Our Annual Minnesota Pilgrimage
Hola loyal reader! Bruce apologizes for this late post as he and Mary have been caught up in a whirlwind since Friday morning, when they started the multiple legs of their annual pilgrimage back to MN. Please follow along and vicariously enjoy the thrills of international travel in these apocalyptic post 911 days. As usual for those of you email subscribers who choose to view these posts from the blog-site, please click here.
We were up at 4AM last Friday morning and out the door at 5:30, legging it down Paseo to the ADO bus terminal across Calle 60 from the Fiesta Americana. We departed right on time at 6:15 (these ADO buses are never, in our experience, late or early, they are always precisely on time). We shelled out 920P for the two tix for this bus rideÂ that takes one directly to terminal 3, the international gates for the Cancun Aeropuerto. I had calculated that we were paying about a $27US premium to go direct instead of the usual ADO GL into downtown Cancun and then the shuttle to the airport. Not only do we knock about an hour off the trip but we cut the stress by 90% by going direct. That is about the best $27 bucks we have ever spent. For telling us about this direct route, Thank you Joanne!
We went to INM directly, once inside the terminal, and with our brand new FM3 visa cards the processing for this trip out of the country was very quick. Then we stood in line for check in at Sun Country. The Sun Country employees were very friendly and spoke English but they were quite pleased when Mary chatted them up in their own language. We checked our one bag and for about the third time in our travels it weighed in at exactly 50.0 pounds (without me surreptitiously tugging up on aÂ strap, this time). Then we went though security where we saw a sign that said, “Do not take off your shoes!” Great, maybe we’re finally beyond the Patriot Act days. We killed time near our gate by havingÂ $5US Negra Modelos while people watching.Â Finally we boarded and we were off to Dallas. But the weather did not cooperate so we spent an hour circling the west side of Dallas until we were cleared to land. Then we got force marched through immigration, customs, security and baggage check. Security was fun as Mary got picked on once again because of her insulin pump. In Mexico, just a quick inspection of the pump was good enough but no….. not here in good ole Amerika. After doing the full body scans a TSA gal pulled Mary aside and made a federal case of her pump, swabbing for explosive residue and then making her stand there waiting for results. Mary asked the gal, “So you don’t see many insulin pumps?” “No, we see lots.” The burly, sour puss said. Meanwhile, as I was gathering our stuff I espied our two laptops sitting in a bin on top of the scanner. Wondering what they were doing there as I reached for them another TSA gal barked, “Not so fast – two laptops, two bins!!” Ok, so I went back through a gate and butted in line and ran them each through in separate bins and then I had to go through a metal detector even though they already had a nude scan of me in their computer. Beep! Must be my sunglasses. I handed them to the TSA gal expecting to walk through clean but no, she wouldn’t take them, I had to get back in line to put those in a bin to run by the scanner. Then I could walk through the metal detector, and I did and there was no beep. The TSA gal looked crestfallen. I found Mary swearing under her breath when I joined her to collect our belongings and continue the march, feeling so much safer from terrorism.
We boarded the plane and 30 minutes later still sitting on the tarmac the captain announced that we were giving up on the two passengers who were detained by customs, but just as he announced that, one of them boarded and we only abandoned one poor soul to the customs gods.
We finally landed at Humphrey terminal in Minneapolis, an hour and a half late, and there were Kevin and Rosie patiently waiting for us. They told us that Sun Country never did update our flight’s status from “On Time”. Mary apologized to them and Rosie smiles and said, don’t worry, it gave us time to get caught up. We laugh.
Kevin and Rosie transported us to my Ma’s place in Foley where she and my sis, Cheryl, up from MO, were waiting up for us. We had several nightcaps, saw Kevin and Rosie off and we hit the sack.
The next morning we packed up and headed to Princeton where Mary was staying behind to be with her mother, Harriet, who is rehabbing in the Elim Home’s Turn Around unit and Cheryl, Mom, and I continued up to Moose Lake to participate in my nephew Ian’s wedding to the very lovely Megan at Ian’s sis Kiki’s “compound”. It was a perfect wedding crowned with a stunning display of fireworks. Because Ian did not want his guests to be distracted for too long from partying, he had the planned 20 minutes of fireworks all launched in about 5 minutes. It was pretty spectacular.
Thanks for visiting gentle reader. Bruce apologizes in advance for any more tardy posts as these MN visits have them bopping all over the place and keeping quite busy. To comment or to simply view comments, click on the post title and scroll down. Hasta pronto!