Monday, November 29, 2021

Austin to IAH and the Return

I reached home last night and I was so tired that I barely could walk! I think it was almost 22:20 when I got home and dragged myself up. I'm still tired and my right ankle and right knee hurts like crazy! I think it's the result of sitting still for hours. The drivbe from Austin to IAH and then the flight from IAH to YYC
What I did was I left early because I didn't want to take any risk when I was flying back to YYC. I left around 07:45, got some gas from a nearby Shell and headed east on InterState 71. The road was not bad, in terms of usuall crazy American drivers(!) and I only made a very few short stops, although I should've made more for a number of good photo opportunities, untill I reached Houston area and basically after Katy, TX where I stopped for the last gasoline and it became really crazy! I must add that instead of my GPS, I used my phones GPS which looked more accurate and more updated but still I was nervous and uncomfrotable on the road! I swear that I barely saw anyone on Texas Highway # 8! I had to be very carefull to not get killed in the last hour of the trip!
I finally delivered the car without any issue and I'm sure I will receive more invoices, because part of the road was Toll Road and went to Terminal A. It was there where I realized most of the passengers of WestJet to YYC had arrived before me! The WestJet guys opened the Check-In counter shortly after my arrival but I didn't move until 14:30 because I simply didn't want to stand on my feet! I was so lucky that I received a message from CVS Pharmacy in Austin, TX where I had gone to for Covid-19 Test, indicating that I had been seen negative. Later during cheking I realized that I would not have been able to get on the plane without the test result and that was way different from the time that I flew to IAH, first.
To my surprise tripadvisor has a shop in IAH right next to gate A11
Here's what happened with that test. While I was driving out of Austin last Tue., I saw an advertisement for free and rapid Covid-19 Test but didn't stop. I thought I'd have time. When I came back I checked a Walgreen and I was told I would have to book online but when I booked and then went to the pharmacy I was told that would not be accepted by " airliners ". " You'd need a PCR Test ", I was told. They difected me to CVS Pharmacy just 2 minutes drive from there but I had to book online. I went back to the hotel and I booked for 12:50 while the Chromebook's clocked showed 11:30 or something. Then I thought I should go a bit early. On the way to the phramacy I realized that it actually was 12:45 not 11:45 because I had not adjusted the Chromebook's clock to the local time! While I was cursing at myself, I sped and I'm hopping that I had not been detected by any camera(!) but right when I needed to turn left I saw a fire truck! Apparently there was an incident. I was very nervous because losing my appointment might have meant that I should have gone back to the hotel and rebook! Fortunately I reached there and I went to the drive-thru, the service that we don't have it here in any pharmacy. A young girl greeted me and after I told her that I had an appointment, she put a test kit in the drawer and pushed it toward me. The dawer is like what I have seen in The Silence of The Lambs when Agent Starling visits Hannibal the Cannibal for the second time! She walked me through the test and the diiference between that and the one I had done in Shopper's Drug Mart was the sample taking. In the latter it was from throat. CVS wanted it from the nostrils. I then put the test package in a box installed next to the window and left. 
Back to IAH, the other issue that I faced was this App that CBSA wants youto install on your phone, so you can submit your information to then to review, before your arrival and it's called ArriveCan. I knew about that for a long time and even received a message that it would be required and partially installed that, but didn't finish it. There was a very nice girl who told me that I would need it and helped me to install it. I was able to pass the security check at about 15:35. The flight had been scheduled for 16:30 but there was a bit of delay. So I want't late.
The flight back was not as good as the one I had from YYC. There was a very limited leg room but the stewardesses were very nice and helpful. I got as much water as I needed. That in fact was the only thing worth drinking or eating on the plane! I had purchased some Guava from H. E. B. and enjoyed a number of them and that was the flight. 
I was barely able to walk when the plane finally landed. My right ankle hurt a lot but I dragged myself to security check and eventually the casserole and waited for my backpack, which had cost me more than US $30 to checked it in! I had to do that because I had purchased some jam and Salsa from this nice little town called Frederickburg. After that it was walking to the parking and get the vehcile. My 6-day stay in Economy Parking cost $68 which was not bad considering the proximity and the charge of a cab, if I had gotten one. I reached home around 10:30 and was so tired that after a little supper and shower went to bed and had a good sleep until 09:30, this morning.
(Photo, top: I got gasoline on this gas station clsoe to my hotel on Sun. morning. The price of gas has become the center of attention in the US and I will have a post for that soon)

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