Colombia Day 21 – Departing for Bogota

Today is our last day in Cali. We were sad to leave because we have loved every minute here. We have made new friends at Hotel Pension Stein that we hope to see again someday in the future. Cali will definitely be a vacation place for us as Cameron gets older.

Since our plane didn’t leave until 6:35 PM, we had plenty of time to participate in the Sunday activities planned for the families by Enrique. Today included lunch at a nice restaurant and a trip to the Transportation History Museum.

The resturant was our second experience trying to order from a menu. This one had pictures though which made it easier (of course Enrique told us what was good). Mary Ann ordered the ribs and definitely got the better deal! She couldn’t eat all of them so I got to help her. Yummy! (pictures below)

After lunch we went to the Transportation history museum. It was very interesting, mostly because of how much America has obviously influenced the world’s transportation. As you can see from our pictures, many of the exhibits were American military exhibits. They had a huge train model that has taken them 8 years to put together and they are still working on it. It is patterned after Philadelphia in the early 1900’s. We took a lot of pictures that you can view below.

After the musemum, we went back to the hotel and gathered our things. We said goodbye to Enrique and headed to the airport. Then the fun began!

Magnolia had mentioned to me that the flight we had booked was an international flight that was originating from Spain and stopping in Cali before continuing to Bogota. We didn’t think much of it until we ended up in a line were everyone was being frisked!! After that you had to go through a mini interview were they asked about where you had been and where you were going. They were taking everything out of the bags, making people turn on their computers and handheld devices, etc. It was a little intimidating. Men and women were frisked separately by a solider of the same gender, so I ended up getting to the counter first. Mary Ann had Cameron so when they asked me what I had been doing in Cali, I just pointed to that cute little boy in her arms and said that we were adopting him. The solider smiled, asked where we were heading, unzipped my backpack that was FULL of electronics, zipped it up and said, “Have a nice flight!” Man!! I am sure that when he grows up it won’t be this way, but I am taking advantage of it right now!!! =) Mary Ann got through just as easy and we got in line to board the plane.

I was a little excited about the flight to Bogota, because we knew that the airline, Avianca, was a very nice airline and I had gotten to pick our seats, so we had two seats together, by themselves (it was one of those big planes with the 2-4-2 seat configurations with two asles). As we were boarding the plane, Mary Ann pointed out our seat assignments and I immediately realized that they had changed our seats from the ones I had requested, seats 19A and 19C (yes, they were together). A little upset about the change, we boarded the plane and worked our way to the new FIRST CLASS SEATS that we had been assigned too!!!! Whoa! That was cool!!! Don’t know how that happened or who’s heart Cameron melted for that little bonus, but Praise the Lord! It was perfect for our first flight with him. We had lots of room, nice headphones and a nice big screen to watch cartoons on…and Cameron was happy too! =)

The flight from Cali to Bogota was great and Cameron couldn’t have been better. It almost seemed that he enjoyed it! It might have been the Cheerios and cartoons, who knows. We got into Bogota on time and I was thinking man, this has been really easy.

When we got off the plane, those passengers that had gotten on in Cali where loaded on to shuttles to be taken to the domestic arrivals baggage claim. Everything was fine until daddy decided to get off at the wrong stop! Instead of ending up at the arrival baggage claim, we ended up at the domestic connections terminal! Ugh! Why didn’t I learn more Spanish! After talking to several very nice people that were thinking the same thing about me, we finally found someone that spoke English who told us that we had to take the airport shuttle to the domestic arrivals terminal. After a 15 minute shuttle ride, we finally made it to the terminal, but they wouldn’t let us in! I could see the bags spinning around the claim belt all by themselves, but my feeble attempts to communicate, “THOSE ARE MY BAGS, RIGHT THERE!” was lost on the security guard posted at the door. Meanwhile, Mary Ann had made contact with our driver, Johnny, who had been standing at the door with a sign waiting for us. He didn’t speak much English either, but realized what was going on and was able to take me around the corner to a special claims window were they worked out getting the bags.

While they were getting our bags, Johnny explained that he was going to get the car. We smiled politely and said, “si” hoping he would be back because we didn’t understand, but got the word “parking” and figured he would. =) We got our four bags, but there was no stroller. The thought of not having a stoller while trying to walk around Bogota was not a nice thought, so I started trying to explain that our stroller was missing. I am sure I looked like a dork and a very nice lady in the crowd had pity on me and came to the rescue. Twenty minutes later…we finally got the stroller. It had ended up in some other terminal. Glad I wasn’t the only one lost! =)

Finally, at almost 10 PM we arrived at the Hotel Paris. The staff greeted us and very graciously offered to feed us! We were so hungry so we took them up on the offer. Ironically, our second meal in Bogota, was the same as the first…spaghetti! =)

Isabel had asked us if we minded staying in a smaller room because all of the hotels are so full right now. We told her as long as we had some place to sleep and a hot shower, we would be fine. Our room here is definitely small, but they offered us a discount rate, so we will make do. Cameron is having a little trouble adjusting, but I am sure he will be fine. Hopefully it will only be for five nights and then we can fly home.

The room has two twin beds and a crib. I feel like I am in an old Disney movie! =)

More tomorrow….good night.

Day 21 Photos

Day 21 Videos

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Getting ready to leave for lunch…activity on the front porch.

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Cameron in the hammock.