Monday, July 21, 2014

Our Romantic Getaway! (During a Hurricane.)

A few weeks ago, Hubby and I had escaped for a few days by ourselves to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.  We know plenty of people who are able to “sneak away” every now and then in order to recharge their marriages, and even some who are able to have regular date nights.  We do not have that luxury, however, so planning a getaway in which we would leave our children for a few nights with their grandparents was a big deal.  We haven’t been away together since 2008, if you don’t include the one raucous night we went to an out-of-town wedding so I could be the super-fun pregnant bridesmaid.
The BEFORE pic, when we were still dry
and didn't feel like vomiting yet.
We have been planning this trip for some time, as making arrangements for the three boys requires a lot of logistical maneuvering.  Add to this the fact that everything we do seems so complicated – many times we’re just too exhausted from the planning to actually put anything into action.  We booked flights and hotels and we were all set to have our romantic vacation from July 3-7. 

You know where this is going, right?

We used frequent flyer miles to book our flights from Richmond, Virginia to Boston, Massachusetts.  Via Newark, New Jersey.  I’m sure Newark is a lovely town once you get to know it, but everything I’ve ever seen/read/heard about Newark leads me to have a preconceived notion that it is the smelly armpit of the Northeast.  Unfortunately, the weekend we were traveling was the same weekend that Hurricane Arthur was wreaking havoc, so we were trying to beat the bad weather up the east coast.  No luck.  Our flight from Richmond to Newark was delayed, and before we even stepped foot on a plane our flight from Newark to Boston was cancelled.  Hubby stood in line for 2 hours and 45 minutes to try to figure out how we were gonna get this party started. 

Any of you who follow my blog regularly already know that Hubby, bless his heart, does not handle travel hiccups well.  See this or this.  He held it together, though, even though the airport restaurants and bars close at 8 which meant there was not a nerve-calming beer to be found anywhere.  We finally boarded a flight from Richmond to Newark and realized we would have to spend the night at one of those shady hotels near the airport.  In Newark.  The airline graciously gave us a discount coupon freebie! number to call to make our own reservations at the airport hotel.  In Newark.  Finally something went right . . . Hubby logged on to the hotel booking website and found us a room.

Surprise!  When we got the hotel, in Newark, they had no record of our confirmation, and since everyone else whose flight was delayed or cancelled was in the same predicament, there were no rooms left.  Hubby started to lose it a little here and after a few tense moments, the desk clerk found a room for us.  It was “Lou’s” room, but we could use it.  Um, not sure who Lou is, but our choice was between Lou’s room and another room, in which an employee’s girlfriend had just showered so it needed to be cleaned first.  Lou’s room it is.  Once we got to Lou’s our room, we discovered that Lou is either in a wheelchair or he is a midget/little person.  Hubby was very confused by the door peep hole that was only 3 feet off the ground but found it comforting that he had a handle to hold onto in the shower AND an emergency phone next to the toilet.  I double-bolted the door just in case Lou didn’t receive the memo that his room was occupied for the evening. 

We caught the first flight out to Boston the next morning, but we missed the 8am ferry we were supposed to catch to Cape Cod.  We arrived in Boston, got settled and refreshed, and figured taking a later ferry wasn’t a bad idea after all.  The original plan had been to spend most of the day basking in the sun on the beach in Provincetown and then hit some of the cute little shops and bars before catching the ferry back to Boston around 7pm.  The ferry trip was 90 minutes long, and since it was Independence Day, we thought we might be lucky enough to see some 4th of July fireworks as we pulled into the Boston Harbor.

Yep.  That would have been nice.  

Bad hair/bear day.
Again, Hurricane Arthur screwed with our plans.  The ride over from Boston to Provincetown was cloudy and gray, but we were still excited to get to the Cape.  Once we arrived, however, the rain started in full force.  The first thing we did when we got off the boat was buy a raincoat for me.  We tried to maintain a positive attitude, visiting quaint little boutiques and fun bars.  I started to get really cranky when my feet started sloshing in my shoes and my underwear got wet through three layers of clothing.  By the time the rain started coming sideways and in sheets, we attempted to find an earlier ferry back to Boston.  No luck.

When we finally boarded the ferry at 7pm (with about 20 other suckers, total, who hadn’t been able to score an earlier ferry,) the wind, rain, and lightening were so bad, we each popped a Dramamine and tried not to think about the choppy waves.  I laid my head down on the sterilized and probably not encrusted in dried ketchup and coffee rings table with my palms down in order to steady myself because it was the only item I could find that seemed to be staying still.  I felt like I was on the Edmund Fitzgerald.  Hubby and I have been together for 20 years, and I know from experience that an evening that ends in vomit just isn’t as fun when you’re 40 as it is when you’re 20. 

Luckily, the rest of our vacation was lovely, but it was a long time comin’.   We’ll be ready to take a romantic vacation together again in approximately fifteen years.

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Be nice, kids.