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Published: January 29th 2011
All Packed Up
I am taking full advantage of the luggage allowances on Continental airlines.
The alarm went off at 3:15am and I woke right up. Actually, I don't feel like I actually fell asleep but somehow four hours was up and it was time to get moving. I jumped in the shower while José and Mia slept. I don't know how often I'll be bathing while we're in Mexico but it won't be like the comforts of home! I didn't bother to dress Mia and just put her in her pajamas into her carseat and covered her with a blanket. Once again we're going from freezing temperatures to the balmy 60's or 70's I'd imagine. We were able to leave town by 4am so right on schedule. The drive to Portland went quickly but I was very tired and had to really focus on the roads. We made the airport by 7am and it was completely fogged in. Thankfully the guys helped me get all my luggage checked in and then walked with me as far as the security gate. The TSA left Mia keep her unopened Capri-Sun after running a scanner over it checking for some kind of vapors. We waited at the gate and ended up departing about 20 minutes late. I had
The church in Acuamanala, Tlaxcala, Mexico
a two hour layover in San Francisco so I wasn't too concerned.
San Francisco ended up being a quick layover for us. We landed and had to wait for them to move an airplane out of our gate so it was about 30 minutes later than scheduled. We had to walk through the airport to find the international departures and bypassed having to go through security again. Mia was very impatient this trip, she couldn't understand why we had to wait an hour to get on our plane. I had explained that we would have to take two planes and a bus before we'd reach our destination. She was counting down ever minute until she reached her beloved Lalo.
Landing in Mexico was the biggest concern this trip. I had done a lot of research on Mexico's customs website, the aduana. They advised to bring receipts to verify the value of the merchandise being brought into the country and I had that. If entering by airplane or boat, each person can bring in $300 in addition to their personal belongings. I figured that we had spent at least a thousand dollars. You are charged a duty tax of
The backyard was decorated with balloons and centerpieces. The brother in law was cooking in the back corner.
16% for anything bove your exemption. We decided to play it safe and I auto-declared before entering the customs line. The is an Aduana window to the left of their security point when arriving via Terminal 1. I walked up and informed her that I was bringing merchandise in excess of my allowances. She requested my receipts, added them up, and estimated that I was about $400. The duty tax is 16% which came to 771 pesos. She wrote up a ticket which I took to the Banorte bank window right next door to her. He took my $68 dollars and stamped my ticket. I returned to her window where she gave me a receipt and told me I was done.
I still had to go through the customs point where I handed them my customs declaration and receipt of payment. All my bags went through the scanner with no questions and I got the green light when I pushed the button n the other side. There were tons of foreigners in line and those poor people spoke neither English nor Spanish. They kept getting yelled at for not pushing the damn button! The poor bastard behind me got
The pig was killed this morning in preparation for the feast.
the red light.
I somehow managed to drag all my suitcases through the exit door where Rosio and John were waiting for me. We divided up all of my bags and went in search of the bus terminal. I pulled 500 pesos out of the ATM since I knew that a one-way ticket on the express to Puebla was almost 200 pesos each. When I got to the ticket counter, she informed me that the next bus left in five minutes! The funniest part was that it departed from the ground level and there were only escalators to get down with all those suitcases. We weren't allowed to use the levators because we weren't disabled. This is where I could not have done it without some help. I only had time to rip open two suitcases and deliver their packages that I had brought. And I was holding up the line of people waiting to check their bags at that. You're allowed two suitcases each but they took all six of mine without any additional fees.
We took the ADO bus lines this time because it was the first ticket counter I came across and I'm happy I
Carnitas and Mole
We were served pork carnitas with nopales and onions and spicy chicken mole.
did. They offered free wifi on their bus! Of course it took me an hour before I asked the bus driver for the code so I could connect. He had it written in pen on the window shade! I couldn't connect to it on my Kindle but I was able to on my phone and laptop. In order to save money on the phone bill, I email Jose back and forth since my outgoing texts cost .35 cents with T-Moble.
Isabel, Severo, and Ilse were waiting at the bus station right inside the door. It couldn't have been any better. We loaded up the Explorer and I drove us home, only missing one turn and slowing down for all topes (speedbumps). It was close to midnight when we reached the house and I was exhausted. I walked through the front door to find out that they had done some renovations and rearranged the house. Now they have an actual living room with furniture.
But it was off to bed for us weary travelers...
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