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Getting there was not the best experience.
Last month we returned to beautiful Mexico, to San Miguel de Allende in the mountains north of Ciudad de Mexico. It had been two years almost to the day that we were last there.
Getting there was not the best experience.
Most times before we have driven from our home in Florida to this colonial city. Driving is a trek! It would take us the better part of five days.
Day one, we would go from West Palm Beach to Pensacola, Florida, about eleven or twelve hours.
Day two, on to Houston in eight hours.
Day three, through San Antonio and down to Laredo, Texas for a short day of about four hours.
Day four we had to get a tourist permit, a car permit and a pet permit in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. That would take one to three hours depending upon the number of people seeking the same. Then we would drive seven or eight hours to San Luis Potosí to stop for the night. Day four was a killer.
The fifth day was short and we would be in San Miguel de Allende by noon. We would be there by noon unless I took a wrong turn . . . which I did one year, but that is another thing story.
So that is a trek! Why would we do it? Well we could load the van up with an unbelievable collection of things: computer, printer, kitchen stuff, dog stuff, dogs, mallets for croquet, and clothing, lots of clothing. And, then in town we had a car to use. We wanted all this stuff because we would be in town for weeks.
We decided to fly
But it is a long drive. So this year we decided to fly: Jeanette, Teddy (dog) and I.
No van full of stuff this year. We filled four suit cases, two I could hardly lift. Four suit cases, two carry-ons and a dog in a sherpa bag.
Our flight was to leave Miami at 11:30 AM and arrive in Mexico City at 1:40 PM. We were told to arrive an hour earlier than normal in order to process the dog. So, we had a driver to pick us up at 6:30 AM and whisk us through morning rush hour traffic down to Miami, about 80 miles. Mike, our driver, made record time. He’s a pro.
It was great. We were checked in and ready to board by 9:30AM.
The time clicked away. We read. We watched the television and as the boarding time approached we saw that departure time was moved back to 1:00 PM. Mechanical problem.
Then the departure gate was changed.
Then the departure time was changed again to 2:30 PM.
Then 3:15 PM.
The gate was switched back.
Next, the time was moved back to 4:00 PM.
Passengers were talking.
“This happened yesterday. The flight was cancelled”
“With all these delays they will need a new crew . . . And the flight will be cancelled.”
And so on.
Just what you want to listen to while you are sitting there with a dog.
Making matters worse, we had arranged for a driver, Antonio, to meet us in Mexico City and drive us to San Miguel de Allende, another three and a half hours.
Antonio had driven three and a half hours down to Mexico City to meet our flight. Now he sat there five hours not knowing if we would come or not.
He texted us asking if we were going to get out of Miami. He wanted to know if he should leave. Agh! What could I say? I didn’t want him to leave and have us eventually arrive loaded with luggage and a dog in a strange city. But, I could not assure him we would get out. Very frustrating.
In the end, it all worked out. We finally left Miami five hours late. Antonio met us in Mexico City and drove us north to San Miguel. We reached the house at midnight. The lights were on and the keys worked. Ta dah!
Coming Back Was Not Much Better
Our return trip mirrored our arrival. Our flight was to leave Mexico City for Miami at 1:30 PM. We had Antonio pick us up at 6:15 AM. I figured three and a half hours down to the airport would get us there around 10:00 AM. Plenty of time for check in with the dog, customs and security. No sweat!
We left on time cruising south along the two lane highway. Lots of traffic, moving well. Until . . . it stopped. We came to a dead stop. Ahead of us as far as we could see were vehicles, mostly big trucks. Behind us it was the same. No one could move. No one did move.
And the time drained away. We just sat. I eventually got out and walked about half a mile down through the stalled traffic. The end was not in sight. I returned to the car. And we sat. And the time drained away and I knew we were going to miss our flight . . . and I would be in a strange city with luggage and a dog. Crips!
And then, slowly the traffic began to inch forward and after about a two-hour delay we were moving.
Two large semitrailer trucks had collided, killing the drivers and burning to the ground. There were police and soldiers everywhere. But we were moving.
Now we were in a race to see if we could get to the airport in time to get though security, check in and dog processing.
There is no express way to reach the Mexico City International Airport. It is all through city streets and city traffic. Very frustrating!
But in the end it also worked out. We made the flight. Teddy was an excellent traveller, not making a sound. In Miami we flew through customs and were met by our driver, Mike. Perfect!
Of coarse, we next found ourselves in Miami’s rush-hour traffic crawling home because two lanes were blocked by an accident.
more to come
More to come:
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