December 19, 2012

the curse.

I'm really beginning to fear that my husband and I are cursed. At first it started as a joke here and there. We had an amazing dating life, we moved in together after only dating for 6 months tops, and it was smooth sailing. Almost 8 years later we got engaged it was awesome and then we got married, also awesome.

While we sat in the airport waiting to get on our flight to Cozumel, Mexico for our honeymoon getaway, the news reported about a possible hurricane developing off the coast of Mexico. I tried to just brush it off, hurricane, this is the first I've heard of it. I'm not too worried, after all this is our honeymoon. The wedding was perfect, why would this be any different.


Upon arriving to our destination it was paradise. We had been upgraded to the nicer, more plush resort in the back of the compound and given a great suite for our week's say. Bonus, our room number was 1022 - our wedding date - FATE!  We settled in, and made our way down to the beach bar for some drinks.

A few margaritas, beers, and chips later we headed up to our room so Mike could take a shower. As he puts it, to wash many time zones worth of funk off of him. I settled in on the bed and flipped through channels, taking in how amazingly cool our room was, and the view of the ocean.  Moments later the phone rang, it was my mother-in-law, frantic. She was apologizing for calling us on our honeymoon and then scolding us for both turning off our cell phones (worried about international charges). She asked to speak with Mike.

Mike was a bit shocked when I brought him the cordless phone and said "It's your mom."

She told us about the hurricane we had already known was on it's way but totally dismissed as something that wouldn't happen. Long story short, for the next three days of our stay we spent our moments freaked out, worried about where to go, what to do, trying to get flights home, trying to reschedule flights to different locations so as to maybe finish out our honeymoon. We discussed looking into flights to New Orleans, or even flights to Nashville - ANYWHERE that might be more fun than returning home. It seemed returning home was our ONLY option and that we'd have to postpone our honeymoon.

A bit broken hearted but knowing that being safe was better than being sorry - we gave Mike's mom the reins to get us home safely. After hours upon hours (make that a full day) of calling around to change arrangements his mom came to a dead end. It was too late to get us out of Mexico. Airlines had stopped flights, and even if we could get a private jet into Mexico they wouldn't let it leave.

As we asked around the resort it seems we got a different answer from every worker, and or guest at the hotel. Some would tell you it was OK to stay, some would say you have to leave, others would say they had no idea to come back later when someone who was higher up could answer such questions.

None of the locals at the hotel seems concerned. That made me feel better, then I realized they were trained to act this way, then I got freaked out. Friends of mine from back home were freaking out. My father remained calm. He knew I knew how to handle myself, and I knew he trusted me to do the right thing. Mike said he was very worried, I think he realized this was his biggest test as a new husband. To keep us both safe and to ensure nothing happened to us.

Finally we made the choice to leave the hotel. Again all our signals were mixed. Stay or go? What happens if you stay and you're evacuated - with out reservations in town you go to the Convention Center with the rest of the locals and most likely where few if anyone speaks English. Needless to say my Spanish is very poor. I know enough on how to order a good drink, ask where a few things are (including the library) and probably be able to tell you how to properly pronounce a menu item so you don't look like a fool requesting "CAY-SA-D-I-LLAS" on the menu.

Instead of waiting to see what might happen, we instead decided to make hotel reservations in town at a local small motel that was $35.00 / night. We followed the lead of an older couple that sort of adopted us that weekend. They were from Arkansas and loads of fun to be around. The wife treated us like her kids and I really felt better having them with us in this new place.

We were instructed to not check out of our hotel, since that would make coming back easier once we returned after the storm, if there was a hotel to return to.  We hopped into a cab with our couple friends and headed into town. Half way there, the cab overheated. Thankfully we weren't left stranded, another cab was right behind us. I will be honest, it's a bit freaky when you're already on edge, to hop from one cab to another. After watching movies like Taken - you are always slightly fearful for your life and welfare in different countries. I'm a very, very cynical person so it was on full blast at this point.

We got safely to the hotel and checked in. The staff was friendly, spoke very broken English but I felt at ease once we were there. We got into our room, it was clean, not fancy, but clean. And I mean, you would feel OK walking in the bathroom barefoot clean. Again no luxury but we were better off than being at the convention center.

Mike and I locked up our valuables and headed out into the streets with our friends to find food. After eating high on the hog for 2 days in our resort, this was a bit of a challenge. We settled for the obvious, a nice authentic Mexican restaurant. We all got beers, and fajitas and some ceviche (my new obsession). We chatted, laughed, talked about what we would do, how we would handle ourselves and I was thankful that even if we didn't get the best honeymoon, we did get a great couple to spend our time in town with. I felt better, and safer with numbers surrounding us.

