Let me sum up

Well poppets, a lot has happened since we saw each other last.

ride 2016-03-22

neon wall  2016-03-22

Our lovely visit with Joe’s parents continued, and we did lots of fun things – including a bus trip to Guadalajara (great city) and then on Friday morning we got up really early, and we went to the airport so we could fly to Mexico City and then on to Toronto, and we checked in for our flight, and we went to the gate, and we started to wait. We waited until it was supposed to be time to board. Then we waited a little longer.  After a little while, they announced that they were going to start boarding in a few minutes, and that confused us a little bit, because there was no plane at the gate. Still – we had three hours to make our connection, so we didn’t get sweaty about it.  After about another fifteen minutes, I went over and used my very dodgy Spanish to gently ask how it was going. Did they expect a plane soon? En cuántos minutos?   “Viente” the nice lady said, and that’s twenty, and that seemed fine. We would still make our connection.

Thing was, in twenty minutes the answer was still twenty (and I was wracking my brain to be sure that the word for twenty was what I thought it was) and twenty minutes after that the plane finally arrived, and Joe and I (the two of us had been getting progressively twitchier this whole time) heaved a sigh of relief.  We signed into our Air Canada flight online so that the short time we had to connect would be smoother, we talked about how we’d have to hustle, but it would be just fine… we texted with Joe’s Mum about the most efficient route through the Mexico City airport, and then, hearts light, we boarded.

Then we sat there. We sat there for about 15 minutes, and then the Captain came on, and he said a lot of things very quickly in Spanish, and I thought I understood him, but then I realized that I couldn’t possibly have. I’d caught “tráfico excesivo” which seemed clear, and then I’d heard something about eleven o’clock, but what was happening at eleven seemed wrong. It was ten then, and it’s only an hour long flight – so, was the pilot confirming that we were going to arrive at 11? That would be just fine for us. Our flight out of Mexico City left at 12:45. Joe and I can run any airport distance in an hour.

I thought about what words I know in Spanish, and then I leaned over Joe, and asked the guy next to him what time we were going to leave, and he said eleven. “Dejar a la once?” I asked, and he confirmed. We were going to sit on that plane for an hour before it moved, and that is exactly what we did. We sat there until about 11:10 and Joe and I knew it was over. We were going to miss our connecting flight. Sure enough, we landed at 12:20, we got to the gate at about 12:45, and that was the time that our other flight was taking off. Honestly, we both considered freaking out, but it seemed really counter productive. I mean, what’s the point? We’d catch the midnight flight, or worst case, one the next morning. Whatever. Stay loose, we told each other, as we trotted through the airport to find our bags.

Thus began a day of a pretty seriously craptastic nature.  We collected our bags and went to the airline counter. Nobody was there. We went to another counter and asked around, and they sent us a million miles to the airline office. Nobody was there. We came back down (the Mexico City airport is as big as the city of Chicago) and bought a SIM card so one of our phones would work, then installed ourselves at a restaurant that said they had WiFi so we could start sorting it out. It turns out they didn’t have Wifi – so while Joe went back to the SIM card place to buy us another one, I used our working phone to call Air Canada. I waved Joe off confidently as he left, quite sure that the nice man on the other end of the phone was coming back momentarily with a reservation on a flight in just a few hours.

When Joe came back twenty minutes later I was off the phone and had a largish glass of wine. There were no flights. Not that day, not the next day, not the day after that. “What are you talking about?” Joe said, sliding into his chair with a shocked look on his face.

“March Break in Canada.” I said. “Spring Break in the States, Easter Break here. There are no flights. Not until the 22nd. Five days from now.”  Joe stared at me like I’d lost my mind. “We’ll go to another airport” he said. “We’ll fly to Houston, or Atlanta, or …. ”

