very freaky (yet fascinating) statue: I was missing two things that day: my hat and my sunscreen. I will never forget them again.
I wasn't happy to be stranded in San Juan, but I wasn't alone. A whole plane full of folks flying in via American Airlines was stranded. We missed our flight to Guadeloupe by ten minutes and had to stay another 23 hours and 50 minutes, living on vouchers. I may be smiling, but I'm not really happy. That was our hotel room TV, about the size of my laptop screen. We were living the high life. I called our room The Grotto. I was happy to be lacking a sense of smell because Sebastien said that our little grotto smelled like urine. Only the best for American Airlines customers! My main beef was a lack of toothpaste. The hotel said that they had some, but they really didn't. We couldn't find any until the next day, and that made me cranky. Seb used soap, but I didn't want to try that. I was afraid that it would make me crankier.
I said that I never wanted to see another voucher after the 23 hours 50 minutes had passed by, but I was happy to get some on our return trip when AA refused to let us leave Guadeloupe and made us stay there another 24 hours. Maybe next time I book a trip with American, I'll let them schedule the sitter because they'll know when I'll be getting back better than I will. San Juan had its good points though. One was the perfect temperature and humidity level to plump out my fingers, making my cold, shriveled, blue fingertips a thing of the past. It was such a change for me that I had to take a photo. My Raynaud's is getting worse with old age. Today it is 97% and terribly humid, and I still don't have pretty, plump fingers like that.
I'm convinced that the Missouri Driver's Manual comes with this supplement for rural areas:
FAQs for MO Non-urbanites
Q: If I am stopped at the end of my driveway or at a stop sign, when is it my turn to turn out onto the highway?
A: Whenever you want!
Q: Are children allowed to ride in the back of my pick-up?
A: Yes. So are adults, animals, and the Amish.
Q: When do bicyclists have the right of way?
A: Never. Feel free to crowd them off the road. You may also pull out right in front of them, forcing them to screech to a halt to save their skin. But always remember to beep and wave at them; there is no need to be rude.
Q: What should I do if I see a small animal on the road?
A: Do your best to drive right over it. It takes some skill, especially for the turtles, but you can do it.
Q: Are carseats necessary for babies and children?
A: Let's not go overboard here. Pets don't need them, why would your kids? Q: What should I do with my fast food trash/dirty diapers/empty beer bottles/ex-girlfriend's cell phone?
A: Throw it all out the window. You don't need any distractions while you are driving. Safety comes first.
On Saturday morning, Sebastien and I went to the Cathedral of Learning. It was lovely. It was interesting being in a building that was very much a cathedral, but without anything religious. A little odd. It's 42 stories tall and is used for classes. My bro had an interview for med school in one of the rooms. Seb and I paid the big bucks and visited the Nationality Rooms. Each room is devoted to a country and is decorated and furnished in a style from the country, using native materials. Austria is above; Africa below. The wooden stools in the African room were extremely comfortable and made me sit up perfectly straight. We need those for our dinner table. Israel is above. I loved the feel of this room. The middle eastern rooms felt great to me while the European rooms felt oppressive. Crewel work curtains below. I love them. I want them. I bought a kit to learn to do it, but I don't know where it's gone to. I'm sure that it's a lot of work. That's Greece above. Lovely ceiling. In the photo below I made Seb join the line of kings, a king among kings. Ireland above. My roots. And my other root in the Italy room. I didn't get good photos of the Chambre de France. There was an ancient tapestry in there that aggravated my dust allergy so badly that I almost had to whip out the EpiPen.
Freddy got a metal detector and some survival gear for this birthday. It was 95 degrees and humid, but that didn't stop these boys from searching for buried treasure. Freddy chose a rotisserie chicken for dinner and pumpkin pie for dessert. The pie was delicious. I think that he might have chosen the dinner based on what he could do with the remains. This is our new warning sign: Do not trespass...or you will die...bones were from last trespasser.
He's a ferocious hound who has been getting beauty treatments. He's also been forced to pose for photo shoots. And he's been made to sit on my coffee table. I'm so glad that I scrubbed that table before I had company over.