Noche de Paz

You have to seriously earn the ability to visit my parents.

Oh, the flight into LAX was fine. Our bags were moved for us, we learned that there’s a shuttle that stays inside the secure zone so you don’t have to go through security again even if you’re changing airlines and terminals, and boarding of our plane to La Paz from LA took place on schedule.

If you can call it a plane. It was one of those Embraer things that are essentially a school bus with wings. We’re talking “makes an MD-80 look spacious” here. And there was rain and suchlike in SoCal so the flight was fairly choppy. I already was over tired (we got up at 2:48 to make our morning flight from DFW) and a little nauseous, and this sent me over the edge.

Still it was only a two hour flight. And they gave me free Sun Chips. I love the Sun Chips.

We arrived on time, and please understand. I was expecting stairs. I mean, I used to live in San Jose, CA, where stairs are usual. I was not expecting a quarter mile walk from the airplane to the airport, where our flight of folks mingled with the folks from the American and Alaska flights that all arrived at precisely the same moment (we’d all left LAX together as well.)

I was expecting customs to be chaotic. I was not expecting, stressed out service dogs who also had to walk the quarter-mile from the plane, and I was not expecting ONE luggage carousel (at least our plane was first, if the farthest away), and I was not expecting customs to involve, not just trekking toward the light that determines if they glance through your bag, but first a conveyor belt/scanner thing of the type generally used when CHECKING bags.

Oh, and, we got the red light.
Thankfully our customs agent looked through two bags (barely) and didn’t open the big one full of presents.
“You can go,” she said. “Feliz Navidad.”

We thanked her, and wished her a Merry Christmas, too.

My parents were waiting. It took fifteen minutes to get out of the parking lot, and another fifteen to get to their house. We were given homemade stew and a tour, and we handed off the non-Christmas present portion of our shopping extravaganza. Then my parents went out to bribe an official, but that’s another story.

At present, I’m sitting on the deck, watching the lights of the La Paz malacon on the other side of the bay, and listening to the ocean lap at the sand. The pool lights are slowly cycling through their rainbow of colors, between me and the ocean, and the glow is giving me enough lights to type by.

Paz means “peace” in Spanish.

One of my favorite Christmas songs begins, in the local vernacular:

Noche de paz
Noche de amor

English speaking types know it better as “Silent Night.”

But in whichever language you choose, I will, tonight, sleep in heavenly peace.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Noche de Paz by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.