Time for my review and to jot down my thoughts and memories, as for them not to escape my mind on the wonderful time we had on the island. So I guess I'll start from Tuesday PM before heading to Cleveland Hopkins International. I headed to Doug and Julie's house and left my truck in their driveway and hopped a ride with them to head to Kent to pick up Danni. Shortly thereafter we headed to Cleveland and the four of us got a room at the Fairfield Inn. I think that was the way to go. We paid $65 for the room that night and it allowed us to leave the car there for the week for free. We got there around 11 PM and ordered a pizza. With my nightly schedule, it didn't allow much time for sleep, between that and the anticipation of the following day. I think I took a nap from 2:30 AM to 3:30 AM and then stared at the ceiling until 5:15 AM when we were to get up to be at the airport by 6 AM. I bought a new CD player with an alarm that allows you to wake up to a specific song on the CD, which for us was from The Shantee on 3/29/02 - The Happy Song. I was up and dancing like a fool before the sun came up. Excited and ready to go, we showered and took the 6:20 AM shuttle to the airport and waited in the line for about 2 hours. From that point in my day until we hit Negril it turned so sour that I just wanted to turn around and go home. We had to go through the X-Ray terminal and I brought my spare DAT deck just in case. That seemed to set everything off everywhere, causing me much hassle. After going through the metal detector, they pulled me off to the side and searched me and my possessions. No big deal, as I was expecting it. They made me take off my shoes and wanded me and went through my backpack pretty thoroughly. Oh well. Off to stand in line for a drink before boarding the plane (drinking at 8 AM?). The line never seemed to move so we skipped it and stood in line to board the plane. The band got on first and I think I was the first person next in line to get on when they came to me again and said, "random search, please step over here." About this time I started to get mildly irate. They had just done this to me 15 minutes earlier and I was getting tired as it was starting to become a hassle. Again, off with the shoes and through my backpack again. I got short with the guy, kicked my shoes off and dealt with it. Finally, on to the plane for what ended up being one of the best turbulence-free flights ever. Three and a half hours later we were in Mo-Bay getting off the plane, filling out immigration forms, claiming our luggage and trying to get to the bus to Negril. Standing in line I met up with Dan The Soundman Mesnard. He informed me that my DAT deck that I put in his rack to record the shows was denied by management and was left in Cleveland locked in the truck. Nice time to tell me that, after we've landed in Jamaica. I was pissed to say the least. Something about not being able to add it to the inventory list. Whatever. I felt the least that could be done when trying to do something constructive in helping the band remember their trip would be to, at the very least, inform me that they were going to do such a thing. He said he e-mailed me, which after going through my spam account, found out he sent it to firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com. Thank goodness I'm not dumb enough to come totally unprepared for the situation. I thought something like this might happen and brought my portable just in case. It was just a pain in the ass lugging it around everywhere and always being searched. Anyway, we exchanged a few hundred US dollars for the 46.5 : 1 JA and got on our way. We paid our dollar to the baggage man and got on the bus to Negril. The trip seemed shorter this time around and the midway break was well needed, as this time when they initially loaded us up on Red Stripes, they were beyond already warm. My stomach was a bit queasy so a Ting was right on the money. The sugar laden grapefruit refreshment hit the spot and in another 45 minutes we were in Negril at Fun Holiday. Unfortunately they wouldn't let us get to our stored baggage from the bus until we went through the orientation. So we stood there sweating in long pants and all of our carry-ons for the next half an hour while we listened to these goofballs babble. Finally, our room key (which they only had one of) and our room. I'm going to comment on this and that will be the last bit of pessimism that comes from this week in review. The hotel was IN NO WAY worth our money. The hotel wasn't even close to being finished. There was still rebar protruding from the roof and lack of door handles. There was no way to control the AC, except to get the management to turn it up, turn it down, turn it up, turn it down. It was controlled by remote control and there was only one control for the whole hotel. It was either hot and sticky or freezing so cold you had to be under all the covers of the bed to stay comfortable. Lucky we were only in there to sleep. The gravel right outside our steps made coming from the beach a bear but finally being in comfortable clothes and our toes in the sand made it so much worth it. Off to the bar for quite a few dirty bananas, good food and a lot of friends. We met George, the local handyman who told us if we ever needed anything that we could come to him. He would be there all week. So we did. All I asked was that when I wanted something, that I didn't want to be yanked around and I wanted what I asked for, which was the real deal. He totally came through and realized what I was about and we were on common grounds as far as understanding each other. So we got in the water for a few and watched the sun set as we continued to drink while listening to the local reggae band. The one hour of sleep eventually caught up with us so we headed to bed around 1 AM.
