Sunday our driver Angel arrives at 9:30 am to take us to Guayaquil. The route takes us though the Cajas Mountains, and the weather is sunny and clear on the east side of the mountains. The view from Tres Cruces at 4,167 meters (13,671 feet) is beautiful. Just 30-45 minutes later when Angel is going to stop at a mirador with views westward toward the coast we a fogged out - no views today!
Monday's wake-up call comes very early. By 5:30am we are checked out of the hotel and in a complimentary taxi arranged by the hotel. By 6:15am we have check our bags, gone through passport control and security and we are sitting at the restaurant across from our gate having coffee and waiting for our 8:00am flight. Probably could have slept another 30 minutes, but better to be safe than sorry.
Our flight to Miami is fully booked, leaves on time and is uneventful. Going through passport control in Miami is a breeze because we signed up for Global Entry a few years ago. This allows us to use kiosks and bypass all the lines. Of course we still have to wait for our bags and re-check them before heading to our gate for the final flight home. Again, no issues.
The flight to Chicago is also fully booked, but we leave on time. As the flight moves north the landscape changes from green to brown to white. Our flight path takes us over Lake Michigan which has ice floating on top, then we fly just north of downtown Chicago with it's towering buildings welcoming us.
The temperature outside at our touchdown is 7F (-14C), quite a difference from Guayaquil's 78F (26C) at our takeoff. It's been a wonderful 9 weeks in Ecuador - maybe we should another 2-4 weeks!