The White Marlin Open Tournament draws crowds.

White Marlin Open: Highest Bar Tab

The White Marlin Open on 14 St. in Ocean City Maryland

Spectators flock to the White Marlin Open in Ocean City, Md.

I had sidestepped through throngs of spectators to attend the White Marlin Open, in Ocean City, Maryland, labeled the “World’s Largest and Richest Billfish Tournament.” As I stood on the pier breathing pungent bay air, I was hoping to spot the qualifying White Marlin, Blue Marlin, Tuna, Dolphin, Wahoo, or Shark that could win big bucks.

A White Marlin Open boat

A fishing boat enters Harbour Island in Ocean City, Md. with their catch.

The boats churned in the harbor after a day of fishing, and I watched for flags flying from the outrigger that indicated the crew had boarded a fish. Boats that had caught fish docked and handed their catch over to the White Marlin staff that measured it and attached a rope below the tail fin and used a pulley to hoist the fish up in the air to weigh it.  The spokesman announced the length and weight, and if it was a contender.

Spectators watch the arriving boats in the White Marlin Open.

A boat entered in the White Marlin Open motors in the harbor.

By the end of this year’s tournament, the White Marlin Open had paid out over $4.7 million with over $3.3 million won by the three boats that hooked the qualifying White Marlins. The tournament drew visitors that supported the local businesses, and one of the bars ran an unusual contest that capitalized on the event.

Sunset Grille hosted the Teasers Cup. Participants, often White Marlin Open winners, competed in running up the highest bar tab, and they invited other customers to join in and drink on their tab. They bought champagne to drink and spray. Partiers shook champagne bottles, popped corks, and showered anyone close by.

During the week of the White Marlin Open, the boat, Goin’ In Deep, ran up a $20,550.05 bar tab and some say that they added a $6,200 tip. They drank champagne, that retailed for thousands, and liquor, beer, and wine. This crew had won the Teasers Cup five years in a row. Ironically, they were not among the 2017 White Marlin Open winners, but they ensured that the owners of Sunset Grille were.

 

 

 

Governors Island Ferry Dock

Governors Island, New York

 Governors Island 2017 

Governors Island is open and hosts events from May 1 to October 31.

What to do on Governors Island

While many take the ferry to Governors Island–ten minutes from Manhattan and two dollars round trip fare–for music festivals, performances, art exhibits, historic building tours and more, we escaped mass moving Manhattan on a cloudy weekday to see something different, at our own pace.

Manhattan Skyline

Lower Manhattan rises across the harbor from Governors Island, New York.

The Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island

The Statue of Liberty stands proudly on Liberty Island.

Staten Island Ferry from Governors Island

The Staten Island Ferry cruises New York Harbor.

We rode bikes without dodging people or vehicles. We drifted through paths lined with perennial gardens where golden rudbeckias, pink cone flowers, and mixed grasses swayed. We saw Manhattan’s skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and the Staten Island Ferry from a unique perspective. We spied star-shaped Fort Jay and toured Castle Williams, a circular fort that imprisoned Confederate soldiers. We passed food trucks, Island Oyster restaurant and bar, hammocks, a compost learning center, a teaching garden, and an unusual junkyard adventure playground.

The Freedom Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center rises in the background.

We rode Citi Bikes on Governors Island, New York.

Castle Williams was a prison for confederate soldiers.

Castle Williams is the “best preserved circular fortification in the nation.” https://govisland.com/activities/castle-williams

Adventure Playground NYC

Children create with scrap materials

Governors Island junkyard playground sparks children’s creativity.

The junkyard playground allows children six to twelve years old to build and experiment with scrap materials using hammers, nails, and saws, while supervisors watch and parents are kept at bay. Boards, sheets, blankets, rubber tires, metal sheets, orange construction cones, wheels, and large plastic duct tubes–large enough to crawl through–are examples of junk that litters the playground. Though the facility was closed when we visited, it is open on Saturdays and Sundays until September 25, and children can attend weekly camps.

