I am back home and so is my sweetie, Madison.
The decision to go on holiday forced us (hubby and me) to look at all options regarding our babies, one really shy and scared (of her own shadow) young Bernese (nevertheless 90 pounds) named Nina, one cancer-stricken and for the breed ancient but totally unaware of both, Bernese named Charlie and one cancer survivor, even older and now frail, with a herniated disc in her neck Bernese, Madison. If I had stayed home, we of course would have coped somehow. And I had toyed with the idea of cancelling my trip. With me going away, there was no way my husband could cope, hence the decision to hospitalize Madison. During her enforced rest, she grew stronger than she would have at home with the two others, physio therapists manipulated the disc and she had acupuncture. My husband and daughter alternated and visited her and yesterday, we picked her up again. In the meantime, we had a ramp built and while Charlie still tries to find his way inside the old fashion way, both ladies took easily to the ramp. So, on the four-legged baby front the universe is back on kilter.
My trip overall was great, nice to be away from the daily grind and of course having my brother and his family with me. Getting to the Turks is a different story; our itinerary was from Vancouver to the Turks and then to Miami, from where my brother and family flew back to Germany and I flew back to Vancouver. Due to the side trip to Miami, Air Canada did not have my or that of my relative's return trip in their computer system. And apparently, airlines cannot let anyone on board flying to Turks and Caicos without proof that the passenger is leaving the Turks again. Thankfully, my assistant had bundled all, e-tickets and hotel reservations, in a folder – normally, I just use my passport to get a boarding pass if I even wait to get it at the airport – and I could proof that indeed we were leaving the Turks again. Arriving there, we had to fill out a form, answering the question where one would stay. I dutifully wrote “Beaches Resort” and was then questioned by the nice officer at passport check as to what I was going to do there. I was slightly baffled, definitely very tired and already soaked from walking across the airport outside. I thought really? But (wo)manfully I swallowed and told him that I was going to don my bathing suit and do nothing at all 5 days long. Apparently, it was the right answer and I was allowed in.
There were a few oopsies, like when I did not dead bolt my door after finally making it into my room (wasn’t ready until 2 hours after arrival), stripped to my birthday suit, started unpacking when the door opened and – I guess – the supervisor of the maids, barged in to the check if the room was clean and proceeded to ask me if I had just checked in. Again, (wo)manfully swallowed and did NOT (although, I wanted to) say, that I have a habit of dropping from ceilings in strange hotels butt-naked and limited myself to just glare at her.
It was incredible hot, the sun was burning and there were not enough umbrellas, huts or cabanas. The latter, one was able to rent for an outrageously daily price which I did the last two days. Not that it was easy; the first day, it went relatively fast, a butleress (sorry, that is what they call themselves) showed up only an hour after renting and really nicely placed towels on the lounger and brought along a cooler with ice. Unfortunately, she had forgotten to also bring the name tag, so I had to wait until the “official” reserve sign was up to leave for the washroom or pool (my family had gone snorkeling). It took only another hour.
The next day was not as easy. First, no one can do anything before 9 am because that is when the sales office opens and some coordinator knows if and how many cabanas are free. Then, when a free one (the same as the day before sans the reserved in my name sign) was found, they wanted me to toddle to the sales office to sign that I was going to pay the day’s rent. As I had done so the day before at the reception/lobby, I did not see any reason why I could not do so again. After several phone calls (I likely could have jogged to the sales office despite the heat faster), it was confirmed that I indeed could sign for the cabana right there in the lobby. However, we are not sure what went wrong; at one point, there were 4 or 5 staff members involved and it took 6 hours until the cooler was brought and the reserve sign (the only thing we were really interested in as we are totally capable to place towels on chairs and the pool bar was less than a minute walk away). Eventually, the director of butler service came and apologized and told us that someone had confused F5 (ours) with C5 and had set up there. As there obvious similarities between F and C, we understood, especially as we now did not have to pay the daily rent and also received a cheese (which did not quite survive the walk from wherever to our cabana) and fruit platter. Despite all, it was great and we are looking to potentially go back for my sister-in-law's 50th birthday.
Then, only by cheer luck, did we find out that American Airlines had changed the flight time and we had to be an hour earlier at the airport than originally scheduled or planned.
However, shopping in Miami was great and we had a wonderful time.
My return flight was less than stellar. Originally, I was on Delta from Miami via Minneapolis to Vancouver. And Delta actually alerted me via text that the flight out of Miami was delayed by 1 ½ hours, too bad that I only had an hour and twenty minutes in Minneapolis. However, the agent was really helpful and got me onto a flight to JFK and then to Vancouver. Of course, both were late too and I finally got home at 2 am. My family flying to Germany was faster home than I.
And now it’s back to the grind. Did I miss anything?