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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Schilaty

Lines All Night

My last final was due on Tuesday and I was thrilled when it was done.  This last year of school wasn't great; probably my least favorite academic year to date.  It's nice to have it behind me.  On Saturday I flew to Miami where I met up with my mom.  At church on Sunday we met a hilarious woman named Claudia who was kind enough to drive us across town to Coconut Grove.  I'd never heard of it before, but it sounded swanky (there was a Cheesecake Factory there).  Claudia was a hoot and she's friends with Marco Rubio which is cool. 

The most exciting part of the day was a boat tour we did that not only showed us the city, but also the homes of famous people.  Most of the tour went something like this: "So-and-so used to live here."  We saw the former homes of Rosie O'donnell, Julio Iglesias, and Al Capone.  We also saw the house were Shakira's Hips Don't Lie was filmed.  That's all well and good, but what really got me excited was when we passed by a house that I recognized from an episode of House Hunters on Vacation.  I was so excited that I took a picture and texted Kevin.

Last night we were supposed to fly to Peru on LAN Airlines.  It's a Chilean company that I was unfamiliar with.  The flight was supposed to leave at 1:00 am and when we checked in the guy at the counter told us that there was a possibility that our flight would be cancelled.  What?  We waited at the gate for two hours and then at midnight we were informed that due to technical problems our flight was delayed until the following morning.  This caused a lot of groan and complaining from our fellow passengers, but I just smiled and laughed and wasn't too worried.  They then loaded a plane full of people on to buses and drove us to the Double Tree where the airline was putting us up for the night.  We waited for the bus for over 30 minutes and then, unsurprisingly, there was an enormous line at check-in that we waited in for an hour or so.  All that time I was happy and optimistic and even made some jokes like, "LAN must stand for 'lines all night'" that received some polite chuckles.  And I was thrilled when we were given our famous Double Tree chocolate chip cookie.  It was seriously delicious.  We got to bed around 2:30.  

We then slept for four hours and had to be in the lobby by 7:00 am to go back to the airport.  One of the buses broke down so it took a really long time to get back to the airport.  I was still optimistic and happy and was mostly amused by the comedy of errors.  Then we got to the airport, got new boarding passes and were informed that because of the inconvenience we could use our boarding passes to buy $20 worth of food at McDonald's.  I couldn't even conceive of being able to spend that much money at McDonald's, but during the five minute walk to the food court I came up with some ways to spend it.

As you can imagine, a plane full of people had just been given $20 to spend at one restaurant so the line was ridiculously long.  While we were waiting in line (I'd estimate with about 20 minutes left in the line) a LAN employee showed up and told us that our flight was boarding and we all had to walk back to the terminal immediately.  Our flight wasn't going to leave for another hour and I knew we still had time to get food, but the lady insisted we head back.  At that point I was tired and hungry and I had just lost the opportunity to spend $20 on fast food.  My good mood ran out at the precise moment.  It wasn't the long waits in line, or missing the first day our trip to Peru that broke me, it was not getting some fast food that finally broke me.  I complained as we walked back to the terminal and commiserated with fellow passengers while we waited for 30 minutes in another line before we boarded the plan.  It was painful knowing that we had had plenty of time to get food, but had to return to the terminal to wait in another line.  We eventually got on the plane, ate some airplane food, and my grumpiness went away.

My mom and I are now in Lima and we're pumped to be here.  I know Peru isn't Mexico, but so many things here remind me of Mexico and I just feel comfortable and at home here.  I love it.  We're staying in a nice part of town called Miraflores which is near the ocean.  My mom and I descended and then ascended 349 stairs to go down to the beach.  It was totally worth it.  Tomorrow we're off to Cuzco and then on Thursday to Machu Picchu.  I'm so excited to be in Peru and I have no desire whatsoever to eat at McDonald's.  

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