The cat and I left Rochester at 5:00am to go to the airport in Minneapolis/St. Paul for our flight to Dallas. My friend Vivian drove us, along with Dennis, so that I would have help with the 4 pieces of checked bags (a 70lb electrical inverter in one bag) and my backpack and Max in the kitty carrier as my 2 carry on bags. Security and check-in were very smooth and easy, mostly because I splurged and went first class.
It actually turned out to be cheaper to fly first class when taking as many bags as I had, since on American Airlines, with first class you can have 3 bags of up to 70lbs each for no charge. With coach class you can have only 2 bags with a 50lb weight limit before you are charged $150 for each extra bag. I did have to pay extra for the 4th bag, but $150 is still cheaper than shipping the contents. Going first class reduced my stress levels considerably because I knew there would be plenty of room for Max with me at my seat.
Max is 13yrs old and has never traveled farther than the 4 miles to the vet office, so I was quite worried about her. She had to stay in her little carrier from 5:00am until 5:00pm. We flew from Minneapolis to Dallas, had a short wait in Dallas, then Dallas to Belize City. Once at the Belize airport, we had to clear immigration and customs, and have a special inspection for Max by the Belize Agriculture Department. Things were smooth, but took some time for paperwork and to pay import duty on the items I brought with me, and also the entry fee for Max. Everything is done by hand here, no computerized documentation. Not sure computers would have made things faster, anyway!
Once that was done, Max and I headed outside to meet our friends Sue and Chris, who graciously agreed to pick us up at the airport. From there we went to D’Nest B&B where I was able to let Max out of the carrier for the first time in more than 12hrs. She had not so much meowed the entire trip; I was a little worried that she was catatonic (pun intended) from the stress of it all. I fixed a little litter box for her and some food and water and then deserted her for a couple of hours while Chris, Sue, and I went in search of our food and liquid refreshment. When I returned, Max had settled in and availed herself of the dining and toilet facilities.
Next morning was shopping at the closest thing to a supermarket in all of Belize. I focused on items that I knew would be hard to find in the remote area where our place is located. Things like sharp cheddar cheese and 2-ply toilet paper. Then Chris and I went to TenchTronics so I could inquire about satellite internet hardware and service packages. A quick stop at a wine store for a few bottles of celebratory bubbly to have when Dennis arrives on Christmas Eve, and we were ready to check-out from D’Nest and head south. Surprisingly, Max went fairly willingly back into her carrier and we were off. We stopped at Chris and Sue’s new little farm called White Rock near the village of Armenia to pick up a few things and then made our way to the Toledo District in which our property is located. A couple of hours later we were at the Monkey River dock, where we were met by Richard in our boat. One day after her first airplane trip, Max had a short boat trip to endure. She hunkered down in the carrier and did fine. I let her out of the carrier once we were inside the cabana and she began to explore her new home. She is curled up beside me as I write this post a little more than 2 weeks later and seems to be adjusting well.
|Max on the screened-in veranda|