Day 8 - Mexico City, Phoenix

Date: 2007-11-16
Location: Cancun 07

Bright early in the morning, I woke up and walked around the perimeter of the villa. The sun was not even up, the sky was a bit grey and a little shade of orange near the horizon. The only sound was the gentle waves that lapped the beach. All the other rooms were still dark and cloaked a smooth blue shade. I went around and took some pictures. I guess these would be the only proves we were even here at one point. I couldnít help but felt a bit sad, not only for leaving this really beautiful place, but also the whole family would soon be heading different directions.

Our driver showed up a little after seven. We loaded everything into the van and got in. As we heading toward Cancun, the sun rose and lit up a world that was totally different from what we normally see.

Along both sides of the highway, we came across lines of people waiting outside of various hotels, resorts and parks. At our first glimpse, we thought these were the tourists lined up for early entrances. However, the second looks quickly tell a very different story. The men were poorly dressed in their casual and dirty cloth, while the women were dressed in their white uniform. It then became apparent that these were workers waiting to start their daily work. It was just shocking to see so many people were working diligently behind the scene running the places. Inside the city, the street were busy with bustling people. School kids with their dark blue and white uniforms lined up on the street for their buses. Men rode bicycles with their kids either standing or sitting positions. Buses and vans filled with workers running up and down the streets. The total absent of any tourists gave one the feeling of going behind the scene of some big shows.

We stopped briefly at one of the local I-HOP like restaurant called YUM. Once we sat down, our server bought Mexico sweet bread in basket. At the time we didnít know, these bread were extra. At the time you check out, any miss bread would then be charge to you. In the sense it is a bit strange. If someone touches the bread then left it untouched, does that mean the basket would then be bought up to someone else later on?

Either way, we took our bread (unsure how hard it was to get some food from one stop to the next). The breakfast was pretty much standard breakfast with Mexican twist to them. The vegetable omelet was served with cooked cactus strips.

After eating breakfast, we arrived the airport and checked in. The plane to Mexico City was rather smooth. It took off nearly on time and landed there, though rough, but safely. Once landed, we got up and ready to get out of the airplane. To our distress, though the airplane landed earlier than planned, we stock inside the airplane for nearly a hour and half, waiting for one of the transport bus to take us to the terminal. In stress and frustration, several of the passengers were tempted to open the emergency door and jump down the plane. When one of those earlier descript airplane fuselage shaped bus finally arrived, we were so disgusted to find out that we were trapped in the airplane, waiting about a hour to be transported for about 20 feet to the terminal. Had to feel a bit sorry for the crew, for nearly all passengers were showing their frustration and distaste at them.

Once we got off the airplane, at last, we ran as fast as we could to baggage carrier, took out our luggage, and ran toward the international flight area. At the front desk, we showed the attendant our ticket. Knowing that we would probably have about 15 minutes to run to our plane, we felt both frustrated and puzzled when the attendant looked at with a very confused look. After some translation, the truth slowly came out: the plane that was supposed to take us to Phoenix was still at Phoenix waiting for repair. The amount of time needed to repair the parts was unknown. The helpful attendant scheduled us on the very last flight that headed from Phoenix to El Paso. So instead of 15 minutes we had to ran to our flights, we have about three hours to spare. We checked in our luggage and headed toward the terminal.

The what was supposed to be two to three hours of time soon turned to be six hours. We waited hopelessly as our terminal soon turned into the terminal for Air France. Soon the delayed take off time was expired and we looked at the monitor in despair. The only thing good was the airline gave us vouchers to eat at the sandwich shop. At least we canít say that we were starving. The bad part was the little sandwich shop only had about five small tables and some bar stools. It was soon packed with people. The waiting area, however, did not allow any food or drink. So we had to eat in that small area full of people.

Finally when we about to doze off in the waiting area, the speaker announced our gate number. In a flight, we dashed up and ran toward the next terminal. Of course, all the running was totally unnecessary, because it was nearly another two hours or so before our plane finally took off.

At the terminal, the attendant handed over our purchased alcoholic. Again, we went through another liquid inspection, and had to turn over anything contain liquid substance. My five year old was force to suck up all his chocolate milk in one gulp. By then, I was too tired to even say anything. We were simply grateful to have an airplane.

The refueling of the airplane took nearly two hours as we sat there waited. By the time it finally took off, I think most of the crew cheered.

As we had feared, by the time we arrived Phoenix, all the planes had taken off. We got our luggage and checked out. At the counter, we were handed with hotel vouchers. When we dialed the hotel, we were shock to found out the hotel had stopped shuttle service around 10:00 and the only way to there was by taxi. After several attempts, we found unlike Mexico, the taxi in the US refuse to take small children. Not mentioning the fact we didnít have car seat. So as a last resort, we got a limo. The limo was white with dark interior. There were blue LED lights on the roof resembles stars in the sky. We sat down in there with our tired eyes. Despite the fact they were so tired, the little ones were quite excite for riding the limo. I took a picture of my little guy sitting in front of rows of wine glasses, the sleepy expression somewhat gave one a drunk impression.

The ride was smooth but cost about 70 dollars for near 15 minutes ride. We checked in the Marriott hotel and each headed toward our room. By the time we got in, we were so tired to even do anything. We simply fell asleep with our clothes still on.

To our distress, we had left a cell phone with the limo driver. He was nice enough to promise to pick us up in a few hours to the airport. When we got up and dressed, we found the nice guy out there waiting for us. He handed us the cell phone and drove us back to the airport.

We checked in, took our tickets and headed toward the terminal. At the terminal, we ran across the band Kool and the Gang. Since we were sitting right behind the first class seats, we actually were just a couple of rows away from them. So I took a couple of picture, which none of them turn out to be good.

Sometime in the afternoon, we finally arrived the El Paso airport. We walked down the path with a feeling of disbelief. At one of the terminal I came across some people from work, they were on their way to some other destination. It kind bought the reality back to me.

What an eventful and fascinating week we had!!

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