Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Trust Your Gut - The Bahamas Experience - Part I

For a long time, I have heard people say, "Trust your gut". As I get older and find this statement to be more and more true, I have finally reached that singular moment in my life where I firmly and unequivocally believe that your gut is, in fact, a fortune teller. Listen to it. Never was there an experience that put this more into perspective than my trip last week to the Bahamas. You will be reading about this incredible experience as I capture every painful detail in a multi-part blog series. I am hoping that the recounting of this trip will be an entertaining and informational account for my readers while also serving as therapy for my soul.

Today is Tuesday and I returned from my trip at 1 a.m. on Monday. This was a trip I have been looking forward to since, roughly, April, when my good friends, Carol and The Cap’n (that is a nickname we gave him because his life, besides Carol, is boats) announced they were getting married and would celebrate their nuptials in Green Turtle Cay, Abacos, Bahamas. This would be my first trip to the Bahamas, as well as the first trip for my friend, Mr. P.O.D. (You know him from previous blogs. If not, please refer to the post from 9/2/08). While POD does not, himself, favor beaches and intense tropical sun, the thought of a romantic getaway with a small group of good friends sounded intriguing.

So the planning begins.

Toward the end of June, we booked passage from our respective homes (I, in Iowa; he, in northern Kentucky), meeting up in Atlanta, where we would catch the Delta flight to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, arriving a little after midnight. We would land at a hotel there and hold up for the night. Sleep in. Get a good brunch and head to our 1 p.m. flight with Vintage Props and Jets, Inc. out of the Ft. Lauderdale airport bound for the island of Treasure Cay in the Bahamas, where we would hop the ferry to Green Turtle Cay and be sipping Rum Runners by 5 p.m., in time for Carol and the Cap’n’s Welcome Reception, which began at 6 p.m.

Easy peezey. Sounds great. But it was my gut, who, weeks before our departure date, began to put the brakes on my enthusiasm for this tropical getaway. I was beginning to have second thoughts about this trip. I was experiencing an inner conflict on celebrating with my great friends in a beautiful and remote island paradise while considering the needs of my travel companion – making certain he would be happy, given his feelings about boats, beaches, sun, and drinking during the daytime. Now, he was coming down with some kind of “bug”….throw in the total cost of this “little” excursion and you have a formula for mixed emotions.

Everything began to crumble on Tuesday night around 9 p.m. while I was giving myself a pedicure, speaking with my friend, Emma, on the phone. My gut was trying to tell me something.

I confessed to Emma that I just did not have a good feeling about this trip and, with each passing day, I had grown more and more anxious. Having just received news that P.O.D. was coming down with a nasty head cold, I was worried that this might dampen our fun. "Well, here is the deal," said Emma, a holistic life coach, artist, and yogis, "It is too late to cancel. It is going to be fun. You just need to relax and let it be." She was so connected with the Universe and her words were encouraging. “Besides,” she said, “you will come back with a great tan!”

She was right. It was silly for me to worry. P.O.D. reassured me that he was thrilled to be with Carol and The Cap’n and he would be able to settle in to a shady spot on the beach with a good book and he was just excited to be a part of the festivities and to be on vacation – with me.

I was able to get out of work cleanly on Tuesday afternoon. Tied up a few loose ends on the cell phone on my way to the airport. Turned up classic rock tunes on my radio and got into vacation mode. I was on my way to the Bahamas, baby!

My travels went smoothly. After landing in Atlanta, I checked in with the kids while I waited for P.O.D.’s plane to land. Once on the ground, he immediately set off to find a parodies shop in the airport for some Kleenex and cold medicine. Thirty minutes later, we clinked our cocktail glasses together at a little airport bar and toasted the beginning of a long-awaited and much anticipated adventure. I should have taken it as a sign that they had no Maker’s Mark bourbon (our favorite) at the bar. There was one bottle but we were told by the bartender that it was “for show” only.

Soon we boarded our plane to Ft. Lauderdale and landed, without a hitch, at the airport where we caught a shuttle to our hotel. While checking in, I mentioned to the desk clerk that we would like to find out at which terminal Vintage Props and Jets, Inc. was located. This way, in the morning, we could easily navigate to our final airline.

Nobody at the front desk could give us any information on the existence of Vintage Props and Jets.


“No problem,” I said to the desk clerk. “I have their phone number and a confirmation number for our flight tomorrow. I will just give them a call in the morning.”

We settled into bed. Awoke around 8 a.m. P.O.D’s cold had blossomed overnight and he was feeling a little rough. We showered and planned to go have breakfast before heading out. Our flight was at 1 p.m. This would still give us time to hit a drugstore to get more intense cold medicine and cough drops. Meanwhile, I called the number for Vintage Props and Jets, Inc. The number was no longer in service.

Even more curious.

After consulting the phone book, information, and calling the number for the airline (that was printed on our e-tickets) fifty times, P.O.D. finally made a call to the Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood Florida Airport. The news was a big ol' blow to my gut, whose angst I had nearly calmed by this time: “That airline is out of business.”

Read the Press Release here.

(To be continued - Come back and visit my blog on Friday, November 7)

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