Sunday, March 19, 2006

Back to work... tomorrow

Sorry for the lack of postings, but I've been ON VACATION!! We had a relaxing trip to Mexico City to visit friends for Spring Break, BUT tomorrow is back to reality. We came home from the Chicago conference late Friday night, then left Monday for this trip. It was my third trip to Mexico City, but first trip for my husband and daughter. We visited different parts of the city and also saw the pyramids at Teotihuacan. It was pretty hot down there, so we got to wear our summer clothes for a few days before returning to late winter in the Midwest. Right now, we're under a winter storm watch for tomorrow night! What a great welcome for the "first day of spring".

Pyramid of the Moon

Looking down Calle de los Muertos from the Pyramid of the Moon

Mural at the National Palace, Mexico City (Diego Rivera)

We had some interesting travel experiences this trip. We flew Continental through Houston. Both flights down were on Embraer regional jets (only three seats across). I was surprised that a plane that small could fly into Mexico City, but we did. Both flights were OK, but on the one from IAH to MEX, the flight attendant seemed particularly clueless on several fronts. She handed out customs and immigration forms right after take-off, including giving people the wrong type and wrong number of forms. During the flight, I informed her that there was no toilet paper left in the bathroom and she discovered that they were out! Isn't that lovely?? On the way home, we were on a 737 from MEX to IAH. I was looking forward to the roomier plane, but they did a bunch of seat rearranging. We had reserved seats, so when we checked in, I didn't even look at the boarding passes. When we boarded, I noticed that they had split us up- including my 6-year-old daughter. Now, I know that the flight attendants did not personally switch our seats around, but you'd think they might be a little more helpful about trying to resolve the issue. Apparently, they had done the same thing to several other families, so there were many of us trying to sort out seats right before departure. One flight attendant kept telling us to just sit in our assigned seats and we'd figure it out after take off. I'm sorry, but I was not about to make my daughter sit between two strangers! We finally got it sorted out and some people were nice enough to switch seats to accommodate everyone. It sounded like some others had even more problems coming from Acapulco and connecting through MEX. Our last flight was another regional jet and that was also fine.

I have another conference coming up, so this week will be spent getting ready for that one. I'm flying non-stop on that trip, so that will be nice. Once that trip is over, I can finally get back to finishing up some papers and sending them for publication before the semester is over. I planned to do extra traveling this semester to take advantage of the time off from teaching, but I have to say that it has been a bit hectic!


Seeking Solace said...

Welcome back...nice photos.

I am surprised no one volunteered to switch seats so you could sit with your daughter. The same thing happened to last year. A woman and her six year old were separated. My husband and I traded our seats together so that the child did not have to sit with strangers. It was a good thing we did, because I sensed a child meltdown.

Addy N. said...

Hey Seeking Solace:
Thanks for the comment. I am still trying to get my act together today- we still have suitcases strewn around our guest room (although I did manage to do laundry- but it isn't put away yet!) I have to get some work done tomorrow, so that I am ready for next week's conference- AND it looks like tomorrow will be a snow-day for my daughter.

I think the other passengers were being OK about it- it was the flight attendants that were being a pain. We had trouble, because we were surrounded by other people with kids who had their seat assignments messed up, too! My daughter would not have had a meltdown (I don't think), but I think she would have been scared or traumatized! I heard another passenger say that online check-in is key for avoiding those last-minute mix-ups!