California – in the “Buffer Zone”

After an almost sleepless night, we flew out of Detroit and into San Diego. Recent changes in airline regulations regarding baggage has resulted in us having 2 checked bags at 50 pounds a piece. Previously bags could weigh up to 72 pounds, and trust me we could easily fill the bags! Keeping the weight down to 50 pounds is a challenge. Our carry-ons are heavily laden with computers and other electronics that we don’t want to chance to checked baggage.

We are staying with friends who we worked with in Papua New Guinea. We always try and stay here for a week when we enter or leave the USA. We call this time in California the “Buffer Zone” as it gives us a chance to recover from our tearful good-byes and prepare to re-enter the USA or Solomon Islands.

On Monday we visited the San Diego Zoo which was wonderful. Yesterday we enjoyed a visit to Sea World. As we walked around and saw the shows, we couldn’t help but wonder what our Solomon Island friends would think of the trained sea animals.

Friday we head up to Mission Viejo to spend the weekend with friends there. Saturday we will celebrate Emily’s 14th birthday.

Sunday evening we fly out of LAX to Nadi Fiji which should take about 11 hours. We have a brief layover there before taking a flight to the Solomon Islands via Vanuatu (travel time of about 4 hours). We lose Monday to the International time line arriving home in Honiara, the capital city of the Solomon Islands, on Tuesday.