It's now Thursday morning and I awoke pretty early, 8 AM or so, and decided to hop to the beach for a few hours of sun and fun and a bit of the ocean. It wasn't soon after that it was time for a few foo-foo drinks. Those dirty bananas sure do go down quickly in the hot sun. I failed to remember one thing though, no matter how much suntan lotion I put on, the first time in the year that I'm in the sun, I burn. This was no exception. After putting on lotion twice and drinking heavily in the sun while Danni and almost all of our Fun Holiday posse decided to venture into the world of snorkeling, I grew extremely tired and worn out. The only remedy to that concoction is sleep, and that I did. All the way through dinner. I was mad at myself when I woke up around 10:30 PM because one of the few things I truly love to do while I'm there is visit with Lloydie and Paula at 3 Dives. Well, I slept right through that and was bummed to miss dinner. Danni was kind enough to accompany me during my dinner on the Fun Holiday beach. Their curried conch was to die for, along with the lobster fritters. That's mostly what we ate when eating at our resort. We were trying new places when we could, but this was quick and cheap. We hung out outside of our hotel for a bit and then made it an early night. Being burnt sucks the life right out of you. I swore to myself that I was searching for aloe in the morning. Thanks to Hope for the Solarcaine. It did wonders on the heat emitting from under my skin.
So it's finally the first of the three show nights and the anticipation is starting to stir in everyone from the waking point through the countdown of the day. We started off the day off right with breakfast at Selina's. Danni and I both had the "band special" which consisted of a cheese and calaloo omelet and a banana pancake. The orange juice is the most naturally sweetened on the planet. Thumbs up there, between that and the Jamaican blue mountain coffee I was in ecstasy. I almost forgot what it tasted like. It had been since 99 since I had a cup. We ordered 15 freshly roasted pounds for Tuesday to take back with us. Just for note, Selina used to run the Blue Mountain Coffee Shop and something went awry with the owner and she moved slightly south down the road and opened her own place with Big Roy and Zoe, their daughter. They appear to be doing well for themselves. After brunch we headed to the beach for some sand, sun and water. Being burnt wasn't fun for the first half the week I was there, but I dealt with it. I used lotion more than I should have and tried to keep what was burned covered. It was time for a shower and a stroll down the beach and then for some food. You know how it can be in Jamaica, you eat lunch and shortly after go to dinner. That way you can still fit in two meals a day. While Selina is pretty good on the time between ordering and receiving your food, you never know what dinner may hold. Irv, Liz Danni and I headed toward Mariner's Negril Beach Club not knowing where else we were stopping along the way. I few brief pit stops to liquefy our innards and relax our minds. Liz had a few things she needed to do and I wanted to find specific show times and what kind of patch things I needed. That was quite a walk from Fun Holiday to Mariners, and we did it there and back twice, refusing to cab it either time, either way. It was still fun despite lugging 50 pounds worth of crap with me. I found aloe from the stalk and gooped it all over me and boy, did that feel good. I didn't feel burnt for a few hours. After doing what we set out to do I decided it had been long enough in wait before I wanted to venture to Alfred's for not only the best fish & chips on the planet, but the best dirty bananas on the island. They were J100 cheaper than Fun Holiday and three times as strong. We were buzzed after two of them, but that didn't stop me from indulging in a few more before stumbling back down the beach. It wasn't too long after this that it was getting close to show time. Well, at least for me. I like to be there