SATURDAY, April 8, 2007 Back to San Juan AND home

We were out of our rooms by 9:30 so that they could be cleaned for the next cruisers. Hated to say “goodbye” but had no choice.

We spent our waiting time in the Wheelhouse Lounge since we were “special”….we were Platinum cruisers! Whoopeeeeee! Breakfast rolls, coffee and juice were waiting for us. The plain ole generic card passengers had to find themselves seats in various sections of the ship. But could go to the breakfast buffet which was open.

When our “color” was called, we filed down to the gangplank, showed our boarding cards again and then disembarked the ship. Our luggage had already been unloaded and we had to find it amongst all the rest. Since they were put in color-coded areas, it wasn’t hard.
(hint: look for the most outrageous colored luggage you can buy! Makes it so much easier to find among the thousands of blue/black or brown suitcases)

Then we boarded a bus for the trip to the airport. We found the United Airlines ticket counter, got our luggage checked in and then had a couple of hours to wait for the plane. So, we ate….this time at another famous Puerto Rican restaurant…..Taco Belle!

Lisa, John and Ken had some sort of taco sandwiches but Jean opted for a Nathan’s New York hotdog, which was delicious! Again we brought outside food into a fast food place….my NY hotdog and the kids had Subways! But, we all bought Taco Belle Pepsi’s.

Finally boarded our plane for Chicago….we were not all sitting in the same area of the plane, which was really strange…since we’ve had these tickets for nearly a year. Ken, Lisa, Jenny and Jean were in the very, very tail of the plane, the last seats in the row. Well, they were close to the restrooms and we were the first to get drinks and peanuts. Guess that was good.

In Chicago, we again had to hunt for American Airlines …”somebody” in our group was sure he knew where it was.….but he was looking at the United Airline departures and not American Airlines…..so headed us in the wrong direction.

Luckily, we had lots of time to spend in Chicago, so it really didn’t matter. We found the American Airlines pre-flight area and settled down to wait for 2 hours. Then, wham, here comes a group of 8th graders from Elkhorn, NE. Noisy and energetic. They had spent a week in Washington, DC on a spring break trip and were on their way home. They plopped down and were sitting and lying all over the floor, behaving like typical 8th graders.

When we boarded the plane, most of the kids were in the back, but some were intermixed with other passengers. And other passengers were in the back with them….too bad the chaperones weren’t! The kids weren’t rowdy, just really, really noisy.

The flight attendants went to the adults who were seated in the back of the plane and brought them to the front seats…and allowed the kids to go to the rear with the rest of their group....let the kids enjoy the last of their spring break as a big, noisy, funlovin' unit!

Epilogue… We have many wonderful memories of this trip.

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