Our trip began at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Of course we got there several hours early, just to make sure we got through security and baggage check OK. (I know from experience that you never need quite as long as recommended, but I can’t bring myself to cut it any closer.) We built a complete lunch of sorts by purchasing items from various restaurants at the airports, not knowing until later that both Rob and I would have our credit card numbers stolen separately, and then used to make multiple purchases in RDU and/or Miami (like shoes, KFC meals, and miscellaneous items from a news stand). We discovered the theft when Rob’s card was denied in Ecuador and he called the company. Mine wasn’t discovered until I returned home and checked the transactions. UGH.
To sum up the collective airport experience:
RDU – As always, clean and efficient with a lack of healthy and vegetarian food at decent prices.
Miami – A figurative armpit, with confusion, dirty seating areas and bathrooms, and frequent last-minute gate changes requiring harried travelers to hurry/run up and down escalators and to and from shuttles – all of this occurring with a singular lack of directional or informative signage. (We experienced these things both times we landed there, so I am going to say that chaos and frustration occurs 100% of the time at the Miami airport.) Food here was abysmal. We searched and searched and ended up eating a pretty sad Personal Pan Cheese Pizza from Pizza Hut – pre-made, weirdly congealed cheese on top when they heated it up for us.
Quito – This airport is only a couple of years old, not too large, and, even for a traveler with limited or no Spanish, manages to have clear, easy-to-follow directional and informational signs. Veggie food there was very limited, but we did manage to find a sandwich here that wasn’t too bad, except for the heavy-handed use of olives.