Day 6 – My Trip to Mexico City and It’s Surrounding AreasTraffic / Pictures From the Air / Parking Woes

Sniff.  Sniff.  I gave our hostess a heads up that I’d probably get teary-eyed the day I had to leave.  She must think I’m nuts!

We’re saying goodbye to our host and hostess.  Our host will lead us to the main road which will take us to the airport.  He tells us that our departure terminal is number two (Hey!  I see a pattern here.  Just two blocks.  Just two minutes…..).

Here are some shots of traffic at 7am on the way to the airport.  And this isn’t even rush hour yet!
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There was one shot that I truly regret missing.  I think it would have been pretty cool.  I noticed on our first night, when we were trying to find our destination, that the elevated bus stops looked neat – how people waiting would lean out to see if a bus was coming.  I could have caught the shot while sitting at a traffic light.  It would have looked great at night.  Every day after, I had my camera ready, but we’d never miss the light.

We get to the airport and thankfully my brother parks.  They plan on walking in with us.  I’m not afraid for my safety, but we are in another country where not everyone speaks English.  I was a little nervous.

We look all over Terminal 2 for something that says American Airlines.  We don’t see any.  My sister-in-law asks one of the security guards.  He says we need to be at Terminal 1.  Great start to the day.  Security is guarding the entrance to the train area that would take us between the two terminals.  My sister-in-law is asking them if they could accompany us to the other terminal.  Panic is rising in me.  I keep telling her to let them know that we’d be lost without her help, and that we need her to go with us.  My brother and my mom keep saying that if they can’t, they can’t.  To basically shush.  I’m wishing I would have taken my panic attack pill (the one which I take to get me on the white flying rocket) a little sooner.

My view is, if you actually take the time to explain things to people, most will understand where you’re coming from.  You don’t know unless you try.  I can’t stand people who just assume that no is no without trying.  They think asking one time is enough.  Sometimes explanations are needed and people are human.

In the end, they’re able to take the train with us to the other terminal.  They just need ID to get back through.  We were going to have breakfast with them, but by now, we’re running a little late and need to hurry through customs.  We say good-bye to my brother and sister-in-law at the check-in area.  They’re staying for one more week.  We panic for a brief minute when we think my mom might have to go to immigration to fill out a form that she may have thrown out last night while she was packing.  I’m so thankful that she off-handedly mentioned to me that she was getting rid of her paperwork from the flight out to Mexico City.  I told her I never throw anything away until after the trip.  Luckily it worked out and the woman behind the counter had the form – she just didn’t make that clear.

We’re at the x-ray area now.  We were never questioned about anything in our carry-on’s – let me rephrase – I was never questioned about anything in my carry-on’s at any point in the security process when we flew over.  This time the woman was pointing to my backpack.  It had 14 pounds of camera equipment in it.  I pretended I was holding a camera and pointed to the bag trying to explain what’s in it.   She was gesturing that she’d like to look in it.  No problem.  I mean, it was pretty heavy.  What the heck could someone be carrying that was that heavy?!  She’s satisfied and clears me.  My mom gets searched because of her half empty shampoo and conditioner bottles.  She gets cleared to go.  The only part that I couldn’t believe, was that not one person there spoke English.

We get to the gate only a 1/2 hour before our boarding time.  We hadn’t had breakfast, so we look around for something quick to eat.  There was not much to choose from that I would consider breakfast food.  I choose an ice cream sugar cone.  My mom chooses a croissant sandwich.  We go to pay.  Here’s where I wish I had my interpreter that I had for the past week.  We’re told it was such-and-such pesos.  I had it, but didn’t want to break the paper bills up.  I’m bringing these home as a souvenir for my husband.  I asked if they took American money.  Yes they do.  I also am missing my currency exchange rate person (my brother used his I Phone app) – even though I lovingly told him that I was happy to be leaving him.  We were getting on each other’s nerves a little that morning.  He’s a person who will arrive 5 minutes after movie previews start.  I am the kind of person who likes to get there early enough to see the previews.  I couldn’t light a fire fast enough under his butt this morning.  He actually got out of bed five minutes before we needed to leave for the airport – correction – five minutes before we left for the airport.  We had planned on leaving a few minutes prior.

For some reason, my carry-on suitcase didn’t fit in the overhead compartments as it had when we flew out there.  I had to take my lap top out each time and stored it in the pocket in the seat in front of me.  I was able to lift my big load of bricks (carry-on) with the help of nice male passengers on the flight.  When I had to struggle and take the lap top out of my suitcase, I said to the guy behind me, “Here.  You hold this.” and the guy in front of me helped push the bag in the storage area.

Here are some shots from the air over Mexico City.  Goodbye Mexico.  I’ll miss you and my new family…

Over Mexico City:

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Over Florida:
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We arrive at TIA and get out of the terminal with no issues.  We walk out to the parking garage.  My mom has a piece of paper with writing on it that says where my brother parked.  Don’t forget, he and my mom had to leave to go get her passport.  So we originally park in the Long Term Parking garage.  My brother and mom come back and park in Short Term Parking.  We spend at least one hour searching for the car in the wrong garage.  I’m trying to phone Mexico to ask my brother where the heck he parked, but my cell phone provider says they can’t help me get service to call there.  I call the airport personnel from the “help” phone in the garage and they confirm that we’re in the wrong garage.  We get to the Short Term Parking, find the car, and the rest is history.

I’m so glad that I didn’t chicken out about going on this trip.  I was a bit freaked out before I left the states because of all the things that people had been saying to me.

If we lead sheltered lives, we’ll never grow.  I’m not saying travel like you’re driving to the next town over.  Although even then, you lock your car doors as a precaution, right?  Why do you do that?  Because there’s a CHANCE that a bad person might steal something from your car, steal your car, or steal you.  Bad things happen all over the world, even in your own backyard (figuratively speaking).

The U.S. State Department has wonderful information on their website about traveling abroad.  Check it out if you plan on traveling.  They keep it updated with warnings of area’s that should be avoided or kept a close eye on.  They even have a form that you can fill out online so that they know when you’re traveling, with who, and your destination in case of an emergency.  They also offer traveling tips.

The net is a wonderful tool.  I was concerned about my camera gear.  I got TONS of great tips from other photographer’s who travel.

I (we) had a fantastic time on this trip.  I have many specials memories and met some very nice people whom I hope to see again.  Mexico is a beautiful country which has great food, it’s filled with a lot of history and has some (a lot) of beautiful architecture.

So what’s next for me?  I’m not sure, but hopefully I’ll have a fun adventure in the near future.  My passport expires in 2016.  Hopefully I’ll be able to use it again before the expiration date!  Whether I do something in this city, state, country, or another country, you can be sure that I’ll share it with here.

Thanks for “Keeping up with me”.  Be safe. Have fun.  Get out and travel!

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