We made it home safely, just in case you were worried. The flights were long but not beyond the normal amount of extreme awfulness. Yesterday we got up at 4am in Quito and went to the airport, where we had a good time doing all the million steps: 1. check bags 2. pay $40.80 per person to leave the country 3. go to immigration counter to make sure you paid and get checked out of the country 4. security line 5. check in at gate with passports 6. be randomly selected for a narcotics screening and follow guy downstairs through secret doors to our waiting suitcase underneath on the tarmac where we open our suitcase and they kind of look through but mostly wonder about my radio alarm clock. Really, if I was going to have narcotics, I would have hid them better than you searched. 6. go back upstairs and wait a few minutes to get on the plane.
After 5 or so hours and two movies later we landed in Houston. We were near the front so we got off the plane and through immigration faster than most of our flight. We then went down to get our bags for customs check and could find only 3 of 4. After a half hour of waiting, all the rest of our flight filing through and getting all their bags, I did a loop of the whole place and still could not find our bag. I kindly explained my situation to the continental representative, and he came over to help. He wanted my claim tickets, which had been printed poorly and were missing the last numbers, making him exclaim “these are all the same number!”, and then asked what color my bag was. Blue on top and black on the bottom. He immediately goes to the carousel (which is full of bags, with none more coming out) and goes to the first one that is a deep blue/purple shiny all over and asks “is this your bag?” REALLY? Oh how did I miss that in the half hour we have been here, or walking around looking for it. No, that is not my bag, as mine is blue on top, and black on the bottom. He then looks like he wants to look at each tag to identify ours by number, but as I said, the numbers are missing so he can’t. Eventually he tells us to go to claim a lost bag. We go through customs and go to claim it, and they tell us we have to do it in Seattle. But the guy at the counter will bet that it will show up there with the flight. We don’t believe it, but what else is there to do?
3 hour layover plus 45 min delay plus 4 hour plane flight two more movies later we make it into Seattle. We go downstairs to find our bags and I think hey maybe I will claim my missing bag to expedite the process. Lo and behold I look and THERE is our missing bag, at the missing bag area. Somehow it has beaten both us and our flight’s luggage. Show my passport, and ta-da. Bag returned, guess the guy in Houston was right. So just remember sometime when you want to smuggle stuff into the country, just let them lose your bag so it doesn’t have to go through customs.
Picked up by Dad and Jordan, met Justin Jama and Eden at Las Margaritas (I think so we could speak spanish and not feel too out of place) managed to stay awake through dinner, picked up Caelin from where he was staying, and in bed by ten. 2am to 10pm, no naps, only some coca-cola, all bags, and we made it. We are happy and sad to be home and away from home.