Saturday, July 19, 2008

2008 Peru Trip Day 16 (Heading Home)

Saturday, July 19, 2008
Originally Brynne and I were to stay at a hotel in the Miraflores district of Lima (on the other side of the city) and have the whole of today to tour Lima, then fly home Sunday, July 20th. Instead, we were flying home a day early, now on the same day as Jan and Kirby. Which meant getting up at 2:45 AM in order to check in three hours early for our 6:15 AM flight. We were delighted to find upon check-in that our airport fee was paid! Able to skip that line and go ahead to breakfast in the food court. Jan and Kirby joined us, then watched our bags as we did last-minute souvenir shopping at the Café Britt store.
Going through security, I handed over my x-ray. My suitcase was opened to get the cuticle scissors out of the first aid kit. I guess they didn’t get the memo that those scissors are now allowed, and they tossed them in a large clear bin with other confiscated materials, including mostly water bottles. Fortunately, I had left the walking stick with reception at the airport hotel, along with Veronika’s Teva sandals, for Rob to pick up next week when he is in Lima. And unlike on the trip until now, I was wearing capri pants so that everyone could see that I was limping because I had a cast on my right ankle!
It turns out that in the international part of the Lima airport, there are more shops and places to eat. We snoozed until it was time to board. We were in the first group to board and had seats right behind the first class bulkhead. Kent had made sure we had the best seats for leg room and ease of reaching them. These seats were two steps from where you entered the plane. So yes, plenty of leg room, but no baggage room. We had carried on all our baggage, but were able to put everything above us. Mostly slept, and Brynne slept through breakfast. “Penelope” was the movie again, so no need to stay awake! A five-hour and 20-minute flight went quickly.

After we arrived in Miami and got off the plane, we started walking through the corridors, only to be stopped as they checked our passports before we reached immigration. Apparently they had a bomb scare three days earlier at the Miami airport, but that doesn’t explain the extra step to check passports…
(But then the same thing happened when we returned from Costa Rica last year!)
We waited at the baggage area for Jan and Kirby, and said our goodbyes. At customs, the official asked if we had eaten guinea pig in Peru. We said, “No.” So he asked if we had eaten chicken in Peru. We said, “Yes.” And he said that meant we had eaten guinea pig! Then he let us go.
We had to go through security again, and this time I was singled out to step into a clear glass booth. A woman came over to let me out, and she took a round piece of fabric, rubbed it around the top of my cast and on my hands. She put the round thing in a machine, and after a minute of the machine humming, the woman told me to have a nice day.
We found that the next flight to Jacksonville was at 4:05 PM. We went on standby, then went to grab lunch from a pizza place. We did not get on the 4:05 flight, so continued waiting until our scheduled 6:30 PM flight. We took a shuttle bus out to our twin turboprop plane, and everyone boarded through the back door. So Brynne and I had the last two seats in the plane. Although they warned of turbulence, the flight was fine, except that we were sent to land in Orlando due to thunderstorms in Jacksonville. We stayed in Orlando about an hour, then re-boarded the plane and headed to Jacksonville. This flight was turbulent, especially coming in to land. I had the feeling that the plane almost tipped sideways, but Brynne said the plane just dropped. We finally arrived at about 10:00 PM. Kent picked us up at the arrivals level. By then we were hungry, so had to stop at Denny’s for another breakfast! Home at last!


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