“There are no flights.” I said, trying to make him understand. I’d told the Airline representative that we were willing to take any flight – anywhere – any time, even drive somewhere else,  and the answer, after checking everything he could think of, was that there were no flights. Still, we’d only checked one airline, and it seemed to us that there had to be a solution, so- determined to be cheerful – we paid our bill and moved on to another restaurant that claimed to have WiFi but didn’t – and then finally went up to the airport hotel and asked if we could use their WiFi, and 45 pesos later, we were online, and discovering that there really were no flights. Joe dealt with the insurance company, and I continued searching until I found an exorbitantly expensive flight home on the 21st – but that got sold out while I was asking Joe for our credit card. An hour later I had found another one, and booked that instantly.  Shortly after that we managed to find a hotel, and then crossed the airport again to (somehow – turns out I know more Spanish than I thought)  manage to get some paperwork from the airline that had been two hours late and started the mess, and the whole time we took deep breaths, tried to be really nice to each other and reconciled ourselves to the way things were. We were stuck in Mexico City. We were hemorrhaging money. Neither of these things was changeable by us. We decided that it was all going to be about attitude, and that if this was the way things were going to be, and clearly it was, then well, we might as well make the most of it.

So we did. We worked for a few hours ever morning and evening (since we were supposed to be back at work)  and in between, we went everywhere. We climbed the bell towers of the Metropolitan Cathedral, and stood on the roof while the bells were ringing, we walked through cobblestoned streets and found a Mexican Vegetarian place. We drank Mescal. We found out what agave looks like.

mezcaleria 2016-03-22 whattheheckisthat 2016-03-22 wings 2016-03-22 agave 2016-03-22 stairs 2016-03-22

We went to museums and to monuments and lots of churches and climbed two thousand year old pyramids. (We did that along with tens of thousands of people. Who knew that the spring equinox was the most popular day of the year to climb the thing?)

climbarms 2016-03-22 climbpy 2016-03-22

We saw Our Lady of Guadalupe, we walked and walked, we learned (ok, I learned) that Clara Parkes wasn’t kidding a few weeks ago in Texas when she told me not to touch cactus, even carefully.

pillarmuseum 2016-03-22 knitsock 2016-03-22

I finished socks.

neondone 2016-03-22

ONline Supersocke 4-fach Neon Color #1718, my basic sock pattern.

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I started some other socks (Agatha Socks, and I love them)

agathastart 2016-03-22

and last night, after making the most of getting stuck, we and our good attitudes finally caught a flight from Mexico City to New York, then New York to Toronto, where we fell into bed.  Tomorrow, we fly again.  There was supposed to be five days in there, rather than one, so excuse me while I unpack,  repack and chat with the worlds top knitwear model.  I’d better find more yarn, too.

104 thoughts on “Let me sum up

  1. Very glad you made it home safely and made the most of an enforced stay! Years from now you’ll look back on this and smile.

  2. Lesson taken. Good attitude keeps the mind open and the pleasant times happening. What a great extension of time together; thank you for the story! Happy packing and flying…again.

  3. Wow! What an adventure you’ve had together and what an awesome attitude to have in the midst of it! The world could learn a lot from you.

  4. Congratulations on making the most of your unexpected trip. And now you know for sure how much yarn to pack for delays. Safe onward travels.

    • Yup — estimate what you can realistically knit in the time allowed, double it, and add 2 skeins of sock yarn (maybe 3).

  5. I think it is very appropriate that you started this post with a picture of a horses arse!
    I’m glad you made it back alive and suspect you will never travel near spring break again!

    • Don’t count on it. Isn’t this the same person who repeatedly underestimates the amount of yarn needed for a large project (preferably those on a deadline) and the amount of time it takes to do the Christmas knitting?

  6. Oh dear – at least you had each other! And got to see all those amazing things. And knit more socks. Hope you had travel insurance to help recompence for all that extra expentiture.

  7. Just in case you didn’t notice, Millie has her eye on those striped socks. I can see “how do I get those to lie on” whirling in her kitty brain.

  8. Glad you made it home! Those pictures are fantastic!!!

    I was worried when I saw your tweets/IGs that you might not have enough yarn. Hope you didn’t have to ration too much.

    Hopefully the next trip is a bit easier.

  9. At least you were traveling together, thereby making limonada de limons… Chance of a lifetime to explore Mexico City, but still glad to hear all are home safe and sound. If only for a little while…

  10. Just to be clear – intent was commenting on being home for only a little while, not on the requirement for safe and sound. (Especially today – sending prayers to all.) Namaste,

  11. Well, it sounds like you made the most of it! And you are not dressed like a tree in one pic I see. Well done!
    (Stepping out of your comfort zone is not easy!)

