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Published: March 18th 2008
When McDonald's puts an expiration date on their fruit and walnut salads, they mean Do Not Eat after this date. Our breakfast this morning was stamped February 28, three days ago. I was already on the freeway before I noticed it of course. Fuzzy grapes and brown smushy apples, yum!
I hate Mexican airports!!! But don't let me get ahead of myself quite yet, I still have the whole adventure of my day to share with you lovely folks. I figured out what I forgot in my packing....the power cable for my laptop!! That one wins the prize when your plan is to blog your journey for everyone back home. (So folks, that's why I'm home now and trying to go back and blog each day and post the pics now that my laptop and power cable have been reunited at last) After showering and getting the girls dressed and ready for the day, we loaded up into the car and started off once again. First stop was at the McDonald's to grab some breakfast, apple walnut salads and a Cinnamon Melts. A picture is worth a thousand words so please check out the Fuzzy Fruit (Reference A). I made several phone calls in an attempt to speak with a manager and get my money credited back to my credit card but no such luck, she was never in and they never returned my phone calls, at least not while I was still stateside. I wasn't about to answer the phone
Politically Backwards California?
I was really surprised to read this sign on the bathroom wall at one of the many rest areas we visited. At first I thought it was a joke but then it sank in that they still called them retarded down in these parts. Things that make you go hmm...
after I crossed into Mexico, not at $1.50 a minute thanks to T-Mobile.
Mia was particularly fussy today so I got to make lots of pitstops to get her out of her carseat. The poor thing is just sweating to death so I stripped her down to her onesie. Erika is having a blast watching "Horseland" over and over and over and over and over. I think I have just about memorized the entire script. As we got closer to the big cities, I stopped at several large department stores trying to find a power cable for my laptop and no luck. Best Buy was the biggest joke though. I wandered around their store for quite awhile looking for someone to help me and no one paid me any attention. I found a multiple tip charger that might work so I went up to the customer service desk to ask if they knew if it would fit my laptop or not. Mind you, I'm carrying the baby in her carseat in one hand, my laptop in the other, and hollering at Erika to stay by my side throughout this lovely venture of mine. The young pimply kid said that
Hanging with Family in San Diego
From left to right; Krystal, Mia, Veronia, Allie, Erika, Barney, Ethan, Miles.
I would have to purchase the adapter first, then he could open it up and tell me if it fit or not. The stupid thing cost $113.99!!! After he opens it up, it's not the right one because I'm guessing they don't make a cable for my laptop since it's outdated at 4 years old. Then he processes the refund and tells me that it will be credited back in 5 to 7 business days. Remind me not to shop at Best Buy again, it's a joke.
After all this effort to find a cable, we stopped and got some food in Santa Clarita at the Dairy Queen. Then it was off to make San Diego at a decent hour before I attempted to cross the Mexico border on foot with two small children. Now that I say it out loud, I really do sound crazy don't I? My navigational thingy took me right to their doorstep and we stopped to unwind for a couple hours. Veronica picked up some pizza for everyone and we ate and visited. Erika had a blast playing with Allie and I enjoyed talking to and getting to know the boys. When your families live so far apart, it's hard to keep in touch with everyone like we used to in "the ol' days."
Around 7:30pm, we loaded up for the last time and set off for the Mexico border. When we finally reached San Ysidro, I drove around in circles trying to figure out exactly where you walk across the border at so I could park in the parking lot closest to this point. I finally stopped for $5 in gas and asked the attendant who kindly pointed me in the right direction. I parked Autum's Daewoo in the UETA parking lot at a cost of $8 a day and started to unload the necessary gear. In three days we have managed to strew things all over the car and create quite the little mess in here. I have my large suitcase, Erika's medium suitcase, a carry-on, Mia's diaper bag, Mia in her car seat, and Erika with her pink Dora suitcase filled with coloring books, crayons, horses, etc. I strapped the two bigger suitcases together, attached Erika's suitcase to my carry-on, put my left arm through Mia's carseat and we set off to walk the few hundred yards across the border. As you are approaching the border, you have to pass through two gates where the doors rotate in circles and the bars interlock on the opposite side so you can only go one way. The problem is that I couldn't fit myself, the suitcases, Mia and Erika into one opening. So a friendly Mexican lady helped me get the girls through the gate. Then she walked with us and helped explain the process there. Their security is one lone Mexican guard standing next to a tiny little counter who inspects your bags if he feels like it. He asked to look at Erika's bag and then we were done and in Mexico. Nobody asked to see any identification or paperwork on my children. Now I have absolutely no doubt about how easy it would be for someone to kidnap my children and take them to Mexico.
The kind lady helped me get our luggage and kids out to the Avenida and catch a cheap taxi to the airport, only 50 pesos ($5). It was quite a bit farther to the airport than I had originally thought. This brings me to the part about why I hate Mexican airports. I had purchased our plane tickets online through Mexicana.com for myself, Kara, and Erika with the intention that Justin and Mia would ride on our laps. Mexicana charges a fee of 150 pesos ($15) for an infant to sit on an adult's lap. This is the first time that I've heard of this type of charge but hey, I was willing to pay $15 as opposed to buy another full price ticket. There are no signs directing you to anywhere in this airport so I head for a window that says "Boletos por Venta" or Tickets for Sale. Since I already have my tickets, they direct to approach a man standing by a gate that appears to lead towards luggage check-in. He directs me towards some colored line and to follow it. As I follow it, there is a man and a woman with absolutely no expression on their faces behind a tiny little podium with a button on it. Since they are not saying anything, I ask them what to do. She says to push the button, nothing more. I push the button, a light turns green, and still she tells me nothing. After standing there forever and waiting, she gestures for me to continue past. At the luggage counter, they inspect my two suitcases in a very haphazard manner and the man kindly apologizes and tells me to go all the way back out to the main section, go to the Mexicana counter, and pay the 150 pesos to buy Mia's ticket. I stood in line forever waiting, then I have to walk past the man at the gate again, up to the expressionless woman who still continues to stare at me until I finally ask her if she would like me to push her button again, no that's not necessary, and back up to the counter so that I can finally get our boarding passes. Then the entrance to our gates is closed for the night while the security people lounge in their chairs just behind it and tell us to walk all the way back down to the other end of the building and go through those security gates. Mind you, I'm not exactly smiling at this point. We finally get through security where they could give a shit if I have more than 3 ounces of any type of liquid on me and we get to our gate with only 4 hours to wait until our flight. We made friends with a Mexican-American girl there with her three kids and Erika proceeded to run around the whole wing while I struggled to keep my sanity and wait until we boarded at 1am. And I'll save that fun experience for tomorrow's entry.
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