Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I'll try to make this the short version. It's not that I want to pay short shrift to an awesome trip, it's just that I imagine reading a full account of someone's honeymoon is probably pretty dull. While it was a blast for us, it didn't create a ton of exciting stories that other people would die to hear. So I'll just hit the highlights.

Our flight was scheduled to leave from Detroit at 6:30 on Monday morning, so we arrived at the airport around 4:00 a.m. I don't have a passport, and we found out when we tried to check in that I had the wrong birth certificate. It didn't seem like we were going to be able to leave that day, as the options presented to us were to either go get an official birth certificate (from my hometown of Troy, Ohio, which would be about a three-hour drive from Detroit) or go somewhere to swear out an affidavit affirming my U.S. citizenship and have it notarized. By chance, we ended up at the desk of a different airline to ask a question about such an affidavit, and they told us that we could do it right there at the airport. The notary was at one of the gates, though, so Brandi had to check in (she has a passport) and go track her down while I pretty much just stood around and waited. It was a pretty length process, but eventually the notary came up to the desk with the affidavit for me to sign. Being an airport supervisor, she then expedited my trip through security so Brandi and I could sprint down to the gate in time to make our flight.

I'd just like to note that Continental Airlines was not very helpful in getting this issue resolved, but Northwest Airlines, with whom we weren't even flying, was awesome. If not for them, we wouldn't have made it. Once we were on the plane, though, we were home free. We flew from Detroit to Houston, where we got a snack and changed planes, and from there to Cozumel. Our travel company arranged our ride from the airport to the resort, where we arrived before our room was ready. They checked us in, though, and let us leave our baggage so we could begin to enjoy the resort's all-inclusivity. That gave us a chance to have our first of many margaritas for the week.

We were in Cozumel for six days, and it was incredible. The people there couldn't have been friendlier or more helpful. The weather was awesome--it rained only once during the day, and even that was only for about half an hour. We spent most of our time in and around the pool, enjoying the sun and the swim-up bar. We got massages together one day. We ate and drank a lot. We made friends with the cats that wandered around, and took pictures of all the other wildlife. We went to the show the resort put on each night, which was usually pretty amusing. We looked for seashells on the beach, and walked to the end of the pier one night to sit there and feed the fish. At night, we usually watched some Mexican TV.

The only time we left the resort was when we went on a snorkeling expedition, which turned into quite an adventure. I'm not a terribly strong swimmer, so as much as I love the water, I get a little nervous about stuff like this. When I jumped in the first time, my snorkel and mask filled up with water, and I got a little panicky for a minute. It was discovered that my mask had a hole in it, so the instructor gave me his. Once that happened, I was fine and able to totally enjoy what we were seeing. The first place we went was called "The Sky" due to the number of starfish located there. We also went to Colombia Reef and Palancar Reef, which were much deeper and featured a wider variety of fish. Of course, Brandi is mildly scared of fish, so she did a fair amount of screaming and growling in a futile attempt to keep them away from her. I thought it was cool when they got close, myself, but one guy in our group did get bitten on the finger by a red snapper. We stayed above the reefs, but there were times when I couldn't see the floor when I looked left or right. It was exhilarating. I could have stayed out there all day.

All in all, it was a great and very relaxing trip. The time went by so quickly, and on Saturday we just had time to have breakfast and check out before hopping a taxi to the airport. We flew first to Houston, where we had more travel adventures. We had to collect our bags and re-check them, which was a pain. I wasn't expecting another trip through security, so I was held for a pat-down when I forgot to take my iPod out of my pocket. We were also held up in customs due to a couple of cigars Brandi had brought back for her dad, which were eventually cleared. The upshot of all of this is that we once again had to sprint through an airport. We arrived at the gate a mere five minutes before our plane was supposed to take off. The door was closed, but they were waiting for us and we were able to board.

Finally we were back in Detroit, but our travel woes weren't quite over yet. Brandi and I had re-checked our bags at the same time in Houston, but hers made it onto the plane and mine did not. We waited for quite a while, but finally had to go file a missing baggage claim. It wasn't a huge deal--my bag was filled mainly with dirty clothes, and they located it and delivered it to our apartment the next day. It was just one last thing in a string of travel dilemmas. Still, the time in Cozumel more than made up for the travel irritations, and now we just have to figure out how we're going to get ourselves back down there someday.

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