We were all set to leave Mexico after a week on the beach at Playa del Carmen and a month in the central hills at San Miguel de Allende. We had our Saturday pickup arranged to get us to the Queretaro Airport in plenty of time for our 11:10am flight to Dallas/Ft. Worth. We had a leisurely three-hour layover scheduled, and then the short flight to Knoxville, arriving around 5:30pm and walking the 100 yards or so to the Airport Hilton where we would spend the night before checking into an AirBnB on Sunday.

A long day to be sure, but relatively stress-free. We were especially looking forward to the flights, as thanks to points we had Business Class on the first leg, and First Class on the second.

We were blissfully unaware of the storm systems plaguing Texas at the time. So it was a rude shock when we got up at 6am to prepare for our 7am shuttle and found that American Airlines had sent us an email at 1:35am informing us our flight to DFW was delayed so long we would miss out connecting flight, so therefor they had re-booked us for the following day.

This set of a flurry of internet searches. There were no good options. Our best bet looked to be a 5:10am flight to DFW Sunday morning, and a 3:30pm flight to Knoxville. I also had to quickly cancel our stay at the Hilton (which they did at no charge), and find a hotel in Queretaro close to the airport, since we would need to be there around 3am to catch our first flight.

Somehow we got everything setup by 7am, and caught our now too-early shuttle to the airport. The ride service agreed to drop us at the hotel in Queretaro at no extra charge, and wonder of wonders, the One Queretaro Airport Hotel was able to check us in even though it was only a little past 9am! Not only that, they let us eat at the free breakfast buffet. We also were able to arrange for a taxi to the airport at the un-godly hour of 2:30am.

With nothing to do now and the whole day ahead of us, we decided we might as well see a little of Queretaro.

Queretaro is a pretty big and sprawling city, with a population of over 1 million, and we've never been there before. Seasoned travelers that we are however, we remained unfazed. We just opened our Uber app, typed in "Centro Historico", and had a ride in less than 2 minutes.

Not our Uber

Welcome to the Historic DistrictOne of many fountains in the city

Lots of shade

As we walked around town there were plenty of art displays, shops, and vendors of all types.

And of course, in any Spanish colonial city you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a beautiful church.

Here's few more pictures of fountains and statues along the way.

After a while, we found a nice, shady restaurant to sit and have a couple of beers. Later on we found an ice cream shop as well, so we had a balanced meal.

Beers at La Nacion

About mid-afternoon we decided it was time to return to the hotel and bask in the air-conditioning for a while, since it had been a month of nothing but fans and open windows. Also, if we were going to have get up at 2am or earlier, we had better find an early dinner and get to bed. Again, a simple matter of typing in the name of the hotel, and a wait of just a few minutes to get an Uber.

Dinner proved to be very easy as well. The hotel was right next to Gaucho57an Argentinian  Grill. Dinner was a fixed price, and all you can eat. They wheeled up a chalk board with a list of categories and options. We were to pick some type of empanada to start off, a soup, a pasta  dish, which meats we would like grilled (T-Bone, sirloin, sausages, chorizo, etc.), side dishes, and dessert.

We skipped the pasta and dessert courses, but still were pleasantly bloated when the waiter cam by and asked if we needed any more grilled meat.

Back at the hotel, American Airlines had one more surprise for us. Our 5:10am flight was delayed until 11:10am. Good news, we get to sleep four hours longer. Bad news, this once again meant we miss our connection, and they booked us on a flight from DFW to Knoxville that would not get in until after midnight. This itinerary meant a nine-hour layover in DFW.

Not ideal.

After a decent night's sleep, our taxi was waiting as promised, and we had time to get breakfast at a Starbucks in the terminal. Our plane did take off not much later than 11:20am, and we were in DFW by about 2:30pm local time.

First of all, a shout-out to Global Entry. This was our first time using it, and it was great. No line for passport control at all, and we didn't even have to take out our passports. We just walked up to a kiosk that scanned our faces and told us we were cleared to go get our bags.

Tremendous time savings - but of course we were looking at 9 hours of free time anyway.

The good news is we went immediately to a counter and signed up for Stand By seats on a flight a mere two hours away. There were seven names ahead of us, but since our reserved seats were still First Class, we got bumped to the top of the list.

Long story slightly less long, we did indeed get seats on that flight, although Rita was in row 8 and I was in row 16. No matter, we were in Knoxville by 6:30pm local time, and since we had no baggage to pick up (at that point all we knew was our bags were still in Texas), we were able to check into our AirBnB and get some groceries and dinner at a reasonable time.

During dinner, we got a notice that Rita's bag was in Knoxville. Since our airport is so small, it was no big deal to drive out, pull up to the curb, and run inside and grab the bag. Mine did not arrive until that after-midnight flight, so I picked mine up the next morning.

I know that all sounds like a lot, but if you spend any amount of time traveling, you soon learn you have to accept things that are out of your control, and just roll with the changes. Yes, we were inconvenienced, but we also had a wonderful time in Queretaro, and a some great food to boot.

Now we are in the States until August 6th, when we leave for our next travel adventure. Until then, since we are still homeless, we will be house sitting for month, then couch-surfing with family and friends until it is time to take to the skies again.

Hopefully with fewer surprises.

Follow the story of Jim and Rita, who sold their home to travel for the next few years here in this blog, and on the podcast "Travels With Jim and Rita", available on all major podcast platforms.