early to get everything ready to make it a stress free evening. So Irv, Danni and I hit the sand barefoot and relieved. The sunburn isn't conducive to carrying a 50 pound backpack. My props go to Irv for his kindness. We decided that somewhere along the way we were going to stop for a refreshment. Mom's Place it was, Why? I don't really know but it seemed right at the time. It's good to get off the feet and suck down a cold one every hour or so. We ended up at the show, I got everything taken care of with a drink in my hand when Liz appeared with the news of cybercast and thinking of e-mailing the list. I was somewhat hesitant of getting on a computer. I wanted nothing to do with one the entire time I was there. At the same time we thought it was our responsibility to let everyone know. So I got on it for a matter of minutes about an hour before show time (thanks Aaron for photo archiving that one). On to the show. It had been a week or so since they had played together and at that, had gone their independent ways for the week in getting down there. It appeared to me that this showed in their playing this night. To me, it seemed like they were slightly out of sync. Each of the sets were slightly shorter than usual as the band played on. The opened up with Surround, a classic version at that. Good Time (Merry-Go-Round) is always a crowd pleaser to most. Personally I think it should be stuck in the same spot as Pride of Cucamonga. Springtime Again makes me smile. Although we haven't really seen much of spring and it was like summer there, the reminder of the aliveness and energy around you is quite key. Burial, good ol' Cliff. Right on time with the reggae. The Jamaican locals were freaking out behind me at this point. They were amazed at how right on the boys version appeared. They said, "it a lit'l fast but not much." Dave came right back with Life Is Good. Boy is it ever. I don't think it could have been at this point. I never wanted to leave there. Thief was next. This is one of my favorite songs to groove to, although the depth of the sand made that quite difficult. The more deep you dig your feet in the sand, the cooler they become. Sweet! Dave finally decided to get on the acoustic for and Ol' Montana Red Dog -> Grass. I thought that might end the set so they could play a long second set. It was not to be. Ed felt like reminding us how good it was to be alive. My, my love the buzz of that Dragonfly. They ripped it up and it was soon time for a break. Everybody did their thing and next thing we knew, hookah was on stage and they simultaneously launch into Utopia. How could they not? We were there, weren't we? I thought so. Next up they boys threw a twist at us with a reggae-style version of Another You. I have to admit, that was a kick in the you know where. Woo freaking hoo!!!! Cliff busted out Let's Make It-> Boogie Chillun, which blew so much smoke that it appeared to bellow fire. The Indica & Sativa-> Bottle of Wine sandwich to follow reminded me of a lot of love and to many others on why they were there. Loner solidified that impression permanently in my mind. Red Stripe Boogie into The Streetbeater ended the set nicely. It's encore time on the first night of three on the island and what was it going to be? Teacher. I enjoyed it thoroughly and wrote that show in the books. Danni waited while I packed up my gear so we could head down the beach to Fun Holiday. I think there was the beginning makings of a Johnny Rotten sighting. The after-hours was to be at The Jungle Club. A few folks went there and then came right back after thinking we were being set up. They claimed it was a bit scary. That, and they were charging a cover to get in. So they ended up heading back across the street and after-hours was to be at Fun Holiday. I think it went on well past dawn, but I lasted till about 4 AM before getting to our room. Danni imbibed it too much RUM PUNCH!! RUM PUNCH!! (as she was saying all night). I think later before she crashed it was saying it back to her. She passed out shortly thereafter.
