Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Trip Back

The trip between Asuncion and the states is always long and ridiculous. However, it seemed that this year we were doomed with our flights. On our way to Wisconsin, there were storms in Chicago, so after already traveling for over twenty hours, we were put in a holding pattern, almost ran out of gas and had to go to Detroit to refuel. We finally landed in Chicago to find out that our flights to Central Wisconsin and Madison were cancelled, and we had some serious delay issues. I ended up flying standby on a flight and made it to CWA around 6:30pm, 31 ½ hours after leaving our apartment in Asuncion. Jesse didn’t land in Madison until after 9 that night, making his journey over 33 hours.

Our flight returning to Asuncion had even worse luck. I was delayed out of CWA for about 45 minutes, which wasn’t too big of a deal, considering I had plenty of time in Chicago as a layover. Well, our flight out of Chicago was delayed over an hour because there wasn’t a flight crew. They just weren’t there. So we were on our way, but Jess and I weren’t too worried because we still had over 40 minutes in Miami as a layover so it should be okay.

It wasn’t. Once we landed in Miami, there was no ground crew to tow us into our gate. We sat on the runway for over 30 minutes. I was watching my watch tic and toc until our flight to Montevideo, Uruguay took off without us on it, sitting on the tarmac in Miami. Well, five minutes after our flight took off, the ground crew showed up, towed us into our gate, and we were able to exit the aircraft. Since direct flights to Montevideo are only every other day, the next flight we could get would take off the next day, but stop in Buenos Aires, Argentina first, have an hour-ish layover, then go to Montevideo. Okay great, sign us up. It did mean that we got to spend one more day in the USA, so we hit up South Beach. We didn’t have access to our checked luggage, but American Airlines did put us up in a nice hotel for the night, and gave us food vouchers.

South Beach was very pretty, but it was hot, with about 100% humidity. I wished we had our swimsuits available. We walked along the beach, walked along the shops, going into them every once in a while to cool off with the a/c. Since I have now officially spent one night in Miami, and went to South Beach, I think I can now say I’ve finally been to Florida, right?

So after a massive delay of 24 hours, you would think that our travelling woes would be over. It wasn’t. We landed in Buenos Aires, no prob. Had our little layover, got on to our plane for Uruguay. There were problems with the engine and we sat on the runway for almost 2 hours while they fixed it. I was able to take a nap and Jess watched a movie- at least the entertainment system was on while they were tinkering. We landed in Uruguay to begin our 8 hour layover. We hit up the massive duty free shop there, took some naps, ate dinner, then at long last, we finally boarded our flight to Asuncion. This one went off without a hitch. So over 60 hours after we left our parents’ homes in Wisconsin, we finally arrived at our apartment in Asuncion. And the most amazing part of all is, our checked luggage, made it. All four bags.