The morning of our trip, we awoke to even more snow as we packed last minute items and jumped into a cab to the airport. After security, a coffee, and a few bathroom trips, we boarded the plane to sunny sunny Mexico.
Unfortunately for us, our seats were located in the very back of the plane. So far back, in fact, that the only thing that could fit behind us was the tiny airplane bathroom. We were officially in…bathroom monitor seats. Fortunately though, we would only have to bear witness to 3,586 passenger complaints about bathroom wait time for the the somewhat short 3.5 hour flight. Or so I thought.
We somehow managed to anger the mighty cloud god of turbulence, and spent the duration of the flight dipping, bumping, and shaking until we got over the coast of Mexico, when things took a turn for the worse. During landing, we hit a patch of terrifying storms and had to ascend back up for a do-over once the visibility was a little better. This led to roughly 30 minutes of shaking, rising, falling, and passengers crying out and holding on for dear life. As a scaredy-cat flier myself, this.was.not.helping. Another thing that was not helping? That the flight attendants in their jump seats behind us were somewhat desperately asking us (as the backseat eyes and ears of the plane) if we could tell them what we were seeing out the window. What I saw out the window (when I had the courage to peel my eyelids apart) was nothing. Deeply disturbing nothingness.
Finally the pilot came on and told us that we were experiencing some low visibility (really?) and we would need to make an emergency landing in Cozumel because we were running out of fuel. But no worries, we would try the Cancun landing again soon.
After landing safely in Cozumel to a shower of handclaps and whoops of joy, we were informed that we were in line for refuel, and we would be off again in 5-10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the pilot told us that unfortunately, we had to wait for ALL of the normally scheduled flights to go in and take off before the refuel truck would come. In 2 and a half HOURS.
3 hours later and it was still pouring rain in Cozumel (which, by the way, is right across the bay from Cancun, which had me wishing they would have let us off the godforsaken plane and ferried us over). Finally, the refuel truck pulled up, gave us the life blood to attempt another (few) do-overs, and we were off! What (per the pilot) should have been a 10 minute flight, turned into another white knuckle 30 minute shake-fest, that had me praying to baby Jesus, my grandparents, Santa Margarita extra tequila (the patron saint of relaxation), and our lady pilot. FINALLY, we landed, and I promptly burst into tears of sheer relief, not giving a hoot that we were the last plane in line with the 20 other planes that had tempted the fates of those angry clouds.
After getting through the first customs check-point, while waiting for A to finish up, the customs official called me back to his counter, and asked to recheck my passport, and also asked how to pronounce my last name (and not in a ‘hey how unusual, how do you pronounce that weirdo german name?). I knew right then that there was no way that I was getting the ‘green light’ in the second check-point. How right I was.
We managed to make our way out after customs checked my bag for contraband, weapons, and delicious desserts, and made our way out to the taxi stand to take the 10 minute ride out to the hotel. Since the heavens had opened up and dumped about a half a foot of rain onto the beautiful Yucatan coast, the roads had flooded and our quick trip to the hotel took significantly longer than expected. Delirious from the lack of sleep and the stress of thinking I would die thousands of miles up in the air next to an airplane bathroom, we finally arrived at our hotel and I just about planted a giant kiss on the concierge.
Fortunately, there is a beach at the end of this ordeal. A beach next to an ocean; an ocean that doesn’t have to respond to emails, clean the house, or scoop the cat’s litterbox.
For now, you can find me here.