I have finally arrived in Colombia, gotten settled in, found where key things are, and have my trip organized to Leticia (where I can hop across the boarder to Brazil to get my visa validated). It’s only taken 3 days. Here’s why:
Everything started off so smoothly. Got to Charlotte, made my way to Cook-Out, hung out at the airport for a few hours. Finally was allowed to check my backpack on the place, prepared to take my day pack on board with me, and catch a short nap on my 2 hour flight from Charlotte to Miami. But when I went through security, my passport didn’t work. Who knows why? It looks perfectly fine, but for whatever reason, it just would not scan. So they let me board the plane (barely) with just my driver’s license, and told me that there is an emergency passport service in Miami that happens to be open to the public (There are agencies in New Orléans and Charleston that are not–who knew?). And I needed to get it replaced today, or I wouldn’t be able to travel to Colombia, nor would I be able to use my coming home part of the ticket. So my comfortable 2 hour layover turned into a mad dash to the passport agency. As we are getting off the plane, I hear that another passenger is headed to the same place I am, so I offer to go together. She looks nice and it is part of the plan to talk to more strangers.
So Angie is Stranger #1. She’s very nice–a school teacher from TN. She is in more dire need of a passport than I am as her flight to Costa Rica leaves at 1:45 pm. Mine will leave, according to American Airlines, at 6:15pm today (American rescheduled my 10:10 flight for me at no charge) or 10:10 tomorrow. My luggage, however, will probably already be there. Thanks to the nice security guards at the passport agency Angie and I have a nice lunch at the Doubletree hotel, and when we get back each of us has bright, shiny brand new passports. We zip back to the airport and she makes her flight (I think), and I had a few hours to kill while in Miami. I did a some walking around, hopped on the PeopleMover, snapped some photos of the city, and made my way back to the airport. Unfortunately, I found out that I was not going to be allowed on the 6:15 flight so my first stop on my South American adventure was Miami, but I was guaranteed a seat on the next day 10:10 flight. At least I found out early so I could do a little more sight seeing in Miami. So I spent the night in the airport, but not before I sampled some more of Miami’s tourist attractions.
Miami is the perfect first stop on a South American tour. First off, it is very beautiful. The water is amazing. It is hard to believe that this is still the Atlantic. It looks very Caribbean. The weather is amazing…even in August. Some may call in hot, but it summer; it supposed to be hot. You will hear Spanish being spoken, but it is still the USA.
Where I stayed:
- Miami International Airport
- (the benches can be quite comfortable)