Adventure Playground on Governors Island, NY

Children experiment with scrap materials creating a structure.

Adventure Playground

Children can attend weekly summer camps in the junkyard playground.

Junkyard Playground

Supervisors keep parents away while children build with junk.

 

Though we didn’t attend any scheduled events or mix with crowds, we unwound, exercised, and learned. Though I love Manhattan, Governors Island was a nice diversion.

Governors Island Ferry Schedule

 

 

 

 

 

A Leonberger puppy flying in a Southwest cabin.

Puppy Escapes in Airplane

When I learned about the Leonberger dogs’ loyalty to their owners and fondness for children, I convinced my husband that– it was not a bean-brained-paid boondoggle– it was worth flying to purchase a Leonberger puppy because none were available near us when our Labrador retriever passed. Anyway, we had sufficient airline points to pay for our flights.

I joined the Leonberger Club of America and found a breeder in Seattle, Washington, who had mated her female. Prospective buyers were often selected when the vet confirmed the bitch’s pregnancy. I submitted an application, and the breeder approved it, convinced that I would train the dog and not return him when he weighed 140 pounds.

The puppies were born, and the breeder picked mine based on temperament, knowing that I had two young children. Though some in the dog business ship puppies in cargo, I felt that it was cruel.

My daughter, who was nine, and I flew to Seattle to pick up our new family member the weekend that he turned eight weeks old; a pet can fly on a plane if it can fit in a pet bag under the seat in front of yours.

No one had told me how to fly with a dog. While I anticipated the adventure, “what if scenarios” revolved through my mind like a spinning top. I learned that traveling with a pet causes perspiration. Though we had flown out to Seattle with the Sherpa bag under the seat, I wondered what would happen if Fido was too tall or bulky to fit. Would they confiscate him and send him to cargo?

When we picked up our puppy from the breeder in our rental car, my daughter held him on her lap and spoke softly as she ran her hands through his coat. Separation anxiety caused him to yelp and yap during the forty-five-minute drive to the airport.

Though I paid his air fare, I worried that passengers might suffer from dog allergies or complain to the airline personnel about traveling with a pet in the cabin.

After passing through airport security, we took Fido to the restroom and filled his water bowl. He wouldn’t drink, and we headed to the gate that was two gates past our boarding zone, hoping to hide him. We placed his carrier on the floor, and high-pitched screeches erupted from within. I unzipped the top so that Fido could stick his head out. We slipped him ice cubes and puppy kibble from between our fingers; his teeth pricked our hands like tiny thorns. We hoped that food would distract him, and the breeder’s soft blanket, scented by his littermates, would soothe him.

Eight-week-old Leonberger puppy is on his way to his new home.

Leonberger puppy rests in a Sherpa Pet Carrier.

He was asleep when they called our flight, and I had slung the bag over my shoulder and placed my hand over the black mesh end to prevent anyone from seeing the contraband. Only the airline staff knew I lugged invaluable loot. We boarded, and I slid the sack under the seat in front of us. When the plane departed, I took a deep breath and exhaled. I celebrated with a glass of wine.

The aroma of chicken and beef drifted through the cabin and Fido stirred.  When the stewardess served our dinner, my daughter had taken her retainer out of her mouth and rolled it in a napkin placing it near her plate, After eating, the flight attendant removed the tray, and five minutes later, my daughter noticed that her retainer was missing. We jumped out of our seats and hurried forward to alert the attendant, who pawed through the trash with plastic-gloved hands and found it.

When we returned, I checked the pet bag and noticed that the zipper was open; Fido had crawled out of his prison. I heard the lady behind me say, ” Where did you come from cutie?” I knew where the fugitive had fled.

I rose and edged sideways out in the aisle, and I turned around and grinned at the woman behind us who had an escapee sprawled across her Nikes gnawing her shoestrings.  She picked up the dog, petted him and handed him over. I apologized and returned to my seat. When I placed the absconder back in his bag, his soprano shrieks pierced the cabin. Sweat beaded my hairline. I wasn’t allowed to remove Fido, so I brushed my foot against the side of the canvas and hoped that I could calm the criminal.

