Well I’ll begin this with a disclaimer: this wasn’t by any means my favorite part of the trip but it had my favorite outcome. It was the day before we left, and I leisurely woke up at twelve in the morning. I got up made myself a bit of breakfast, went upstairs and began watching some Netflix much similar to a normal winter break morning. As I waited for the show to load I checked my phone only to see that I had about five missed calls, and many texts asking me where I was. As it turned out it was not the day before the trip but it was the day that we left and I our flight had departed a few hours ago. I immediately turned to a state of incredible rage, I was so upset. How could I have been so dumb? What if I wouldn’t be able to go? How might our professor feel about my horrible mistake? Even if I would be able to find a way to meet up woth our group, how much would it cost and how long would it take me to get over there? I punched my bed out of anger for about a whole minute, and then tried to find a way to get out of my predicament.
I ran upstairs and me and my mom went on a flight finding site and we were somehow able to find a flight to Puerto Rico leaving at 10:40 that night. I felt so lucky that we could find flight considering that it was the middle of the winter break and everyone is looking for someplace war to go for vacation, not to mention it was direct and only two hundred bucks. I instantly sighed of relief, I was going to be able to make it to Puerto Rico. I then remembered that I had a doctors appointment that day at 4:00 and needed to get all ready for the trip before then. It usually takes me a long time to pack because I have to always check a few times to make sure I have everything, since as you may have guessed sometimes I am not very organized. I frantically began to pack as fast as I could praying that I remembered everything. I also had to find some time to fit in the chores I had to do that day. This as you could imagine was a pretty stressful few hours, and I did end up forgetting a few things most importantly my phone charger and my book. I eventually finished packing, went to my doctors appointment and got back in time to polish off some stuff and leave my house when I was planning to. I knew that since I was going on an international flight I had to arrive at the airport three hours early and allow an hour for the train ride there.
I left for the train only to realize that the handle of the suitcase that I was using wouldn’t extend at all, so I had to roll it using the handle attached to it, and had to walk around crouched over at a forty five degree angle, just my luck. When I got on the train I decided to spend the time waiting for the O’Hare stop (the last one) figuring out my handle situation, because it wold have really sucked to have wheeled it around the immense airport so uncomfortably. I began kicking my suitcase as hard as I could, hoping that it would somehow come loose meanwhile everyone on the train was staring at me out of bewilderment. Eventually it finally finally came loose and stood up and looked around the train car in triumph.
I got to the airport and much to my surprise I was able to make it past check in and security in less than twenty minutes and found myself with a bit less than three hours to kill. I indulged in not one but two of Rick Bayless’s famous tortas at at the Frontera restaurant. I waited at the terminal for the remaining two hours hoping that I wouldn’t fall asleep and miss the flight. We boarded, and I found my way to my seat and a sat next to this couple. When they began talking to me, I thought to myself “come on, all I want to do is just go to sleep.” Usually I am a pretty social person and don’t mind engaging in conversation with complete strangers, but it was a very long day for me. We ended up actually having a really great conversation, the man’s name was Ricardo and he was from Italy, and his wife was Kristin and was from California. They lived together in Puerto Rico with their two kids. Ricardo was a Biology professor at the University, and was very intrigued when I told him the purpose of our trip. He told me a lot about the country, the ecosystem and its environmental state. They also talked to me about their kids and I told them a bit about my childhood. They had me write down suggestions that they had for places to see and restaurants to go to. We talked for about an hour until it got late and they decided to go to sleep; they gave me their contact information in case I ever needed anything or had any questions.
The plane landed and I walked through the airport to claim my baggage. My bag was the first one to come out considering how early I arrived at the airport. I called a cab at the cab station and it came pretty quickly. My cab driver was really nice and told me about everything that we passed on the way to the hotel. Once we got there I got out of the car, looked through my bag for a minute to find my phone to call Dr Rodriguez to let me in. He picked up and said he would change and come down. I waited for like ten minutes and then got a call from him saying that he was outside; I was at the wrong hotel, just my luck, again. Fortunately the right hotel was only a couple blocks away and we were able to find each other pretty quickly. By this time it was about 5:30 in the morning so I had time to take a little nap before we got up. However I couldn’t sleep at all because I was so happy and excited that I was able to get to Puerto Rico after all.