Tag Archives: Customs/Immigration

It Seems Like So Long Ago…

…that we left Barbados, but not really.

Yesterday morning I got up really early and took a few last minute sunrise pictures:

This one is my new favorite, though:

Sunrise at The Crane, Barbados

Sunrise at The Crane, Barbados

Then we got packed up and ready to leave by 10, then started reading, texting, just hanging around.  Brenda stopped by and we talked quite a bit while Tom was finalizing his packing shutting down the computer and all.  Brenda’s youngest daughter teaches English in Spain so they only see each other about every 3 years – except on Skype.

I reminded Tom that we didn’t have all the time in the world, that our plane was at 2:30 so we needed to be at the airport by 12:30 so we needed to leave…NOW.

We stopped to check out and ran into Bernice.  She’s the first person I ever really met in Barbados and it’s always special to see her again.  She’s often on holiday at least part of the time we’re there, though.  She’s thinking about her next summer plans – either a 3-week conference or a cruise.  What to do!

Then, Paul stopped by.  He said that Culpepper Island will be partly finished by March and ready for tours when we get back next summer.  I can’t wait to see that.  It seems that we can trade our place for that as an even trade whenever we want.

We got a taxi for the quick trip to Grantley Adams Airport and were there by 11:30.  We found out that our 2:30 plane had been changed to 3:15.  <sigh>

Tom texting at the airport

Tom texting at the airport

I think I have picture or Tom texting, calling, using his phone everywhere!

We were to leave from Gate 12.  Then they said Gate 13 so we went there and went to board.  Unfortunately, the shuttle was outside Gate 12 so we walked outside to the shuttle, got on and rode back past Gate 13.

Luckily there weren’t too many people on the flight to Miami so we were able to stretch out a bit.

We got to Miami about 15 minutes early so had to wait for a gate.  Finally off the plane and going for the l-o-n-g walk to Immigrations and Customs.

The line for Immigrations was really long and moved slowly.  We got near the front and were informed that we were not US residents, we were US citizens and needed to be in a different line, further away.  The woman who told us that said we could get near the beginning of the other line.  Of course, the official at that line said we couldn’t and Tom had some words with her.  Luckily, we weren’t denied admission!

Finally through that and on to get luggage and on to Customs.  That went pretty quickly and dropped off luggage so they could put that back on the plane.

We next had to wait in line for security – again – then a Sky Train to our real gate.  This process took about 2 and a half hours.  Last year doing the same process, we had time to get dinner at TGI Friday’s.  We were the last ones on the plane, just made it before they closed the doors.

Whew!

We got to Dulles just before midnight.  I called my mom and she said that the power was out in most of our neighborhood due to a tornado that had touched down in the afternoon.

Our luggage was the last off the plane.  It even had a tag on it that said “Last Bag”.  Who knew?

Another taxi and finally, home!  We were lucky and had power.

My plan for Sunday was that Tom would go to a meeting and pick Mimi up on the way back.  I would call Mom and we would go to Kick Off Sunday at church.

What really happened was Tom woke up for his meeting and accidentally got shaving cream in his eye.  He told me he was going to the emergency room.  I asked if he wanted me to take him but he thought it would be better if I picked up Mimi. OK

Off he went…then came back and said he had a flat tire.  By now, I was definitely awake.

I emailed Thia to let her know I could pick up Mimi any time and said I’d call after 9.  She emailed back to ask if I was home.  I was going to respond since obviously she was awake but Tom called first.  He was at the ER and they were going to hold him for a few hours to get the acid (who knew shaving cream had acid in it?) all out.

Just as I hung up from him, Thia and Mimi appeared at the door.  Thia was on her way to church and they were going to her Mother-in Law’s afterwards and figured we’d want Mimi back before that.

Mimi comes home

Mimi comes home

I’m not sure Mimi was happy to be here with just me.  At Thia’s there are a couple kids to play with as well as a cat and Mimi’s sister, Penny.  I’m pretty boring, especially because I was more interested in napping than playing. I gave her a Frosty Paws and that helped for about 2 minutes.

Eventually Tom got home with antibiotics, eye washes and other stuff.  Mimi was delighted to see him!

I’m glad I cancelled students tomorrow.  The Piano Room needs a LOT of work before I can teach again.  And laundry needs to be done…

 

Costa Rica, Day 7 and Home

Early, early wake up time.  We have to be at the airport by 5:00 am so we were up at 4:00 am.  We got things we had taken out repacked – mostly electronics we wanted charged.

Checking out, we were able to get free “breakfast to go” bags that included cereal bars, juice, bananas and muffins.  Pretty good.

The Holiday Inn had a 24/7 shuttle so we got on that within 5 minutes.  It was only about 8 minutes to the airport.  It was a good thing we were there early because the line to pay the departure tax was pretty long.  Luckily, we had gotten a porter to move our bags because he was very helpful in showing us where to go for the departure tax and how to fill out the forms – then where to check in.

We got through security in plenty of time and I got a few pictures of the mountains outside the departure gate.

I ate the banana and the muffin.  I should have had the juice since it was confiscated in a final security just before getting on the plane.  The bottle was all sealed up but they took it anyway.  Oh, well.

I was very happy on the plane.  They showed the movie Water For Elephants.  I had read (and shared with everyone) this book several years ago.  I was glad to be able to watch the movie but it did cut into my naptime.

We arrived in Atlanta on time and went through the whole Customs/Immigration ordeal.It wasn’t as bad as some places we have been through.  All our luggage arrived and that’s a good thing!

We stopped for a real meal at T.G.I.Fridays, then on to our gate.  We were there about 30 minutes, then the gate changed so we dragged our stuff up the hall to the new gate.  Boarding was pretty easy, then we taxied out for takeoff.

Then, we stopped.  The pilot said that there were storms in the DC area so we couldn’t land there.  He figured that the storm was colser to Reagan airport and those flights were probably diverted to Dulles (our airport) and Baltimore.  Whatever.

We sat, with the engines off, on the field.  No engines, no A/C.  They passed out ice water and told us to close the window shades to keep it “cooler”.  Right.

Finally, we were able to take off.  Although I could see that we passed through some thunder storms, the flight was fairly smooth.

Into Dulles, got one suitcase.  The big one is nowhere. Finally, that showed up and we got a taxi for home.  Then off to get our dog ant the trip was over.

There will be more pictures later from Tom’s camera plus the ones we took with the waterproof carmera in the Rainmaker rainforest.

Fairwell to 

Costarica

Thanks for reading!

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