The grey-bearded man who sat next to me crossed his arms over his potbelly and said, “I had no idea that you had a dog in there, what kind is it?”

I flashed a smile and said, ” He’s a Leonberger puppy.”

“Hamburger? Hamburger puppy? I eat those especially if they are noisy when I am trying to rest.”

I twirled my hair around my index finger and placed it behind my ear and said, “Sorry.”

The man leaned back and closed his eyes. A few rows behind, a baby screamed. I watched the hamburger-eating man open one eye and furrow his brow.

Though I had regretted disturbing everyone around us, I learned a valuable lesson on that flight: We had traveled six thousand miles in two days to discover that Fido didn’t fit. We changed his name to Harry as in Harry Houdini.

Though it sounds bazaar to fly cross-country to purchase a dog, I wouldn’t trade the two days that I had spent with my daughter exploring Seattle, or our decision to adopt Harry. He was great with children and became one of the best dogs that we have ever had.

Leonberger Puppy with child

Our Leonberger puppy and our children grew up together.

 

 

 

 

 

Fenwick Island is family oriented.

Fenwick Island Tips and Tricks

The Town of Fenwick Island, Delaware

There are two Fenwick Islands, incorporated and unincorporated. The Town of Fenwick Island that stretches from Atlantic to Lewes streets on the ocean side, and Delaware to James streets on the bay side was incorporated in 1953. Incorporated Fenwick has its own government that restricts zoning for a uniform appearance. The rest of Fenwick is unincorporated and follows Sussex county rules.

Fenwick Island, Delaware

Fenwick Island’s homes are zoned for uniform height. (Photo by dorothyadele)

Incorporated Fenwick Island Tips and Tricks

  • You can walk or bike to restaurants like Nantuckets, Just Hooked, Our Harvest, or Dairy Queen, or shops like The Country Store. You may not need your car for days.
  • The Town of Fenwick Island is committed to maintaining their reputation as a quiet resort where police are visible and vigilant. Therefore, it’s a good idea to follow the rules and obey the speed limit.
  • The authorities enforce parking restrictions from May 15 to September 15, and the police station sells daily to seasonal parking passes.

Fenwick Island Beach

  • Except for storm beach erosion, there is no need to stake your space on the beach at 7 a.m. Though Fenwick Island is busiest around the Fourth of July, crowds begin to dissipate in July and August as fall sports’ practices begin and students leave for school.
  • Lifeguards protect Fenwick Island’s one-mile beach, and they have access to two beach wheelchairs.
  • Mobi-mats cover dune walkways allowing easy navigation or use of beach wheelchairs.

Fenwick Island is Family Oriented

  • Smoking is prohibited on the beach and in the parks.
  • The town caters to families providing playgrounds, shuffleboard, half-court basketball, volleyball, and benches in a garden setting.

Fenwick Island Upcoming Events

  • On 7/8/17, on the beach at Dagsboro Street, all are welcome to attend the town bonfire that includes music, games, a silent auction, t-shirts and more.
  • At dusk on the Bayard Street beach, the town will feature the following Fenwick Flicks: Moana on July 11, Zootopia on July 25, and Finding Dory on August 8.

For more fun, check out the  Fenwick Boardwalk, and enjoy your summer.

Southwest Airlines

Bad Day Traveling Southwest

We had a five-hour Southwest flight delay

We had arrived at the airport at 2:30 for a 3:50 flight. Inclement weather resulted in several flight delays. Over five hours, we checked the tracker for our Southwest Airlines flight status. On each occasion, our departure time increased by an hour, though we watched passengers board their delayed flights and take off.

The Southwest agent explained that the passengers from the original destination were aboard our plane and it was on the runway, but she couldn’t give me more information until they were in the air.

