We left Ensenada at 11:30 this morning and arrived at Gregorio and Sarah’s at 5:20 this afternoon. That was with stopping for gas, two bathroom breaks, and heavy afternoon traffic through Orange County on the way to South Pasadena. I stayed just long enough to gather up my bags and then headed on to Beverly Hills. I arrived home at 6:20.
The key to getting across the border so fast was the fact that all of us – including Lyla – have Global Entry cards. When traveling between the US and Mexico, if everyone in the car has a Global Entry card, then the difference in the wait to cross the border can go from 2 – 4 hours to 20 or 40 minutes, depending on the time of day.
Getting a Global Entry card requires several steps, which are worth the trouble because the card also qualifies you to fly TSA Precheck on all airlines and is helpful for international travel as well. First, you apply for the card online by creating a Trusted Traveler Program account. (which is fairly straightforward). You also must pay a $100 non-refundable fee at this time. (Some credit cards cover this fee so you definitely want to find out if yours does.) Then you wait and wait and wait to hear back from them. In our case, we applied in September and heard from them in February when they gave us a very short window to schedule an interview with the US Customs and Border Protection Agency. Once you go for the interview, which was also pretty straightforward, then they approve you and send your card. At that point, you’re all set until it’s time to renew, which is five years.
So, thanks to that trusty Global Entry card, our trip across the border from Mexico to the US took us about 30 minutes.
I am happy to be home. I had a lovely time, but am already all settled into my own bed. That is a treat in itself.
Thanks for all your well-wishes regarding my trip. They were most appreciated.
Heading to sleep now.
We’ll talk again tomorrow.