We woke up on our final day and headed to breakfast. The waiters were sad to see us leave...We became regulars while we were there and had fun befriending all the staff. We headed back to the room to pack up & they sent someone to pick us up with all of our luggage at our room. It was nice not to have to carry it in the heat- Mexico is HOT. The boys checked us out, & we all took a bus to the Cancun airport.
(P.S. I know my face it pale and it doesn't even look like I've been at the beach, but I REALLY try to keep my face covered and out of the sun- I don't want wrinkles or skin cancer!!)
The girl sitting behind Dana (I say girl- she was our age!) kept passing gas and banging on the window to kill a bug. She provided our entertainment on the ride, along with our tour guide who talked to us about real life in Mexico. Of course the resort was BEAUTIFUL, but it's crazy to see life outside of the luxury. Seeing men on the highway with huge guns, stopping and searching vehicles (like it was normal) made me thankful to live in America.
The duty free shop at the airport was interesting, too. The cigarette boxes had giant warnings printed all over them, almost making a mockery of smokers. Both of my parents were smokers back in the day and both quit after decades of smoking. I am SO proud of them for that & I know if they can quit after that long, anyone can.
After our $10/slice pizza, we hopped on our flight to Miami. By now it was dinnertime, so we decided on...MEXICAN!! Of course we were spoiled by the authentic Mexican, and this didn't quite compare....(especially for the $8 chips and salsa straight out of the bag & can). After dinner we headed to the gate & realized our gate had been moved- AHHHH!!! Thank goodness we realized in time and were able to hustle over to the correct gate (across the airport!). The TSA was all over this flight with officers checking everyone before we boarded the plane. They let Dana & I march right on through- guess we don't look suspicious. :) We talked about the movie Bridesmaids, so I made it my goal to pick out the air marshall on this flight. We googled the stipulations of being one, and I'm pretty certain I figured out exactly who he was!!
Dana & Ryan were several seats ahead of us on this flight. Unfortunately we were in front of a really obnoxious mother/daughter who were arguing the whole time. It certainly made me want to be more conscious of my conversations on airplanes in the future.
Once we were almost in Atlanta, Captain Callahan came over the loudspeaker and let us know that there were bad storms in Atlanta and they couldn't let us land. We, along with about four other planes, circled around the city waiting to see if the weather would calm down. I was scared to death the cloudy weather would result in one plane not seeing another and clipping a wing or something. Finally the Captain gave us an update- we would be landing in Birmingham, AL to refuel. I was starting to get a little freaked out at this point, as we were supposed to have an hour & forty minute hour flight and were already on the plane for almost 3 hours. As we were getting back to the correct elevation to fly to Birmingham, we had to pass through some major storm clouds. I have NEVER experienced anything like that in my life. The turbulence was unbearable and I was so afraid a wing was going to "break off" from the excessive wind. People were screaming & asking for barf bags. Dana told me later that she was praying....and she told God that she trusted Him and knew He was in control but wasn't quite ready yet. I, on the other hand, SQUALLED. Jonathan looked over and saw my lip quivering- He said 'Don't do it" but I couldn't even help it. I honestly thought we were going down, so I started praying and bawling my eyes out. I was so thankful when we got out of that storm, but was confused when we didn't land right away in Birmingham. We went to Montgomery for some reason?? We had to sit on the plane, parked, for an HOUR waiting for the storms in Atlanta to die down. My phone was dead and I couldn't call Mom....I knew she was a nervous wreck. Dana's sister, Erin, & a friend were waiting for us at the Atl airport and had been for SEVERAL hours by now.
The flight crew gave us another snack and some water. Finally they told us we were ready to go home. We ended up being on that stupid plane for around 7 long, brutal hours. And the fun wasn't over. Once we landed (I really did want to kiss the ground like you see in movies, but didn't think that'd be appropriate at 2 am) the luggage crews had to unload several other planes as well that were late from the storms, so we had to wait another hour or so on the luggage. Poor Erin and her friend had napped, read magazines, had ice cream, made friends while waiting.....bless their hearts! What a sweet sister. FINALLY around 3 or 4 am we were ready to head home. Dana & I told Erin all our funny stories from Mexico, and then Erin entertained us with all of her crazy stories from clinicals! We were SO happy to finally be home, and thankful for all the memories from the trip- even the crazy adventure home.
I am really SO thankful for Ryan and Dana's friendship, and I learned so much from her about being a good wife while we were there. They have been married one year longer than we have, but Dana is really the kindest, most loving, understanding, nurturing, and patient person. I definitely am working on some of those traits and am thankful for the example she is. I know SEVERAL wives who can take some pointers from her!!
Love you both and already ready for our next trip- though I think we'll drive this time!!!