How to Honeymoon, Part I

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I orchestrated two weeks worth of posts while Mr Wonderful and I were in Spain so that I wouldn't feel like a lazy blogger, and so that you'd still have something lovely to look at from me. But all that homework done in advance meant that I couldn't share with you the most ridiculous travel tale, at least as it happened.

I'm not going to tell the whole story all at once, because you'd give up on international travel forever if I did. This week, between regularly featured loveliness, I'll also share with you our outrageous adventure, helpful Spanish phrases and honeymoon travel tips!

Lovely image by Caroline Tran.

Chapter 1: United

Booking a direct flight to Madrid from San Francisco was next to impossible without a private plane and accommodating pilot; every flight included an 18 hour layover in a New Jersey-New York airport. Mr Wonderful and I decided to make the best of it, and turned that layover into a brief visit with my parents. We booked an early afternoon flight to Newark, where we would arrive just after 10 pm, then planned to have a lovely brunch and head to JFK the next afternoon.

Our bags were packed, we were checked-in online and we were on our way without incident. I planned three hours for the trip, giving us close to two at the airport instead of the recommended one. We arrived at United's luggage check-in, boarding passes already in hand, fresh-faced and excited to begin our journey. Moments later, after typing our confirmation number into the automated kiosk, I was confronted with puzzling news: our flight was canceled.

I walked to the departures board, where our flight was listed as "on time". Completely befuddled, I asked the nearest United agent if she had any information. She gazed at the ceiling, refusing to make eye contact, and told me I would need someone else's assistance. 20 minutes later, we were finally directed to "Special Problems", a line roped off and completely inaccessible to those of us with said "Special Problems". Standing in front of us was a couple arguing about whether or not she'd booked a flight to the wrong city.

My heart dropped, and I knew our flight was definitely canceled. Mechanical failure had grounded the plane, and a few moments later it disappeared altogether from the departures board.

After some wrangling (and assistance from the couple arguing in front of us), we were on a 3 pm flight to Philadelphia that would land about an hour after our original flight was scheduled to arrive. We enjoyed at 2 am family dinner and brunch at 11 with some of my dearest friends, putting our stressful day behind us.

Tomorrow: Chapter 2, Lufthansa


  1. Crazy! U can't wait for part number two now! I am glad you were able to board and see family.

  2. what happened to the days when air travel was glamorous!

    i'm glad you finally worked everything out :) can't wait to hear more about your honeymoon!

  3. thank you for your sweet comments on my blog. loving your stories as well.


  4. It only gets more ridiculous from here! But if you are still holding hands at the end of a very terrible, no good day, you know you've got a winner!

  5. way to utilize that bail out money, united...



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