I have a feeling that everyone probably thinks that my honeymoon totally sucked, since I really have yet to write anything about it here. The truth of the matter that the experience, like the wedding, was so huge, it’s taken me a while to wrap my head around. Suddenly, it was Thanksgiving weekend and then the Baltimore saga happened, and here we are.
If you were superstitious person, you would say that it was a bad omen that we had three visits to the ER within our first two weeks of marriage. That’s ONLY if you were superstitious.
The night of the wedding, I had the expected sore feet, sore back, and bone tired exhaustion that comes from just having lived through the biggest weekend of your life. An amazing soak in the hotel tub and a good night’s sleep, and I’d be ready to face the honeymoon.
However, the next morning, I still didn’t have feeling in the toes of my right foot, nor could I put any weight on it. I immediately feared the worst, and mentioned as much to Army Boy. After a quick conference with my parents in the hotel lobby as we wished all of our guests a safe journey, we decided to head over to Urgent Care to get it checked out. I didn’t want to leave the country with anything that could potentially hinder our travels or be dangerous on a trans-atlantic flight. Also, I work in healthcare and know all about those scary things.
Thus, we ended up at the local Urgent Care, getting my foot x-rayed while wearing our Bride and Groom tee-shirts. To everyone who asked, we jokingly agreed that the wedding had to have been an AWESOME party for us to end up seeking medical attention.
The verdict: Nothing broken, but stay off it, lots of ice and OTC pain relievers. I was cleared for the honeymoon.
Except that deep down, I felt like I WASN’T cleared. There was something seriously wrong with my foot, and I suspected it more and more over the course of the next day. The wedding was on a Friday, and we were due to leave for our trip on Monday morning. I am SO glad that we scheduled things the way we did.
We went home, we opened our gifts, and we spent all day Sunday packing. I had to drastically revamp my planned wardrobe of dresses and heels for our formal dinners, and sulkily picked out dress pants and flats. Throughout the day, I was in a lot of pain, which finally became unbearable while I was trying to take a shower.
I sat in the bathroom and cried, feeling like I was letting down Army Boy and ruining our trip of a lifetime. We would only have one honeymoon, and I couldn’t navigate a flight of stairs. And also that SOMETHING was wrong with my foot. It wasn’t simply a bruise.
I came out of the bathroom red-faced, and Army Boy immediately knew something was wrong. He offered to bring me back to the ER, but I wanted to make sure we had finished our packing and were ready to travel. It turned out that I had a fever from pain, so off we went for our second visit to the ER in as many days.
After another set of X-rays (and staying in the ER until 2am the day we were scheduled to leave for the honeymoon), the doctor admitted that he couldn’t rule out a stress fracture. I was outfitted with some crutches and far better pain relief, and we were sent on our merry way.
This time? I had the constant companionship of Das Boot, who would come with us on our travels. He allowed me to both walk fairly normally, and help to carry the massive amount of luggage that we were taking with us. We decided to check a third bag, because doing so was cheaper than paying the fine for overweight bags, AND would give us the option of stashing some extra souvenirs in there. Of course, that meant that Army Boy ended up with TWO suitcases until we arrived at the airport.
The excitement that I felt standing on the train platform and waiting to begin our trip was akin to the best Christmas mornings that I could remember. I was FINALLY going to get on a plane and leave the United States. In a matter of hours, I’d be touching down on Irish soil! We were taking a train to Philadelphia airport, grabbing a connecting flight to Newark and depart from there on a red-eye to Shannon.
Only… FATE had other ideas for us. The train to Philadelphia airport was uneventful, and we were able to check our bags, get through security and find (hobble to) our gate fairly easily. Once there, we waited! And… waited. And…. Waited?
Finally, our flight crew made an announcement over the PA system. Something had been detected during our pre-boarding check of the plane, and they wanted maintenance to be sure we were ready to fly. They even went as far as to board us on to our flight… And then the flight attendant informed us that they were grounding the plane for the night. We would not be making the trip to Newark… with only an hour until our flight to Ireland.
Army Boy got in line to discuss our situation with the airline staff, who were very helpful but simply couldn’t make sure that everyone was able to get to their destinations on time. We would miss our flight, and the next international flight that we could make was the next night. There wasn’t much that we could do, so we gathered our luggage and off we went for the first night of our honeymoon at an airport hotel in Philly. This also meant that we would miss a full day of our Ireland trip, due to the time difference.
Fortunately, I hadn’t hit the pain killers, so there was booze.
The next morning, we checked in once again and the desk staff was the same as the night before. Pay close attention, because this moment is where our luck began to change. The woman working the desk took a look at our flight number, and frowned slightly.
“I don’t like the way the weather is looking today. I want to make sure that you two get to Newark to make your red eye today… I’m bumping you up to the flight that leaves in 25 minutes. You should be able to get through security no problem, and you’ll have quite a layover when you get there, but at least you’ll be sure to catch the international flight.”
We agreed, and did the security routine again. We just had enough time to grab a quick breakfast, and we were called to board. Alas, we were seated in separate rows. Fortunately, one of the seats we were given was in the front row, and perfect for Das Boot and I.
I ducked in next to a businessman, giving a shy smile and apologizing for stepping over him. I got my book out and was ready to pass the flight in silence, when he gave a gruff cough.
“So, uh… What happened to your foot there? Kick the TV after the Phillies lost?” he asked.
I couldn’t help but grin mischievously. “I’ll top that. I got a stress fracture dancing at my wedding.” He looked incredulous for a moment, and then let out a laugh.
“Ok, that does win. That would mean you’re… on your honeymoon?” He raised an eyebrow, and then gave Das Boot an exaggerated stare.
“Yes, and this is our second attempt to get to Newark… our flight last night was cancelled.”
“Oh no, tough luck!! Where are you two headed??”
“We’re going to Ireland,” I replied, unable to keep from smiling the way I did EVERY time I told someone our honeymoon destination.
“That’s awesome, I’ve been there loads of times! Where are you staying?”
And with that, we launched into a conversation that lasted the entire brief flight to Newark, and somehow ended with him introducing himself to Army Boy and insisting that we accompany him to the President’s Club. He felt badly for our “excitement” thus far in our married life, and felt that me spending eight hours in the terminal with nothing better to do than sit was a very bad idea. We were introduced as “my cousin Brooke and her new husband,” and the President’s Club staff took wonderful care of us for the day.
For some remarkable reason, his generosity didn’t end there, and by the end of our few hours of acquaintance, he’d also used his airline miles to upgrade our flight home to first class. Then, as quickly as he’d entered our story, he departed, continuing his trip to Florida. We had no way of contacting him to thank him for his kindness other than his name and employer.
We sat there in the quiet of the lounge, pinching ourselves at our luck. Who does this happen to?! We had plush furniture, wi-fi, and complimentary drinks at the bar. We were able to leave as we needed to go get some food throughout the day, (Crumbs cupcakes, FTW!) and stock up on necessities for our overnight flight.
Before we knew it, we were boarding the plane for Shannon, and enjoying a smooth flight across the Atlantic. Our first day of our honeymoon was officially over.