(It's been a while since I've blogged, and when I got on tonight, I realized I had written this story of our travels back to the States, and never actually published it! So, it's more for our own journal that I am posting it now, as many of you probably already heard it!)
Well, we left our hotel at 8:00, grabbed some rolls and drinks at Starbucks and headed towards the airport. We were pulled over by the police for "speeding", although several cars were passing us, and for not having Chayce in a carseat (never knew this was a law in Mexico until TODAY!) So, the police tell us it will be 16,000 pesos, but he will graciously reduce it my half--8,000 pesos, or $750!!!! Are you kidding me? Ben and I were so mad! Well, needless to say, the only money we had on us was $100 and about $14 worth of pesos. So, after much arguing and talking, they accepted what we had. However, when Ben asked for a receipt, they weren't so happy about that! That's when the truth was really revealed! Not a great way to start off the day!
Anyways, we stopped at Costco to return a few things, then went on to the airport. We had decided to check in early with our bags, and then go eat at a nearby restaurant. Good thing we went early! Even though we have visas and all, we had to go through so much paperwork just to leave the country! So, after about 1 1/2 hours of checking in and filling out more paperwork, we finally had boarding tickets and went to grab a good meal. The meal was fantastic, and that family who owns the restaurant graciously gave it to us for free and is letting us leave our car there while we are gone! Thank you, Lord, for this sweet reminder of your goodness and provision!
So, we arrived at the airport about 1 1/2 hours before the flight and made it through security, only to find out that our flight was delayed and we probably would not catch our connecting flight! The kids ran and played while we waited, and then at 3:45 we finally boarded our flight!
We arrived in Houston at 6:05, with 45 minutes to get through customs and to our gate! Yikes!!! We RAN!!! It was quite a sight, but I was so proud of our kids! They ran the whole way, and it was a LONG way to customs! We got there, and it was packed with people! Hurry up and wait, the theme of every international tour, so I guess this was no different! A man from our flight told a security guard that we were late and trying to catch a flight, and he let us pass through faster. But when we got to the counter, they scanned Ben's passport and asked him if he is trouble with the law!? WHAT??? So, they sent me and the kids ahead to get our bags and called for an escort to take Ben and question him. At this point I was about to lose it! So, with four kids, all of our carry-on bags and a really bad attitude, I headed down to the baggage claim. We waited about 15 minutes for Ben, who said they only asked him 2 questions.
We got through customs and turned the corner to find we had to go through security again. But again, a guard allowed us to pass to the front and another lady assured us that the crew of our connecting flight knew we were coming. That energized us just enough to RUN some more. Well, after all that, we arrived at our gate to find it empty! Our plane had left!
Around 8:45 we were checked into our hotel and the kids were crashed out! After calling the Swineharts to inform them we would not be arriving in Charlotte, we learned of bad weather in Charlotte. We checked online and found that the flight we were supposed to be on did not make it to Charlotte--it was re-routed to Raleigh, NC and landed at 10:45! THANK YOU LORD THAT WE WERE NOT ON THAT FLIGHT! We were so thankful for God's grace to us, even in the midst of what seemed like such an inconvenience, that we did not make our flight! So, the journey of being back in the states begins!