Two hours later, after I saw the departure time increase again, I asked the representative if the passengers were still on board.  She said that they had deplaned because of a mechanical problem. I later learned that when they reboarded the flight a passenger was missing and they had to take roll call.

As the evening progressed, passengers spoke loudly on their phones, others read books, some slouched in chairs, one played his guitar, some tried to sleep, and others walked the terminal. I empathized with the parents who pursued their toddlers who ran the aisles.

As businesses closed, the noise grew. Employees yelled to their coworkers. The maintenance crew slammed doors. Others rolled plastic dumpsters the length of the terminal dumping trash in them, and the restroom cleaners pushed their yellow rattling carts.

Some, who I assumed were on break, sat behind the vacant gate desk and blared music. People who were reading moved. Eventually, they lowered the Starbucks’ gate closing off half the café.

Around 7:30, when Southwest announced that our plane had taken off, we knew that we were going home. Customers headed to the pizzeria and ordered thin crust pizza, beer, wine, and tall alcoholic drinks. The bar echoed with music and chatter.

When the plane arrived, the incoming passengers looked exhausted but walked briskly, probably relieved that they were finally at their destination.  When it was our turn, we boarded efficiently, took off at 8:50, and arrived as scheduled at 10:50 p.m.

Another twenty-minute delay because the jetway employees were not available

Travelers hunched under the overhead bins, some stood in the aisles ready to grab their carry-on bags and exit. The captain announced that he had called ahead, but no one was on the jetway to meet us, so we waited.

No one was there to remove baggage from two arriving flights

Finally, we left the plane and luckily we had not checked any bags. As we pulled our suitcases through baggage claim, we heard a report: the baggage crew had not removed the luggage from two flights. We suspected that the passengers who checked their bags probably had at least another half-hour delay.

Southwest offered the passengers $100 vouchers to account for bad weather, roll call, a mechanical problem, an empty jetway and delayed baggage. We thought that they could have done better.

Pursue

 

Related Posts:

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/five-southwest-airline-tips/

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2017/04/12/travel-packing-mistakes-and-mishaps/

We Weren’t Alone With Passport Trouble

I awoke abruptly around 1 a.m. on December 24, 2013, not thinking about Christmas Eve, but worried that I hadn’t checked the expiration date on my son’s passport for our impending trip on December 27. I knew that his child’s passport expired after five years of the issue date, not 10 like an adult’s.

I quietly slid out of bed and checked the box where I had stored the passports. When I opened my son’s passport, my heart raced, because it had expired.

Since I couldn’t sleep,  I checked the U.S. Passports and International Travel website that indicated that some countries will not accept a passport with an expiration date within 60 days of departure. I also learned that processing time for an expedited passport could take days to weeks.

We needed an appointment, and I exhaled loudly when I thought about the improbability of getting one on short notice the day after Christmas. I learned that we could walk-in without an appointment, but if they were busy, there was no guarantee.

The next morning, my worries were validated. I called the Washington office, and they said that they didn’t have any appointments and suggested that I call the Philadelphia office. I called the Philadelphia office, and thankfully they gave us an appointment at 9:00 a.m. on December 26. The representative said that we needed to fill out an application and bring his expired passport with proof of international travel reservations, and they would issue a replacement passport that day.

After checking the documents needed for the passport, I woke my son on December 26 at 6:30 a.m., and we began our drive to Philadelphia.

“Why do we have to leave so early?” he asked.

“Because if there is an accident, or we have a flat tire, or run into Christmas Eve traffic, and miss our appointment, we miss our trip,” I said.

We arrived at the Philadelphia Passport Agency, and I noticed that several people had luggage, and I assumed that they had been turned away at the airport. As we stood in the first line, I sweated thinking about the consequences, if I had not checked his passport expiration date. Also, I worried that somehow I missed a relevant document needed for the renewal.

The agent confirmed our appointment and sent us to the second line. While we waited about 40 minutes, I shifted my weight like a pendulum. Finally, we approached the desk, and that agent accepted our documents and sent us to have my son’s photo taken, where they told us to return at 2 p.m. to collect the passport. We left to explore Philadelphia.

