Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cancun Part 1: Already an Adventure!



It was nearly midnight when I got home from dropping Will and the kids off at the airport---off to go on our family vacation to Cancun, Mexico, without me.

It felt so strange to be in our house without them. The bedrooms were perfectly clean and empty of sweet children to look in on. My suitcase taunted me from the corner, bursting with all things ready for Cancun--sunscreen, sun hats, and swimsuits. All week, I'd been getting ready for our big trip. Digging out the t-shirts and flip-flops. Making sure we had plenty of snacks and things to do for the kids on the plane.

This trip literally blew up in my face, but let me back up.

On the morning of our trip, I woke up to a power outage and a rain storm outside. When I made the few steps from our front door to the car to take Isabella to school, the bitter wind and the quickly-drenched bottoms of my sweats told me that it was the perfect day to make a break for it. We really couldn't have timed it better. The weather was miserable and I longed for the warmth that was just a red-eye flight away.

After a fun morning visiting with a friend, I fed the kids lunch and was relieved to finally be able to tackle the finishing touches on our packing. I just had Will's clothes and some last-minute toiletries left to gather. The bigger mountain to climb was doing something about the mess! With lots of meetings and get-togethers in the days leading up to our trip, things had definitely gotten out of hand. It was making me feel stressed and I wanted it all put back together.

As I furiously cleaned, I kept looking at the clock on the wall to see how I was doing on time. "Oh yeah. Power outage," I said to the clock flashing the wrong time at me. But I didn't feel like fixing that, so I just kept on with cleaning. I even deep cleaned our coat closet.

What normally would've have taken hours to clean, took less than two, and I was pleasantly surprised that I was all ready to go, with plenty of time to spare! I was also happy to see Will get home from work early. I wasn't expecting him to be done with work until it was time to head to the airport.

As I was fixing a snack for the kids and he was going through the mail, I asked him, "Do you think we'll need birth certificates for the kids?"

"Yeah, that or passports," he said.

He quickly finished with the mail and went to gather the passports.

"Hey Babe, will you come here for a sec?" he called from his office.

"Where's your passport? I only have this really old one for you. It expired three years ago."

"Uhh, that's it; that's the only passport I have. I totally forgot that it expired!" I said.

By this time the kids had joined us in the office and Will was looking panicked.

"Babe, you kind of need a passport to go to Mexico. I guess we'll see you later?" he said with nervous sarcasm.

I wasn't nervous just yet.

"I don't even think you need a passport to go to Mexico. Google it," I insisted.

He did and he was right. Like always, he was right.

"You need a passport to go to Canada; of course you need a passport to go to Mexico... I'm going to go upstairs to make some phone calls."

It still didn't hit me. I figured Will would fix it. Everything would be just fine.

A few phone calls later, devastation hit.  The soonest I could get a passport expedited was three days later, and there were no guarantees.

"I'm so sorry, Babe."

"I just can't believe this is happening!" I said, and then I went and hid in our bathroom, sat myself on our toilet and sobbed. After I got myself together, Will and I adjusted our suitcases--taking my stuff out--and I kept thinking of more things they should bring with them. Things Will would need...some pull-ups and wipes just in case Juliette had an accident (which she did (#2) on the plane), more snacks, etc.

Long story short (or shorter), sure enough, Will and the kids took that red-eye without me. When I dropped them off Isabella bawled, for the third time since hearing the news. Liam said something like, "Mommy, I never cry when you leave..." He seemed regretful of that, and I just told him. "I know you're sad." And he nodded.

Juliette just said, "I go on airplane to see Grandma and Grandpa!" She really didn't get it and was her cheerful self. And yes, I was so glad that Will's parents were already in Cancun, so Will would have plenty of help once they got there, although I'm convinced he can handle anything sent his way.

I got home and fidgeted around on the computer, and then finally dozed off and went to bed. I was so relieved to get a text from Will at 3am saying they'd safely arrived to TX for their 3-hour layover. I slept a little better after that.

More tears came when I woke up the next morning. Being all alone just reminded me of what it would be like to not be with my family forever. Overall, this experience was a huge learning experience for me, not only in the area of needing to be more prepared for trips, but in the bigger and more eternal perspective of things, it's reminded me of how much I want to be with my family--always! I feel all the more motivated to live my life so that I qualify to live with them and my Heavenly Father after this life. There's nothing in the world I want more because I know (now better than ever), that I would be miserable without them.

On a cheerier note, around 10am, I got the message I'd been waiting for. They were there!

Will's parents hadn't gotten the email from us about me not coming, and Will said his dad kept holding the door open for me when they arrived at the resort. 

"That's it," Will told him. "It's just us. Marie's not here."

"Say that again???" I can only imagine the look on his face. It makes me laugh to think of it. 

Over the weekend, I hid out in my house. I was so embarrassed about this fiasco, and didn't really feel like explaining it to my friends and neighbors, although one of my friends found me out and invited me over for dinner, which was a very nice reprieve from my empty house! So yeah, you'd think I'd get a lot done without any distractions, but I didn't really get all the much done. I caught up on some blogging/photo editing. I went to Stake Conference (church meetings), had my passport picture taken. Ran some errands. Cried to my mom on the phone... you know...

Everything went smoothly for me at the passport office in Seattle on the following Monday. I killed time in Seattle and at the mall, and I was able to catch my red-eye flight later that night, a-okay! 

So yes, I suppose that's Part 1 of our Cancun vacation... already an adventure, that's for sure!


5 comments:

  1. Oh man :( I'm so so glad that awfully lonely weekend is behind you. Wished I could've flown to you and kept you company. I'm excited for part II!! :) ps: those pictures are priceless!!

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  2. Oh Marie, how awful! One time I found out my drivers license had expired AT THE AIRPORT. (Yikes!) It's been 6 years, but I still check (and double check!) it every time we fly now! I'm sure you'll do the same with your passport from here on out too. I'm glad that you were able to join them a few days later though.

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  3. Those curbside pictures of your family made ME tear up. :( I'm glad you made it!!

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  4. I totally would have forgotten my passport expired too!! In fact, that's exactly what happened when we tried to get my Texas Drivers license last summer. And I still haven't renewed it :( That's sad you had to send them off without you!! But I'm glad you were able to meet up with them :)

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  5. This is still one of the saddest things I've ever heard of, rivaled in sadness by the "holing up in your house and being too embarassed to tell people about the awful, awful thing that happened."
    I cried actual tears when I read your initial post on your sister's blog. This one only made me WANT to cry again.

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