Saturday, October 12, 2013

Big Ships: On To Uruguay

Our flight to Uruguay was scheduled for 3:45pm, and we wanted to ensure plenty of time to get across town and everything.  So we spent Saturday morning after breakfast hanging out at the hotel.  The sun was out, so we headed back out to the playground, but it got too hot pretty fast. 

We left plenty early for the airport, so we had lots of time to make the transit, get gas, and figure out how to return the rental car (not obvious - just leave it at the curb and take the keys in to the desk).  We checked in, found the Copa Club, hung out, then headed to our gate.  While we were walking from the club to the gate, it started to storm pretty hard.

We boarded the plane late, as per Copa's standard procedure (at least it seems that way), and settled into our upgraded seats.  After everyone had boarded, they came on and announced that they suspected the plane had been struck by lightening, so we had to get off and get a new plane.  Grumpy and grumbling, with kids that were ready for nap but not going to get one any time soon, we disembarked and waited for another two hours before we finally got another plane.  This one was an "old" configuration, not the Sky interior, which meant subpar seats with subpar recline. 

C was way overtired, so instead of going straight down for her nap like she is normally able to do, she screamed inconsolably for 10 minutes before finally crying herself to sleep.  Lovely.  D fell asleep on the plane and managed to stay mostly asleep in the stroller through disembarking, immigration, car rental, and driving to the hotel.

We ended up arriving a little over 1,5 hours late into MVD.  I forget what time it was - 3:15am?  You would think that the airport would be empty and not much going on, and yet we still had to wait 20 minutes for the car rental agent to come back inside from helping someone else.  Then it took him a good half hour to rent us our car.  Why does everything need to take three times longer than necessary??  Unlike in the US, car rental in these countries is not a scalable process -- AVIS only had one guy working, and he had to rent the car, go out to the lot and get it, and then drive it up to the terminal for us to take it. 

We easily drove downtown and found our hotel, the Radisson Victoria Plaza.  Due to our Gold status with Carlson, we were again upgraded - this time to an Ambassador Suite.  This room was ridiculous.  It sported a living/dining/common area the size of two normal hotel rooms, a foyer with a door that closed leading to a guest lavatory/powder room and a small kitchen with a fridge and sink, a master bath, and a bedroom.  It was truly amazing.  D slept happily on the couch in the living room, and we put C's pack and play up in the foyer that had a closing door, so miraculously, everyone had their own room!  The hotel has a lot of old school charm - embossed wallpaper, dark wood, crystal chandeliers.  It was really beautiful and felt luxurious, in a throwback sort of way. 

Due to all the delays, we ended up going to bed around 6am, Montevideo time, which is 2am in Denver.

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