Ahhh, home. We won’t be back again until November because we’re feeling the need to be with da boat during the tropical storm season. Hence, we had to enjoy ourselves to the max while in San Diego this time around. And we did. Rand got a taste of my medicine as we ran around town and picked up random boat stuff to bring back to Mex with us, flitted around from breweries to restaurants to friends’ houses to relatives’ houses to my dad’s house (to watch America’s Cup on the DVR), to the golf course, to the Honda dealership (to get the airbag replaced), to the post office to send stuff we couldn’t send easily from Mex, and then back to my dad’s to totally crash each night for nine nights. Whew! Done! But as usual, we didn’t see everyone we wanted to see, and we’re so sorry for that. You’d think we’d learn and stay longer, but we don’t learn. Honestly, when we’re home, I long to be on da boat (and worry about da boat), and when we’re away, I long to be home with my peeps. Is there no peace??
We don’t need to give you a play by play, just suffice it to say, it was lovely to be home, surrounded by our friends and family. Jody’s eldest sib, Diane and her new hubby, Mike, even did a fly by as one of the stops on their west coast road trip. Roy and Laurie, friends from Reno, scheduled their participation in the Tony Gwynn 5.5k charity run to coincide with our visit, so we spent a half a day at the AleSmith Brewing Company and Baskin and Robbins day-drinking and eating ice cream. It was awesome. In the past, Roy and Laurie would come down for various running events and stay on da boat. And Flea even came in from the desert, not only too cool off, but to see us, too. Again, not enough time with everyone we did see, and we didn’t connect with so many…sigh.
As much fun as we had while at home, one really good story is that of our return trip to La Paz. So, here goes – I’ll try not to ramble…it was the last night in SD, the alarm was set, the bags were stuffed to the gills with boat stuff, and the anchor was wrapped in a flannel sheet and tucked in a large duffle bag with our dirty clothes, secured with an old line off da boat. Before I go too far, about that anchor…our beautiful, trusted Ultra developed some small pit corrosion that had actually eaten through and it seemed you could see into the hollow shank. Not good. Luckily, before we left La Paz, Randy had arranged to get a brand-spanking new one (lifetime warranty) from the Ultra rep, Scott, who happened to be in town for the SD Boat Show. Perfect! So we brought the trusty (but slightly defective) anchor along as checked luggage on our flight home. No problemo.
The trip back to La Paz started out with us oversleeping and Pop having to wake us up. Then we were slightly slowed at the CBX (Cross Border Express, which is an awesome facility for flying from SD to Mexico) by having to print our boarding passes and fill out new Visa forms. Luckily, we breezed through immigration, but then got majorly waylaid at customs because of the Ultra AND the language barrier. The way customs works is if you bring anything into the country that has value, you must pay a percentage of said value to the government. Point being, you should have bought it in Mexico or the country you’re entering. Fair enough.
We explained that because it was a warranty replacement, no money changed hands, but as mentioned above, all that mattered was that the anchor had monetary value. The discussions with the customs agents took much more time than we’re comfortable with because we couldn’t understand one another, and our flight was going to board in…10 minutes, and we still had to get into the Tijuana terminal and check our bags. Finally, I went to fill out the paperwork and pay The Man (lesson learned), and Rand ran off with all of our luggage, including the anchor, through the rest of the CBX and into the terminal.
At the counter, Rand was told that the flight was closed, but they would get the anchor to the cargo hold in time. But we had to take our rolly bags as carry-ons, even though we’d paid to have them checked. Of course, because we were running late, we got nailed at security. First, they checked my wallet for coins (huh?), then they checked my rolly and found the beautiful, perfect All Clad 10-inch pan that my dad had given us and Randy has been dying for forever – it was confiscated because it could be used as a weapon. Sorry Pop – the bag was supposed to be checked at the counter. Then they checked Rand’s rolly and opened the new water pump, then the box with a jillion odds and ends, and continued to root around until satisfied. Then we were off and running – first time running through an airport for me. But we made it to the gate and they gate-checked our bags. Now all of our stuff, including the anchor, was secure in the cargo hold. So we thought.
We landed in La Paz, our gate-checked bags landed in La Paz, but no anchor. Shoot. We were connected with a Volaris guy, who determined that our anchor was on an Aero Calafia flight that was due to arrive La Paz later that evening, and our bag would be delivered to us at the marina around 9 that night. Awesome! Around 945, one of the security guys at the marina came knocking on da boat asking if one of us was Randall. Yes! Apparently, someone at the airport transposed a portion of both of our phone numbers when handing them over to the driver and he tried calling and calling to no avail. Poor guy – he was just another schmoe wearing a Nike t-shirt, dragging his wife around with him to drop off wayward luggage. Sheesh! But, yay, we were reunited with our new Ultra!
However, upon inspection, it appeared that the new Ultra had been dropped and dragged across the tarmac, wearing through the bag and the sheet, and the very tip of the fluke had been shaved down about a quarter of an inch – a quarter of an inch of stainless steel. Dammit! But because we couldn’t be sure if it was Volaris or Calafia that totally blew it, and because our Spanish is so rudimentary, we decided we won’t seek any restitution. Plus, we’d conferred with Scott, the Ultra rep, and he suggested filing it down and polishing it up, which we did. It’s not perfect, but it’s 100% functional.
Ok, very last thing – we got an email from Volaris giving us an $80 USD credit toward our next flight. Nice, huh? The catch is it has to be used by August and we’re not planning any trips til November. Oy. But all’s well that ends well. We’re back in La Paz with Free Luff and a somewhat marred, functional Ultra.