  12. Wow.
    That’s an attitude I need to cultivate. Though I kind of hope I don’t get quite that good an opportunity to learn!

    Nice socks. :)

  13. Your are the king and queen of the good attitude and making the most of a frustrating situation.
    I bow to your superiority. :)

  14. Glad you are both home safe…happy travels to the next place. You two are a great couple and I love that you made the most of your “stuckation”! To the world, and Brussels in particular, Namaste…..

  15. You are the best choose-a-good-attitude soul that I know! I’m glad you were able to enjoy it, even though I am sure there was a whole lot of frustration thrown in there. Thanks for the great photos – the one with you leaning on the blue wall needs to be the next book cover!

  16. You certainly made the best of that unexpected extension to your break. Glad you’re safely back (although considerably poorer in monetary terms!).
    Is that West Yorkshire Spinners 4-ply I spy in that last sock photo? I’ve knitted several pairs with that yarn. The colours are beautiful. :))

  17. Wow, you handle adversity far better than I do. I would have been a mess! Thanks for teaching me how to make the best of it. Glad you’re back with handy access to your yarn stash.

  18. You are such awesome travelers!! As a frequent flyer, I’ve seen my share of “irritated” flyers. In most cases, the flyer made a moderate to serious miscalculation, or the situation (weather, delayed aircraft, etc.) is truly out of the gate agent’s control. I have found that I get my way more often if I smile, make good eye contact and speak on a low tone of voice. Never mind the screeching woman who missed her flight because she waited at the wrong gate, and was blaming the airline…

  19. So the Universe forced you and Joe to have an unplanned vacation-just the two of you. I’m glad you made the most of it. And that you had enough yarn to get you through it.

  20. I am glad you are home safe but sad about the hemorraging money part. Also sad I cannot spell that big word. Oh well, get some sleep. Tomorrow is a new day of adventure.

  21. What a mess!! At least you got to enjoy some of the many delights of Mexico City. . .but I’d still be cussing the airline until they refunded my money! (And I’d probably never fly that airline again!)

    Hope you found sufficient yarn/twine/dental floss to knit on this new adventure.

  22. the orange pants against the blue wall- great photo! You made the best of it- sounds like a great time was had by all!

  23. Have you ever thought about just not flying any where for awhile? Seems that every time you do there is some crisis or you get sick. Is it really worth it?

  24. Thank you for this. I just got my husband’s work trip itinerary, which was not what he wanted either and which wrecks all kinds of plans. Thank you for taking a deep breath together and enjoying the best of it–I needed that message and I needed it right now and somehow clicking on your blog was the very next thing I did and saw.

    You guys are the best.

  25. Well, it looks like you made crappy into happy. (I took that line from one of the Fixer Upper episodes). What a wonderful place to be stuck.

  26. I apologize for having to tell you this, Dear Girl, but I’m glad you two got stranded in Mexico.

    Also, did you photoshop those images, or have you lost weight?

    Third, that is one handsome husband there. You ever get tired of him, you just box him up and send him to me.

  27. Surely there must be 1 yarn store in Mexico City, I am surprised you didn’t track it down. I do appreciate learning how you went with the flow. As I was preparing to enter full on anxious mode about flying across the US on Friday, this was a reminder that there is a right way to handle these things.

  28. Forget the socks for a minute. Your shoes in photo #2 aren’t Birks and certainly aren’t Blundies. Did you *gasp* actually go shoe shopping? Or are they rentals?

  29. Wow, five days with your sweetie in Mexico City, I’d have loved to be you! There’s so much to see and do there; it’s too bad that people miss it on their Mexican vacations! I spent four months there as an exchange student, and loved it, smog and all. It’s great that you two had the sensible attitude about this enforced stay (plus yarn enough!) to really take advantage!

  30. Congratulations on turning an unplanned delay into an adventure. What a great thing that you had a cat sitter at home!

  31. Some days are just like that, aren’t they? Wine, it is a wonderful thing when life hands you crap that will not matter in the grand scheme of things but are annoying as all get out when they are happening!

