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Published: September 9th 2019
Unfortunately I’m not writing this blog from the 29th floor balcony overlooking the Caribbean in Cartagena, I’m sitting at my desk in my house. This is always my least favorite blog to write, the one about the last day of a trip and coming back home. I’ve wanted to visit Colombia for years and it did not disappoint, it was everything I hoped for and more, living abroad has been something I have strived for. I will definitely be back to visit other cities in Colombia, Dominican Republic was the place that was the top of my list for future retirement home but with their little issue of Americans dying of mysterious alcohol poisoning I’ve had to rethink that decision and Colombia has become a worthy challenger. I have a while to go and a lot more traveling to do before I can retire.
Friday was our last full day in Cartagena and we spent this morning just like all the rest, sitting on the balcony enjoying the sunrise and the beautiful ocean view. This trip was pure relaxation, nothing like our hectic trips to Europe running all the city sightseeing and trying to see
as many things as possible. Eventually I get up and head out to grab some breakfast so I head to Juan Valdez to get some frappuccinos then I’m in the mood for some empanadas, and it’s a guy on the beach selling them but he’s gone by the time I come back from Juan Valdez. So I see my friend Miquel at the local restaurant, everyday Miguel has tried to stop me to come eat at his restaurant, so I go over to chat with him, my broken Spanish and his broken English, we get our point across and he walks me down to his other restaurant to get some empanadas, I buy two tell him gracias and his coworkers talk to me about soccer and then I walk across the street to the condo. Empanadas were so good and we continue our relaxing day, hate to disappoint you but we didn’t do much. Later on in the evening we finally left the house and headed down to the mall, it was located in the Hyatt Regency and you could see it from our balcony, it was a short ten minute walk, so we headed out ignoring the vendors.
We made it to the mall and it was Friday so just like here in America people like to shop on the weekends so we wandered around for a while and I went to look for a Colombia kit while we were in the mall. Kit or shirt is what they call a soccer jersey so I headed to the Adidas store to get one for me and Alonzo, they directed me upstairs to the other Adidas store and they have them. I find my size and Alonzo’s size, then I proceed to pay for them, then the salesman ask if I want the blue shirt, it’s free I said sure why not, got four for the price of two, after that we grab some dinner while were in the mall then notice it’s a lot of people in the food court sitting in front of a gigantic television. Colombia is playing Brazil, Brazil is the most successful football team in the world they have won five World Cups and have had many legendary players throughout the years. This match is a huge rivalry anytime they play each other so I’m not surprised that the entire country is
watching, we leave the mall and head back to the condo we stopped at the corner store to get some water and people are watching the match in the corner store. I know Americans are passionate about sports but it’s hard to compare to the level of passion soccer fans have for their club especially their national clubs. We get back to the room and watch the US Open, next day is Saturday and we’re leaving, didnt want this day to come.
One of the nice things about the condo is it has a washer and dryer, so I don’t have to take dirty clothes back home, so I’m up early washing clothes and checking emails. I got an email from American Airlines asking about my flight to Cartagena, oh boy this is gonna be good. J.K. Rowling would have been proud of the story I wrote in that email, it has detail, plot, tragedy, villian and a happy ending, I hit send and I got a reply back from American in less than 30 minutes saying their were sorry about the ordeal and gave us two flight vouchers to use, so I guess I will be flying American
one more time. Our flight doesn’t leave until 130 so we got time to head out for a few hours, we go back to the Ely Cafe to eat breakfast there for the 3rd time, yes it’s that good so we make the short walk and it’s Saturday so it’s a crowd in there but we sit at the bar until a table opens up, I order pancakes and Marette orders French toast and the food is still delicious, i had a tre leches frap, yes I’m a sugar junkie and it was delicious, so after that we need to get a few souvenirs before we leave. We head to one of the local stores to grab a few things for friends and family, then we got back to the room to finish packing and sit on the balcony one more time. It is hard to leave but we go downstairs and check out then the doorman calls us a cab and we load our suitcases to head to the airport, the ride back is along the coast and right by the Walled City, we get to the airport and unload our bags. We get to the airport a little
early cause people outside of America aren’t always in a rush like us so we didn’t want to take any chances and the airport attendants weren’t exactly working at a quick pace but we got checked in and then walked to immigration, we followed the arrow that read foreigners to head to the gate. It didnt take long to get through immigration, oh look it’s the duty free store and I stop to get two bottles of White Hennessy. What’s the big deal about White Hennessy, well it’s not sold in America and can only be bought in the Caribbean. I had one bottle a friend bought in Jamaica but one Christmas a friend of ours got over eager with the bottle so these two bottles are going to the private stash. Well it’s time to board our flight, why can’t American delay my flight two days in Colombia, couldn’t be that lucky? Plane boards and takes off on time, I watched some Netflix on the plane then we’re in Miami in no time now it’s time to go through customs again. We get off the plane and walk through the long terminal to get our paperwork processed and grab our bags to send back to the plane. We head through TSA and I they took my box of Hennessy then open it, saying it should be in a special bag with a seal, even though the bottles arent open and in a taped box that we got from the duty free, so we ask if the box is seal why does it need to be in a bag? TSA doesn’t have an answer but tells us we have to put it in our carry on and check it in with the airline.
So I take the carry on to the counter and the lady puts a tag on it send it down the belt luckily I don’t have to wait in the TSA line but I do have to go through the metal detector again, so we grab some food and get on our flight. I sleep most of the flight and we land in San Antonio about 930, LSU is playing Texas and it’s in the 4th qtr. We grab our bags head to the car, we stop by to see Alonzo at school give him his gifts from our trip, talk to him for a while to see how things are then after that we head home, my wife drives and I sleep, we get home pretty late and normally I‘m the crazy person who unpacks as soon as I get home but it will wait until the morning cause we’re exhausted. LSU beat Texas and Colombia was an amazing trip, that was the end to a good day. Colombia is a beautiful place, with wonderful people and if you ever get a chance to go, don’t hesitate just go. Our latest adventure is over and I’m already thinking of our next time, the family wants to go to Greece next summer, so hopefully next summer I’ll be blogging from the Mediterranean while I’m eating some baklava. Until my next adventure, que tengas in gran dia.
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