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Don’t eat guinea pigs in Ecuador or stay in hooker motels in Miami…

My flight home from Ecuador was at 6 am and I was about 1 hour from the airport. I left my hotel at 3:30am since it took an hour to get to the Quito, Ecuador airport and I had to be there 2 hours early since it was an international flight.

I got to the airport and before I checked my bag in, I saw one of those machines that wraps your bag in plastic wrap so it does not come apart during your travels.. I had seen these before and thought it would be a good idea since I did not have a lock on my bag and was carrying 3 bottles of liquor. Once bag was wrapped in plastic I took advantage of my AA Platinum status and walked to the Priority line and got my bag checked. This day was clearly starting off right! WRONG!

Once my bag was checked I had to go through Ecuadorian immigration but as I was in line I started to notice I was feeling a bit sweaty and flush but figured it was just my being up so early and having been a bit sunburned from my trip the day before to the equator. Once through immigration I decided to get some water….2 bottles of water to be exact. I downed one and brought the other on the flight with me.

I heard my name called at the desk and figured I was being upgraded to first class. WRONG. Once I reported in they indicated that I had been “randomly selected” to have my bags searched. They led me downstairs to the place where all of the bags are loaded onto the plane, which was very weird… I noticed that I was starting to sweat since I was feeling a bit ill and got nervous that they would think I was trying to smuggle something back. I was also kind of pissed that I had paid to have my bag wrapped in plastic and they were about to tear it all off. After a thorough search where they found nothing but dirty underwear I was sent back upstairs to board the plane.

I had booked my seats so that I was sitting in the bulkhead right behind first class. The seats where the when taking off the flight attendants pull seats out and sit facing you. Once we were all boarded the flight attendant closed the hatch door and sat down in the pull out seat. THIS IS WHERE MY ADVENTURE BEGAN…..

As soon as the hatch door was closed I started feeling a bit sick. Now as someone who fly’s quite a bit I have NEVER been sick on an airplane… NEVER… until now. I started getting that taste in my mouth and feeling the “I am going to puke” drool in my mouth so I grabbed the vomit bag and tried to hide my face from the flight attendants and the guy sitting next to me and proceeded to unleash in the bag… 4 times in a row! The flight attendant asked me if I wanted them to go back to the gate since we were still on the tarmac. I said “no, I will be ok.. I am sure whatever I had in me that made me feel a bit sick is all gone now.” WRONG!

Without going into gross(er) details, I will say that I puked for 4 hours solid the entire trip. Running into the bathroom which (thank the heavens) was right next to where I was sitting. The flight attendants on American Airlines were amazing in that they made me feel comfortable with it happening and kept bringing me water. At a certain point though they started bringing me the bags they used for collecting the trash and brought me the bottle of water they use to serve other passengers…

Once we arrived in Miami I had to go through US immigration and then collect my bags. The walk from the airplane to immigration was possibly the longest walk I had ever done in my life. I was sweaty, shirt had stains of sick on it and I was carrying a VERY HEAVY backpack filled with Pacari Chocolate  – 70% Raw – Organic and Biodynamic : 2012 Gold winner chocolate from Ecuador.

After getting through US Customs without issue (aside from looking like living death) I had to go check my bags back in and get in the TSA line again… This 1 hour wait in the Miami airport did not go well. I ended up getting to demonstrate to everyone in the TSA line that I was still sick… yes, I puked all over the floor in the TSA line! At this point I was so embarrassed and wanting to curl up and hide but instead just walked out of line with my mess still all over the floor. So if you happened to be in the TSA line at the Miami airport yesterday around noon.. well sorry.

I knew I could not continue on my two remaining flights (Miami – DC then DC – Raleigh) so I went to the desk and told them I needed to be rebooked since I needed to get to a hotel and possibly the hospital. The best they could do was to get me home two days later with the “chance” of standby. At this point I just needed to be in a bed so I said I would take it. The customer service rep told me I could get my check in bag within an hour but I knew I could not last that long so I told him to hold it at the airport until I was back thus leaving me with the clothes on my back.

I walked out of the airport and got in a taxi with my backpack, clothes on my back and no clue where I was going… oh and still sick. I told him to take me to a cheap hotel which was mistake #500 at this point. He drove me to a motel near the airport that he said was $55. Not really thinking, I said “sure”. He dropped me off and I went in to get a room.

The first sign that this place was not going to work out for me was the fact that the front desk was behind a glass cage and inside the cage they were selling in plain view with prices on them – bottles of cheap wine, booze, Costco sized containers with packets of lube and condoms… The woman told me there were only smoking rooms at this motel and it was $55 for the room with a $5 deposit on the programmable room key/card. These are the same cards that other hotels never think twice about asking you for. Also, they did not ask for any ID or credit card. Although I was sick my spidey senses told me that I needed to see this “room” before I actually checked in. She gave me the key card and I went to take a look. All I can say about the room is that if this was the newly renovated version I would hate to see the old version. I went back downstairs and told her I could not deal with the smoky smell of the room which was nicer than saying I did not want to stay in what was clearly a prostitute motel. All I wanted was to get into a clean bed and sleep off whatever was happening to my body. Also, the thought of bringing bed bugs home to our bed was not an option. As you can see, here is a lovely review of the motel.. seems pretty accurate. http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g34284-d3454152-r153292728-Hialeah_Executive_Motel-Hialeah_Florida.html

I had to call a taxi to bring me to the Red Roof Inn near the airport. This process was an adventure unto itself since no one I dealt with outside the airport in Miami seems to speak English. Once at the Red Roof Inn I was informed that the cost of a room would be $179 for the night. If you have ever stayed in a Red Roof Inn you know that these are typically $49 rooms.. I had no choice at this point so I took the room and went upstairs to shower and sleep.

I am now at the airport hoping to get home today on standby but it is not looking good. The TSA cuts/layoffs started today and the lines are insane…. I feel bad for the person sitting next to me on my flight(s) home since I am still in the same clothes I put on yesterday at 3:30am. This may well be the longest trip I have ever taken just to get home… Once again I have to wonder, is it me or does this shit always happen to me??

Perhaps the lesson here is… Don’t eat Guinea Pig in Ecuador!Guinea Pigs


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