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Published: October 6th 2009
The flight from Portlad to Houston was relatively uneventful. Mia behaved as well as can be expected for an almost two year old at midnight. Thankfully we had a young couple seated next to us and not some uptight senior citizen to chastize me on manners and children these days. Continental now offers DirecTV during your flight for a mere $6. I tried to sleep as best I could but it wasn't pretty and the layover in Houston didn't help. Upon arrival in Mexico City, I will need to pass off my child and attempt a nap.
Thankfully, the flight from Houston to Mexico City addressed the issue of the FM-T visa that we need because we're staying in Mexico beyond the "border zone". Our State Department mentions the visa but when I called Continental to ask about it, the representative told me that I don't need a visa and I kept insisting that I would. The last trip to Mexico I wasn't aware of it and ended up not having one when I went to return home via Tiajuana. The stewardess on the flight handed out the visa and customs forms to each foreign passenger, thank you! I noticed
that my treatment arriving on an international flight was definitely different than when I was flying domesticaly within Mexico. This time, I was offered assistance at each point in disembarkation from what they needed to release my luggage to please press the button to see if I could pass the inspection point without delay. To be honest, I was tense just thinking about I was going to get through the airport and out to the lobby without being viewed as a fool.
And then Maria and Victor were not waiting for me like I had expected. At least this time it didn't take me an hour to figure out how to make a call to a mexican cell phone when I was already in Mexico. I got ahold of Maria and told her that I was waiting in Sala P for her. Then she texted me a little later to ask me again where I was. It turns out that the Benito Juarez airport has two terminals. I was in terminal 2 where the international flights arrive and they were in terminal 1 where I had arrived last time. So it took them just over an hour to finally
meet up with me. It was an uneventful ride to the house. Maria remembered my sweet tooth and we stopped at a store to pick up beverages and she got me a Magnum vanilla and almond ice cream bar, yummy!! I wish that the United States carried these.
We spent the rest of the day relaxing with the family and viewing my thousands of pictures. Around 9pm, I told everyone to get changed and that I was treating them to dinner and desserts at the Hard Rock Cafe! We finally got everyone changed and looking fancy and loaded up in the car. It ended up being Maria, her husband Victor, their four kids Jose, Angel, Martin, and Concha, Maria's cousin Leticia, Mia, and I. We got valet parking upon arrival, gotta love that. It cost us $40 pesos if our ticket was validated or $200 pesos if we didn't. The exchange rate appears to be roughly 13.20% so not as good as last year but still acceptable. Even at an even 10%, $4 for valet parking is fabulous.
We started off with drinks and the Jumbo Combo starter $239. My menu was in English so I just assumed that everyone else's was too. Then I offered to help Maria and Leticia order something and they were kind enough to point out that discrimination was in effect, they had received menus in Spanish! I ordered an Orangeolicious Margarita $89 and the three of them ordered the Loca-Rita Berry $89. For the sake of my sanity and yours, all the prices will be listed in pesos unless I state otherwise. I requested the Hurricane souvenier glass for the adults, an additional $69. Leticia and Maria ordered the California Chicken Club sandwich $149, I got the Chicken Caesar salad $139, and Victor the Legendary Mexican burger $169. The kids all got milkshakes $69 each. The evening would had been perfect if Mia hadn't taken the container of caramel from the apple cobbler that I had ordered to go for my mother-in-law Sara and spilled it all over herself and me. Her cotton shirt was covered so I had to remove it in the restaurant and attempt to clean off myself. I took Mia to the HRC store next door and made some quick purchases. Mia got another HRC shirt, I got Jose the hat he requested, two beanie bears (one for Mia and one for the kids to share), and a free t-shirt for Jose. All in all, a great day albeit I am very tired from lack of sleep last night.
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