The waves of nausea were hitting steadily. The problem was we hadn’t even reached the airport yet. It might be a bad omen to have air sickness before checking in for your flight. I was concerned that the chicken Andrew made us for dinner that night had been undercooked. But, not only had he eaten it and was fine, he even said, “We’ve eaten rawer chicken than that.”
Our flight wasn’t leaving until 10:30 and US Airways started doing boarding at about 9:45. My limited traveling of late has been mostly on Southwest Airlines. I wasn’t really used to this “boarding zone” concept. Basically, US Airways tried to find the most inefficient way to load a plane, and then added extra standing around time to it. Then if you don’t understand that everyone on the plane will get to the destination at the same time, you can pay $40 to board “early”. Andrew and I were practically the last ones on the flight. But we did get a pleasant surprise in that the third seat in our row was empty. We were going to plane-nap in style.
My nausea had faded but Andrew made sure that I had the barf bags close at hand. He had a window seat and I laid down in the two empty seats with my head on his lap. Some time later I woke up and my already tender shoulder was on fire in pain. I looked up and Andrew was struggling to get comfortable with his plane pillow. I needed to sit up because of my pain and he needed to lay down to get some sleep so we switched.
At this point, whatever had triggered my mild food-poisoning/nausea had made its way through. I am not sure if Andrew couldn’t sleep for lack of comfort or because I was keeping him awake with the thunder in my belly. We both slept a little more but neither of us comfortably. We got to Charlotte, North Carolina an hour before our destination time. Andrew said it must have been extra tail wind. I nodded vigorously in agreement and added I had added my own extra tail wind into the flight. We laughed.
Then we realized a dilemma – we both like to blog. I called owning the tail wind joke.
After having to sit on the tarmac for a short while – because we had arrived an hour early and no one in Charlotte was awake at 5:30 on a Saturday morning – we deplaned (that’s for you Bill Cernansky) and headed to find some eggs and bacon. A few more jokes followed directly by awkward moments of who would get to blog them lead Andrew and me to agree that we needed to just let the blogging happen without talking about it or we wouldn’t be funny with each other. So, follow our trip here and at andrewberkowitz.com/blog.
We got back to our gate and made ourselves comfortable, by which I mean I lay all over the floor in front of Andrew who was sitting as comfortably as is allowed by the airport chairs. Suddenly, Andrew looks down at me.
Andrew: I think I just saw someone famous.
Andrew: I think it was an actor?
Me: Which one.
Andrew: Or maybe a football coach?
Andrew: He passed by.
Me: And he looked like a football coach or an actor?
Andrew: I recognized him.
Me: Apparently not.
Andrew (laughing): Maybe it was my dad.
Finally, Andrew realized he’d seen John Besh – a well known chef that has been on Top Chef many times.
Our flight from Charlotte to Cancún was uneventful. For us. We both slept pretty heavily, and uncomfortably through it. It was less than uneventful, however, for the diabetic who passed out, needed a doctor, ended up with saline drip and oxygen, and was carted off the plane first thing so that the paramedics could attend to her. And, it was even more exciting than that for the woman sitting next to me who couldn’t wait for my shifting moments of awaked-ness from my stupor to be just coherent enough for her to report to me the newest exciting thing going on with the diabetic woman. “She’s still passed out.” “She has an IV.” “We may have to land early.” “She’s diabetic.” I would just nod at her and find a new position to lay my head on the tray table in front of me and go back to sleep.
We arrived without having to land early.
A guy with a sign was waiting for us just outside of the airport to take us to the car that would take us to the car rental agency. What I learned on the drive to the rental agency is that in Mexico, the lines on highways are superfluous, speed signs are a suggested starting point, and if you see a sign that says “Alto” on a red octagon it means Don’t Stop and ignore oncoming traffic while merging.
We got to our Air BnB but could not check in for another 4 hours. So we found a taco joint and hoovered up some food, walked to the playa and got sand all over, then found the grocery store down the street from us where I finally mustered up the courage to speak in Spanish, “No necesito una bolsa.” We got back to our condo, napped by the pool, went into the room and napped in our bed.
We grabbed some more tacos for dinner and are now trying to stay awake late enough to sleep through the night and start our adventures anew tomorrow. Or as they say in Spanish, mañana.