Friday, March 11, 2011

Ship Ahoy!

My husband and I have been married for twenty years, and other than our honeymoon, we have never taken a trip without our now sixteen-year-old son. Recently, we were given the opportunity to go on a cruise to Cabo San Lucas, sans son. Honestly, it was difficult to make the decision to go, but ultimately we decided that our son would be fine - he can drive, he's got a pretty good grasp on feeding himself, if he really, really needed to do laundry, he's got that down okay too. Plus, his aunt was available to be in charge. When she said to him "Don't do anything stupid on my watch" we were pretty confident all would be well on the home front.

We had no way to predict the trouble we'd encounter on the other end, though.

It started out great; got to the airport, got checked in, flight to San Diego was on time. And then everything fell apart. Suddenly, there were issues with the plane and the flight was going to be delayed two hours. There would be no way to make it on the ship.

The airline worked to put us and another couple also cruise-bound on some other flights. It would be tight, but we might - might - make the ship. We were sent to Oakland first, only to catch a flight to San Diego from there. In Oakland, we called the cruise line and told them that we'd get into the San Diego airport about six minutes before the ship was supposed to launch. They told us to hurry, but they couldn't hold the ship for us. The good news was that the airport is a very short drive to the port.

In San Diego, the other woman and I left our husbands to wait for the luggage. Our reasoning was that if we were at the ship, maybe they'd wait a few extra minutes for the guys.

We were greeted at the security gate by very friendly but very rushed people in Julie McCoy uniforms. Keep in mind, the other woman and I were dressed for Utah: long sleeves, long pants, shoes meant more for snow than sand.

The regular way to get on the ship was closed off and they'd left one small gangway down for us. They told us to get on the ship. We said we couldn't go without our husbands. They wanted to know how far away the husbands were. We lied and said they were in a cab on the way over from the airport. I then called Charlie (my husband) and told him to hurry. He informed me that our luggage hadn't made it on the plane, but he and the other guy would hop in a cab and try to make it.

This is what happened in the next three minutes or so:
Me to ship people: They're almost here.
Ship: What do they see? How close are they?
Me into cell phone: What do you see?
Charlie: We're just getting into the cab. I see the airport.
Me to ship people: They see the ocean and a big ship.
Ship: We only have a couple more minutes.
Me: They'll be here.
Me into phone: Tell the cab driver to hurry.
This is what I hear: Step on it, buddy. There's something extra in it if you run red lights. (disclaimer: this is not responsible behavior, we do know that)
Ship people: We really have to go.
Me: Just one more minute.
Ship: No, I'm sorry, we really have to go. (they walk away at this point)
Me into phone: Sh**. They're leaving.
Charlie: We're really almost there now.
Me: Just get here. We'll figure out how to get home.
Ship people return and say: Okay, one more minute.
Me into phone: GET HERE NOW!
Charlie: We're here.
Me: Run through security.
This is what I hear: Cab driver: Hey, you gotta pay me! Charlie: I put the money on your front seat. Cab driver (after a torturous pause): Ah, good. Have fun!

The other woman and I see our husbands running through security. The ship people escort us onto the gangway as the ship is pulling away. We kind of had to leap over a little bit of water to get aboard.

We had no luggage, but we felt victorious!

The ship people gave us a couple t-shirts, some toothbrushes and shampoo. We bought flip-flops and hair conditioner in the gift store. When we got to Cabo, we took a cab to Walmart (yes, there's a Walmart in Cabo) and got some underwear. Charlie bought some shorts and I got a sundress from a street vendor.

Believe it or not, we had a great time. The time on the ship was fun, but it was the time in Cabo that was kind of amazing. Fortunately, we'd carried our cameras with us and were able to take pictures from our whale watching trip.

In the middle of a bunch of dolphins

Diving whale

I probably would have preferred having our luggage, but I'm so glad we didn't let that stop us from going. Besides, I bet I never would have bought that tie-died sundress with "Cabo" embroidered across the front if I'd had all my shorts and t-shirts. It's now hanging in my closet, and even if I never wear it again, it'll bring back some happy memories.

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