Monday, August 25, 2008

La Vieja

I'm feeling quite old. A couple of sure signs:

I keep forgetting my age. Sucks when you're moping around about your age and you realize you're older than the age you've been moping about.

And I saw Batman this weekend. (That's a sign of old age right there, how long ago did it come out?) and I came out of the theater saying, "I don't understand, why did he turn bad?" "It was so violent." "The action scenes were too fast, I couldn't tell what was happening." "Who were the five people Harvey killed? Seemed like about a 100 people died in that movie."

Sheesh, it's embarrassing.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This is why they tell you to arrive two hours early

If you had any impression that I was a fairly competent individual this should destroy the illusion.

We went to Utah last week for a little family reunion of sorts with Phil's family. We had a great time, thank you Dennis and Debi. Phil flew home on Sunday, I stayed for a couple of extra days with the boys. So today was the big day, the flight back to el DF just me and the boys. I was very nervous.

I checked last night on my flight, scheduled to leave at 9:30 from SLC. I thought it was supposed to leave at 11am so that threw me a little. Meant a much earlier start than I'd planned. This morning I decided to pack breakfast for N and buy something at the airport for S and I, since we had to leave at 6:45 We were on the road by 6:52 and I was feeling rather smug. At about 6:57 we ran out of gas on 800 N in Orem. I started to try to push the car into the center lanes (blocked to traffic because of construction). Two UDOT employees saw me and helped push me off the main street, then gave me (and the boys) a ride to the Maverick a block or so away in their truck. I didn’t even have to find out if they had a gas tank for sale, since there was another UDOT truck at Maverick that had a gas tank, which they loaned me. It was enough to get me over to the gas station. Thank you UDOT guys on 8th North!

I’d gassed up and was back on the road by 7:20, and figuring, okay, if I can get to the airport by 8am, I should still have time to return the rental and get checked in by 8:35, my deadline, since you have to be checked in for an international flight one hour before departure. Then I missed the 215 off ramp from I15. I’ll admit at this point I swore. Luckily S didn’t pick up on that. I ended up turning around since traffic started to slow down at that point. I think it was the right call. I made it to the airport right at 8am. Then came the part I’d been worried about: moving from the parking lot to the counter. Me. One four year old. One 10 month old. One large rolling suitcase. One smaller rolling suitcase. One booster seat. One infant seat (yeah we totally cheat and are still using an infant seat). Plus the carry-ons. Luckily Rebekah had sold me her umbrella stroller last night. I loaded that thing up, which meant holding it up, but hey at least I wasn’t carrying it all. Thank you Rebekah.

At the elevators a businessman type took one look at me trying to maneuver, and insisted on helping me get to the counter. I didn’t take much convincing. On the way he explained that when his children were young, they’d lived in Thailand (I think that’s what he said) and his wife had flown home with their four kids on her own. Thank you business man in terminal 2, SLC, and his superwoman wife for convincing him it’s hard to do.

I tried to convince the Delta line lady that she should let me use the first class line, she wasn’t going for it. But I was doing okay on time, 8:15ish, we’re in line, and it’s not too long. Feeling rather smug. But then the woman at the counter couldn’t find my reservation. Are you confirmed? Um… I thought so. 8:27, “I’m really sorry, I don’t know what to tell you, I can’t find your reservation anywhere.” I had no proof; Phil hadn’t forwarded the confirmation number to me. We’d asked the travel agents in his office to line up a split ticket; we flew there on AA and were returning on Delta, because they have a direct flight a couple of times a week. I didn’t have our original boarding passes. We were stuck.

Okay. What next? I got some change from the agent and headed for the pay phone (we disconnected my US cell phone). Put in all my quarters and got four minutes. I called Phil’s office, asked to speak with the travel people, and quick! I got the guy who’d booked our tickets and gave him my payphone number. I explained the situation. Turns out I had been booked on a flight on 8/17. I had to ask when that was. Sunday, day before yesterday, the day Phil left. He said, “I can get you on this flight…” Then I heard, “Deposit $.25 for…” I got one more exchange in, “How soon?” “Give me five minutes and recheck in.” Great. 8:32

Back to the counter. We just walked up to the same agent. Sorry people in line. By this point N is crying, S is whining. Remember the no breakfast decision? It was showing. The agent asks some more questions, finds our reservation, and says, “I don’t think I’m going to have time to take care of everything, would you just like me to rebook you for another day?” Can we at least try? She tries. The computer lets her do it. We have boarding passes in hand. Another agent walks us to the front of the security line, which wasn’t really necessary, but hey, I wasn’t going to turn that down. Thank you Eric in travel in Dallas. Thank you persistent Delta agents.

Thank you woman behind us going through security, for the sucker you gave crying S. He was really sad that he wasn’t going to be able to play with the Lego helicopter he’d discovered at his cousins. Fine, but really, do you have to cry about it now? Thank you guy that rushed over to help unfold the stroller after I pulled it off the conveyor belt.

After that it all seemed easy. I was nervous about this? All I have to do is sit here? The flight was even empty. Though I was a little annoyed with the Mexican family who spread out ALL around us, but then kept yelling to each other and to the nanny they were traveling with. They managed to wake both my boys up at points in the flight.

And then we were home. I was only near tears once.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Tourist Fix

My parents came to visit and I finally managed to check a few things off my tourist checklist. Quite a few actually. Thanks Mom and Dad for being such good sports about the metro and for literally hauling the boys (well N at least) all around this city.
Here's the quick run down:

Of course there was Teotihuacan

Another visit to the Museo de Anthropologia

A very, very, crowded metro ride to the Baile Folklorico (I'm in love with the art deco interior of the Palacio de Bellas Artes)

We hit the Museo de Arte Popular

The zoo (to appease the masses)

A two hour, one way, metro ride to Xolchimilco

And a perfect day in the Zocalo starting with chocolate and churros in a chocolateria that's been around since 1935, passing by the Diego Rivera murals inside the Palacio Nacional, and spending some time in the ruins of the Templo Mayor just off the Zocalo. Finished off by a comparatively short, comparatively empty metro ride home only to be caught in the daily afternoon rain. We happily splashed our way home together.

And lots of time to play knights, pirates, knights, puppy dogs, knights, and whatever else came to mind.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Little Too Much Shared

Maybe this will temper my enthusiasm for shared space?

My parents have been here for the last week (thus the blogpause) and on Saturday we went to Teotihuacan. On the way home we drove past the protest below:

The whole square was filled with lines of naked protesters. The police ring kind of obscures the view in the video. I had to come home and do an internet search to figure out what they were protesting. The form kind of interfered with the message in my opinion, I couldn't figure out the signs. They are protesting the actions of previous governor of Veracruz, now senator, Dante Delgado. Apparently they've been periodically protesting in this fashion (or lack of fashion) since 2004. There were a lot of participants, whatever Senor Delgado did, it upset quite a few people.