Monday, January 21, 2008

Mon Jan 21, 2008

I've been slacking in this blog lately, as I working diligently on creating a movie about my trip to Mongolia in 2006. But much has happened in the last month, namely spending three weeks in Arizona for Christmas and New Year's with my daughter, Alisa, and her family. I had a wonderful time and we had very good weather in Sierra Vista and Phoenix. The Huachuca Mountain tops, outside the kitchen window had snow the whole time. We even managed to get an afternoon trip to Nogales, Mexico to see the sights and eat a real Mexican lunch. One note for travelers: at the end of the January an American must have either 1) a passport or 2) a birth certificate with government picture ID to cross the Mexican land border back to the USA.

My Southwest Airlines flight was weather delayed getting to Tucson to turnaround and go to Phoenix, so I was an hour late getting a connecting Phoenix to Honolulu flight on ATA. I made the connection, but I didn't see my luggage for three days. The story of the rude and terrible ATA Baggage "Service" at the Honolulu Airport was appalling and frustrating. I can understand about my luggage being "lost," but I don't appreciate the Baggage "Service" attitude and lack of ability to communicate to the poor person who is without his baggage, and doesn't know if he will ever see it again. I drove back to the airport to look for my bags myself. I wrote two e-mails to ATA at their customer service address, and the shock was that a week later a very nice woman called me and we must have talked 20 minutes. She said she'd already started an investigation into the baggage "service" at the Honolulu Airport. She said she'd send me a coupon for $150 on ATA, which I thanked her for, but I explained that talking to a real person and getting some feedback about the luggage situation was all I had wanted.

I have signed up for a new tour this year - "The Route of the Maya" with Overseas Adventure Travel. In June I'll be visiting El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Belize. I am looking forward to being somewhat able to speak the Spanish language with them. It's so important to be able to speak the language of the country you visit, and I keep going places all over the world where every other language is spoken. Lately it's been Cambodian, Chinese, Tibetan, Japanese, Russian and the Baltic languages. Not many Spanish conversations there!

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