Here's the Scoop: July 9, 2008

Long & winding road
Dedicated fans of this column, Scoopies, as they like to be called, were fairly quick to notice that the News was Scoop-less for a couple of weeks recently.
I didn’t want to, but I was forced to take a vacation. Don’t get me wrong, I like vacations. A lot. It’s just preparing to leave and the work pileup upon return, can often make time away “relaxing” pretty stressful.
Fortunately, our vacation destination demanded little clothing, so packing wasn’t much of an issue. It really never is for me. In fact, I’ve been — what’s the word — “banned” from the packing process since the vacation when we somehow came home with a lot more than we came with — and I decided that spreading the dirty laundry throughout the car trunk would be a space-saver. I was wrong.
So, the packing went pretty smoothly, primarily because I have gained enough wisdom to not hand the packer any clothing items that give the impression that I have owned them — and worn them frequently — since high school.
The next day, our daughter and son-in-law were kind enough to drive us to the airport at some ungodly hour. Four-plus hours in a plane and we touched down in the Caribbean. We were aware that the official start of the hurricane season had kicked in, but the off-season rates were what really blew us away. We would take the risk.
As it turned out, the chance of a tropical storm was not what we should have feared. It was the drive from the airport.

Twists & turns
Because we were on a relatively small island, the roads were not huge. They were, however, very winding and quite hilly. The driver did not seem to notice these challenges as he whipped through the countryside and didn’t even seem to hear the sounds of my fingernails tearing at the cloth seats of the van. Our driver/guide proved very helpful explaining a bit about the island and pointing out what he said was great scenery.
“You’ll appreciate these sights even more with your eyes open,” he hinted to me.
After about a half-hour on the road, I decided that the driver had probably made this drive a few times. We just might survive The Ride of Death.
The literature from the resort we had booked issued a warning that the last section of road leading to the facility was quite rough and that we should be assured we were on the right path. In reality, this road compared quite favorably with the road we live on, so we were feeling better — if a bit queasy — upon arrival.
Plus, we had nine days to relax before hitting the road back to the airport. Folks always say it’s probably more dangerous traveling to the the airport than flying. Folks are right.