It really didn’t take much to get me back in the swing of things, a dinner at Flying Star, a good night’s sleep and a ride on my Strong down the bike path in that fabulous New Mexico winter sunlight.

I was a bit late getting off the ground in San Francisco and the ride home was a horrible combination of being cramped and trying to simultaneously find a way to stay awake and take a nap. I have to where I really hate that last leg on the Barbie Jet – it’s just punishment after being awake and in the air for so long.

After visiting with my friendly United Baggage Expert and watching her shake her head at the tortuous trip my luggage had made, we went home. United called later that evening to thank me for have 1K status and to tell me that the bags would be in some time on Saturday. Well, Saturday rolled in and out and they called again to tell me that they’d be in on Sunday. Interestingly, the Barbie Jet flight on that day was delayed 3 hours, dredging up all kinds of unpleasant memories.

It’s amazing how a little two-wheel time, some money spent at REI, a trip to the Apple Store and lunch at Bravo! can wash away all that dirty air, crowding and cramped hotel living in only a matter of hours. Phone calls to all my favorite voices and throwing hay for my equine pals plus having Ted try to rip the top off my decks because I’m standing on his toy. Staring into My Lovely Wife’s eyes and remembering just what I was thinking 15 and 1/2 years ago in Spencero’s kitchen. It’s always good to come home.

Sunday came and sure enough another phone call from United, this time informing me that the bags were back in New Mexico and that they would be dropped off between 6 and 10:30 PM. I think not, and we asked them to tell the bag service that later than 10 would be unacceptable. So you can imagine our surprise when the third party bag delivery guy called at 9:45 and told us he’d be swinging by on his way to Farmington between 12 and 2 AM. Yes, 12 and 2 AM. Sometimes you wonder if they even hear what they are saying. We elected to take the “sometime on Monday” slot and went to bed.

Tomorrow we head off to sunnier climes for a few days of cross-riding, kayaking and feasting on Carne Machaca. Our favorite December trip down to the beach, and I honestly cannot wait. 2008 has been one busy year, and I can’t think of spending it any other way than that. So goodbye to today’s snow flurries and hello to South of the Border, down Mexico way.

I’ll probably have a Sonoran tale or two to tell, but if not, reality sinks back in next month.