Friday, June 17, 2011

A Honeymoon Story: The Exciting and Fortunate Conclusion

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A Honeymoon Story 
 The First Episode of a Longstanding Tradition in Unlucky Travels and How I Came to Appreciate American Soil 
The Mexico Debacle: The Exciting and Fortunate Conclusion

We stood on the curb the next morning waiting with bated breath and twisted stomachs.  Twisted; firstly because we were stressed and nervous.  But also because we couldn’t afford to eat until we knew how much the key and fob would cost.
And then we did more waiting.  Although Jaime had promised he would collect us at 11:30 sharp, Nacho didn’t show up until 1:00.  When we got to Xel-Ha, Nacho met with the locksmith and then handed us his keys.  He told us we’d better hurry and meet his brother at the shop because it was already past 1:40.
I was sure this couldn’t be possible, until I looked at a clock and compared it to my watch and realized that it had actually been 40 minutes slow the entire time we’d been in Mexico.
We jumped in Nacho’s car and drove, praying the whole time.  Please let us be able to afford the key, please let us get out of here alive, please let us make our flight on time... all we wanted at that point was to get home.  It didn’t seem like too much to ask.  
I was sick with worry, almost to the point of tears.  mr was fighting the worst traffic.  We were both silent in our fears, when the fuel light came on.
It would really be something if I told you that we ran out of gas there on the highway.  That we had to walk 15 miles to the nearest gas station.  That we then had to hike 15 miles back and put gas in the car, and on the way WE MET A GIGANTIC PURPLE DRAGON SPOUTING FIRE WHO FED ONLY ON AMERICAN HONEYMOONERS WITH NO MONEY AND EVEN LESS HOPE.... but no, none of that happened.  That's exactly how I was feeling in the moment the light blinked at us, but it didn't happen.
We searched out a gas station and made it to the shop at 2:55, 5 minutes before we needed to be at the airport to make it through security.  
Jaime explained then that although the key itself cost only $300, the fob cost $150, bringing the total to $450.  My heart sank.  Do prayers really work?  I began to question in my head.  What would we do?  How could we possibly outrun the mob when the airport was still at least 5 miles away and we had no car?
I explained to Jaime that we had only $300.  Finite, en total-ay, that’s it.  He must have thought I was trying to swindle him or bargain him down, because he kept saying that it wasn’t enough.  Finally I took out the money and handed it to him, showing him my now empty wallet.  “We don’t have anymore money now.  But we could wire you more money when we get home.  Can we do that?”  I begged.  Please, please, please...
“Like Western Union?” He asked.  “Yes, exactly!”  I was relieved that he at least understood me.  “Sure!” He smiled, “No problem!”
Really?  That worked?  Maybe he wasn’t part of the mafia after all...
Things happened in a blur at that point.  mr pointed out we had a plane to catch and Jaime dropped everything and took us to the airport.  On the way he asked if we’d had fun and told us to come again soon and he’d get us the “friend’s discount” because he knew a guy... And that still seemed a bit shady to me.  But he was awfully nice after everything we put him through.  Of course, if he actually thought we’d be back again anytime soon after all of that, he was sorely mistaken.
When we got to the airport we realized that we had more time than we thought.  We even had enough time (and pocket change) to buy ourselves some food; which was awesome because we hadn’t eaten since lunch the day before.
All through the flight back into the US, I kept having nightmarish day dreams where some Mexican thug suddenly stood up at the front of the plane demanding we pay repercussions for our carelessness.  Then I had nightmarish day dreams of landing, only to be stopped by customs for trying to smuggle something into the country that had been slipped into our bags unbeknownst to us while we were occupied paying for the key.  THEN I had nightmarish day dreams about being pulled back into Mexico and sent to prison and rotting there with rats running over our pale, American bodies...
But none of that happened.  The flight landed.  We got off.  We made it to our connection.  We landed again.  We found our bags.  We got to our car.  We drove 45 minutes to our apartment.  
I had never been so glad to be home in my life.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad since then, either.
And you know what?  We found mr's cell phone in our car.  I hadn't actually lost it after all.
You know what?  It's a good thing I married the best man possible.  Because the only way we could have survived that was together.  And we both learned some valuable lessons.  Don’t rent a car in Mexico (if for no other reason than that they drive like lunatics there and you are taking your life into your hands... they don’t even pay attention to designated lanes; the lines are just decoration, and the speed limits are just suggestions...).  Don’t loose your keys at the bottom of the ocean.  Pay better attention in Spanish class.  Try to stay somewhere with a phone - just for emergencies, you know.  Ok, this one's real: Keep better track of your finances, especially if you’re planning an out of country trip. But the three most important things I learned on my honeymoon were:
1. Prayers really are answered.  No, God did not suddenly make the key less expensive.  But he did touch the heart of Jaime with understanding and compassion which allowed us to make it home in one piece.  And just for the record, we really did wire Jaime the money; I spoke to him on the phone and he was very excited to hear from us.
2. mr and I can make it through anything.  Our honeymoon was hard.  Was it the worst trial we will ever go through?  I’d like to say yes, but I know that’s probably not true.  If we stay patient with each other - as we did on this trip - and if we trust in the Lord, we really can survive through hardships, together.
3. It’s important to overlook mistakes - even if they are big ones.  I have to remind myself of this over and over again.  I make mistakes... he makes mistakes.  Are any of those mistakes even comparable to losing rental car keys in the sea?  I don’t know, that was a pretty big one.  But I didn’t place blame at the time because I knew it was an accident.  Like I said, we were in the newly-married, lovey-dovey phase.  I think we should try for that “newly-married, more forgiving and accommodating” feeling more often.

I didn't know what a crazy journey marriage would be when he asked me:

(and no, we didn't realize my sister was taking pictures...)

But I sure am glad I said yes.  Crazy, scary, chaotic, stressful adventure though it may be... it is also the most joyous.

*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!


Jo said...

What a great story! Certainly a bonding experience for newly-weds, and way more interesting than "We went to a fancy resort in Cancun" right? Obviously you two are great together. Continue to enjoy the journey. (Were you married in the Nauvoo temple?

Amie {Kitty Cats and Airplanes} said...

Phew!! I'm glad it had a good ending.

Unknown said...

Hooray! You made it! What a lovely story :)

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