I’m jumping around a bit from the last post where we were mountain and wine touring in Mendoza, Argentina, but we’ve been quite busy since we got back. One of the reasons we like going to South America in ‘our’ summer, is the seasons are reversed, and it’s late Fall there so there is cooler weather. Coming from the hot summers in Florida, the cool is a welcome break, and the Autumn leaves and colors in the vineyards are beautiful!
We had a good trip home from Argentina via flights from Mendoza to Santiago, Chile, connecting to a fight to Miami, and finally connecting to Orlando. At the airport in Mendoza, we needed two carts for all our luggage; imagine that! Well it was a 6 night trip – LOL! Our new wine carrier is shown on the bottom left cart. We then checked in for our LATAM flight from Mendoza to Santiago, but our luggage was checked thru for all three flights to Orlando.
Our flight from Mendoza to Santiago, while only 45 minutes, was extra scenic due to the snow-covered Andes Mountains. I had posted recently about our tour to the Andes Mountains, and the day after we visited there, it snowed over five feet in those same mountains! As a result, we had some beautiful views flying over the Andes Mountains to Santiago. On this short flight, everyone must stay seated (including the Flight Attendants) due to the potential turbulence flying over the Andes. This flight wasn’t terribly bumpy as it was on previous flights, but you definitely wouldn’t want to be up and in the aisle. So we passed the time aboard enjoying the view.
Our overnight flight from Santiago to Miami was on an American Airlines 777-200 with the newly configured Business Class seats like we had coming down.
Like many airlines, American operates a 3 Class cabin, with Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy. Business Class is the ‘new’ First Class, and with the 180 degree flat beds and 1 X 2 X 1 seating makes for a good night’s sleep on the 8 hour flight, with every Business Class seat having direct aisle access.
While having my dinner aboard, I watched the movie ‘The Greatest Showman’ on my large personal TV screen. The movie was a musical and was highly entertaining – a perfect movie for the flight. I liked the story line of P.T. Barnum’s rise from humble beginnings to the master showman, and the music was wonderful too!
The 777-200 plane had the cool and colorful cabin lighting which was nice to sleep to or if you had to get up in the middle of the night to head to the restroom. I also leave the flight map on my TV thru out the night so I can track the flight progress should I wake up.
Once in Miami we declared our 21 bottles of wine, and like on previous trips, we were not charged duty, probably because the duty is very low on wine, (40 cents to a dollar or so) and the duty differs by a few cents depending on the alcohol content. I had done a spreadsheet listing everything, including the price, type of wine and alcohol content, but the customs agents were very polite and waved us thru with no issues or duty assessed, probably because the duty was so little, and even for them it was too complicated to compute due to the different duty levels.
After clearing customs, rechecking our luggage to Orlando, and clearing security once again,we went to the Admiral’s Flagship Lounge which had just opened at 5am. We had a couple hours before our final 7am flight to Orlando, and I had a bit to eat from the huge buffet spread, but poor Steve (DOS) was still not feeling so well from the goat ravioli he had a few days prior while in Mendoza.
We had a quick flight from Miami to Orlando, and fortunately our luggage made it ok, and no damage to our bags and vino. The new wine case really held up nicely, although it was quite heavy (67 pounds) when full with wine. As we were flying Business Class we were allowed three 70 pound bags, so we didn’t have to pay for excess luggage.
Once home we showered and both took naps. DOS was really tired out from the trip, and by evening still wasn’t feeling well so I took him to the ER. DOS had been complaining about a sore neck since our flight down to Mendoza, but the issue with the goat ravioli caused him to temporarily forget about the neck pain until now. The staff at the ER was wonderful, and fortunately it was a slow Thursday night and we had no wait. They gave DOS an IV right away which made him drowsy, but it was good to help replenish the fluids in his body.
The ER staff took X-rays, a CT scan, and a couple other tests, which kept us at the hospital until nearly 11pm. Fortunately it was not a serious condition; it was some type of arthritis, and the doctor said he might have strained the neck a bit making it worse on the overnight flight. Armed with some medicines and prescriptions, we went home and DOS rested up and taking it easy much of the weekend.
By Saturday afternoon DOS was feeling much better, and he began the tedious task of storing the wine properly in our wine coolers. First DOS organized and tagged each wine with a label, noting it’s location in our wine book, before storing the wine in the cooler. Our main wine cooler was nearly full, so DOS moved some of the existing wines around, and adjusted one of the shelves that was crooked. He put some of the wines in the large cooler, while the rest went in one of our smaller wine coolers.
We catalogue the wines and location, and DOS updated our wine book with our Mendoza purchases.
Now with all the wine put away, it was time to relax for the rest of the weekend. Like our previous two trips there, It was a wonderful trip to Mendoza.