We were released from the ER after my diagnosis of pneumonia on the day after I was forever to become Mrs. David Harks*, and by the time we trundled off to the pharmacy and carried our wedding gifts up the 47 flights of stairs to our condo, it was well past dinner time. The limo was coming at the ass crack of 3:30 AM to take us to the airport so that we could properly celebrate our nuptials by drinking gallons of rum and laying around in our undies.
Which, come to think of it, was pretty much every Friday night for us.
Neither of us had slept well in days thanks to hangovers (The Daver), coughing so violently that I may have thrown up (me), and dealing with a sick child (both of us), so we threw some stuff into our bag…
(Pointless Rambling! Which was still reeking of cat pee, but it was Sunday night and neither of us was smart enough to go to Target and replace the damn suitcase, but this is neither here nor there)
…and went to bed. 3:30 is just a ridiculously ridiculous time to be awake.
Sure enough the alarm went off what felt like just after we’d fallen peacefully asleep and we blearily got our stuff together and hauled our jangly bodies down the stairs to wait for our limo. One limo ride later, we were at O’Hare, tickets and passports in hand and mustered up some glee as we headed towards the Delta counter. We were flying internationally to St. Lucia on a 6AM flight, and made sure to follow The Rules like good sheepies and get to the airport at 4AM.
Information that might have been useful beforehand:
Knowing that Airport Staffers? DO NOT WORK AT 4 AM. They’re sensibly ensconced in their happy Airport Staffers Bed, visions of murdering ignorant passengers dancing in their heads.
(notice I am not mocking them for this)
We did notice a gaggle of TSA staff sitting behind the desks, all drinking coffee and gossiping, I’m certain, about the terrorists they apprehended mere minutes before plunking their asses down together. I suppose that’s the time of day with which The Reign of Terror could feasibly sneak through security undetected.
Thankfully for The Friendly Skies that day, The Daver and I are not terrorists.
And after awhile, other people began to trickle in line behind us, all of us grumbling at what a stupid fucking idea it is to tell people to get to the airport hours before a flight only to stand in line, waiting for the staff to wake up. Apparently, none of them got that memo either, which made me feel a little less like the moron I am.
I admit, I felt pretty self-important being the first in line, like that was some kind of honor or something, which makes no sense considering it only illustrated what a dumb-ass I am. But we checked our bag eventually, as I glared, red-eyed and sick at the clerk who was still rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. It was unfair of me, I know, but I never claimed to be fair, smart or awesome.
Okay, I DID claim to be awesome once or twice. But that was a lie.
Not clever enough to pack a spoon, I began to chug the bottle of codeine-in-aded cough syrup as soon as our delicate butts grazed the seats of the airplane for the first leg of our bipedal flight (please tell me you get that.).
(bipedal = two legs = we had two flights? That was AWESOME! *high fives the air*)
I rested my head on The Daver’s bony shoulder and began to nod off, the codeine kicking blissfully in. I floated somewhere between awake and asleep for quite awhile until I realized that….we weren’t moving. The passengers had boarded, the gates locked, and we.were.sitting. The climate in the cabin abruptly changed as people began to chatter and twitter and grumble.
After about 45 minutes, the captain came on the speaker to tell us that the plane had engine problem.
That meant our connecting flight?
Not gonna happen.
There was one flight that would get us to a DIFFERENT connecting flight, the flight attendant told us, but it had maybe 4 open seats.
Hell hath no fury like a woman in the mood to fucking drink rum in her fucking underwear, so I pushed and pulled and fought my way through the rest of the passengers, grabbed Daver’s hand and we HAULED ASS through the terminal and back to, you guessed it, The Everloving DELTA counter again.
I was prepared to bribe, borrow, guilt, and even turn on the waterworks to get us on that flight. I’d suffered for many miserable months planning a wedding that I didn’t want, comforting myself the entire time that I would at least get a fucking vacation out of it, and I was going to fucking get that vacation, dammit.
By the grace of God, we got tickets onto that flight. *PHEW* Back through security we went, this time subjected to the rigorous pat down/partial strip search. Poor The Daver had been used to flying under the radar until he began traveling with his new wife: A TSA Magnet since 1980.
