"Perils of the Paulines!"

San Francisco Air Port

This trip to Mexico was one of those that try the patients of people and luckily I had traveled enough to be ready for it even if my traveling companion wasn't. It of course, started out with Mexicanna Airlines. We boarded around noon in San Francisco and the plane was full as it was the week before Christmas and everyone that lived in Mexico City or were vacationing were on the plane. We sat there for an hour and asked what was happening. The captain came on the horn and said that there were three 'important' people that wanted to go to Mexico, politicians and who knows whom else. They would offer a $100 and a later flight but no guarantee as to when that flight might be. A $100, give us a break. We were still there three hours later and the passengers were pissed and started yelling, "Get this sucker off the ground." We finally took off with the three 'important' people still waiting for a seat to Mexico.

Mexico City

So we stop in Puerto Vallarta and then to Mexico City which means we missed the flight to Cancun, the next flight to Cancun was 18 hours away. The airlines said they would give us a hotel room in the Holiday Inn at the end of the runway. "No way Jose", I said. I want a room at the Presidente del Prado in downtown Mexico, meals and a chit for a taxi. So off we went to the hotel and Jon was impressed. He got to see a little of Mexico City, the Opera House, House of Tiles, and a Christmas festival in the square across the street.

Cancun - Car and Hotel!

Well the next day we took off to Cancun and after landing the car agent said we were a day late. I said I had asked Mexicanna to wire them and the hotel that we would be a day late because of their idiotic delay in San Francisco. I threw a fit and we got a brand new Volkswagen that was built in Brazil. Nifty! Off to Cancun and the hotel.

You know what had to happen next, the hotel manager said there was "No room at the Inn!" It is Christmas and all the rooms are rented and you are a day late, tuff luck. Jon looked faint and I was pissed, asked if Mexicanna had called them. They didn't think so. While they were giving me a hard time I looked over the counter and saw a computer listing and there was my name. I almost jumped over the counter and pointed my finger at my name. I said,, "Don't give me that crap, there is my name and the payment and the room number." The hotel clerk really was shook up. Yeah, like rebook the room and get two payments for the same time period. So off to our hotel room and finally settling in to begin our vacation!

On the Road to Merida

Jon hadn't done much traveling and I indicated as we were driving to Merida that it was wise to keep one's mouth shut when confronted by the military or police. As we got to the border of Quintanna Rou and the Yucatan states, the military stopped us, about 30 soldiers all looking about 18 with machine guns. Once put the muzzle on the windowsill and slid it around and asked where we were staying and where we were gong. Of course a tour bus with a 100 people went flying by without being stopped. So I told him the information and Jon was fidgeting around looking grumpy. Great! So next the soldier asked if we were carrying any fruit like coconuts. I went to say "No" and what do I hear from the peanut gallery:

"The only coconuts in this car are between my legs!"

I was mad and said, "Keep quiet or you will be walking to Merida and I don't think you want that." The soldier asked what did Jon say and I smiled nicely and said we didn't have any contraband in the car, anyway the car was licensed in Mexico so I wasn't worried about that.

We finally made it to Merida and we just loved the city an old Spanish town and people were friendly. We got into town and couldn't find the hotel. The streets were all one way and we went around the same area about six times. It was funny and aggravating at the same time. We finally asked someone if they knew where the hotel was as they said, "Right across the street." We still had trouble getting to it the way the street signs were laid out. We went to Christmas mass in their beautiful cathedral and enjoyed just walking around.

Chechen Itza

Off to Chechen Itza and we did have several experiences, one which affected Jon. He was acting up at the pyramid and I was walking up the steps to take some pictures at the top. Jon was doing his impersonation of Carmen Miranda and wished he had those big wedgies on and a big feather hat like the Mayan priest.

There is a big iron chain that hangs from the top of the steps to the bottom, the pyramid must be about six stories tall. Jon got about 10 steps up and I was standing about 40 feet up and turned and told him not to look down because he might get dizzier than usual. He didn't like that remark so he grunted and then looked down. His eyes whirled around and he grabbed the chain and that was all Carmen Miranda wrote! I told him it was a good thing that this happened down there because he would have been in trouble if he got to the top because I was not going to carry him down. We still laugh about that and figured the priests took all those hallucinatory drugs just to get up those sharp, steep steps on the pyramids.

Return trip!

The rest of the vacation was great until we left Cancun. Naturally Mexicanna Airlines was four hours late to Cancun. Everyone was mad, they locked us in the airport lounge and one couple from San Jose, a professional couple, asked the airport personnel what was happen. They said, "No comprende!" The couple then told them off in Spanish because they were originally from Mexico. Finally the plane came and off to Mexico City. There we changed planes and off to San Francisco. Wait a minute, why are we landing in Quatalahara? They made us get off the plane and drove us to the airport and made us pay the airport tax again. Everyone was mad. Then we were told by a woman that the plane was over booked and when they opened the door, to rush to the plane and get our original seats. I flew like the wind and got my window seat. A man and his wife, Mexican, told me I was in their seats. I showed them my ticket and told them what had happened so far. They shook their heads, that sound normal they said. Just stay there, we will grab some other seats. There was almost a riot, anyone in a seat just hung on! The back of the plane was full of illegal immigrants and all they talked about was how to get past the immigration counter at the airport. Maybe some one can explain how I as a citizen have my passport checked and rechecked and these people work in the US and then go back to Mexico for the holidays and come back in through the airport and not get caught?

San Francisco!

Finally we got back to the City and we kissed the ground. So good to be home! This was the second most horrible experience I have ever had when flying. The other was Olympic Airlines, Greek, as you can read about on my web pages on Greece and Egypt.

Note: Some of the situations that were described about might be of use when you travel and get into bad situations. At least you can always laugh about it after the fact!

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