I was downstairs at the 10th Street entrance of the building about 7:10. I sat on a sofa in the lobby with my phone in my hand for the previous time when I had taken the shuttle the driver got a bit lost because my building has a new address in many systems. I realized I had my apartment keys in a jacket pocket and that didn't seem very safe. I put them away in my tote bag safely, looked up and saw the shuttle outside the door, about 10 minutes early.
Off we went to the airport which I quickly discovered was in chaos because many schools in the Twin Cities area had started spring break and many people were traveling. I was told to go to another place to check my luggage and ended up waiting in a line of about 50 people just to do that. Since I was traveling a day ahead of most of the group going to Bolivia I thought I would send an e-mail to the trip leader suggesting others leave plenty of extra time when they arrived at the airport -- and now where was the phone? I backtracked my route through the airport, went back and was able to search the shuttle, checked the counter where I checked in the luggage -- and no phone. I couldn't imagine what I had done with it.
I managed to find a pay phone and left a message for my daughter asking her to suspend service on the phone. I had my kindle with me and was able to go online with that at the MSP airport -- which has full Wi-Fi service and found the customer care number for T-Mobile just before boarding the plane to Miami.
At Miami without a phone I couldn't call the hotel shuttle so had to take a taxi. After seeing my desired address the taxi dispatcher told me I had to wait for a "blue taxi." When one appeared colored blue rather than yellow, he directed me there. The driver of this taxi complained the whole way about taking me to the address. Why was I in a blue taxi? I had no idea. I was just doing what the dispatcher had directed me to do.
At the hotel things got better. I was greeted with the news that I now had diamond status with the Hilton Honors program and was given a bag with cookies and two bottles of water. I was told also to select two items from the nearby pantry area.
Upstairs in my room I called T-mobile and put my phone is suspension. The last thing the customer service officer said to me was "Mame, don't worry, you have insurance on this phone; it will be all right." I also called my daughter again even though I knew the charge from a hotel room would be rather high. Her first words were "Oh, mom, I am so worried about you. I can't suspend your phone." I told her I had taken care of that.
I went down to sit by the pool for awhile.
I like this bench.
The next morning I enjoyed a complementary breakfast. I left for the airport about 11:30 AM for I had made plans to meet some of the other trip participants. Since I was without my phone they couldn't call me so I thought I would search likely places. I was glad to be relieved of the suitcase holding the peanut grinder.
Finally about 6:30 PM I found some of the others going on this trip and enjoyed a bit of rice pudding at the La Careta. And then finally our flight began to appear on the departure displays.
After about an hour we were on our way to Santa Cruz. We were handed a sheaf of paperwork. These were not to easy to fill out when half asleep!
We then gathered our luggage and waited in a very long line to walk through the door that said, "Nothing to declare." I would estimate there were about 40 people ahead of me.
Our next goal was then rechecking baggage for a BOA flight to Cochabamba. This went quickly and we gathered in the gate to wait for our flight. There is saw something I've never seen before.
Our flight to Cochabamba was about 45 minutes. Soon we had gathered our luggage and were boarding a bus to the hotel.
Quickly we arrived at the hotel.
We settled down for a bit of rest. I had a lovely room. The electrical outlets in Bolivia are the same as for Europe so I had all the right stuff. I actually spent most of this rest time in the nearby courtyard, because I knew if I tried the bed I would sleep for probably six hours and miss the activities for the remainder of the day.
But that's a whole another story which will appear in the next post.