Deemed safe for travel, we pulled up our pants, tried to put our dignity back on our shoulders and continued down the terminal. Several hours until our next flight took off, we decided to start getting up with the get down and we found a bar. At 9 AM on a Monday in the airport.
We went to the bar.
And we got WASTED with a capitol WASTED. Screwdrivers, something I normally cannot stand, upon screwdrivers were tossed back as we laughed, HAHAHA, so funny! We’d been at the airport for 6 hours now and gotten nowhere! HAHAHA. At least, I laughed, the fucking wedding was over!
Finally it was time to get on the plane and we sloppily made our way to the gate, slurring our speech and staggering into each other. There comes a point during any clusterfuck that you have to look at the person next to you and quote The Dead, “Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile.”
And it’s true. What else could we do?
Anyway, our happy wasted asses boarded the plane, trying to pretend that we were dead sober and no, ma’am, not the SLIGHTEST bit tipsy! Sober as a Judge! Sober as THE POPE! Sober as KEITH RICHARDS, more like it.
Plane #2 didn’t serve food, and landed in Puerto Rico many hours later, where we only had a short layover until Plane #3 took us to The Island. Heaven. Paradise. I could just picture myself swimming in the ocean! I could feel the hot sand beneath my feet and hear the lapping of the waves. The rum was calling me, I could hear it, and I was more than willing to answer it with a warbled “I loove you.”
By the time we sat down on Plane #3, a veritable tin can of a plane–incidentally, the ones I always see on the news in conjunction with the phrase “crashed into the ocean”–we were both sober and beginning to feel the effects of the vodka. Nothing worse than STILL BEING AWAKE when your hangover kicks in, eh?
The plane ride was as uneventful as being hurled through space in a Pepsi Can is able to be. The day that had now yawned into 18 hours. We finally landed in our destination at roughly 8 or 9 PM, the humidity curling my hair slightly and making us both sweat under our it’s-September-in-Chicago outfits of jeans, sneakers and hoodies. But we were there and we would soon be able to change into proper clothes, and we high-fived each other. We’d MADE it.
Sure, our 5 day vacation was now only 4 days, but, well, 50 million wild condors don’t give a shit, right?
The island has two airports and we’d flown into the smaller of the two, barely a shack, no food, no food courts, no nothing. ESPECIALLY no luggage belonging to the happy couple. Turns out that our luggage (to no one’s surprise) was lost in a nebulous sea of nothingness. It hadn’t followed us onto our second plane. Where it was, nobody could say. Gone baby, gone.
Also absent? Transportation that the hotel was supposed to provide. Stranded on the Island, no luggage, blood sugar plummeting rapidly, I promptly lost it.
Just like at the old Delta counter, there was no one currently working to lose my crap on, so I just sort of raged indignantly at a palm tree. Unsurprising to no one, it didn’t give a shit either.
Finally, after about a half an hour or so, the resort van picked us up and we wound through the hilly island in the back of what I lovingly call “Child-Napping Vans” due to their lack of windows and huge back cabin. At this point, I’m not sure how much I would have cared about being kidnapped anyway, but it turned out that fortune smiled upon us: the driver merely wanted to escort us back to the hotel.
Winding through the island, bumping this way and that, while it would never normally bother me, netted my new husband the lucky honor of watching his brand-new bride dry heave into her backpack. Considering he’d already escorted me to get a colonoscopy the year before, this was probably marginally better.
Although not by much.
The hotel concierge was unbelievably kind and offered us some sorts of promotional alcohol shirts to wear–we could buy some new duds at the gift shop in the morning–as we checked in while I was openly weeping. Because, you know, crying totally helps, right?
The following morning, after we laid about in hotel bathrobes in our mini-hut, we purchased some ill-fitting clothing from the gift shop. Not only was the selection awful, but nothing fit well.
It didn’t matter. It’s all what you make of it. And we? Had a blast. Pneumonia, luggage lost for 2 days, airplane trouble. Didn’t matter. At least the fucking wedding was over, right?
*kind of want to punch myself for calling myself this.
Photographic evidence of my ill-fitting (likely) zillion dollar sundress:
All right, Internet, pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee, make fun of the longest blog post ever (there was NO good place to break it up that would make sense whatsoever) and tell me about YOUR vacation nightmares. Or other superficial disasters.