Sunday, March 09, 2008

Among the Great Whales in Baja California

Returning from a great trip is always the absolute worst part, and my friendly stewardess on American Airlines did her best to ensure the absolute most horrible end to an almost perfect week with the whales. (Of course I start with the complaint, and will end with the raves.) I carried on my suitcase so that when the plane landed at 12:30am (1:15am with the delay) I could whisk myself out of the airport and be home in 1/2 hour. When I embarked, I asked if I could gate check my bag (that is what they do with the strollers, you hand it in and then you get it handed back to you on your way off the plane) because it was pretty crowded and I was at the end of the line, knowing it would be hard to find a space in the overhead. So Ms. Idiot took my bag and checked it, so the entire point of carrying it on was defeated. She SWORE that AA has the best baggage deployment and if I haven't experienced their new terminal I would be so surprised because by the time you get downstairs the bags are ALWAYS waiting. HA HA HA. I knew she was wrong, but it was just too late. We waited 45 minutes for the bags, and then mine came off about another 15 minutes later. I got home, with daylight savings time, at 3:30am.

Now, for BAJA. This trip was pretty special, with 50 other guests on a small ship that sailed through the Sea of Cortez and over to the Pacific. In a nutshell, here is what was so fabulous:
- Blue whales, humpback whales, fin whales, gray whales
- Dolphins swimming under the boat
- Snorkeling with sea lions (ok I didn't do that because the water was FREEZING) but others did
- Petting the gray whales who approached the zodiacs. People were shrieking with delight.
- Hiking through gorgeous sand dunes
- Lots of beautiful birds
- The most phenomenal naturalists imaginable on board - 5 of them

Here are some of the most interesting people I met:
- The guy who invented Sweet & Low
- The woman who made Turtle Fur a successful company
- An antiques dealer
- Periodontist
- 3 doctors (plus the ship's doctor and his wife)
- A man whose sole purpose in his retired life is to bring down the Catholic Church and make the bishops etc responsible for their raping of boys
- A political consultant
- 2 women who run education programs at their local museum/aquarium
- Retired professor of Victorian literature
- Credit counselor
- Several retired school teachers
- United Way philanthropist
- Manufacturer of military grade binoculars
- Software manufacturer for Six Sigma people
- Reknowned interior designer
- Sex therapist
- Mortgage broker for churches
- 2 comptrollers


SP said...

What a fabulous trip! The inventor of Sweet & Low - that is hilarious. Did you check to see is he even uses S&L - my bet is that he won't go near the stuff.

Jill said...

Actually he uses it religiously and carries packets in his pocket! His wife designed the logo with the music bar, and his sons now run the company, still based in Brooklyn where his father invented the sugar packet.