Today we are going to Muse about the joy of travel. If this is your first visit, welcome to Musings. If you have been here before, welcome back. Over time we are going to talk about many things: the past, the present, perhaps the future, travel, art, society and more. Wherever my musing takes me. I hope you will come along with me.
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The Joy of International Travel
We have arrived. As we have many times in the last fifteen years, we have come back to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. This year we flew. I’ll tell you about it.
Our itinerary had us flying out of West Palm Beach with our dog, Teddy, at 7:30 in the morning to Dallas. After an hour and a half layover we were to fly on to Leon, Mexico where a driver would meet us to drive us to SMA. Expected arrival time . . . 2:30 PM mountain time. That was the plan.
Now what really happened.
Adding Teddy to our itinerary added an extra degree of complexity. First we had to reserve his place on the plane. When one flys with a pet they cannot check in on-line; they must check in at the ticket counter. And they must allow extra time to process the pet.
We needed to be certain we had all the necessary papers for Teddy. We had to get the rabies shot, but not within 15 days of departure. And we needed an international health certificate.
On the Monday before our Saturday flight, Teddy had runny bloody diarrhea. Oh No! I worried he could not get the health certificate. I rushed him off to the veterinarian. She said if we kept him quiet, on medication, with bland prescription dog food by the end of the week he might be OK to travel.
“Bring him back Friday and we will see if he is OK. And do not feed him anything from the table.” (That is what created the problem apparently).
The week inched along and Teddy got better. By Friday he looked fit to me. I called the animal hospital and asked what time I should bring him in. They said, “We are all full up today, completely booked. Bring him in Monday” Well, I not going to repeat our conversation, but it was sufficient for time to be made for Teddy. He got his health certificate and was ready to go.
The next morning we were leaving. Since the flight was early and we had to check in in person and allow more time than normal for the process because of Teddy, we set the alarm for 4:30AM. That was enough time for us to shower and get ready for a 5:30AM taxi. And, that is what happened. We were up, ready and the cab picked us up right on time. Off we went to the Palm Beach International Airport.
About half way there Jeanette said, “I forgot my phone”.
Back we went to the house.
It worked out OK. Fortunately we live close to the airport. We checked in, made the flight, and flew to Dallas. Teddy was perfect. He didn’t make a sound.
Jeanette was concerned about making the connection in Dallas. There wasn’t a great deal of time and the flight to Leon left from a different terminal than we were to land in.
During our flight to Dallas I asked the flight attendant if she had gate information for flights departing Dallas. She did and she looked up our flight. “You are flying out of gate D20. It says the flight is delayed”.
So the good news was we did not need to worry about our tight connection. We had plenty of time. The departure was scheduled to leave three hours late.
It did. Eventually we were on our way. The flight was uneventful.
As we landed I said to Jeanette, “That is strange. Usually they give you immigration forms to fill out before you land. We did not get any”.
The passengers streamed out of the plane with carry-one and personal items working their way to the Immigration officers. Teddy was in his Sherpa bag. At Immigration all the Mexican nationals were directed through the lines. The non-citizens like us were held until Immigration forms could be procured and completed. We were there about thirty minutes before we had the forms.
After Immigration we went to the baggage claim area. One of the carousels was churning out luggage. The sign indicating the flight was some plane out of Chicago. Where was our luggage? After all this delay I would have thought it would have been out. Then on the Chicago carousel I saw one of Jeanette’s suitcases. So Chicago Dallas same same.
With our luggage we headed for customs, but not before we saw the animal agent. Proudly I handed him Teddy’s records, shot record, rabies certificate and international health form, smug with the knowledge they were up to date and complete. He frowned. He parsed his lips. He said, “Señor, You cannot bring your dog into the country.” WHAT!
We went back and forth. I showed him all the different inoculations and the rabies certificate and the international health certificate. I don’t think he could read them.
He said, “It doesn’t say he is treated for parasites”.
” Yes, ticks and fleas”.
“We do that ourselves. We give him Revolution every month”. Pointing to the papers he said, “It doesn’t say that”.
“Of course not. We do it ourselves.”
I don’t know what was the deciding factor, but eventually he relented “just this one time”.
Exhausted and tired we went over to customs. In Mexico they do random inspections. The traveler is asked to press a button which turns on a green or red light. Most of the time it comes up green. If so, they look at your declaration and let you pass on. If by chance it comes up red they open and manually inspect every item you are bringing.
I pressed the button. It came up Red.
more to come
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