July 26th, 2014.
EMER: Just realized we've been here 28 days...
KARLA: So? I'm trying to sleep
EMER: We need to cross the border or you won't fly to Chennai.
Emerson has a way to get your attention. It's not always the best, obvioulsy. Sometimes he asks your opinion on something, and in less than five minutes, he has jumped into action. Like that time when we were camping and it was too cold, and he decided to tear down the tent. We were gone in less than an hour, in hopes Enzo didn't get any sicker. He did.
So here's the skinny on the visa status:
A long time my visa expired. That doesn't really matter since I was living in the US, and not planning on leaving the country. I was not there illegally, since the primary visa holder is Emerson, and his visa hasn't expired. But once I decide to take a vacation out of the US, things change. I can still come back, since my passport has a I-94, with a stamp that says it is valid until September 2014.
BUT that stamp only lets me be out of the US for 30 days. That's the last thing the lawyers told Emerson a long time ago. Immigration is confusing. CBP officers have different views? Information? I don't know. But it's very different to cross the border by land from getting on a plane. They stamp my passport every time by plane, but not by land. That stamp keeps track of the 30 days.
So here I am trying to sleep while Emerson is bugging me about getting another stamp, so the 30 days start all over again. Otherwise I would have been out of the US for 32 days, which might imply that I won’t even get to fly to New York. We were not sure of this, but you never want to have the misfortune of meeting with a CBP officer who knows all about the 30 day-rule.
So after Emerson gave me all the options, which included not flying to Chennai with my children, or getting to the airport in Mexico only not to be allowed to get on the plane, I agreed to go to the nearest border with him. He had to go with me, since he is the one with the work visa, and he knows all the stuff.
BTW, my Indian visa says my special endorsemet is TO ACCOMPANY HUSBAND. Awww, that's nice. I’ve ONLY been doing that since 2007… isn’t that amazing?
|July 21st, 2014. Married seven years.|
|Ice cream while children sleep in the stroller|
So long story short, we left the hotel on Saturday (day 29) at 5 am, children and all. Not that I don't trust our families, but I just couldn't leave my children for more than 24 hours. I just couldn't. So we took them. And we drove to Laredo, Texas. They slept until about 9 am, at which point we stopped to go pipis and have breakfast. A smoothie, and sweet bread. They were amazed at ALL the big trucks at the gas station, and Libby was asking all these questions about our destination.
|"Oh, Mommy, look! A big truck!"|
We said we wanted to say bye-bye to Texas one last time, and we decided to take a long road rally like the one Mickey Mouse takes. I think they loved the idea :)
They were very happy the whole time. I mean, Enzo cried a lot, but it was because nobody likes to be stuck for more than an hour to a car seat. I would go to the back of the car, and play with them, or use the tablet or the cellphone... Then they would take a nap here and there.
We made it. That gave me hope. Tons of hope. I mean, we'll be stuck on a plane - three planes, actually- but with tablets, movies, stickers, crayons, toys, and Enzo will be free... It has to get way better, right?
Let's not jinx it :S
We couldn't decide whether to stay the night or keep on driving back to Mexico. I started to drive the night shift, but my eyes were really tired, and I was averaging like 50 mph on a 65. I wasn't tired, I was afraid. The roads suck. The lanes are small, and it's just not like driving in the USA, I have to say. So we stopped at Monterrey. It was the best thing to do because Enzito didn't stop crying. He was so exhausted, but couldn't sleep for being strapped to the car seat.
So we stopped at 1 am. They were dead asleep. But at 3 am, I couldn't sleep. Enzo was sweating, and I was so hot. Emerson didn't turn on the air conditining, only the fan, and it was 89 °F inside the room!!!
So I had to go out and asked for help. Didn't care the maintenance guy would see my husband's underwear, I needed to figure out how to turn the AC on. Finally after 30 minutes, I was cold enough, and was able to try to sleep. By then, Emerson had taken one third of a king size bed, and my children the other two thirds. I tried to squeeze in a corner, but Emerson kicked me on the face, and Libby hit me, too.
We made it back safely. I was very tired, and slept a lot on and off. Emerson had to be even more tired, since he drove all the way there and back.
Paying a toll
Today we slept in. Began packing after having brekfast and taking a shower. We were done by 2:30 pm. Went to Nana Angeles' house to have lunch with my family, and now we are at Grandpa Andres' house where we are having dinner with Emerson's. I just needed to catch up with my blogging since tomorrow I start a new adventure.
If you get to read this, just say a prayer or have a good thought, or send your good vibes, whatever you believe in... I appreciate all the good feelings I can get. It will be a long 48+ hours trip to get there. We are leaving tomorrow at about 4 pm. Will land on NY around 10 pm. Then we'll sleep at the airport. The next flight is at 11 am on Wednesay, from NY to Dubai. God willing, we'll be there in 12 hours (that's Wednesday at 11 pm for our families) that is 11 am for us on Thursday morning.
We had one more flight from Dubai to Chennai at 3 pm. Hopefully, we'll be at our hotel at 9 pm on Thursday (11 am on Thursday for our families).
That will make Libby very happy on Friday, because this hotel has a pool >)