We’re in Mexico! (in spite of another wretched travel day)

The view from our front door: palm tree, flowers, and an orange tree again!

After some sad goodbyes to the girls throughout the day, Brett and I were packed and ready to leave Pennsylvania last Sunday night. We got a good night’s sleep, and woke up at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, ready to head back to Baltimore to turn in our car and get checked in for our afternoon flight to Toronto. The drive back to Baltimore was lovely this time, the complete opposite of our trip up to Philadelphia. There was little to no traffic, the scenery through Pennsylvania bucolic, and we arrived at the car rental return right on schedule. We had time for a leisurely lunch at the airport and were checked in for our flight approximately two hours before boarding. Heavy storms had been expected to pass through Baltimore, but although it was cloudy when we arrived a couple of hours later the sky was clear and there were nothing but blue skies as far as the eye could see. What could go wrong?

Plenty as it turns out. At 3:30, less than an hour before boarding, we received a notice that our flight had been delayed by an hour because of “technical” problems up in Toronto. Soon after, a second message arrived that the flight had been delayed for a second time and would now be departing two hours after the original flight time. Over the next five and a half hours we receive eight messages, each announcing a further delay, caused as it turned out by staffing issues in Toronto and a very inexperienced ground staff in Baltimore. We were finally boarded around 7:00 p.m. but sat on the plane for another hour while the staff tried to fix the tickets of six passengers they had screwed up earlier (they failed). We eventually arrived in Toronto at 10:20 p.m., more than six hours later than our scheduled arrival.

Our room at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel was beautiful and comfortable, and conveniently located to the airport, but we spent less than four hours there.

We had been told to expect possible long delays at Toronto airport both for arrivals (two to three hour waits to get through customs) and departures (two to three hour waits to get through security), but we sailed through immigration and were welcomed to Canada. Brett’s suitcase appeared quickly on the baggage carousel but mine was nowhere to be found. We eventually learned that was because the staff at Baltimore had checked my bag all the way to Mexico City but Brett’s only to Toronto! All I can say is thank goodness we went to look or Brett’s bag never would have made it to Mexico. We then headed the short distance to the Sheraton hotel only to find ourselves at the end of a line of over 50 people, all waiting to get a room for the night. After standing in line for over a half hour the manager came out and announced going forward only those with a reservation would be given a room. The line suddenly got very small and we were soon handed our key. We walked into our gorgeous room just after 1:00 a.m., the room where we had planned to get a good night’s sleep before heading to Mexico. We instead got a two-hour nap and a hot shower before leaving before 4:00 a.m. to recheck Brett’s suitcase and beat the long lines at security.

When we set out yesterday though our fortunes had changed, thank goodness, because we were now flying Business Class. We had a special check-in line and a special line through security so no waiting. We ate a light breakfast at the airport (bagels and coffee, purchased with the dining voucher we had been given at Baltimore by Air Canada), boarded on time, and had a very comfortable flight to Mexico City, which arrived on time. I got to watch my all-time favorite travel movie during the flight, Crazy Rich Asians (I’ve so far watched it 12 times on different trips), and we both got a little sleep. The line to get through immigration in Mexico City was long, but before long we were through and on our way up to San Miguel de Allende in a private van with a great driver. We were delivered to the door of our charming apartment by our driver and lovely host, then unpacked our pajamas, fell into bed, and slept for another 14 hours!

We awoke this morning to birdsong and a lovely view from our front doors, almost like the view from the apartment in Kaua’i! I’m enjoying my second cup of coffee, the washing machine is taking care of our first load of dirty travel clothes, and all is well. We’re heading out in a little while to check out our neighborhood and have some breakfast, as well as find a grocery store to stock up. But otherwise, today will be a day of rest and recuperation as we begin our time in San Miguel de Allende. We’re so happy to be here!

14 thoughts on “We’re in Mexico! (in spite of another wretched travel day)

  1. Welcome to San Miguel! We got in yesterday, too. We had a two-hour line in immigration but sailed through customs. Also took a van to our place – 18 hours door to door. We’ve had a couple of travel days like yours, and they are hard on everyone involved. We pledge extra patience and love on TD’s. Get in touch and we’ll finally meet each other! seniornomadsineurope@gmail.com We’ll watch for your message.

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    1. So glad to be here! The heat and dryness are something new for us, but otherwise we’re settling in and are excited about all that SMA has to offer! Can’t wait to finally meet you and Michael – sent an email earlier this evening (and think I forgot to add a subject line).

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    1. Getting here was nuts, but we’re here now and that’s what matters! Looking forward to the next couple of months in this fascinating city!

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  2. It seems travel is becoming a nightmare all over the place! Glad you got to Mexico and can now take it easy. Thinking of you!!!

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    1. Travel was very predictable pre-pandemic but so far it’s been anything but. Glad to be here in one place for the next couple of months.

      P.S. It’s very dry here – such a shock to our systems after being in Hawaii for so long.

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    1. I’m so sad we weren’t able to connect in Toronto, but our journey up there was one for the books. But we made it, and our flight to Mexico was a dream. Things are starting off well here – here’s hoping they continue!!

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  3. Glad you made it and can relax and enjoy some down time. You’ve been busy!

    We hear more and more awful travel stories lately, and it’s not making us want to go. Seems the best laid plans are waylaid by random problems with staffing, Covid, mechanics, weather, etc.etc. It’s like nothing we’ve seen and both of us traveled for work for years. I’ve had a couple “short” hotel nights like that and I fully understand why you slept for 14 hours upon arrival. lol. For right now, we’re content to stay put and enjoy summer and keep training our dog. Maybe do a drivable trip or two. But man, flying sounds grim. Business class though…that sounds lovely. 😊

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    1. We are already having a conversation about how we want to do things regarding travel after our time in Nashville. These last couple of trips have been awful, and that’s on top of all the cancellations and such we had to deal with.

      Business class was wonderful – we were so thankful we could swap out our other tickets and upgrade.

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  4. So happy you are in Mexico and I hope you enjoy your stay! I am excited to hear about it!

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    1. So far so good, although it’s been HOT (in the 90s) and we’re still adjusting to the altitude. So glad we have a couple of months to explore.

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