We made it back to the house just before 5 PM yesterday. It was a long day that began the night before. We arrived at the airport around 8:15 for our 11 PM flight Thursday, then in Miami had an almost five hour wait before boarding the Megabus for the journey from Miami to Tampa. In addition to the cheap bus tickets ($1 each), I tried Uber for the first time to get us from Tampa to Largo. I received a $30 credit to try Uber, so the total cost was just $2. It was either that or wait nearly four hours for the bus to take us home.
Customs was a fairly easy process. After having seen Locked Up Abroad, I was expecting more scrutiny with all the recent drama around terrorism and drugs. At the airport in Ecuador we did not have to take our shoes off or remove the laptop from our bag. Once we landed in Miami, I used an Express Kiosk to inform the government I was carrying nothing illegal or valuable, then answered a few questions about why I left the country and the type of work I do. No one inspected my bags.
Today we took advantage of free admission to the Dali Museum for county residents. All the area museums offer free admission one day each year. On the way home I redeemed my Shell Fuel Rewards. For every $100 I spent at Lowe's in the last few months, I earned a nickel off a gallon of gas. I paid $1.52/gallon and stocked up on 20 gallons of fuel. I also turned in 10 ink cartridges at Staples (good for a $20 voucher for free stuff) and took the recycling to the local dropoff point. We've avoided paying for garbage service by recycling most everything and disposing of trash as needed. Quite the frugal day!