That leads us to the second show day, Saturday. Again, a crew of us went to Selina's for brunch. This time I had French toast and a cheese omelet. Danni did the band special, sub fresh fruit for the banana pancake. Orange juice and coffee were a must. Michelle waited on us once again while Big Roy cooked. Eventually Selina showed up and we were complete. On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at the cambio to exchange some cash for Jamaican dollar. When we got back we hit the beach for a few drinks and the wetness of the ocean. The water was awesomely warm. About mid-afternoon I treated myself to a much needed massage. An aloe massage from a Jamaican woman named Marlene. Liz had just had one and highly recommended her. Irv followed shortly after me. She only charged $30 for an hour. Well, it wasn't an hour as she put it. It was "until all the aloe is rubbed in." I liked that thought. My sunburn was noticeably less noticeable the rest of the vacation. Thank you Marlene. She was located where Liz and Philip were staying, which was at The Whistling Bird. Her table was set up under a bunch of shady trees where the wind's chill could only breeze. Afterward, I tipped her and decided to soak up some more rays before showering and thoughts of dinner were to enter the thought process. Again, we posse-ed up with Liz, Philip, Doug, Julie, Dan and Kim, Irv, Bruce and Tim and headed up the beach toward the show somewhat early in hopes to be finished in time enough before show time that I didn't stress myself on being punctual. We decided on Kuyaba, which is a "hut like looking" restaurant. They're slightly expensive but well worth the dollar. Their food is top notch and the service was quite prompt. They were very helpful in accommodating such a large party on such a short notice and not having it be three hours in wait. Danni and I split slightly ahead of everyone so I could get to what I needed to do pre-show. Turns out that the band didn't start until 10:30 PM this night, a half an hour later than the previous night. It was supposed to be over by 1:30 AM, which it was Friday night. I was thinking it might be a short show (in comparison to most eh shows) this night. Then it was determined that they could play until 2 AM, which put us back on schedule. I thought the boys were on much more this night than the previous, but they still didn't seem to launch off the planet like usual. Almost like they were holding something back. As I found out at week's end, they were. A doozy of a Tuesday show. They opened up the show with Roller Coaster and The Risk which lit the place up for them to unleash a Dumpster. Then, again like before, they pull out these new cover tunes jammed reggae-style. This time it was James Taylor's, Your Smiling Face. He said it, not me (although I was grinning ear to ear). It was just too funny of a thought to think. What made it even funnier was that they were right on with it. Godspeed was next. Ed jammed an unrecognizable diddy in the middle of it. I'll have to get with him to figure it out because the tapes haven't helped me any either. Clifford moved the show forward in an ever so robust manner with John Henry. And you thought their coffee was strong? Try this dose of Cliff. Dave continued on his smiling pace with Brighter Day before they lay into a rendition of The Beatles, Help! Finally my most favorite of all the classics , Lazy River. It seems like eons since I've heard that tune. It made way for a melt into Lady Vanilla, Ed still handing the acoustic guitar for the fourth tune in a row. That changed once again when he let loose on the wish washing version of one of my all-time favorite Ed tunes, Treasures That I Travel For. Something about the webbing echo effect on the rhythm guitar makes me feel like melting into the granules of sand. Dave jumps onto the acoustic for the first time in the set with Deal With It, the most recent of his acoustic originals. That finalized the set and readied us for a break. We went to Bones place, right next door at Traveler's. Soon enough it was time for second set. There was a Jamaican man whose name I think I made out to Thomas (anyone know for sure?). He started out on some type of reggae rap that the band backed up for a few minutes before I think the crowd was being kind in allowing him to take up precious hookah time. The next thing I knew it was into The Viper's Drag. All 24.5 minutes of it. As much as it's a cover, it's still a classic staple in the hookah diet. It was tasting mighty yummy on this night too. Raging River followed and it was a fun one. I always love hearing that song. Lax ante upped the setlist before Cliff got boisterous yet one more time. This time delivering a version of Canned Heats', Goin' Up the Country. As per request from the night before, Ed decided a killer Daffodils in Detroit was needed. Again, I applauded on the song selection and dug my feel a little deeper in the sand. Dave stepped up to the acoustic guitar and kicked down a Somewhere Down the Line. While not perfect in their delivery, the crowd hooted and hollered in with their acceptance. I thought it best to get the restroom issue dealt with before the encore because the night before after the encore was a wait and a half. Standing in line I called it. It seems like the last four or five times that I have been at a show where they encored with Blue Sky, I have called it. This night was no exception. Another show penned into the archival book and two of the three shows done. We had a few days to relax and catch up from the non-stop wearing of the party hats. Not before a never ending after hours at the Fun Holiday though. While we had to wake them up to serve us alcohol the night before, tonight they were ready for us. My hat goes off to Pinky and Hi-Lo Milo for the raging fire out on the beach. Danni and I geeked ourselves silly, along with about another 100 plus folk that felt like joining us. It wouldn't be a trip if the hookah swim team didn't make an appearance. The amount of participants seems to be dwindling these days. Founded with the bands inception, I was the only one who would get in the water and raise their trunks in the air. This was at 7 AM Sunday morning. It took at least an hour of coercing before convincing my cohort, the Irvmeister, to indulge in a little old time hookah fun. Ferdinand (and Hilary), if you ever read this, you're losing ground on your captainship. Danni and I finally went to bed around 9:30 AM while the Irvmeister and Philip rambled on in the insaneness for a few more hours.