  32. That is really typical of Mexico, so the attitude you describe is probably the most important thing you could have taken with you!

  33. Looking good! Thanks for the photos and stories from a veteran traveler who agrees: attitude is everything. In the third world most people are doing their best and can’t control the weather, the airline, or the little details like working phones so it is much more sensible to make the best of it. I once observed three sweet hotel clerks tremble as an angry, tired traveler screamed at them. He didn’t apologize when it turned out he was in the wrong hotel. Have pity on the people with these terrible jobs. And let some joy leak in, in spite of what you thought you’d be doing!

  34. Oh dear lord! It sounds like the clusterf**k that was our trip to New Orleans on Christmas Day. The problem was that if they had further delayed us, they would have been reimbursing us for our missed cruise. ::sigh::

    With that said, glad you made the most of your unexpected layover :)

  35. I’m glad you turned it into an adventure!
    My teen daughter and I were stuck in Dallas TX for 2 days after Christmas. We were traveling from Disneyland in California (our very expensive Christmas trip, which was a surprise for my daughter, and a bit $$$, if you know what I mean) back home to Chicago, and Dallas was our layover stop. What should have been an hour and a half became 2 days. No adventures outside the hotel for us– flights were grounded due to tornados, and nothing was in walking distance of the hotel.
    I had my knitting, so you know, all was well.
    Anyhow, glad you made it home in time to leave?!
    Definitely restock the travel yarn!

  36. Oh my word!! You know the thing you do, that we all do, where you pack enough yarn so that even if you get delayed days and days, you’ll still have enough yarn? That actually happened to you!

  37. I’ve been reading your blog for 10+ years and the only other time I commented is when you got married. But I have to say, that picture of you with the blue wall and orange pants is stunning!!! You are gorgeous!

  38. What a cool coincidence – my hubby and I had a photo taken in exactly the same spot that you & Joe did on that pyramid! Glad you liked Mexico City – we had a real blast when we visited it 10+ years ago.

  39. Well that sounded like an excellent adventure. You look lovely in the bright orange pants with the yarn to match no less.

  40. What an adventure! I’m glad you were able to make the best of a crazy situation (one, I might add, that would have driven me bonkers). It’s also a great example of why you should always overpack on yarn!

  41. What a wonderful blessing in disguise! Yes, it caused some grief and money, but when was the last time the two of you stayed just by yourselves with no expectations? I’m actually a bit envious.

  42. You and Joe look lovely, and impossibly relaxed, and I am impressed by your ability to roll with the travel challenges. I hope the travel insurance helps in the whole hemorrhaging money department, and that all the needed laundry for the next trip was dry in time to pack.

  43. Lol! The true test of a marriage… how you handle travel problems. Seems like you two are golden. :)

  44. Stephanie, it seems that these thing only happen to you. Or perhaps they happen to all of us but only you make them seem interesting and even to the point of chuckling over the situation. Well, you probably didn’t chuckle, but as I read through the post, I chuckled. You know the feeling…if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. Hope your next trip is less eventful.

  45. You have great legs and should wear bright colors more. You both look great in pictures. Glad you had yarn and a great time.

  46. Note to self, Do not travel during, near, or around Spring Break. Glad to see you had a good time in Mexico City! Definitely memorable! The socks are lovely.

  47. Well looking on the bright side that’s one holiday you won’t forget in a hurry. So glad to hear that you are both safely back home ( such horrors in the world today) and that you made the most of your time there. Let’s face it who knows if you will revisit there. By the by the socks look great and I love the colour of the new ones on the needles.

  48. I love the second photo – the one with you in the tangerine pants, standing and knitting. I think you should consider using it for the author blurb on your next book.

  49. My in-laws are from Guadalajara and it’s a great place to travel but it seems every time we try to come back to the States, we encounter the same travel issues. Really helps improve your Spanish skills when you’re stuck in a country. Looks like an amazing time though!

  50. Wow! What a story! I am so impressed that you turned a disaster into a fabulous holiday. Just goes to prove that all one really needs is enough yarn, a lovely significant other, and a city with plenty of archaeology. I’m hoping that’s all true of Dublin (I’m taking the significant other along so sorted on that one), we’re off there on Thursday!