“How lucky are you to tour Philadelphia with your mother on Christmas Eve?” I asked.

“Funny mom,” he said with a slight smile.

We traversed Philadelphia and ate lunch at the historic City Tavern. I loved this unplanned time with my son. Who needed to pack anyway?

When we returned to the U.S. Custom House to pick up his passport, a lady ladened with luggage stood in front of us in line. I heard her tell the custom’s agent that when she checked in at the airport with her family, she learned that her passport had expired. She said that her family had continued their trip, and she was planning to get her passport and meet them that night if she could get a flight.
I thought, what a terrible way to start a vacation, knowing that could have been us.

RELATED POSTS

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/how-to-avoid-airport-lines/

The Worst Travel Mistakes I’ve Made. Ever.

A Couple of Dumb Things I’ve Done While Travelling

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/112357259/posts/6447

Cow Wreck Beach Bar & Grill, Anegada, British Virgin Islands

The famous Cow Wreck Beach Bar is on Anegada, British Virgin Islands

Ships full of cow bones wrecked, bones and skulls washed ashore on Anegada, British Virgin Islands hence Cow Wreck Beach. The Cow Killer rum drink is one of their specialties.

There was no internet on our first flight

An Unbelievable Coincidence

We heard that a snow storm was slamming the North, when we arrived at the San Juan airport at 1 p.m. We checked the arrival and departure screen and saw a list of canceled flights, but our 6 p.m. flight heading north was only delayed. We were returning from a family Christmas vacation, and my son, Bob, had waited to complete an assignment that was due the next day.

I was concerned because he was a high school senior, and a poor grade could affect his college acceptances. Bob said that he had it under control and assured me that he would finish his report when he had internet on the plane. Little did he know that his procrastination would lead to an unbelievable coincidence.

We watched passengers pace with phones pressed to their ears because flight cancellations caused plans to change. Many grabbed their luggage and left. By 5:00 p.m., our departure-time status was blank, and we suspected that our flight would be cancelled. To fill time, we went to an airport restaurant for dinner. When we returned, we didn’t see any airline employees behind the desk at our gate or even at any nearby gates. The airport had emptied, and my hopes for leaving that night deflated like a boat sail. The abandoned terminal felt eerie as we watched kiosks close, and restaurant lights darken. Though the restaurants were closed, fried onion odors lingered — like us. The only people left at our airport wing were passengers on our flight, and some had moved to sit at nearby gates.

We sat on our padded seats, that seemed to harden like cement, and watched a high school swim team play catch football at the gate across the aisle. Woodward High School was printed on the boy’s shirts, and we recognized the school because Bob’s school, Craxton, competes against them in sports. When Bob saw them, he walked over and shook hands with the team’s coaches. I thought that he knew one of them, but I was wrong. I believe that the following dialogue resembles their conversation.

“Hi, I’m Bob Smith, and I go to Craxton High School.”
“Ohhh, you do? Do you know Father Corbin ? He taught for 19 years at Woodward and transferred to Craxton about 3 years ago.”
” Yes, I’m in his Science class. He’s a great guy. Actually, I have a lab report due for him tomorrow, and I’m worried about finishing it because of the flight delay.”
“Father Corbin is a good friend, and I am going to text him that you are stranded.”

The coach texted Father Corbin and told him that he was delayed in San Juan, and he was with one of his students, Bob Smith. He added that Bob was worried about completing his assignment.

Father Corbin texted back to tell Bob to stop worrying, and they would talk in class.

Bob talked sports with the coaches and team and returned to his seat flashing a wide smile.

He said, “You’re not going to believe who the coach is friends with.”

We boarded the flight around 11 p.m. and landed about 3 a.m. Without much sleep, Bob went to school and spoke to his teacher. They worked out a plan.

Bob had everything under control all right.

*This is a true story, but I changed the names.

