The POTUS and the Frita - or Why It Took Me 18 Hours to Get Home

As I type this, I'm flying at 38,000 feet.

I should technically be waking up in my own bed right now (sleeping-in would be more accurate, but that's not important right now). Instead I am groggy from a difficult night and anxious for the next 2 hours to fly by. (No pun intended.)

Yesterday I woke up in my penthouse room at the Ritz-Carlton with a panoramic view of Miami Beach.

View from the Ritz

After a quick, but extremely satisfying breakfast of pastelito and a cafecito,

Cafe y pastelito

I headed out to the beach, to a waiting chaise, where I was able to stretch out and soak in the sun. Of course, I went in the water and just floated and pondered how lovely and charmed my life was.

On the beach in miami

My blog-partner and friend, Carrie brought me lunch, we had a fabulous brainstorming session and then she graciously agreed to give me a ride to the airport.

Remember that I had been in a conference for the entire weekend. I had no idea what was happening out in the real world, let alone in Miami.  (No, I don't think the world revolves around me, I was just busy with conference stuff. Don't judge me.)

So I arrived a little early at MIA (that's Miami International Airport for those of you who are not wannabe-jet-setters like me), I managed to get through security with relative ease, and I stocked up on provisions for my flight. ;-)

La carreta

I was completely content with my iPad and internet access and I was happy to be alone and soaking up the airport ambiance. (I'm convinced that MIA is the best airport for people watching.)

That's when the craziness began.

Announcement after announcement of delayed flights and changed gates. I started wondering who was in charge. "Que desorganizados!" How could you run an airport like this? More announcements. More gate changes. More delays.

Then came the most dreaded announcement. My flight was going to be delayed. Not only that, but it looked like because of this, I was going to miss my connecting flight in Dallas, which meant that I was going to miss my flight home!


Deep breaths. The situation was out of my control. Best to relax and not stress about it. No need to create more drama. It was best to just Embrace the Pain. (<--okay, so maybe I got a little dramatic.)

Even after we boarded our already delayed flight, with the assurance that "You might make your connections," we were still on the tarmac two hours later. *sigh*

They started the movie before we even took off. And while it was entertaining and I was grateful, it was not a good sign.

So finally we flew. And we arrived in Dallas late. And there was a guy waiting to give the 83 of us who had missed our connections, vouchers for the flights we missed and the promise of a shuttle bus to take us to a hotel for the night. Embrace the pain.


And so it was that when I thought I would be just getting home to my own comfortable bed and my own sweet family (that I was missing terribly) I was checking into my room at The Psycho Motel in Dallas. (No, not the real name of the place, of course. Just my vivid and exhausted imagination making an Alfred Hitchcock reference, but that's not important right now.)

It was really more of a lair than a room. 

And I began to wonder (not for the last time): what had happened to my idyllic semi-vacation?

This is the view from my Psycho Room:

View from psycho

Seriously, what happened?

Well, the POTUS was in Miami. And he stopped at El Mago de las Fritas to indulge in some Cuban food. (Here's the article.)

Miamiobama and the frita
Photo credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

This decision to stop for a frita by the POTUS began the chain of events that led to flight cancellations, gate changes and numerous passenger delays and had a very specific and personal impact on me and my life.

And while I have to commend him for his good taste - a genuine Cuban frita is to die for - I could not excuse the fact that his personal "antojo" (translation: "craving") so adversely impacted so many people.

The Frita Stop has now become a metaphor for a bigger problem. It's a good thing he didn't taste my fritas (My Cuban Frita Recipe can be found here).

Frita cubana

Because then, the country might be in all kinds of chaos. Oh wait....  ;-)

"With great power comes great responsibility." ~Spiderman