The Honeymooners

10 years ago to the year, I went on a honeymoon. My wife also went, which honestly was pretty cool of her. The short version is we went on a cruise, visited some warm (tropical?) locales, and overall had an amazing time. Pretty standard stuff. Here is the longer, more accurate version.

My grandma was gracious enough to book a cruise for us for our honeymoon. At the time, we lived in the Cities. We didn’t actually live in the Cities, but that’s what people from Minnesota say. So we lived in the Cities, it was December, and contrary to what’s going on outside my window right now, that typically brings with it some snow. This particular weekend brought substantial snow, but what do I care? I’m flying to Florida.

Our flight was early in the morning. We had no intention of parking at the airport, so the Mrs. had arranged for a taxi to come pick us up (remember taxis?). It was like 4 AM, and our ride showed up on time, ready to go. Off to a hot start. Our flight was out of Terminal 2 at MSP. If you’ve ever flown out of MSP, you know that there are two different exits to the airport depending on your terminal. Our exit was impassable. Not ideal, but we would just go to Terminal 1 and take the tram over to where we needed to be. All it meant was trudging through a parking garage, but hey, we did it!!!

Once we got through security and all that jazz, we settled into some comfy seats at our gate and played the waiting game. We had a connecting flight, and our first stop was in Milwaukee. As time slowly crept by, the weather seemingly worsened by the minute. But if you know me, you know I’m forever the optimist. That was until they cancelled our flight. I felt like that was a real dick move. However, the crew that had just flown in agreed to fly us all to Atlanta instead. I’ve never had a bad word to say about these kind, thoughtful people. So after a little bit of a break for the people flying a plane, we were now off to Atlanta.

I don’t really remember at what point we were in the same boat (figuratively) as a bunch of other people, but I’m going to assume we were already at that point. We landed in Atlanta, and then had to figure out where our new gate was, because if you remember from the one paragraph before, this was not our original destination. After a slight scramble, we ended up where we needed to be. Fun fact that not every person might know and account for when rescheduling flights for people: time zones exist. We missed that flight by, I’m gonna say… about an hour.

OK, so things may not be running according to plan. I genuinely don’t know who got involved at this point, I don’t know if I ever did, but somehow we got on to another flight. This time we were headed to Palm Beach. We hopped on the flight and away we went. Again, we weren’t the only people having to deal with this, so when we landed, they made an announcement to let all of us off of the plane first. Never before, or since, have I seen people not immediately jump up and try to impossibly get off the plane. But they did that day. There may have been some claps and some cheers, who can really remember?

Once we got off, we were told they had arranged for shuttles to pick us all up and take us to the port. That port wasn’t in Palm Beach, though. It was in Fort Lauderdale. Just another journey to make, what could go wrong? Well the shuttles being late is one thing that could go wrong. They showed up though, and I don’t know what the speed limit was, but we were hovering in the 90-100 MPH range. Fine by me. We got there in a hurry, and we were not an hour late this time around. At least I’m assuming that if you can literally see the ship leaving the port that it had been less than an hour since they left.

That’s when I started to think things may not be going our way. Luckily my wife talks to people, and and we had linked up with some other people that were sharing this experience with us. The cruise was headed to Key West. After some discussion, we decided to rent a car and drive down in hopes of catching the ship the next day. We parted ways and went off in search of the nearest car rental place. After securing transportation, we made the long drive down US 1 to Key West. We made it, got a hotel, returned the car, got a taxi back to said hotel, and called it a night.

Bright and early for this couple. It wasn’t a particularly nice day, especially for what I’d imagine Key West to be. But there wasn’t a snowflake in sight, so who am I to complain? We went to the port and waited. And waited. And waited. Is the boat late? When is it supposed to be here? Am I on planet Earth? We walked around a bit, looking for a sign of life. I actually didn’t really care about that, I just needed a boat. What I found was the Port Master.

“Hey Port Master, let me tell you my sad tale…. Pretty sad, huh? So anyway, any word on when this ship is going to arrive,” asked Nick.

“It’s too windy today, no ships are docking. They are going on to their next port of call,” replied the Port Master.

Now I only know two ways to realistically get from Key West to Cancun. I wasn’t going to try to procure a flight, and I clearly didn’t have a boat. I was officially having a shitty time. I was out of ideas. Well, I had one idea. That was to call mom and bear my soul. I didn’t really expect anything from it, like what the hell is she going to do? Reverse time? But she listened, and she said she was going to call my grandma. After a little while, my grandma got ahold of her travel agent, and they were able to get us transferred over to a different cruise.

“The cruise leaves today, and it leaves from Miami.”

Back to the car rental place. The airport in Key West is about as big as my backyard, so it doesn’t exactly see a lot of traffic. But guess what? That car we returned the night before. Gone. Every other car they have in inventory. Gone. Seems like a poor business strategy, but I digress. On to the next car rental company. They had modes of transportation, thankfully.

“Would you like to upgrade your car today for X amount of dollars today?” asked the car rental lady.

“Hey car rental lady, let me tell you my sad tale…. Pretty sad huh? I just want the first thing smoking out of here,” replied Nick.

She gave us our information and we headed out to the lot. It was a Camaro.

Thank you, sweet, kind, lovely car rental lady. We hopped in, and cooked it back up US 1 to Miami. We made it to the city of the once and future great Hurricanes with nary a hitch. I topped off the Lambo Camaro with gas and dropped it off, and we made our way to the Port of Miami. Ever heard of it? We went inside the giant building as one does before boarding a cruise ship. Since we weren’t originally on the manifest and were basically replacing some people that cancelled, we had to go to the principal’s office to make sure all of the paperwork was in order. Obviously this was standard operating procedure in this type of scenario, but I couldn’t help but feel a little anxious. Sue me.

After 15-20 minutes, we were cleared to board. Sweet relief. We finally made it. The ship left port and we headed for…Key West. We also went to Cozumel where we got a sweet spray paint picture that’s still hanging in our bedroom, and maybe one other stop where people tried to get me to buy jewelry and other goods of which I did not know the true value. Genuinely we had a great honeymoon, and maybe someday I’ll tell you about it. But today is about the journey, not the destination. What a line.

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