travel

Finally here!  I knew things were going too well this morning.  I had no trouble on the flight to Houston; just a little plane and not even full.  Getting out of Houston was a whole other story however.

First of all, that place is huge.  Got in around 8 am and my connecting flight didn’t leave until 9 but it took nearly 40 minutes just to get to the right gate.  The plane from KC was so small that carry on suitcases had to be checked at the gate so when we got to Houston we had to wait for those to be unloaded outside.  After that, I had to wind through Terminal B to catch a train to Terminal E.  Once after everyone had boarded, there was a delay waiting for bags to be loaded.  Then there was a “traffic jam” and we had to wait for other planes to take.  We finally started heading toward to the runway, only to have the flight attendant announce that there was a problem with a valve and we had to return to the gate.  Next we waited for the mechanics to come check it out and see if something could be easily fixed.  Once they determined that it could, they had to go get the part they needed.  After 2 hours they let people start going back in to the gate area to wait; that’s when it got really fun.

I had just decided to get off and go walk around so I grabbed my purse and went back into the airport, where the gate agent was informing everyone to go back to the plane and get all their belongings as they were going to deboard the entire plane and possibly switch planes.  I no sooner did that and walked back to the front of the plane when the pilot said there was no reason to get off; they’d have everything fixed in 15min.  So I went back to my seat and as soon as I put my bag into the overhead compartment they announced over the intercom that since there were already people off the plane and it was an international flight, we had to deboard with our belongings so they could sweep the plane and reboard.  So the flight that was supposed to leave at 9am didn’t leave until noon.  Exhausting, but I will say in spite of all that the crew were really friendly and handled it pretty well.

But I am here now!  Managed to get through immigration and customs, get a cab and check into my hotel.  And I have to say it’s fortunate that most people I’ve spoken to know a little English because my spoken Spanish is not so good; I’m picking out one word in 6 maybe.  I can get the gist of what someone else is saying but I can’t find the words to answer, at least not very quickly.  Fortunately I will have plenty of time to practice.

Got a couple shots of San Jose as we were landing and from above it seems like everything has a red roof:

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Although the view from my hotel room does not appear much different from home…

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