Travel on Christmas/New Year holidays is not for whimps. I have always enjoyed it and have had mostly good fortune. Here are my TEN security/sobriety/toll road blockade stops yesterday on my way from Orlando to home.
- The toll roads in Florida are like 3PM senior dinner specials. Tolls are everywhere. So I’m combining them all in one big stop for my count to 10 for 12/31/2015 travel.
- Photo above is of the craziness known as El Raton Miguel Aeropuerto(Mickey Mouse Airport Orlando). MCO/Orlando is knows for its long TSA lines. The TSA “barker”(“shoes, belts, latops, coats, pockets”) is usually endowed with a thick NY accent. My sympathy is high for travelers with young kids.
3. For some reason, Southwest Airline was corralling bags and requiring ID this N.Y.E at San Diego. Nothing like setting off nerves of exhausted travelers than late bags, lost bags and a carousel with 50% of its available access cut off for bag “security”. Note the jolly smiles on all of the passengers, fresh from their visit to Magicland, and full of holiday spirit. SD airport is normally low drama. But, holiday traffic had bags arriving 45 minutes after gate arrival.
4. SD Airport Parking is one I use for my San Diego flights. Call them when you arrive with bags at their pickup spot and the van will show within 10-15 minutes for the 3 mile drive to their facility. After loading my bulky golf bag + carry on to van, dispatch asks driver for my name. I just called them via my cell for the pickup. Dispatch doesn’t recognize my name. Driver asks for my ticket. I produce it, with SDAP logo/phone/address, etc on ticket. “That’s not ours” declares the driver.
WTF do they care about my ID, as long as they have gotten/will get my money??? Maybe they massage your car with a happy ending so it’s prepped for your arrival? Driver asks again my name, “are you a contractor”, “are you an airline employee”? I’m thinking the cavity search, that I escaped via TSA, is in my near future. Straightened mess out at SDAP desk and I was on my way. Driver was apologetic and then attempted to assist me with my bags. I kindly thanked him, wished him a H.N.Y. and skidaddled far away from his clutches.
FYI, SDAP.net , is normally very efficient and pleasant. Plan on using them in near future.
5. Tijuana border crossing southbound was backed up on I-5 to the 805 bridge. All went smoothly at 4:30PM with approx a 20 minute wait. Few vehicles were being pulled over for inspection. I was due for the pull over, as it has been 18 months without it. But, did not have contraban this time. Sailed through and waved at all.
6. OK, a toll booth isn’t exactly a security check, but, you can’t have a top NINE list, right? Your I.D. at Scenic Road toll booths is 31 pesos or $1.90 USD. The operators are usually pleasant and quite efficient at firing your peso or dollar change back at you. 3 toll booths from Tijuana to Ensenada = a couple of tacos and a beer. There was one highway patrol car sitting roadside at Salsipuedes with lights blazing.
Stop 7/8/9. These were pretty light roadblacks on Costero at Cruiseport/Riviera, Av Reforma just north of City Hall and in Maneadero, just west of the “Y” intersection of Hwy 1 and Carretera La Bufadora. The one at Riviera and Maneadero were stopping and talking with all. The City Hall guys were waving everyone through.
10. NO!, I was not carded at Sharky’s, which was sleepy this NYE. But, I did roll through the stop sign there at 6:40PM. Yep, 2 cops sit there most nights hoping to collect mordida (the bite…Sharky’s…got it?) for your traffic offense through the poorly lit/reflecting ALTO sign. This guy even gave me the “go to Maneadero police station” business. I dumbed down my Spanglish to appeal to his tourist sympathy. His rifle brandishing bandito buddy apparently had the role of bad cop. I really needed to pee and get home after 13 hours of travel. Yep, threw him a 200p note($12USD). Hey, I was guilty.
Someone had the brilliance to leave my frig full of beer and frozen food for easy warmup. Turned on fireplace for mid40sF temps. Thrilled to be home.
Feliz y Prospero.