I believe I woke up to the babbling nonsensicalness of Irv a few doors down and one floor up. The daylight smacked me in the face as I came back to a somewhat warped version of reality. I couldn't seem to fall back asleep and after trying for a few, I eventually made my way to the door, where the sun breathed down my neck and the sense of life was pumped back into me, liking it or not. I chose the prior. I speak like things were chaotically crazy. They were. It took me until Tuesday night's show to recuperate. Danni got up within minutes of me and we thought it best to nourish ourselves so we decided to go see what all the hype about The Boat Club was about. Personally, I wasn't impressed. I got the lobster salad sandwich. Likewise, did Danni. It was two slices of toast, no garnish, no side and the salad was no more than a centimeter thick and mostly tomato at that. We chose not to go back there. There was only five minutes of rain on the entire trip and it came here, while we were eating. We were under cover so it wasn't inconvenient in the slightest. It was actually refreshing. It was gone by the time we were done eating. Dan, Kim, Irv, Doug and Julie decided to join Danni and me shortly later on for dinner at Alfred's once again. Again I had the fish and chips and a few dirty bananas. Yum, yum, yum. Deep Space Six played at Alfred's that night and they were starting to set up the fence as we ate. We ended up hanging out porch partying until about 10 PM before choosing to retire for the night. We were both beat from the past few nights.
Monday proved to be well worth the rest the night before. We all went down for brunch to Irie Vibes. I think the amount of people and what we ordered seemed to catch them a little off guard. While I thought the service was good, the food itself took forever. I think this was our longest wait yet. We mostly ordered lobster omelets and I think they had to catch the lobsters first. We were in the shade and in good company with really nothing to do except a bit of shopping, so it didn't really matter. Other than our tummies yelling at us, that is. I thought the food was good, while others left something to be desired. Our group decided to further our day on its mission, as we had to get a few things done before our 3 PM date at Chances for the one tourist thing we decided to do, the sunset booze cruise. We stopped by Selina's to check on our coffee order, as we hadn't been here a bunch since we ordered it and wanted to confirm our deposit. Then right from there we took a taxi into downtown Negril to go to the market. The only thing I can say about the market, other than maybe cheaper prices, is that once you look into a merchant's hut at their goods, all the other merchants hound you to look in their hut. And once you pull out money? It's all over. The amount of Jamaicans the swarm you makes you look like you fumbled the football on the one yard line. Sheesh. Leave me alone. We got back, stopping at the cambio once again, just in time (or so we thought) to walk down to Chances. We got there on time only to find out we weren't really leaving till around 4:20 PM or so. I think they intended us to drink at the bar a bit and feed the local commerce a few more American dollars. Fine with me, as long as there is a dirty banana or two in my hand. After seeing the boat we were going to be boarding, we thought there were so many of us that we might sink it. They claimed that it would hold all of us. They were right, barely. They were serving RUM PUNCH!! RUM PUNCH!! I didn't much care for it though. I little strong and I lot of people were well on the way to being wasted. Nothing like being in the confined company of a ton of wasted people knowing it's going to be more hours and more wasted ness along the way. We set sail for Rick's Cafe up on the cliffs. This is an overpriced rip-off place where you have to buy coins in order to buy drinks, which really blows when you're wasted and it's hard enough just dealing with the Jamaican dollar. Let alone the left over coins you've paid for. A Heineken was $4.40 in U.S. currency. Everywhere else, it was J100, or about $2 U.S. The only savior to the trip for me was the fact that there were 50 foot cliffs to jump from. There were the two naked chicks jumping and then the whole Motts episode. Tommytunz A.K.A. Tommy T-Bar. He got onto the cliff fully clothed and did a striptease act that led to a