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Author: Tracy Silva
Date of Trip: January 2015

Our trip started out wonderfully. We got our packing done early enough to rest before our short ride to the airport. When boarding time comes, and goes we’re waiting and waiting, with no explanation from the ticket counter, about a half hour later the Pilots finally show up. Ok, we now know the reason. Let me tell you though, we only have a 1 1/2 hour layover in DFW, which is a rather large airport. So we’re in line to board and they (United Airlines) announce that some of the last people to board may have to check their carry-on and will not receive it till their final destination. I’m thinking I’m ok since we’re not the last group to board. Well, this nasty man and his wife jump in front of us in line with no apologies. As we’re about to get in the plane, they announce all carry ons have to be checked. I start to panic because all my Stroke medicines, cameras, cash, and jewelry are in my carry on so I start grabbing stuff out all the while the man whom butted in front of me is screaming at the flight attendant and pushes past her, with his carry on, and boards the plane. Of course the Pilot comes to get him off the plane and we are now about 45 min. late for our connecting flight to Chile. We took off and when we arrived, there is another plane in our hub. They wouldn’t give us another hub to use so we sat there for another 25 min. waiting. We finally pull into the gait but they can’t line the plane up properly.. At this point, we know they’ve already started boarding. Although they asked the people in the plane to allow others with tight layovers off first, no one did. Now our gate is about 10 min. away. We hijacked an airport person with those little golf carts in an attempt to get to our gate, which was completely empty when we get there, but we can still see the plane. We begged them to allow us on the plane, with no avail. We were told to get in line with all the other people that missed their flights to get a voucher for our hotel stay for the night. While in line, the same woman from the gate comes running up to tell us that the plane had MECHANICAL DIFFICULTIES and we could board. So do we stay or board a bad plane. I opt to board. They assure us that our luggage was being fetched. Well after landing and watching the luggage carousel go round and round AND stop, we realized our luggage didn’t make it. So after the hour it took us to fill out all the paperwork, we head out to find our prearranged ride to the apart hotel. Because we were so late, he left for another arranged client but did send his wife to collect us. We were about to grab a cab when she recognized us. So we’re on our way via the Autopista, which she has never been on. We go about 20 miles when she decides to tell us that she’s lost. We go all the way back to the airport and start again with my Husband directing the way. It’s now about 11:00am and due to high compactly, they won’t let us check in until 2:00 pm. We have now been awake and traveling. For over 24 hrs. And I’m a Zombie. Oh, did I mention that I had only a couple of articles of clothing and my husband had none. So, we’re in winter clothes and its 85 degrees outside. We we’re lucky enough to get our clothes the following evening. One complete day gone.

The next 3 days were delightful but that’s were it ended. We decided to to to the pool for about a half an hour and when we returned, in a panicked voice my husband asks ” did you move my laptop?” No I didn’t and we looked around and realized that our room had been burglarized in that short time we were gone, by a hotel employee (we later found out from the hotel videos) and was nowhere to be found. He’d given a false address and phone number. We dealt with the police until midnight. The thief got away with a MacBook, iPad, 2 cameras, 2 iPhone 5’s ( I had just gotten mine 4 days before the trip), our Chile cell phone, my wallet with all of my cash,credit cards, and drivers license. My husband cash and all the electronic cables. This happened on day 4 of 14. The hotel informed us that they could not reimburse us since we could not prove that we had all of the items listed. We were devastated. He had not backed up his computer on iCloud but I had. I did loose all my pictures on my SLR camera though, which upset me the most. Thank God one of my credit cards was an American Express, which I was told they could send me another on by the next day. We’ll, that got lost somewhere in Fla. and I didn’t receive it until 4 days later which meant I had no money or anyway to get any. Thankfully the thief left my husband his. We decided to we needed at least 1 camera and a computer of some sorts so we could keep in touch with our Family. After days of searching, we had to watch how much money we spent. We finally obtained both which made us feel a little better. A day or two later my husband decided to go up to the rooftop pool and the elevator gets stuck and because he had no phone, he had to call out until someone finally heard him. On another day we decided to go to a Zoofari that I’d heard about which was 1 1/2 hourss away. So off we go in the rental car. Upon our arrival, we noticed that no one was there only to find out that they were closed on that day. By this point, I’m ready to have a breakdown. My husband goes into a house that was one the property and did some fast talking and they let us go through it on our own, it was delightful because we were the only ones there and we didn’t have to fight the crowds. One of the nights at a Family function I became really ill which I hid from everyone, including my husband, until we returned home. A couple of other minor things happened but we made it through all of it and can’t wait to go back. This time to another hotel. The hotel did decide they would reimburse us all but the money but that was the night befor we let so all was not lost. Only the time and money we had to spend once we got home to get everything back. That was a whole other nightmare.

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