I had the good fortune to travel with two of my children to attend two Group Stage World Cup games in Manaus, Brazil. We were joined by friends there who were coming from other parts of the U.S. Overall, it was a great trip. Sadly, however, our trip was bookended by travel nightmares, the likes of which make a good story in hindsight, but had my body spewing adrenaline the entire time I was dealing with a five-hour delay that caused us to miss the one daily flight from Miami to Manaus, spending the night in a hotel on American Airlines’ dime without our luggage (from now on a t-shirt and fresh underwear are traveling in my carry-on), worrying whether we’d make it standby on the one flight the next day because of course everything was booked due to the World Cup (we did, but only because a massive thunderstorm delayed other passengers), and, on the way back, a cancelled reservation and another unplanned night in a hotel, this time in Manaus, with our luggage, again on AA’s dime.
We were lucky that the first game we got tickets for was the U.S. versus Portugal (when we applied for the tickets the game schedule wasn’t released yet), and so we actually got to cheer for Team USA. The video above was taken by my daughter who had no idea that she was about to capture the first U.S. goal, so her jumping up and our happy screaming are included. Here’s to more exhilaration and joy in traveling!