gold (I think, as I didn't look too closely) G string. He got a smack on the butt so hard from someone it left a hand print (so I'm told) for two days. It was a hoot seeing him rile up the crowd into a mild frenzy before making his way water bound. The trip back was more drunk for most than the way there. While I remained sober, the sunset was well worth the $35 price of admission. We made our way back to Chances by close to an hour after dark. Everyone was planning on getting together to go out for dinner. It ended up being about 30 people strong so Danni and I backed out in the last minutes after our lunch experience hours earlier. We thought it might take forever and a year to get served and we were hungry. As it turns out, dinner for everyone else was a bust. I won't be the one to tell that story, as I wasn't there. I know it had to do with bad service, chicken bones and a few who didn't even get to eat. Danni and I opted for the Fun Holiday one last time. We ate the usual, except they were out of conch, leaving us to eat lobster instead. Dammit, lobster again? Force feed me please. We ended up going to bed shortly after. As we finished up dinner, a reggae band (a bad one at that) was just starting to warm up. They were doing We Are the World in reggae fashion, along with a bunch of other 80s style bad music. I wouldn't have wished it on anyone, making it slightly difficult to block it out enough to fall asleep. Sooner than later we did and the next thing we knew, it was Tuesday.
Our last full day on the island and our last 2002 Jamaica show. One final time we got to eat at Selina's for brunch. And once again we ordered the same as before. We picked up the coffee we ordered as well. We stopped at the cambio on the way there and then again on our way to the cliffs. In between Danni, Irv and I combed the beach attempting to accumulate a few more Jamaican tokens to bring back to our family and friends. Again, being huddled over by the pestering locals looking for the American dollar. This is the way they make their money so I don' think I can completely blame them. Most of my return items were coffee, Appleton rum and Lloydie's jerk sauce. Other than that, I bought the kids a few wood carvings as some jewelry. Danni got them an outfit or two. We stopped for one last Alfred's dirty banana and then returned to take a decent sized swim and tossed around "the vortex", which Philip had gotten me a few months back for my birthday. It's a foam football dart looking object that whistles when you throw it. We tossed it for a bit and then decided that we would get to the Cliffs early for some dinner. We thought the show was going to start a 6 PM, so 4:30 PM sounded like a good time to snag a bus sized taxi. we all piled in, stopped at the cambio and got up there to find out that there was a reggae band, The Sunset Band, on stage from 6 to 7:30 PM. We ordered our dinner around 5 PM and then waited. I got all set up and the opening band played and then they were over. Hookah came onstage and right then our food came (over three hours later). In the meantime, they had set out a $20 all you can eat buffet. That blew. We waited hours for our food and then everyone that bought the ticket ate and we still hadn't eaten. The food was mediocre at best too. And for the price I'll not go too far out on a limb and call it a rip-off. I was just glad that the last show was on something other than sand. Sand and DAT decks aren't too compatible. Neither is trying to dance. It reminded me of last Spring hookahville in the mud. The more you danced, the further you sank. As for the show, well, I believe you can term it as epic. This was I think one of the best shows I've seen, It's definitely in the top ten. They started off the show with (appropriately enough from the night before's dinner) Bone. Secondly, they jammed out a Sister Sugar that let you know right then that they were leaving all the musical energy they had left on the island. Moonstone flowed which segued nicely into Voodoo Stew. Caravan echoed from their musical monster's mouth. The reggae like melody of Bob Marley's, Zimbabwe kept the setlist in line before Ed wallowed out Only Falling, one of my newest Ed favorites. Ohio Grown thumped into a killer set-closing Keepin' Time. We chilled for a bit (except for Johnny Rotten, which was in full force non-stop until the bar actually finally cut him off). Yes folks, you heard