I haven't written in a little bit. We squeezed in one final trip before school started up again. And it was a big one! The south south south of Chile, down in Southern Patagonia, is known to be absolutely breathtaking (and I'm not just talking about the wind)! I really wanted to see it. So did Joe. We started planning it back in December because February is THE vacation month for Chileans. We wanted to make sure that we could rent a car and have places to stay! So, we started reserving, and had everything planned out with receipts and confirmations for all, tucked away nicely in my little manila folder.
The day of our 4 1/2 hour flight south arrived. Joe came home early and I had all of our bags ready to go by the door. Everyone was all smiles. "Maybe we should call the rental car company just to reconfirm that they know we will be driving into Argentina," I suggested. We were told that you need specific paperwork in order to travel into another country with a rental. My suggestion could be translated to: "Joe, can you call the rental car company and remind them?" I'm not good with Spanish on the phone. I struggle. I leave that to him. THANK GOODNESS he's amazing.
One hour before we left, Joe picked up the phone and called Alamo. All of the sudden my heart crashed to my toes. "So you are telling me that even though we have a confirmation print out in hand, there is no car waiting for us in Punta Arenas?! Doesn't that sound a little strange to you?!" Oh no!!! And then Joe closed the bedroom door to block out distractions-- aka. kids running around making plenty of melodious noise ;).
I was shocked. Our entire trip held on the one fact that we would have a car to take us in a big circle in southern Patagonia, with stops at various hotels along the way. No car meant cancellation fees at every hotel and ultimately no trip. There were no other cars available--Remember? It's February. So we frantically started looking at other rental companies and found one that was expensive but could give us a truck. Yes! We'll take it! And headed off to the airport, sweaty and exhausted.
When we touched down at our first stop, Joe got a text from the guy saying he was very sorry, but the truck was apparently missing a part and wasn't working. We were out of luck again. The kids and I got together and said a prayer right then and there while Joe got on the phone again. We exhausted our options and now we just needed a little faith. We arrived in Punta Arenas at 10:30 at night. Gathered our luggage and as we walked toward the exit, there was one lone guy standing under the Alamo sign. Joe ran over to him and the guy said, "Yes, we were expecting you-- and we've upgraded your car!" "WHAT???!!!!!!" Amazing what a little faith can do. And thus, our vacation began.