And we stayed up almost all night talking. Seriously. It was great fun just laughing with my husband, reminiscing about our day, our wedding day.
And the night wandered on as we talked and talked... until finally we decided we needed to get some sleep since our alarm was set for 3:30 a.m. to get on the shuttle to the airport for a flight leaving at 6. And it was already 1:30 a.m.
And so we slept shortly, got ready, and off we were to our honeymoon in Flagstaff, AZ. Nothing was going to bring us down. (But little did we know all that would happen to try to bring us down.)
The day started off great. We got to the airport early, got through security no problem, and we were on our plane and telling everyone we encountered that we were newlyweds. (It's amazing how much joy that gives other people!)
We had a layover in Dallas when Aaron realized that he hadn't brought his insurance card for our rental car (ahem - I was only 20 and was five years from legally being able to even rent a car at most places, so I was exempt from this responsibility.) He panicked shortly - called his parents (who had access to our car), and had them available to fax it to the rental car company if need be. (Which they did anyway after he called the company to tell them it was coming.) Crisis averted. Phew.
On to Phoenix and we were excited to get our bags, get our rental car, and take the two hour car ride to Flagstaff to get checked into our condo for the week. We jetted through the small airport to the carousel where the luggage was already flooding the conveyor and we waited. And we waited. And we waited.
We had checked two bags and Aaron's golf clubs. The golf clubs were the only thing that made it. Before we knew it we had spent 30 minutes in line at the 'you lost my luggage' counter explaining size, shape, content and departure destination to a woman who seemed like she could care less. Aaron was on the verge of fuming. I, on the other hand, well, it was our honeymoon - and there ain't nothing that was gonna rain on my parade.
So we left the airport with zero luggage (well, ok - our tennis shoes were in the golf bag, so we had tennis shoes and golf clubs! Woot Woot!) and just the glimmer of a promise that if they found it we'd work out gaining possession of it. (Did I mention it was a two hour drive one direction to our destination?)
And then was the renting of the car. The renting of the car had been a breeze. Thank goodness we had thought early about that insurance card! Wouldn't have wanted to deal with that right after finding our our luggage was MIA. So we hopped in our Nissan Maxima and were on our way.
After two hours through beautiful country we reached our condos! Aaron had finally cooled a little bit (after I convinced him that it was our honeymoon - shouldn't be anything to frustrate us! Also mentioned that it was our honeymoon... the luggage wasn't exactly necessity. Ahem.) and I was as excited as I had been. We walked in to the check - in area, hand in hand, and Aaron went to the counter to get our condo. The lady asked Aaron for his driver's license and a credit card for incidentals. He pulled out the driver's license and immediately turned to me with fear in his eyes. "My credit card is gone," he says.
Now - I must explain. Aaron was 34 when we married, and he had never owned a credit card. He got a credit card specifically to rent the car for our honeymoon. So he had possession of one. So his panic came from a place of "what are we going to do now."
But you know me! I was on my honeymoon! Wasn't nothing going to stop us! Luckily - I, too, had a credit card and passed mine over for our incidentals as Aaron stood frustrated and shaking his head trying to figure out where his could be.
We checked the car, his pockets, etc... and finally traced it back to the last place we saw it, the car rental counter.
A call back to the car rental establishment confirmed that they did, indeed, have his credit card in possession. (Yay for it not being in some thief's hands!) They were going to 'overnight' it to him, but it was Sunday, so it technically wouldn't overnight until Monday, which meant he would get it on Tuesday. Phew.
Hours went by and Aaron finally decided to call the number he got about our luggage. The first lady was no help whatsoever. Again, lacking compassion, she told him that the luggage had been found and that she was looking right at it. Aaron asked her where she was and she replied, 'Dallas, your luggage didn't make the flight change.' An hour later, we still hadn't heard about the luggage (and were supposed to in moments after he talked to the lady), so he called back and the foreign gentleman on the phone assured Aaron that they had finally found our luggage and it had skipped the Dallas destination all together, with, apparently, several other individual's luggage.
All we knew was that someone was lying to us. It wasn't until about 9:00 p.m. that we received a phone call from a 20 - something male saying that he had our luggage and was leaving Phoenix with it then. He'd drop ours off first and it'd be about midnight when he got there.
So - did this guy really have our luggage? He did, along with about 40 other peoples. In fact, he was driving a 15 passenger van with every seat removed and luggage stacked to the ceiling. He would spend the next 4 hours driving all over Arizona delivering luggage.
Sucked to be him that day. Apparently the airline made MAJOR mistakes with luggage somehow.
But we got through it all :) And I with, apparently, a saintly attitude, because as the day continued to throw us curve balls and Aaron proceeded to get more and more angry, and (by no power of my own) continued to show grace and cheer, to the point that Aaron deemed me 'Saint Mary Alicia,' and referred to me as such for the entirety of the trip.
Of all of our traveling we've done (and we traveled on the road for 17 months) this trip, by far, threw us the most obstacles at once.
But it was fun, and a trip I'll never forget!