Sunday, March 19, 2006

Best of Small Town Mexico-The Airport

Now that we know we will be leaving our small Mexican town in the not so distant future I would like to feature one thing each week that we like about it. I will do this on Monday and follow it Tuesday by something that we are not so crazy about here.

***Here's my disclaimer: It is not my intention to offend anyone from that is from here. I am not making fun of the town or people who live here. I often complain that it is boring here, but it is not a bad place. We have been happy here and have made some great memories. I am writing this from my perspective: that of an American mom and her family coming and living here. These are my observations. I am writing this for two reasons: one, so I can remember our time here and two, so our family and friends who have not visited us here have an idea of what life is like for us.

So, with that said, one thing I love about it here is the International Airport.

Anyone with kids knows the fear that comes from taking a flight with children. I have taken flights on three continents with my kids, many of them without my husband. When I was pregnant with Juan Carlos I swore I would never travel alone with 3 kids. By the time he was 1 year I was at it again.

The stress, headaches and sweating begin the moment you arrive in the airport. The first challenge is trying to get your kids, their backpacks, maybe a stroller, and all of the luggage to the check-in line without losing a kid or a bag (or both). You finally make it in to the airport (whew!) only to realize you will be standing in a line with your kids for the next 30-45 minutes (aggggh!). This is where I start sweating. I survey the scene. Are we dealing with other families or business travelers? How many ticket-counter people are there? What is the mental state of each kid? Where is the closest bathroom/drinking fountain/trashcan? Do I need to reach into my bag of tricks yet, or can I hold off a bit? As I kick, push, pull bags and kids through the switchback line I continually pray that the kids will not start freaking out or have to go to the bathroom. Speaking of the switchback lines, those things they use to divideit up are a constant source of amusement for Julio. Unhooking one end and letting it fly is just too hard for the kid to resist.

This photo cracked me up yesterday. I found it on an airline's site under the "unaccompanied child" policies:

Look at how happy the man looks. Notice how refreshed, clean, and mentally-stable he looks. I would look that good too if I could send my kids on a different flight from mine!

Anyway, the airport here has significantly reduced this kind of stress in my life. I don't think I will ever again live in a place with such a great airport. First of all, it is located only 4 minutes from our house. So, forgot a passport/blanket/sleep-inducing children's medication? No problem, just run home and get it. The parking lot is 25 feet from the door which is only 20 feet from the ticket counter, so the wrestling with bags, kids and strollers is minimal. You only have to show up 45 minutes before the flight leaves, so your kids are fairly fresh when they enter the aircraft. There is only one American carrier that operates out of this airport. It runs two flights daily and the plane is small. So, there is almost never a line. In my two years here I have only had to wait in a line one time. And the line was only 2 or three people deep.

I will miss the International Airport for sure!


Nantie Meg said...

It's always good to find the simple pleasures in life. I think the worst airport I've ever been in is London Heathrow. During one trip we had a four hour layover. I didn't have kids with me, just a whole group of High school students. but after 4 hours in that airport we were all ready to have a fit.

Grammy said...

I also love the Carmen airport. Not that I've ever been there, but it has 2 flights a day from your city to mine. That is worth having, Baby!

Phyllis from Wichita said...

I don't think you should discriminate against American airports. We also have a very nice airport in Wichita. It might not be as close to your house, but it's still nice. Wichita might not be as nice as Carmen, but it's still a nice place. If you don't like it here in the USA, why don't you just stay in your precious Mexico!

K-squared's Mom said...

I haven't been brave enough to travel alone with my kids yet but I can completely relate to those long lines at the airport. My husband and I are already a tag team when we travel and we still need a vacation from our vacation!!!