Saturday, May 29, 2010

The dogs seemed to know what was going on, and huddled up around Dave while we were finishing packing. The drive up to LAX was easy, not many people were out. We parked at the Mariott and took a shuttle over to the international terminal. Much to our dismay, the Pink's is still not open in the Tom Bradley terminal. We had heard it was open, and we ready to eat there, but we ended up settling for the Daily Grill.

The flight was on time, and boarding was straightforward. While waiting to board, we saw a strange item - there was a blimp flying south, seemingly right across the flight line. We can't fathom how it managed to fly perpindicular to the runway without getting in the way of a plane on approach. For this flight, we decided to sit behind one another, rather than next to one another, so it would be easier for Justin to sleep. This part worked well, but unfortunately was counterbalanced by the fact that Crystal had a seat hog next to her. We had good views of Southern California and Baja California on the flight down. we had good views of Palos Verdes (where we went on one of our first dates), Balboa Island (where we got engaged), Dana Point (where we got married), North San Diego County (where we live now), and also the places near where we work. As soon as we got into Mexico, all the greenery disappeared - it's amazing how dry everything becomes when there isn't any irrigation. Some of the areas around La Paz looked really nice - we should check them out one of these years. Cabo also looked nice.

After hours of smooth flying, we hit some really good turbulence off of southern Ecuador, perhaps from the volcano ash of the nearby volcano that was erupting. It was dark by this time, so we couldn't tell exactly where the volcano was. We landed at 11:45, and were greeted by our guide Carlos. As promised, our hotel (the Ramada Costa del Sol) was literally across the street from the airport. It's too bad the hotel wasn't built yet when we were here in 2006 - it would have really come in handy. After we checked in, we went down to the bar to get some welcome drinks (Pisco Sours), and on the TV they were playing a countdown of 1980s Power Ballads. We watched that for awhile, then went up and watched the rest in our room. For those interested, #3 was "I'll be there for you" by Bon Jovi, #2 was "Home sweet home" by Motley Crue, and #1 was "What it takes" by Aerosmith. We were a bit miffed that Skid Row didn't make the list, but whatever. We were looking forward to going to the jungle the next day and really starting our holiday.