  51. GOOD! I am glad you were stranded. You really needed a vacation, and it sounds like you had a good one. Did you notice that everything at home was fine when you got there? Being gone an extra week or so was really good for you. It switched off the workaholic in you. Now you should be invigorated and ready to pick up your life in Toronto where you left off.


  52. So glad you were able to ENJOY the unexpected vacation time. I love how you find the positive in things. And really hope the insurance covers a heap of the costs! The bright color photo of you against the blue wall is fabulous – such a nice shot.

  53. My goodness. All’s well that ends well, I suppose? I’m glad you got to climb pyramids and wander a bit more of Mexico, but ugh. Air travel.

  54. Your attitude really made this ..er..detour happen. So great taking advantage and seeing so many sights. Now that’s what I call carpe diem.
    And how lucky that you were with Joe.

  55. If you’re stranded you might as well go sight seeing. I was hoping to be stranded on London the year of the Iceland volcano, but it cleared up in time, drat the luck!

  56. I wanted to weep as the delay became clear to you both. We had a similar time trying to get out of Vancouver after a wedding. The missed plane was our own fault but when they told us they could get us out in 3 days I was in disbelief. (thats actually a kind word for what I was)
    We had more travel options than you in that after we had the rather large glass (2) of wine and found the bus station. We took a lovely bus to Seattle and flew home from there a day late. The trick truly seems to be, “don’t bite your partner, or anyone else”. It was an entertaining experience once we got a grip. Your delay took much more skill than ours required. Thanks for the memory.

  57. Thanks for sharing these photos/experiences with us. You look flawlessly relaxed and elegant in that second photo, by the way.

  58. I would have lost it. Also, that outfit with the red/orange pants looks great. Just thought I’d let you know, since you seem to talk about how you are not particularly gifted when it comes to fashion :)

  59. Oh my word…getting stuck somewhere is literally, literally my worse nightmare about international travel. Doesn’t help that having a South African passport 99% of the time means I’d be trapped in the airport building due to visa issues…..

  60. Well, I’ll add ‘spring break’ to my mental list of times not to travel! Sounds like you two handled it very much better than I can hope I would have, eek! I’m almost scared to ask but…how much yarn did you still have after the extra days?

  61. Sometimes….that’s just how it is…
    Yes..attitude is everything. I have to remember that this election year…again…in the USA.
    Making the best of being at home with no job or money and A LOT of fiber…..hmmmm.


  62. Grace in situations like this separates “tourists” from “travelers.” Glad you made lemon meringue pie out of the lemons fate gave you.
    I leave Easter morning for (hopefully only) 5.5 hours on a plane with DD, Grandgirl (14) and Grandboys (almost 2 and almost 4) for a week at the beach with family, including 2 more little boys.
    I may write on my arm my new mantra for handling travel disruptions: WWSD? (What would Stephanie do?)

  63. You look a little bit different. You look like you had some lost weight, but you’re really so pretty. Love that pants. I’m nervous about Mexico. I think Hawaii or Florida is safe to vacation for beach for me. You’re brave.

  64. I actually wrote the day the above was posted. However, I came back to look at the pix and read again. And again, I am inspired, amazed and in deep respect of the ‘good attitude’ and emotional intelligence you two displayed – enabling a great visit to Mexico City. Bravo, again.

  65. I find the attitude that you and Joe have about setbacks while traveling to be very inspirational, and I appreciate you sharing these stories of pretty severe challenges and your responses. On another note, while I wish it hadn’t been so stressful for you, I’m very glad you got to see CDMX. When I read your post about going on vacation in the first place, and how you were going to transfer in Mexico City, I had thought it was unfortunate that you keep going to Mexico but not to Mexico City. I’m a big fan of the place – I’ve visited friends there 4 times in the last 2 years. Next time you find yourself there, check out the folk art museum (Museo de Arte Popular). Also I think Condessa and Roma Norte have quite a few vegetarian and vegan restaurants. And during Lent, most restaurants have a special menu with lots of meat-free options. Again, thank you for sharing, and I’m really glad for you two that it worked out as well as it did.

  66. Social Networking is free marketing ideas for realtors (Tyler) with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter being the biig three that I focus on when doing my social networking.

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