Kingfisher

Deep Sea Fishing on the Kingfisher

The alarmed clanged at 4:30 a.m. and jolted me from a deep peaceful sleep. I pried my eyes open to darkness and questioned why I would want to repeat this trip especially when the weather report called for rain.

I jumped out of bed, threw on a bathing suit, shorts and a t-shirt. My husband and I filled the cooler with beer, water, sodas, subs and fried chicken, and we loaded the car.

We  headed for the Ocean City, Md docks to meet the guys at the sportfishing boat the Kingfisher.  By 5:30,  we loaded our coolers and boarded the boat.

The engines roared and diesel fumes permeated the salt air and we motored out of the Ocean City harbor.  As we left the inlet and picked up speed the engines thundered, our hearts raced while white waves churned and frothed in a V formation in our wake. I looked back and  watched the Ocean City ferris wheel fade from sight.

We advanced into the sunrise and wind whipped my hair and salt stuck to my damp skin. Fishing lines dragged in the water, and the mate dumped a stream of red chum or bait chunks behind the boat to attract fish.

The water changed from pea green to ink blue as the water deepened to about 100 feet. Wind blew and the boat bounced like a toy ship in a jacuzzi bathtub with the  jets on full force, and worried thoughts about boat emergencies flooded my mind.

Unlike our previous voyage when we watched a huge flat sunfish drift in the shimmering sea and the dorsal fin of a thresher shark slide by,  this day we white knuckled any vertical surface as the boat slammed into swells and the sky faded into clouds.  Some of my friends turned greenish-white, and one retched over the side.

Suddenly a fishing  line  zeeeiiinnnngggged as a fish took the bait and swam for its life.  Adrenaline pumped and queasiness was forgotten.

My friend Frank jumped in the fishing chair and the mate harnessed him in, so that he wouldn’t get pulled overboard during the fight. After about 20 minutes, the fish seemed to tire, and Frank began to reel  it in.  As we watched him fight the fish, a wave suddenly surged over the back of the boat.

The swell  soaked us and gushed into the cockpit. We grabbed buckets and quickly scooped the water out.  The  rapid rush of water startled us, but it did not dampen our exhilaration over hooking the fish.

Within 45 minutes, Frank brought a tuna up to the side of the boat. The mate reached over the rail and slammed a large hook or gaff  under the backbone of the fish and pulled it onboard. Dinner had arrived and it was time to head home.

Last week Kingfisher CaptainTommy Jones, our captain’s son,  won the world-renowned White Marlin Open billfish tournament. He caught an 83 pound white marlin and won about $1 million. The day that we fished, I never imagined that the Kingfisher would become famous.

Hawaii

Oahu, Hawaii Bus Tour — A Humorous Experience

When I was in my 30’s, I won a company sales contest. The grand prize was a trip to England or Hawaii. I chose Hawaii.

As part of my prize, my company planned guided tours on Oahu, Hawaii. I felt obligated to attend the first tour, and I disliked it and it became my first and last bus tour.

Following are some reasons why this tour influenced me to never take a bus tour again:

1. I had nothing in common with my bus mates who left the bus to take pictures of pineapples in fields and then took close-up photos of them. I wondered if they took pictures of pineapples in grocery stores.

2. My tour mates reinforced that I had nothing in common with them when they stepped off the bus again to photograph field and close-up pictures of sugarcane. At this point, I wanted to return to my hotel because I thought that I was in hell.

3. The bus driver repeated incessantly that there were no snakes on the Island. He said it so many times that I started to suspect that there were some. In addition, I had a nightmare about snakes and the bus driver.

4. I was stuck on the bus all day when I wanted to lie on the beach, enjoy a casual lunch, and read my book.

5. Everyone on the bus carried bags and cameras and resembled Terry and Tommy tourist. I hoped no one recognized me with this motley group — even though I probably fit in more than I will admit.

6. I didn’t like to get shuttled to a tourist-trap restaurant where the bus driver seemed chummy with the owner. The food was terrible and I couldn’t get a cold beer to escape my misery.

