It is pretty simple to keep my bags packed and with me, my uniform items hanging together, and to stay within 2 hours driving distance of DFW. It calls for a little creative packing, since you can end up in wintry Europe, summery South America, or the Caribbean or Hawaiian Islands. Packing a bikini in your bag doesn't take much room, but sometimes lugging the overcoat is tiresome through Miami and San Juan.
This month I flew a trip early in March with a San Juan, Puerto Rico layover, followed by a Guatemala City layover. There was not much time to spend in either place, so comfy pajamas were all I really needed. I was sorry that I didn't have longer in Guatemala City, because I would have loved to take a bus to Antigua, Guatemala, where I have spent a lot of time through the years studying Spanish, learning about the city, and climbing the volcanoes at whose feet the city lies.
I have climbed all three of these volcanoes, Volcan de Agua, Acatenango, and Volcan de Fuego. I have seen Volcan de Fuego during some forceful eruptions, as you can see above.
On the left side is Volcan de Agua, rising out of the clouds behind the first range of mountains, reaching a height of 12,000 ft. I can't prove it, but on a clear day they say you can see the Pacific Ocean.
Toward Antigua is another active volcano which I have climbed, on a guided tour. We climbed Volcan Pacaya during the day, but we returned at night during a pouring rain. We walked by rivers of flowing lava, and heard the close up fury of the volcano gods. It was not an easy climb, but it was definitely memorable. Find information about this volcano at the following link
I flew one more trip at the end of the month. It was a back to back all-nighter to Buenos Aires, Argentina. You fly all night, sleep all day and fly home on the night of the day you arrived. I hate this kind of trip. I don't choose to fly them myself. I want a layover! I want to get out and taste the food, meet the people, see the sights and learn a bit about whatever part of the world I am visiting. So my reserve month is over, little pain, no gain, back to flying where I want to go.
My first trip in April I went to Honolulu. You know that I love our hotel, and it's location (see blog posted 2/8/2010). My room was perfect this trip, offering a great view of the surfers on Waikiki Beach, and overlooking the huge waterfall in the lobby of the hotel.
I also took the time on this trip to seek out some information about abalone fishing. I mentioned in an earlier post that I remember when it was legal in California to dive for abalone. I remember the large, buttery, delicious abalone steaks that we ate so many years ago, before they became endangered and a moratorium on diving for them was put in place.