it correctly, a bar in Jamaica actually cut someone off. I think that deserves some type of party award in my book. The boys came back onstage to open up with a reggae jammed version of Ozzy Osborne's Crazy Train. Eric sang and I loved every last little bit of it. Heads up call on song selection, even for a drummer. Next, things got slightly more crazy when Ed did the Alexander into Alexander II combination with Message in a Bottle sandwiched in the Alexander part of the transition. Schwa only purified every hookah soul on the island before the multi-vocal tale of Riversong brought the crowd back down to their normal peak of energy. Cliff did the Dylan tune, It Takes a Lot to Laugh...A Train to Cry. It seems like it has been forever since I've witnessed one of those. Dave plopped down on acoustic with Hookahville and Chicago before the set ended. It was encore time and they knew that one encore probably wouldn't do in closing out a wonderful week. Cliff started off with Hot Dog and then it appeared that Dave was going to the acoustic before he sat back down and the band delved into Seahorse. Can't go to an island without playing that one. Dave finally didn't deny us of his acoustic encore with no other than Ecstasy. I was hoping for the absent Slipjig but I guess you have to be happy with what you get and not always get what you wish for. I packed up my gear and Danni and I and a few others went to the front to hail a taxi. It took a little while. Johnny Rotten provided the entertainment on the way back to Fun Holiday, via Lloydie and Paula's to pick up our orders of his famous jerk sauce. Once we got there, we decided to let the others pick up our bottles since it was almost nearly impossible to keep Johnny Rotten in line. Little did I know that when we arrived back at Fun Holiday that the charter that was taking us to the airport was picking us up at 7:30 AM and not 9 AM like I had thought. It was already 1 AM and getting to sleep wasn't easy.
It made it a long day on Wednesday, as the wake up knock that came from I don't know who, came around 6:15 AM. Yikes! We got up around 7 AM and showered and got ready to go. The bus showed up, we got on and that is where it pretty much ended. A fellow bus was broken down on the way to the airport, which stalled our destination time by a bit. It was better than waiting in line at the airport the extra hour though. We stopped at the Golden Apple for refreshments like we did on the way to Negril, which was good for a Ting (compliments of Tim Ward). We finally arrived at the airport and were in line for our luggage to be searched before having it checked. We got to the front of the line and we couldn't find Danni's immigration paper. They kept hassling us asking us where it was. We kept telling them we didn't have it and they kept asking us. Finally they said "penalty" and she filled out a new one. They let her go with that. Not sure what the penalty was, but we headed towards the other end of the airport to go through the thorough search with all the metal detectors and conveyer belt scanners. Of course it wouldn't be proper if they didn't ransack everything I own. Talk about thorough, they were into every last little nook and cranny of my pack before letting me go. I expected it and thanked the lady because at least she had the courtesy to put everything back the way I had it packed. I couldn't say that for the American airports. We stopped to buy some duty-free rum and find a nibble to bite on before eventually boarding the plane. We sat all the way in the very back of the bird and after the hour time difference again (the third one in a week and a half) and a few short naps, we landed at 5:25 PM in Cleveland Hopkins International, where we started this humdinger of an adventure. Thinking we were almost home free, we still had about an hour and a half more to go through regarding U.S. Customs. Passports, luggage and for the first time in the entire trip, I didn't get searched when the opportunity presented itself. They let us through and we went to pick up our checked luggage, grab the shuttle to the Fairfield Inn, where Doug and Julie's minivan was parked. We were on I-71 southbound by 7:30 PM, stopping for some god ole American fast food and on our way back to Cowtown for a few days of catch-up time. I'd have to say that I'm at that point now. I hope you enjoyed reading my review. Hope all is well in hookahland.