Baron Dave Romm (barondave) wrote,
Baron Dave Romm

Best Birthday Present Ever: Porpoising To Antarctica II: Miami to Santiago

The continuing disclaimer: This is the rough first draft of my trip report, and I haven't even looked at all the pictures yet. The pictures as posted on LJ are temporary files on my system, and will likely look different than when I posted them. Go to for info on the trip report (which isn't even remotely started).

Go to to see all the pictures, unedited and uncompressed. This range is in Antarctica Trip II. Let me know if Shutterfly's navigation isn't working.

From Washington DC, mom and I needed to get to Miami to join the Expedition. So therefore, we went to… Newark, the hub for Continental. A short layover, thence to Miami. My mother is an experienced traveler, a jet-setter, and arranged most of the trip including seat assignments. We were usually next to each other on the plane, and could watch each other's luggage. She has pouches for passport/tickets and had advice on comfort, etc. . While we traveled light, we had enough stuff that we often needed luggage carts.

At Miami, my venerable luggage, which has gone to all the Minicons where I took a room, and all cons pretty much since I moved to Mpls nearly 30 years ago, died. It came out of the luggage carousel with a big rip near the zipper where the cloth attached to the main case. Fortunately, we were in an airport with shops. I got new one which isn't quite the same but holds as much stuff. Will need to get used to it, but for now it's fine. To note the passing of the torch, I took picture of luggage of old and new, then unceremoniously gave the old one to the Au Bon Pain staff to trash. We were in that restaurant because we searched for a good one for our long layover at the Miami airport. We looked around, but eventually ignored one grizzled veteran employee's recommendation of the hotel in E terminal to hang out at the Au Bon Pain. It was the last restaurant in Miami's huge terminal, and has the major advantage of being closest to the LAN Chile National Airline where the Lindblad Expedition officially began. While waiting, I mailed postcards to Rachel and Champions using postcard stamps from sister-in-law Joyce. Good thing I used them; as of this writing I don't know where they are anymore.

DaveLuggage old and new
Dave, in Miami, ready for the AntarcticLuggage old and new

Waiting at LAN. Plane leaves at 8:30pm, but the Lindblad information said to show up at 6:30. Meanwhile, the LAN information said they'd start at 5:30. No one from LAN was there until 5:30, but there was a long line of mostly Lindblad people. In retrospect, we began meeting people who we would know much better in Antarctica. We waited a long time, several times. There are many Passport/boarding pass security checkpoints between the initial line and actually getting on the plane. All our bags have Lindblad logo tags and ribbons, which were part of the expedition packet. Everyone needs at least one tag or ribbon for the Lindblad people in Santiago people to identify the proper luggage and take to the right ones to the Santiago Hyatt and then the right room. This went off without a hitch, but I'm getting ahead of the story.

on lineOn Line
On Line, Miami AirportOn Line, Miami Airport

After passing all the checkpoints, we waited at the airport gate. Mom went off to sit near a plug use her cell phone for the last time. It only works in the US. Sitting near me was a guy named Tulio, who looks like a world-weary traveler. He's a journalist writing his second book: He is heading to Santiago to interview Holocaust survivors.

TulioHelpful person
Journalist Tulio in MiamiSantiago, helpful person from Lindblad

Arrive 5am Santiago time, two hours ahead of Miami and three ahead of Minneapolis. We are now in the same time zone as Antarctica, or at least the part we'll be in. Our trip is mostly due South. At the Hyatt, the expedition is staying for one night and the hotel doesn't promise anyone's room will be ready until 2pm, but, almost everyone's room was ready almost immediately, with baggage delivered. I guess the middle of summer is not a busy time. Our room has one bed, so we almost change, but instead simply get a cot. Not like we were going to be there long.. We had a gorgeous view from 11th floor, but we had less than 24 hours to appreciate it. Amenities include a small robe and a nice shower, but you can't can't drink water from the tap. They provide bottled water even for brushing teeth. I appreciate US regulations more and more.

Mom on busSantiago
Mom, getting on busSantiago out Hyatt 11th Fl window, Dave reflection

I took a nice hot bath/shower. Can't drink the water, but it was nice to relax in. Onboard ship, a showerhead and small shower area is provided, but the rolling seas make a real shower nigh impossible. In retrospect, after an eight-hour flight, I was glad for the facilities in the Hyatt.

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