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Trip Report Back in BA - The Best Laid Plans

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OK, I admit it…I organize like the Capricorn that I am. But, really, sometimes things still get screwed up beyond my fault. And our arrival 2012 was one of those times.
Our departure, flight, customs, Banco de la Nacion and VIP remis service went off smoothly and comfortably. Then it started……..
We were driven up to our rental apartment complex –with more luggage than we usually allow ourselves as we are here for ~ 10 weeks - and that stupid neck pillow …well never mind that now.
Blithely (naively ?) I said in my less than excellent Castillano, ‘Buen Dia we are Sr/a ‘Marnie’. May we have the keys for Apt. # xxx, which should be waiting with you ?’ He searched, and searched – DH and I stood there looking at each other surrounded by the luggage. Then the gent looked again, we began to sweat (it was near to 100 degrees f). DH asked the man to telephone Sra J., the woman who serves as liaison for the owners; he does so and ushers us into the cool and comfortable lobby…where we sat for about one hour. At that point, I went back out to the gate at which time he informed me that her cell was off; the phone in the apartment was off – and by now DH and I are getting just a bit off.
[Here you might wonder why he had not come into the lobby to give us this important info – your guess is as good….]
In the meantime, DH tried to use his cell on AT&T to call our daughter in NJ so as to have her contact the owners BUT NO – the International codes would not work…and we did not have WiFi connection in the lobby @@##$%%^^%% I asked the guard for anyone in the complex who might have a master key – no luck, no one.
So, here I am, the queen of plan B (for travel, not birthcontrol) and I was so confident, that I did not have a list of hotels - and may I remind any of you who are still with me here….lots of luggage ! And Not Big Lifters we.
Finally, one of the younger guards, probably feeling sorry for us, offered to walk with us to a hotel he said was nearby…and it was only 4-5 very hot, tired blocks away.
A wee shout-out for the Alpine Hotel: They found us a room – pleasant, clean, air-conditioned etc. comfortable beds with nice personnel.
Five minutes after getting into the room – I kid you not, it was literally 5 minutes – the concierge telephones to let us know that the guard now had our keys and he was downstairs to re-conduct us to the Apartment complex. Of course, the hotel was not able to refund our charge !!! but I charmed him into letting me talk to the manager, and we were un-charged for the 5 minutes (we hadn’t even see the bathroom yet).
FINALLY, we make it, luggage and all, into the apartment. We collapsed onto the sofa and billows of dust burst around us. We just laughed.
And that is one of the real positives of this boring tale…DH and I remained calm and avoided that old Blame Game through every minute of this travel weary frustration. More positives: the apartment is nice, the location ideal for us and we have a pool and a gym. We have heard from friends and are already making wonderful social plans.
After cleaning up, DH and I headed to ANNETTA’s (this won’t surprise my friends and fellow travelers). Well, the pasta and drinks and carrot salad were wonderful – the atmosphere and service delightful; and, as an added effort of the gods to make up for our inauspicious arrival, they had a BELLY DANCER with good, live accompaniment! It turns out that they have begun Monday Middle-Eastern Nights – it is an option, but at 80 pesos fixed menu with the dancer, how could you pass it up ?
Tuesday – Day 2 we had the delightful good fortune to meet brk01 and his DS for a drink in the café by the fountain in our complex. DH and I agreed that they are among the most interesting and charming men…
Today, the Jumbo run. Took the collectivo there and a full-of-bags taxi back – and we do feel as if we are home (thanks for sharing, Dr_D !)
Scarlett’s weather report was accurate – sultry today, but less than the near 100 degrees of the last 2 days – and I like sultry  when I am not draggin’ luggage.
So, stay tuned, if you can tolerate more…and we will post the highlights of this, our 5th visit to BsAs.

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