Re: Trip report, Day 2, Game Day

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Posted by Karen in Eugene from ( on viernes, abril 04, 2003 at 14:13:07 :

In Reply to: Trip report, Day 2, Game Day posted by Bob in Eugene from (?) on viernes, abril 04, 2003 at 13:25:57 :

We arrived at the Radisson Hotel near the Portland Airport about 11:00 pm Thursday nite, checked in, signed up for the airport shuttle and immediately hit the sack. That wake up call came much too early at 3:00 am, until we quickly remembered WHY we were getting up at that “nothing o’clock” hour. Along with 6 other travelers and the driver, we (me, husband Dave, and son Brian) hopped on the hotel shuttle to the airport at 3:40 am. It seemed we were the only persons awake at that hour. Arrival at the airport quickly changed that impression. Lines were already forming though the airport didn’t officially open until 4:15. Check in and boarding went smoothly. The plane was spacious and bright. The rain was falling outside. Sun and warm temperatures by afternoon sounded great. We headed into the air. Time to snooze until pilot announced there were some beautiful views of the Grand Canyon. He was right. I was glad I had the window seat. The sun was shining brightly. Prepared for landing in Phoenix. Descended to point just above freeway very close to the ground with thoughts that the runway should be appearing any second. WRONG! I noticed a small shrine perched on top of a rock mound outside.

Suddenly a huge power surge to the engines, the plane tipped right slightly and we were climbing slowly skyward. Brian turned toward me with a look of concern. Passengers said nothing. We were well above the city when Dave, oblivious to what was going on, looked up from the book he had been reading and said, “Shouldn’t we be on the ground by now?” At about the same time, the pilot came on the intercom and announced that we had probably noticed that the plane was circling the airport instead of rolling to the gate. To the point, he said there had been another plane in front of us, the tower knew it and “we” knew it and there wasn’t enough space allowed, so we had to go up and get in line again. Routine? I remembered that little shrine. God was with us. I dried the sweat on my palms and wiped my brow. Our second try was without drama thank goodness.

The flight from Phoenix to Zihua was uneventful til the very end when the ocean came into view as we prepared to land and it seemed as if the pilot was working on some kind of “cornering” speed record as we descended rapidly out over the ocean and made a SHARP U-turn back toward the airport and landed seemingly without ever slowing down. I’m ready to get my feet on the ground! Upon deplaning we are cooled by a stiff breeze. Unusual. No hot steamy wall as experienced in our past 4 visits.

We checked in to the Catalina this year after 4 previous stays in the same room at the Sotavento. The room wasn’t quite ready, but we were prepared with bathing suits and shorts in our carry ons, so after a quick change in the bano we headed down to the beach.

Figured friends Bob and Sue et al were down at La Perla sporting their UO Duck apparel near the big screen TV. The first round NCAA basketball tournament game featuring Oregon against Utah had just occurred. Dave and Brian walked down while I took a catnap. Shortly everyone returned with long faces to report a Duck loss. Oh well. We’re in Mexico now. On the beach! It’s warm! The view is wonderful! The Ducks seem so distant. Let’s vacation!

Our room at the Catalina was wonderful. White, bright, spacious, with a patio ringed with lush tropical foliage, 2 hammocks, 2 chaises, table, 2 chairs; and a large sunning terrace. The view was just as great or even better than our regular room at the Sotavento. Because we were somewhat lower at the Catalina, we had a view even from inside the room. The sound of the waves crashing on the beach down below was much more audible than at the Sotavento – great accompaniment to those moments just before sleep sets in. And, the proximity of our room to the Panoramic Sunset Bar would play a part in the soon to develop nightly “dos por uno” sunset rendezvouses.

As Bob has just said, dinner was inexpensive and delicious at Tamales Any! Now we’re really into the vacation mode we’ve so looked forward to.

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