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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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Today started at 4:30, when we got up to catch our limo to LaGuardia. Unlike some such events (bling dude, the drunk, and gallon jug of ice tea guy), the ride up was entirely uneventful, which was nice.

Check in was relatively straightforward, save the folks ahead of us who had obviously never traveled before, as they seemed surprised that they had to, you know, take laptops out of their bags (despite the signs spelling this out, they just pushed them, in bags, right through the scanner), or, you know, take their shoes off (the sign saying “ALL SHOES MUST BE REMOVED” didn’t really get the message across). I managed to get through without my nasal steroids/antihistamine gels being confiscated, which was good, as it meant my sinuses didn’t get to explode on re-entry, and I didn’t have a note from my doctor.

Anyhow, got on the plane, where there was a fantastic amount of small children and babies, including a charming one that was positioned in the strategic position to push on Sarah’s seat from behind, constantly. I think my realization of the day was that babies push out a lot more force with their legs than I imagined, and that, as always, parents manage to be oblivious of everybody else. After turning around and staring at the little puke for a while, eventually the dad took the hint and adjusted the kid’s seat. The Embraer used by US Airways on the trip from LGA to SAV is configured with much less legroom and comfort than those on the American versions, and they left my neck and head hurting through the morning. This was exacerbated, I think, by not having a healthy triple ristretto in the morning, as has been my habit for several months.

Oh, almost forgot, the stewardess was a bitch, and seemed downright angry when I asked her whether or not I could get a blanket for my wife, who was visibly chilled and uncomfortable.

It really shouldn’t, but it still astounds me how every trip I take the travel portion manages to be even more unpleasant. We’ll see how the return trip is, when we have a connection to make.

Anyhow, when we arrived into SAV, it was relatively empty, though clean and new, which was pleasant, having left the slum that is LGA. We headed to Alamo to pick up our convertible, which took about 30 minutes due to problems with trying to use some Sprint cell phones with walkie-talkie features that weren’t really working. I was not particularly impressed.

The sebring convertible is a spineless uninspiring excuse for a car, and there is not a pleasant thing I can say about it except that it’s a convertible, and that’s kind of fun.

We weren’t allowed to get the keys for our rental condo until 16:00, and it was only 10, so we decided to drive up past Hilton Head Island and visit a Le Creuset outlet store. We didn’t buy anything, but it was a pleasant little trip. Got stuck in traffic on the way back, and I was dying from a headache and an inability to stay awake by the time we hit the island. Drove back towards the rental office to find it, and then had lunch at a little Greek restaurant called “It’s All Greek To Me.” The Gyro lunch platter was good, with great meat, plenty of pita bread, fantastic cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes, and nice olives and sauce. Service was good, and Sarah seemed pleased with the tomatoes on her salad. I’d go back.

We decided to go explore Sea Pines, and discovered that it costs $5 to visit the Sea Pines community. Apparently, visiting anything but the main drag on Hilton Head Island requires either a pass (we got one for the community in which our condo is located) or paying $5 to enter that particular gated chunk. What a crock. Anyhow, we sucked up the $5, and went to visit the Harbor, which was largely disappointing, but it’s where we’ll need to go for our zodiac eco tours in the coming days. We then headed to the Baynard Ruins, which was interesting, though Sarah got bitten up pretty fast by mosquitoes.

After this, it was time to get our keys, so we went to the rental office, and got the keys to our condo in Palmetto Dunes, which turned out to be a rather pleasant first-floor unit with generous dining area, kitchen, living room, king bedroom, half bath, and bath suite with jacuzzi tub/shower. The view out the large private back porch is of the ocean, pool area, and palm trees, so can’t complain too much. Pictures of the place and view to come, I suppose.

Upon arriving, realized that the router they have here doesn’t have more than one port on the back, so went to Staples to pick up a small switch (the cheapest they had was a 5-port gigabit, what a waste), and then to the grocery to pick up food for a week. I realized that I left my hand mill at home, so we had to pick up a grinder as well, which made me very angry. Sarah reminded me we were on vaction, and that crap doesn’t matter, and I’ve tried to accept that.

Publix was a rather nice little grocery store, with a whole bunch of store brand stuff in clever target-like clean-fresh packaging. I got some prepacked barbecue, which was half the cost of the Lloyd’s, and tasted a hell of a lot better. Some pre-prepared fruit was ok, and the salsas, including a scotch bonnet variety that was pleasant in its heat and sweetness, were excellent.

Tomorrow we’ve got nothing planned; we may hang around the pool and swim in the ocean, or maybe we’ll change our mind and decide to go and do something. The beauty of this style of vacationing, which we first employed in Paris, is that we have no agenda, and we don’t need to care, and this proves quite effective.