I've had a lot of ex-pat friends traveling "home" lately, going back to the States or Canada or England for a vacation or a visit and it got me thinking. I have only been back to Canada once since arriving in Mexico in 2003. I don't feel the urge, I don't get homesick, there's not much that I miss. My family comes here, for them it's a treat to come to the beach and to visit/spoil Max so I actually see them almost as much as I did when I lived in Toronto and they were in Windsor. Sooo, why go back??
In pondering my lack of return visits, it got me thinking about the one visit I did make in December 2004. I was six months pregnant and really wanted to show my folks my expanding belly. Hubby wasn't able to get time off work so I was traveling by myself. Well, I guess I wasn't really alone, Max was kicking up a storm inside but he was no help at all with the luggage. The flights were booked and off I went to the airport for a quick five day trip, coming back in time to spend Christmas with Hubby. I had a connecting flight in Miami, then to Detroit then driving over the border to Windsor. I was excited to see the family but sad that Hubby couldn't come with me.
I knew that my connection was tight, but the airline insisted that I would have enough time to get through immigration then board the flight to Detroit. Well, I should have had enough time, but leaving Cancun was delayed (big surprise). Flying while six months pregnant was no joy, I had to get up to pee a million times, irritating the heck out of everyone, myself included. We landed in Miami and I hoofed it to the immigration line. And encountered a sea of humanity, there must have been a thousand people there from every country in the world. I waited and waited and waited and waited and crossed and uncrossed my legs in my desperate need to pee again but I was NOT going to give up my spot in that line to find a bathroom. I finally made it to the immigration agent, put on a happy face and hoped he wouldn't give me a hard time. I got through immigration ten minutes before my next plane was scheduled to depart and took off running.
Yes, running with a big ass belly and my carry-on and my purse, flying through the airport like a pregnant OJ Simpson. Huffing and puffing and really needing to pee, suddenly my stomach clenched and cramped and I realized I was having contractions. But I kept on running. I got to the gate, only to see the plane pulling away. I collapsed on the floor and started to cry. A kind airline employee came over and helped me up and asked if I was ok. When I said I was pregnant and having contractions, they got me a wheelchair and a bottle of water and helped me to calm down. I was so upset at missing the flight, it was the last one of the day and there was no chance I was going to make it home. The airline set me up in a hotel room for the night, with complimentary dinner and breakfast and rescheduled my ticket for the next day. I managed to contact my family and let them know what happened, thank goodness they hadn't left for the airport already. They told me that my cousin had been going to surprise me at the airport, but alas, I didn't get to see him that trip as he was traveling himself the next day.
I managed to get off early the next morning with no troubles and no more contractions and an aisle seat close to the bathrooms on the plane. (Normally not an ideal seat, but for a woman with a child sitting on her bladder, it was a gift). I remember quite clearly the SHOCKING SLAP IN THE FACE of winter when I walked out of the Detroit airport, it literally took my breath away. The time in Windsor with the family went too fast but it was lovely to get to see them and to show off my belly bump and ultrasound photos and to shop for some decent maternity clothes.
So you would think that coming back would be easy? Ummmm, NOPE. But that's a story for another time.....