A couple of random updates for my faithful readers:

1)  Son and I arrived in the States on 7/23, safe and sound.  Son is currently enjoying the company of his crazy cousins and my sister, brother-in-law, and mother in Cape Cod.  Note to self: the North Atlantic is GODDAMN FREEZING.  2 years in a tropical country has made me soft.  Also, there are sharks near the beach we go to.  Sweet.

2)  The dogs arrived safely last night after a 8-hour day of traveling.  They arrived 2+ hours ahead of schedule, even though they were confirmed to be on the later flight (10:10 p.m. arrival).  I got a call at 8:30 from United Cargo stating, “Um, you have two dogs here waiting to be picked up… can you come get them?”  Also, the United Cargo terminal in Boston is wholly staffed by Dominicans, so it was almost like being back in SDO.

3)  I’m running errands like a freaking madman… bike tune-up, purchasing/registering wife’s new car, new tires for wife’s new car, picking up the dogs, picking up the wife, etc.  I can’t wait for Maine, where I’ll have almost 3 weeks of uninterrupted tranquility… nothing to do, no one to see.  Woo-sah!

4)  Home leave is great.  I’ve been in Trader Joe’s & Whole Foods, drank good beers, been able to conduct all of my business in my native tongue (I really can’t say enough about this… while my Spanish is solid, it’s still SO MUCH EASIER when you’re positive you’re being completely understood [most of the time]), driven in a relaxed manner, known exactly where I was going at all times, and enjoyed 4G data on my shiny new smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S iii – still on the fence about it…).

5)  The Dominican Republic threw a couple of curveballs at me on my departure day.  I had to cash a check for a refund of our liability insurance down there, and of course, this took over an hour.  They had to “verify” the check and hold my passport while doing so.  I kind of lost it towards the end, demanding my check and the passport back, as I was cutting it close on making my flight… I guess my stern lecture about customer service and looming deadlines (i.e. me voy ahora mismo) lit the fire under their asses, as I had my money in about 2 minutes after my tirade.  Needless to say there was a tense moment as security came over to me and tried to look menacing/kick me out.  This, however, did not work, as the dude was about 65, 5-foot-three, and 120 lbs. soaking wet.  I dismissed him with a quick “no me jodas” glance, and he didn’t bother me anymore.

So, moral of the story is: we’re home.  Wife flies in on Thursday, and then it’s up to Maine after that.  I can’t wait.

It’s good to be home…..