I wrote this last week on our first day of vacation.
I’m so embarrassed by my mistake that I am having a difficult time finding the right words. I want to use words that reduce my culpability in the near disaster, because not being able to arrive in the Bahamas on the day that your kids have marked as one of the greatest days of the year is a disaster to them. My apologies to people who have had events that destroyed their lives and homes. My kids are, um, spoiled to a degree.
See? I’m off on another topic already, not admitting that I might have misread 12:30 as 1:30, because I didn’t want to be rushed. However, due to an awesome United Cab Driver, a concerned and helpful Delta desk crew, and super nice people in the security line at the airport in New Orleans, we made our flight to Atlanta that would eventually take us to Nassau, where we planned to play in the water, lay on the beach, look for pirates, and take a boat ride to feed iguanas (We are all geeks or nerds. Get used to it.).
I say eventually, because rain, lightning, and some wicked looking wind kept our plane (and countless others…seriously, we lost count) on the ground for an eternity. Again, to a kid. Three kids. Three young kids, who should get “Best Children” award for this day. We made them run to the check in desk and then run from security to the desk with no shoes (Imagine the gunk on the floor of a New Orleans public place. NOLA was just named as the dirtiest city in the US by some magazine. Really, who cares. Tourists come here to eat, drink, and be merry. They don’t care about cleanliness. With Transocean, Halliburton, and BP fouling the waters, do you think that the residents of the Crescent City are that worried about dirt on the ground?) Also good, a layover not at a normal eating time, meaning that lunch/dinner consisted of vegetable lo mein, a donut, and candy.
By the time we arrived in Nassau, the boy was cranky, and the girls wondered why we had to walk so far to get to our baggage. The immigration officer was slow, and who could blame him at the late hour we arrived. The baggage took a long time to come from the plane, but it all arrived. Some man whisked us past customs (Yee haw for him!), and I did what I always seem to do when my husband and I travel—I let him take the lead. (This is not normal. I am in control most of the time.)
I have no idea why he chose the cab driver that he did, but four other men looked slightly affronted not to get our fare. They had to be thinking, “Exhausted parents with at least one angry-faced kid. Those people will pay anything!” They might have been rubbing their hands in glee. Reality is probably that those were cabbies heading to certain hotels, but I had no idea. I followed the husband in blind faith that he would get us to the condo where our friends awaited us.
The kids filled our short ride with exclamations about riding on the wrong side of the road, to which I said, “It’s the right side of the road to him.” The cabbie, knowing I referenced him, responded with, “The boss lady has it right.”
Let’s stop right here to ask all of you to call me boss lady from this moment on. I love that term. Mr. Late Night Cab Driver may call every woman with kids that, even the worried ones who follow their kids with hand sanitizer at the ready, those women that wouldn’t ever dare let their children run barefoot through the dirtiest city in the States. HA! I would. I have. That makes me awesome in my kids’ eyes. Pthpt, to you, worried mamas.
So please, call me boss lady. I plan to tip every person who calls me that this week. I even sent the husband to the grocery store while I got to play on the beach with the kids. (That also included cleaning up after breakfast that our friends had a hand in helping be a reality with the late night donation of bread, cheese, bacon, and eggs.)
We’re here. We made it. Kids are happy. Husband got to drink Kalik with his buddy into the wee hours of the night, and I have a new nickname. Vacation may not have started out right, but it started.