After our meal we headed to the local market. It was a lot like hitting up Walmart. We got everything we could for our nights ahead. Water, beer, food for sandwiches, ice, cooler, etc. Candles, lighters and batteries for flashlights.

We settled in for a long 48 hours. There was wind, rain, fear, nasty beer, peanuts that tasted like limes that were NOT tasty, gross sandwich meat, wishes of all you could buffets, and sleep. We slept fully clothed. I hate to do this but felt it was necessary incase we got evacuated due to the storm. I kept my passport and other important things in my cargo short pockets. We spent two nights in town. Most of the store fronts were closed the following day. We feared for the worst but after a long 2 nights we woke to sunshine. The water receded, and the birds were chirping.

When we finally got the news we could return to the resort we were beyond happy. Most of our honeymoon was over, but we were alive, safe and sound.

Once back in the resort we were instructed that our rooms were not ready yet, but that we could put our belongings back in our room and enjoy breakfast at the back resort. We headed over to the other resort for a breakfast buffet, mimosas and warm sun on our backs. The 4 of us were so happy to be back. I could hear other resort patrons chatting and complaining about the 2 nights they stayed at the hotel. Our hotel didn't get evacuated, instead they moved all patrons to the back part of the resort away from the ocean. Most were annoyed that they had to eat a Chinese Buffet two nights in a row and that they stopped serving alcohol at 9 PM the first night.  I had to bite my tongue from slaying them a new one... You had Chinese food? I ate nasty salami, and ham sandwiches - I had a "hamburger" in town where they literally had a burger with HAM on it... not good, trust me. And everywhere country wide stopped alcohol sales the night before the storm at 9 PM - great practice if you ask me.

Our bellies were full, and we were told we could return to our room that they had put the TVs back on the wall, refilled our bar, and put everything back in working order.  Side note: If you are ever in this position and you have a free wet bar - stock up on the beer and the coke and water in your suitcase before the storm and take it to your new hotel, it's a lifesaver!!!

Through all this mess, we finally relaxed. We sat on the beach, filled our stomachs with good food and recounted all the fun times (because there were fun times in-between panic), and what freaked us out on our trip. Our last night in the hotel we spent the evening on the hotel roof deck and watched the sunset with our friends we traveled with. We ate a nice dinner and tried to enjoy our last hours in paradise.

If I had it all to do again - I might have said we can't get on the plane at all and beg his mom to help us figure out changing the plans or rescheduling the trip. If anything we have an exciting story about our honeymoon. I would have rather had a lazy week by the pool and ocean, and or a chance to go back and do it over without a hurricane. But in the end, I'm happy we have these silly stories to tell our kids.

I'm sure you're wondering why I say we are cursed. Well ever since our honeymoon when we travel, we end up dealing with some type of natural disaster or unlucky plague.

For our July 4th vacation we headed to Maryland right after Virginia and Maryland had straight-line wind storms causing massive power outages. By the time we arrived to my father's home the power was out for about 12 hours, add to that another 12+ hours of sweating and no electricity. No fun. Add to that the totally heat wave that swept that part of the country and our trip North was far from the oasis we had hoped it would be.

While in Orange Beach, AL for the weekend Mike suffered his second strong bout of heat exhaustion putting a cramp in our weekend on the last night.

Don't get me wrong we are perfectly healthy and perfectly fine. And there are people all over with issues far worse than this, obviously. It just seems like the two of us can't take a trip together without some type of hitch messing something up.

And here we are now, for our final trip of 2012. We are heading to Colorado with Mike's father's entire family. As soon as I heard the news that Storm Draco is on it's way there, and sweeping across the US, all the way over to Chicago and beyond, I thought well, that seems about right. Our layover is in Chicago. So help me if Draco messes up our holiday plans I'm going to call 2012 a wash! Send good vibes our way if you would that we not only make it to CO safely but also back home, and preferably without a delay.

Let's hope that 2013 brings SMOOTH SAILING for us... even if we have more plans to have lots of STAY-CATIONS instead of traveling in the new year.

So tell me, was your honeymoon a dream, or a nightmare? I think ours was a bit of both.
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Lauren E said...

I hope you guys have a great trip and that the storm doesn't cause you any trouble. I totally forgot about it! Also is it just me or are the winter storm names dumb?

Our honeymoon was amazing. We only had one day that was rainy and gray pretty much the whole time, but the room upgrade that we got that day totally made up for it. I wish I was in T&C right now!

Your honeymoon was definitely an adventure!

Devon said...

I will definitely be sending you happy thoughts for your CO trip. Geeze, what the heck? I can't believe it's happened this many times! I'm sure everything will work out. At least at this point you have lots of experience making the best of bummer situations and dealing with natural disasters.

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