The South American Adventure - Day 16!! (Our Final Day)

Day 16 - Homeward Bound

I woke up this morning with the iPhone in my hand.  I had obviously heard the alarm and turned it off, but promptly went back to sleep and woke up 25 minutes later when I heard Adele's alarm go off.  I can only hope this is not an omen for things to come.

We were highly groggy this morning.  Mostly from the late hour we fell asleep, but partly from the dinner last night.  We were still really full and needed to relax while food continued to digest.  Unfortunately, we had to catch a flight.  We did most of the packing last night, so it wasn't a massive production.

Checking out of the hotel and getting through the airport was no big deal.  We're well versed with the Lima airport at this point.  So now we begin the wait...

Things I'll Miss About South America - 

Coca Tea.  I'm not exactly sure why Coca Tea has captured my love so much.  I attacked it with gusto when we got to Cusco because I was completely worried about altitude sickness (not a lick of the sickness!!), but it was just so good that I kept drinking it.  We don't know if our one box of tea will clear Customs today, but my fingers are crossed.  I don't want my last Coca Tea experience to be in the airport today...

Eggs - I don't know what they do in Peru to make the eggs amazing, but I appreciated it every day.  I love eggs.  Love them.  Here, they were better.  I will miss them.

Ceviche.  There is no possible way to get ceviche as fresh as we ate in Lima.  We can't even try.

Cuy.  I expect I'll never eat it again.  Sad.

Prices.  We found a lot of stuff that would be about the same prices as back home, but overall, I greatly enjoyed the inexpensive prices of food and goods.  Box of tea for 60 cents.  A three course lunch for $3. A 12 course dinner for $80 (with wine and tip!!).  A cute top for less than $30.  Good hotel rooms for $50.  The prices couldn't be beat.  Now, in Easter Island...whole other story.  That was an expensive chunk of the trip.  But worth every dollar...um...peso.

Fruit Juice.  Holy Lord, the juice was amazing here.  I want to bring all of the juice home with me...

We just took off from Lima and I have to say (now that there's only one flight left and this won't get posted until tomorrow)...Spirit Airlines.  What an awful airline.  I get that we paid very little for a round trip ticket (especially when we heard what the two in Seattle spent on their tickets...think 3x as much!!)  Then we paid a little more to check our bags.  Then a little more to pick our seat (stop it...).  Is it wrong then that I would expect the plane to at least give the illusion that it is in good flying condition??  Tray tables are disgusting and filled with stains.  Same for the seat pocket.  And those are frayed and torn and hanging far enough that it hits my knees no matter how I try to sit.  And I'm not that tall!!  Head rests exist, but don't all stay in place, so they're utterly useless.  I forced Adele into the middle seat this time (and next) cause I was forced into the middle seats on LAN almost every time.  I almost feel like I'm taking advantage of that situation, cause this flight sucks so very much.

Even more fun, you have to buy drinks/snacks on Spirit.  I get it.  Not totally opposed to this turn of events.  The problem is that in Lima (and Chile), you can't bring outside liquid on a plane.  So you can't bring on water you just bought at the Britt Shop.  And you can't pay cash on Spirit.  Nicely done, airline.  What a POS.

Getting back to the US was jarring.  Really jarring.  We have been used to minimal lines that move swiftly.  Yeah, the opposite would be the case today.  

Now I want to go on record right now.  I appreciate the security to keep the country safe.  I don't mean to be some Commie threat because of what I'm about to say (or is Socialist the new "fighting word??"). I'm just noting the process I saw.

Maybe it's because more people were going into the US from Ft Lauderdale than going into Lima or Santiago.  But what took us 5 minutes (in line and with the Customs/Immigration agents) in the other two countries took us 20 minutes for Immigration, another chunk of time to get through Customs (our tea made it!!!!!!!), then the colossal clusterf&@$ when we had to go back through security.  THEN, the terminal was a nightmare.  There was hardly any food options, so the lines were long. Same with the restroom.  But at least the bathroom was basically destroyed due to horrible women who choose not to clean up after themselves.  Keep it classy, ladies!!

Our flight was running a little late, but we were chatting with an adorable guy from Columbia (who had to take a bus from O'Hare to Madison...last bus is at 11p and we don't think he'll make it) and a couple on our flight from Lima.  (Yeah, I don't know what's the deal with us being chatty with others during this trip.  Though, it could be because we are able to speak English again...)

The second airplane was significantly better than the first one.  Plus, no kids around us being kicky or generally obnoxious.  That was a big problem on the Lima flight.  We split a sammie and chocolate donuts on the flight and promptly tried to sleep.  It wasn't a great sleep or a long one, but it passed the time.  We just wanted to get home...

On the way home, we had a fit of delirium.  I grabbed for my half consumed water bottle.  As I turned the cap, there was a loud pop and I watched as the cap made a graceful arc over our row and sailed to parts unknown on the plane.  We both stared at the water bottle in awe and waited for the "Jesus Christ!!" yell from whoever was the poor soul that got hit.  But we never heard one.  Maybe the cap never landed.  We did laugh (and snort) quite a bit.  Ahhh...good times...

We landed.  We got our bags.  We found our rides.  Our journey was at an end.

I thoroughly loved South America.  While I didn't speak the language, I was able to understand more than when I went to Moscow.  And the people were just lovely.  I remember watching Samantha Brown on her Latin America series and thinking, South America looked so much more fun than I expected.  And in real life, it was.  It really was.  I need to sit down after I have some good old fashioned couch time this weekend and really contemplate some of the things that went on this trip.  Because I think it'll take that long to realize what we actually did and what we actually saw.  But for now, I see my bed.  And it just looks so inviting...with the pillows and the comforter and Duffy the Disney Bear.  Hello, bed...it's been too long...

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