So when we last spoke, I was catching you up on how to move three cats from Seattle to Bermuda the hard way.
Or maybe that was how not to?
Or perhaps I was simply suggesting that you never, ever attempt this? Find good homes for your pets and start over fresh on the other side?
At any rate, since I know you’re dying for the ugly details, allow me to continue: Day two started off at the Hilton Miami Airport, where we had been (accidentally) out until 3am, (accidentally) having dinner in South Beach. I was rudely awoken at 9am by people yelling in the hallway and the sound of a bed squeaking in the room above me. As previously mentioned, I’m something of a light sleeper, and once my brain kicks in, that’s all there is to it. I’m up. For the day.
Since I hadn’t had access to hand weights or a gym in three days and wouldn’t again for a week or more, I went to the hotel fitness room. And it SUCKED. You know those super lame gyms at cheap hotels where they have a treadmill, an exercise bike, and an ancient elliptical machine? This was that. But at a nice Hilton. And apparently they were proud of it. In the ‘thank you for staying here Hilton Diamond member, Mr./Ms. Wolf’ letter they handed me at check-in, they bragged that my Diamond status awarded me free entrance into the gym. Ummm… Nothing to boast about, people. Maybe check out the local Bally’s and get a clue.
And when your hand weights are the sharp kind that instantly cause calluses and start out at 20 lb, you are not exactly female friendly. I’m a girl, not Arnold Schwarzenegger. You couldn’t even come up with a couple of ten pounders? Nevertheless, I did what I could with the oversized, palm tenderizing beasts…and it took two days before my triceps stopped aching. Maybe that workout will be the thing that finally makes them look ripped? Probably not…
Another trip back to the airport with the overabundance of personal belongings, and it was off to the races.
First off, the people in Miami are not even 1/100th as nice as the people in Seattle. If anything, we were annoying the crap out of them with our mere existence and plethora of luggage. Thus, without even a warning or warmup tragedy, there was something of a meltdown regarding the cat immigration paperwork, which in turn caused my friend to get panicky, which in turn caused the lady ‘helping’ us to get her manager, which led to some feisty exchanges, which led to me having visions of my fellow travelers spending a night in jail.
However, despite the circumstances, we got checked in after a mere 45 minutes and had just enough time to repeat the whole security craziness with the private room and the cats running around and all that fun stuff. I grabbed a pre-made salad (I hate pre-made salads, but what can you do?), and boarded during the final call. Nothing like taking it down to the wire.
When we were filling out our immigration and customs paperwork, I should have known.
In hindsight, my instincts were fired up, but I think I was too tired to tune in.
Thus, when K instructed me to copy A’s paperwork with respect to the address where we were staying (“Mazarine by the Sea, 91 North Shore Rd, Pembroke, Bermuda”) I just figured that was the name of her apartment complex. And when we got there and she explained that the two of us (A + I) would go through together in the US Citizen line and she’d go through on her own with the cats into the Bermuda resident line, I was fine with that. And when we went up to get our passports stamped and answer the questions about how long we’re staying and why, it seemed fine.
It wasn’t until my single suitcase was stacked onto a giant cart with A’s two GIGANTIC suitcases that I started to worry.
V: “Ummmm….this is a problem.”
V: “He has so much stuff…for a week. It’s weird. They’re going to think it’s weird.”
A: “I’ll just tell them its your stuff. Women always overpack.”
V: “But it’s not my stuff. What if they open it?”
A: “I’ll just stay you like to wear my stuff.”
V: “That’s retarded.”
You get the idea.
And so did customs. A and I were promptly flagged over to the ‘deep dive’ section (where K was in the next aisle having a comparably easy breezy experience), and interrogated in a manner rarely seen outside the CIA.
I felt like one of those people who marries a person from a foreign country solely to get them citizenship and is now being quizzed by immigration and naturalization and failing miserably.
“What kind of toothpaste does he use?” Ummmmm…..Crest?
“Is he left or right-handed?” Ambidextrous?
“What side of the bed does he sleep on?” He’s an insomniac. I’ve never seen him sleep.
“Where were you married?” In a church???
Although I lounged languidly against the table behind me in the hopes of affecting an air of bored indifference, in my head I was in a dead panic about the basics of my travel ‘partner’: What is his last name? What is the name of the place we’re allegedly staying? If he has a single f*cking frying pan or desk lamp in one of those bags, I am getting deported.
When they lady asked about the three bags and discovered that two of them were his, she deadpanned, “That’s a first.”
Basically, we just acted like he was a wacko clotheshorse who brought three coats, ten pairs of jeans, and six dozen t-shirts with him wherever he went. I, in contrast, am a highly organized weirdo who puts everything in little zip pouches according to the order I’m going to wear them. She admired the neatness of my packing job.
And although she asked A “Are you sure you’re leaving?” about fifteen times, in the end she gave us the grumpy pass, and we stumbled relieved into the Bermudian night…and right into a creepy dentist from Florida who spent the next 20 minutes trying to pick me up.
K had pre-ordered a van, but the guy didn’t show, so as we were waiting around, this 60-ish dude who reminded me of Kenny Rogers came up and started chatting at length. Chip claimed to be a dentist from Merritt Island by day and a power investor by night (allegedly) and was in Bermuda for the week to lead some kind of investment seminar (allegedly) and was there at the airport to pick up some kind of professional rugby player (allegedly) and did I need any drugs or did I want to stay in his hotel room, which was very spacious. (No and no.)
He then spent another ten minutes outlining a series of dental medications which would make great date rape drugs, gave me his card, and we (sans The Gambler) headed off to the tiny apartment temporarily (at least for me) known as home. Par usual, K is upstairs snoring as I type (at 12:35pm), and perhaps I’ve got it all wrong? Although the snoring is crazy loud (like a dude) and has kept me up for the last seven nights, maybe I’ll find that I miss it when it’s gone?
We shall see…
I added some photos to the post from Monday.