Friday, May 20, 2011
A Honeymoon Story: Part 1
Before I begin, I feel I need to elucidate a few points.
1) It’s hard to portray this in the written word, but all conversations documented from the time we stepped off the plane in Cancun until the end of the story take place in various stages of broken English and/or Spanish. And by broken, I mean mangled. Smashed. Beyond help.
2) This is really sad because I took about 5 years of Spanish classes - not only in high school, but in college as well.
3) There will come a point when you think I must be making things up to increase interest. I am not.
4) I know what you're thinking. How can I remember details so accurately when this happened FOUR years ago - including but not limited to actual conversations down to the exact phrasing? I ask YOU: How could I NOT??? But also, it's been written before - once, right after it happened. Alas, in reading it over I feel that time and experience may allow me to illustrate the facts EVEN BETTER.
5) Despite what this story seems to imply, both mr and I have spent some time in foreign countries... well, me - not so foreign because it was England and Amsterdam. But mr spent two years in Germany where they actually speak a different language. So the events described aren't really due to stupidity, incompetence or naivety. Well, maybe they are, but nothing like this had ever happened to either of us BEFORE we got married... Hmmmm.
6) The fact that mr and I stayed married after this trip is a testament to how deeply we love each other. OR, it’s just a good thing we were still in that "lovey-dovey, everything is roses and honey, NEWLY MARRIED, we-have-to-be-nice-to-each-other" phase.
Without further ado:
A Honeymoon Story
The First Episode of a Longstanding Tradition in Unlucky Travels and How I Came to Appreciate American Soil
The Mexico Debacle
We should have known what we were in for from the very beginning. The night before we were to leave for our super-wonderful, perfect honeymoon in the sun and surf of gorgeous Mexican beaches, we still had not located mr’s passport. We had been searching off and on all week long, only to be met with disappointment. We resigned ourselves to the horrible fate of staying home - losing out on the relaxation, the warmth, and the pre-paid cabana on the beach. Late into the night, things took a turn for the better when mr located his passport inside an envelope of old pictures which was stuck in the bottom of a cardboard box which was stuck at the bottom of the closet in our spare room. We were thrilled. Elated. Nothing would stop us from having the most perfect time on our honeymoon now! (Although I did find it curious that he found his passport in the very box of photos I had scoured only an hour before...)
We did not sleep in. We did not begin in “Home Alone” fashion, with the alarm clocks dying and everyone sleeping late and making a mad rush right off the bat. We gave ourselves plenty of time to drive the 45 minutes to the airport, find a parking spot, take a shuttle from the super cheap extended stay parking in Guam, check our bags and find our gate. We woke up. We got ready. We smiled and laughed. We left on time.
Halfway to the airport, we realized that we had both forgotten our passports at home.
We had NOT given ourselves THAT much time.
Having no other options, mr turned the car around and high tailed it back to our apartment. We only had an hour and a half to get back, get our passports and return to the airport - which, of course, would not give us that time cushion we had originally planned on with which to park, shuttle, check bags, get through security, locate gates or even breathe.
On the way to the apartment, I called our airline to see if we had any options. Of course, we didn’t, not really. It was either spend a lot of money to change our tickets and not be guaranteed a connection in Houston or try really hard to make it on time. So we decided to try really hard to make it on time - and before hanging up the airline representative informed me that another option was to present our birth certificates instead of our passports. I remember thinking to myself how incredibly helpful that information would be if ANYONE ever kept a copy of their birth certificate on hand at all times.
(Of course, after we grabbed our passports and were back on the highway driving way too fast, I mentioned this to mr. My scoffs were promptly quieted when he calmly pointed out that our birth certificates were INDEED on hand - in the glove compartment where we left them after using them to get our marriage license a few weeks before. Not entirely pertinent to the focal story-line, but this DOES give you an idea of the irony and mayhem we encountered from the outset. Ahem:)
Our plane was not scheduled to take off until 8:10, and we arrived at the check-in desk, panting and flustered at 8 sharp. Although we thought that was plenty of time to make it, the attendants disagreed and would not let us throw our bags on to the conveyor belt and run madly through security, waving our arms and yelling at everyone to get out of the way because we were going on our honeymoon NO MATTER WHAT. Those scenes in the movies? They couldn’t really happen in real life.
The attendants DID do their best to help us out, though. They were pretty much some of the nicest people we met on the whole trip. They checked all kinds of flights into all kinds of cities, trying desperately to get us to Houston in time to make a connection. In the end, though, it just wasn’t meant to be. The best they could do was get us to Houston, put us on stand-by for a full flight to cancun that night and reserve seats on a flight to Cancun for the next morning.
Needless to say, we spent the first night of our honeymoon NOT basking in the glowing Mexican moonlight on a romantic, secluded beach, but in a stinky hotel room in Houston.
And so, in summation of this first day on our honeymoon, by this point we had:
1) realized that I’d lost mr’s cell phone on one of our shuttle trips to or from the airport.
2) run back and forth between two gates about a mile apart THREE times because the airport in Houston couldn’t decide which was going to Cancun.
3) been promised two seats on a booked solid flight only to lose them to some family with small children. THEY weren't going on THEIR honeymoon.
4) charged international phone calls to an expensive hotel phone (see point 1) trying to let our little hacienda know we were going to be late and
5) cried. No, no, that was just me. mr didn’t cry. Not yet, anyway.
Stay tuned... in part 2 we actually DO make it to Mexico...
*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!