Sunday, August 9, 2009

Vacation Gone Bad!

Most vacations go smoothly with a few minor things that go wrong, like a plane delay, but wait until you hear my bad vacation story! This trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico happened nearly 20 years ago but the scars will never go away...

We had a great one week vacation planned, we were young and in love...the surf was supposed to be great and the flight on Aero California was a steal!
We landed in Cabo on time, and proceeded to pick up our bags in this tiny little airport when the first strange thing happened...a 45 minute luggage delay. Seriously there were only a few gates at the airport back then, what is the hold up? After going finally getting our bags and going through the Mexican security (yes, they did search us going into Mexico), we caught a shuttle to our hotel. The hotel was nice with a beautiful ocean view, we dropped our things and stepped onto the balcony to enjoy it. Mysteriously a note appeared under our hotel room door...what is this I wondered? Maybe an invite to happy hour in the bar? It read..."Do not unpack your bags due to a Hurricane Warning. You may be asked to take cover in the lobby area." Hurricane? Didn't we check the forecast before we left? Of course we didn't, we were youngsters who only cared about the surf report. For the next few days we watched as storefronts boarded up their windows and the Hurricane report was issued in the lobby each morning (always a day late). My hubby really wanted to surf so each morning we'd peer out at the sky and think...should we go for it? The surf spots were a good 30 minute drive away. Too tempting...of course we went! The waves were huge and the sky was ominous looking but the Hurricane veered away from Cabo and we never got hit.
The skies turned turquoise blue and we enjoyed the rest of the week soaking up the sun, soaking up Margaritas and getting soaked in the warm and wonderful sea.
So you're reading this and thinking, hey...what was so bad about this trip? I haven't even got to the BAD yet!

The last day of our vacation we spent the morning at the beach and decided to just go straight to the airport and shower when we got home that night...BIG MISTAKE!!! We noticed as we arrived that the airport was really packed but figured it was because of the big fishing tournament that had been going on. We walked up to the ticket counter and checked in for our flight. "Now Boarding Aero California Flight #101, please proceed to the gate when we call your name." We waited, and waited...hmmmm...this is strange. Then they stopped calling names, closed the boarding door. A herd of passengers rushed the agent to find out why they weren't on that flight when they all held tickets saying they were.
Surprise #1-The previous flight of the day was cancelled due to mechanical trouble and they boarded our flight with those passengers. Surprise #2- After spending 7 days in Mexico (love the food) I couldn't wait to get home and have a good juicy American hamburger...instead we were issued $5 vouchers for a lunch in the airport restaurant. Surprise #3-A few hours pass and now we are the only people left in the airport...what does Aero California do to calm the stranded passengers? BEER! A full size trash can full of ice and cerveza is being hauled in by the Airport security guards!
Surprise #4-It's dinnertime, the airport restaurant has closed and the crowd is hungry...the flight attendants now wheel in the trays of our airline meal...chicken or fish? Surprise #5- We are told to go through the xray machines, the plane is coming and to have our boarding passes in hand...false alarm, go back...another delay! Surprise #6-Once again, back through security check(just in case someone found a weapon in the now darkened desolate airport) boarding passes's almost midnight. We see the plane land, passengers disembark...stand up to get ready to board..."Attention please, Flight 101 has been cancelled due to fog at LAX"! Surprise #7-They ask all thirty of us to board the plane and sleep in it on the runway until morning! Passengers refuse! Finally at 1:30am we all arrive at a hotel for some much needed sleep and a nice hot shower. Surprise #8- No Hot water...front desk explains that it's turned off until morning! Surprise #9-5:30AM wake up call to board shuttle buses back to the airport. Yes, we finally do board while the flight attendants "freshen" the seats with Glade spray. I would estimate the plane's age to be from the 60's ...can it make it back to LAX??? Surprise #10- We make 2 unscheduled landings in fishing villages along the way to pick up random people. While flying...which I love to do...we had a few too close for comfort views of mountain peaks...a wild ride!
When we finally landed in L.A., I literally felt like kissing the ground...that's how good it felt to be back home. We wait for our luggage and now my suitcase does not appear. It had been on the flight we should've been on and had been waiting for me all night...they even called my house to say they had it! Since our friends from Orange County had driven up the day before to pick us up...we had no way of contacting them...we were now stranded with no ride home. Stranded in LA? No problem, find me the nearest fast food place and shove a hamburger in my mouth!

Next week...The Ugly!