Made it the airport just before 6 this morning, and headed for the Air Canada check in desk. Was surprised to see a cart full of Muffins and Coffee set aside for all of the passengers from my flight. There was a manager there, the same one as yesterday, who handed out a piece of paper to everyone. On that paper were instructions on how to claim a complimentary $500 Air Canada travel voucher! Not bad! Stopped by Tim Hortons to pick up some timbits for Andrés and his family, as they lack a timmies over there. It was beautiful outside! Boarded the flight just after 9:15, and pushed from the gate about 30 minutes later. The flight crew was different than yesterday’s, but the co-pilot still apologized for yesterday’s delay, also mentioning that him and the captain were both in on their day’s off. He then told us that we apparently were supposed to receive a complimentary inflight meal, but the external catering company had dropped the ball. In lieu of that, we would be provided more compensation for food, and got a snack off of the menu for free. When we started down the runway, it felt like we were going for ever, not lifting off, but as soon as we were airborne, cheers and applause burst out from everyone in the cabin. Lots of turbulence, and the pilot announced that they had made the decision to reroute, and would stay at 24 thousand feet or so, following the coast all the way down to LA. He said that it was in order to provide us with a more comfortable ride, but I think he just wanted to fly over his girlfriend’s house or something. Almost at our destination, a customs card was handed out, but it was only information about our trip, like where we were staying. It didn’t have any declaration info on it, such as what we were or weren’t bringing into the country. Landing in Ixtapa at 5pm on the dot local time, more applause and cheering broke out; it was bright and sunny outside, it looked beautiful. I was pleased to see that the stair truck was positioning at the back of the plane, as I was sitting only a few rows from the rear of the plane. We were all turned to the back, and had started a line at the door, when the flight attendant back there said “Oh no, you can’t exit this way.” She hadn’t seen the stair truck, and I chuckled after seeing the surprised look on her face when the ramp crew flung open the back door. They used the door at the front and the one at the back, which sped up the exodus tremendously. After taking a video of the outside tarmac, I was told by a worker that photography was prohibited in that area. Not sure why, but I got my video before he approached me. After getting my passport stamped, and showing him my customs card, I waited for my bag, and then got in line to have my bag x-rayed. It didn’t even look like the worker was looking at the screen, but maybe he has good peripheral vision. After picking up my belongings from the x-ray belt, I had to walk over to the exit, where you show the customs declaration card. I handed him my passport, but he showed me the form he was looking for. It was determined that the flight crew had neglected to provide the passengers with a declaration card, only the customs card. Luckily it only took me a minute to fill out, and then I was on my way, but I didn’t leave without getting to push that button that randomly decides if you get a random inspection or not. I pushed it and it went red, I was then handcuffed and tossed into a private room, where I was beaten. Just kidding…hope I got you going Mom. I walked out of customs and saw my friend Andrés and his dad waiting for me, a white man was standing next to them. He had also been on my flight, and was catching a ride into town with us. Apparently he is family friend of Andrés’s family friend. Andrés’ friends told him, “If you see a white bald guy in the airport, offer him a ride to our house.” Hope I explained that right. He was from Vancouver, and we talked a bit in the van. Mostly about the flight delay, and he was surprised when I told him about the $500 travel voucher, as he hadn’t heard. We dropped him off where he was going, and continued to Andrés’s beach house. We arrived to the beautiful house, and I presented him with the box of timbits which I had smuggled from Vancouver. Andrés is my friend who was our exchange student, who went home just a few days before I came to Mexico. Kind of cool to be staying with him, because now he’s the one showing me around. We went swimming in the pool, and then headed for dinner. I did dry off and shower, I didn’t get in the van wet, even though I made it sound like that. We stopped at a street market, were Andrés’s sister Daniela and her friend were going to get a temporary tattoo. Or a “temp tatt” for people who aren’t my mom. Not sure why we stopped for her to get one, but it was kind of cool to see the market. We then headed for dinner at an Italian restaurant, where I enjoyed a nice pizza. My first dinner in Mexico! Had a nice time there sitting out on the patio, and then headed home. Great first day! Talk of a water activity tomorrow, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to hear about it.
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