7. Everyone on the bus was old — like I am now. But even though I am old, I still won’t get trapped on a bus.

8. I prefer to eat with the locals and determine when my tour begins and ends.

This bus tour affected me for life and left me with humorous memories. However, no matter how old I am, you won’t catch me lined up to board a bus with old people like me, unless I am forced.

Rincon, Puerto Rico

Most Frightening Trip Ever — Hatillo, Puerto Rico

The most frightening trip I have ever experienced was driving through Hatillo, Puerto Rico on December 28, 2008.

Our family flew to San Juan and rented an SUV  for the 2  1/2 hour drive to Rincon. The trip took us 4  1/2 hours, and one of those hours was the most frightening in my life.

We began our trip cruising west along the north shore, as we caught glimpses of the lapis Atlantic Ocean through the windows of our green Ford Explorer, our excitement increased.

When we approached the seaside town Hatillo, we hit traffic congestion and a confusion of color, and cacophony pierced our eyes and ears. Sirens screamed, horns blared, and men garbed in garish, fluorescent clothing and bizarre, grotesque masks guzzled liquor and beer while riding in the back of colorfully painted trucks and parade floats.

As we entered Hatillo we were in gridlock and the town was bedlam, with groups of men staggering in the streets swilling alcohol. We closed our windows, locked our doors, and peered at the insanity. Unfortunately, we became their target.

We feared for our safety

Men swarmed our SUV, shook it, and shot it with Silly String. I hoped that they wouldn’t overturn it. Metal boomed, as they pounded their fists on the hood, roof and windows, and I wondered if the glass would shatter. Police, who were outnumbered probably 100 to 1, ignored the pandemonium, and we knew if the crowd became violent, we were in trouble. I was mostly worried about the children in the back seat, who ranged from 9 to 15 years old.

Our jeep creeped at about 2 mph for about an hour, and we cringed and gaped as some of the men became falling-down drunk.

Eventually, we spotted a cross street about four blocks ahead. Without coaxing, my husband drove over the curb, and on the sidewalk, and we passed the gridlocked cars. When we turned on the open street and accelerated, we high-fived and laughed from relief.

Mascaras de Hatillo or Hatillo Mask Festival

We learned that the locals were celebrating the Hatillo Mask Festival or Mascaras de Hatillo. It appeared to me, that for some, it was an excuse to get drunk and terrorize anyone caught in the gridlock, though the festival is legitimate.

Mascaras de Hatillo, Puerto Rico

Mascaras de Hatillo, Puerto Rico (Photo credit: enlacepr) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

It commemorates when King Herod ordered soldiers to kill little children after Jesus was born to prevent Jesus from becoming king. The gaudily clad men represented these soldiers.

I suspect if we visited the lovely seaside town Hatillo on another day, we would have found it charming not alarming. Not happening…

Paris 1973

Mistaken for Prostitutes in Paris

When I visited Paris with my high school French class we were mistaken for prostitutes and booked in a brothel by the travel agent. Do you see a common theme?

My roommates in Paris were my friend, Deb, and her mother, June, who chaperoned. June was — still is — very beautiful. She was fun but refined, and she dressed with elegance.

One evening, June wore a chic yellow jacket trimmed in white. She paired the jacket with white slacks and white boots. The three of us took a walk and explored the city. We found a quaint cafe and dropped in for dinner.

As we dined, sleazily dressed women in heavy makeup glared at us. We glanced at them, and we spoke in hushed voices because we felt threatened. I thought they were jealous because June looked stunning.

When we returned from dinner, we told our French teacher about the “ladies” with their angry stares. We learned that we had chosen a restaurant in a part of town known for prostitution. Leave it to us to venture into the wrong neighborhood.

Also, boots were a sign of prostitution in Paris. I suspect that the women in the restaurant thought that we were invading their territory and wanted us out.

During my high school French trip, not only were we mistaken for prostitutes, but the travel agent had booked us into a brothel.

Was someone trying to tell us something?

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/booked-in-a-brothel-in-paris/