This is the day that was – April 6, 2005. The beautiful bride and I were joining some good friends on a five-day trip to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. Now there is always some sort trouble incorporated with travel, but this was just so over the top that I had to chronicle the proceedings.
This is as best as I can recall....
4:15 am – Alarm goes off. Bags are already in the car; all that is left is showers and last minute items. After a big cup of coffee even 4:15 does not seem so bad.
5:00 am – Right on time, Nana pulls up in the Nan mobile. She is staying with the girls and getting them off to school. We leave for the airport at about 5:15 am for a 6:30 am flight. Everything is on track…if this were a movie the ominous sounding soundtrack would begin in 3…2…1….go!
5:45 am - Checking in at the US Airways
Supposed to leave Nashville at 6:30, arrive in Nassau at 11:45
5:46 am – USAirways person tells me that I need a “government” birth certificate, not a “hospital” birth certificate.
5:48 am – he says “So do you want to reschedule for another weekend.” He clearly does not understand that getting plans made/reservations/kids schedules/people to watch after the girls etc. requires as much planning as storming the beach at Normandy. So to answer, “No, we do not want to reschedule.”
5:55 am – begin to make plans to go to Madison Wisconsin to get a “government” birth certificate.
5:56 am – see Bret Robbe, our pastor at the airport. He is headed to New York to work; we are headed to the Bahamas. I say we are headed “overseas on a mission trip.” He does not buy it. Those pastors are so perceptive.
6:00 am – the beautiful bride heads for the gate, alone.
6:30 am – finalize plan for a 8:30 flight to Chicago and Madison
6:31 am – head for the house to get additional things needed to get “government” birth certificate
6:35 am – catch a cab to the house; our car is parked about 45 miles away
6:37 am – Ron, of “Ron and Michelle” our friends we are traveling with calls and says that he also has a “hospital” birth certificate. He says “can I please stop by the house and pick up his passport.” He says that he might miss his flight. Perhaps I will have a friend share my tragedy
6:39 am – Ron calls back, his mom will bring the passport and he will make the flight. I sense a hint of a smirk.
6:55 am – freak out the girls and Nana
7:30 am – back at the airport
8:30 am – flight to Chicago. Halfway through the flight, the kid sitting behind me says “Mommy I am going to throw up.” He does – on my arm as he tries to make it to the bathroom. In moving my arm after feeling the vomit on it, I spill my coffee down the front of me. Cool.
11:45 am – I arrive in Madison. The beautiful bride arrives in Nassau. Where is the justice?
11:55 am – cab to the “Office of Vital Statistics” - I promise I am not making this up.
12:15 – arrive at the “Office of Vital Statistics.” In an empty office I was told that I could pay $12 for the regular service – get the birth certificate in two hours, to pay $22 to get it “expedited.” There was no one in line. I think I was extorted by the “Office of Vital Statistics.”
12:30 pm – cab back to the airport
12:45 pm – I eat an airport Bratwurst (when in Rome…) for lunch.
12:46 pm - Ron calls – they are just leaving lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. I sense a more pronounced smirk.
12:58 pm – The travel agent calls “I can get you on a flight from Madison that will get you to Nassau at 5:30.” Great.
12:59 pm – The travel agent calls back. “Ooops, I put in the wrong code. I could get you to Nashville at 5:30. You can’t get to Nassau until tomorrow.”
1:32 pm – Bought a large cheesehead at the Madison airport. (When in Rome...)
3:10 pm – Back in Chicago
3:15 PM – I bought a Cinnabon at O’Hare airport. I was not really hungry, but I am certain it was some sort of cry for help.
3:25 pm – The nurse at “Suzie’s” school calls. She has thrown up, but we think everything is OK.
3:26 pm – My flight to Miami is delayed. Hmmmm, should I go to Miami or Nashville to check on “Suzie?” Miami, Nashville, Miami, Nashville.
3:40 pm – Call Nana. “Suzie” seems OK and wants to go to Sonic. OK, Miami it is…
3:41 pm – At the next gate, there is a plane headed to Rome - people waiting for flight to the Popes funeral. They have been waiting and they are getting very fussy. The agent says something in Italian and then in English says – “you will get in one line, or nobody goes to Rome.” Uh-oh….
3:50 – I take a flight to Flight to Miami. For an “entertainment” fee of $5.00 I get to watch “National Treasure.” It is a good movie, but a bit disconcerting to see Nicholas Cage in an extremely disconcerting, dangerous situation says “let’s get the heck out of here right now you sons of guns.”
8:30 pm – Now in Miami, the fifth airport of the day. Get my bags and hurry to the ticketing counter to see if there are any flights to Nassau. Eureka! Bahamasair, yes I said Bahamasair had a flight.
8:41 pm – Ron calls, with prayerful support. He says he is full from eating the lobster and steak fro dinner. I look down at my luke warm piece of Sbarro pizza. There is a very pronounced smirk coming from the phone. That’s what friends are for.
8:48 pm – I buy a ticket to check in. There are mounds of bags everywhere. All of a sudden the luggage belt starts moving. There is joy everywhere…“The belt is working, the belt is working…”
8:52 pm – the clerk at Bahamasir says to me “did you ever have one of those days when nothing worked? Computer, etc…” I said sure, and then joked, “I sure hope the plane is working.” He said “Thank God that is.” Am I flying the right airline?
8:55 pm – I watch people put car tires in checked luggage.
9:55 pm – take off on Bahamasair to Nassau.
10:45 pm – I kiss the ground (actually dirty carpet in the terminal).
11:04 pm – Hop in a circa 1965 taxi. It has one working headlight. We are flying through windy roads, one headlight, passing on both sides of the road. Maybe I should have walked.
11:30 pm – I arrive at the hotel. Only 12 hours late.
Just another day in paradise....