|Today is the big day! We awoke at 6:00 AM to get ready and repack for our international flight to Peru. We ate breakfast with Don and the kids, took one last photo, and drove off into the sunrise! We dropped off our rental car after an uneventful drive to LAX. At the rental store both Steven and I started feeling very nervous about our trip to Peru. It was actually a little surreal to drop off a rental car and to be heading to another continent instead of home.
We had the shuttle driver drop us at the international terminal and then the fun began. The terminal was very crowded and everyone seemed to be speaking a different language. It was like we were dropped off at the tower of Babel (SP?). It was without a doubt the most multicultural place I have ever been. It was interesting to watch how different people were interacting with each other. It was also a little disheartening to see how some of the American baggage handlers were speaking to some of the very worried foreign travelers, especially one older Japanese man who wanted to watch his luggage pass through the X-ray machine. . The TSA baggage handler yelled at him to move along and asked, "Do you have a problem!?" I felt really embarassed for the Japanese tourist and somewhat ashamed for the impression he was getting of the USA.
We made it through the TSA checkpoint without much trouble, although I cringed somewhat at all the yelling. "Take off your shoes! Laptops open! Cell phones and anything in your pockets into the bins!" (Another embarassing moment for us Americans.) We arrived at our deparure gate quite early, at 10:30 for a 1:50 departure. We had plenty of time to spend $20 on a couple of hotdogs and sodas(Yikes!!). It made us appreciate the rule at SeaTac that all items cost the same as in the surrounding areas. Steven and I also made a few last minute phone calls to family and friends.
As we were boarding our flight we were both upset with ourselves for being so lazy about learning Spanish. Of course, everything was announced in Spanish, although we were lucky enough that they repeated almost everything in broken English. On board our LAN flight we were happy to see blankets and pillows on every seat, as well as free movies and video games on our own little screens on the back of each seat. Since we were flying economy class, we weren´t expecting much. For dinner we were given a choice of pasta or llama steak. Can you guess which I chose? ;-)I´m sure I´ll try llama in Peru, but I didn´t think I would get a good taste on an airplane.
After a long, eight-hour flight, we finally arrived in Peru!
To be continued. . . .