Did you know that it’s possible to acquire an entire summer wardrobe for ~$125 in less than an hour? Thankfully, it was Russ’ wardrobe that needed to be replaced on a recent trip to Puerto Rico and not mine. Let’s face it, he’s just better looking and can pull off the bargain basement look on his waif like frame with ease. Yup, he managed to score a week’s worth of clothes, including shorts, shirts, socks, underwear, swim trunks, and sunglasses at a K-Mart near Rincon and no one would have known. Except everyone did know that he was rocking a K-Mart special because he felt compelled to tell everyone that he met about this misfortune and that it was somehow my fault.
Okay, maybe I should back-up and begrudgingly let Russ tell his version of the story.
In the two weeks leading up to our departure for Puerto Rico, life was very stressful for me. I was trying a case which is always difficult, and filled with anxiety. To make matters worse, while driving to court on the first day of the trial, I was rear-ended on a busy highway, rendering my car inoperable. So, there I was, stranded on the side of the road, dressed in a suit and tie, my bumper scattered in a hundred pieces all over the ground, and my car effectively shutting down a lane of the highway.
The ensuing trial went well, but it was a fight and I was drained by the end. Our flight was leaving on a Monday night and my trial was supposed to conclude by Monday afternoon. But by then end of the day on Monday, the jury was not finished deliberating and we had no verdict. The trial was to continue Tuesday morning. I had to make a decision: stay until the jury returned a verdict or go on vacation. After talking to my bosses I was told to go on vacation, but I was still unsure of what to do. At about 5:30 pm I decided to go to Puerto Rico and raced to the airport where I met my wife, children and some in-laws. As I loaded the suitcases from the car to the curb in front of the airport, I could not find my bag. The day before I packed all of my belongings into one bag: t-shirts, swim trunks, socks, underwear, sunglasses etc. – all packed and ready to go. On top of my bag was my suit and dress shoes for the family wedding we were attending in Puerto Rico.
Figuring I may have overlooked my bag in my haste to make our flight, I quickly turned to my wife and asked, “Where is my bag?” From the look on her face I knew in an instant my bag did not make it into the car. She apologized repeatedly (which after 8 years of marriage is rare for her). As a consolation she told me she remembered to pack my suit in her bag. I started to point out to her that my suit was right next to my bag and that I could not understand how she could pack one without the other, but quickly gave up and started to realize I was probably going to go to Puerto Rico with just the clothes on my back. I briefly flirted with the idea of skipping the flight and flying out another night (and returning to my trial to get the verdict), but decided against it.
The flight was fine and the boys slept through most of it, which made things easy. But we landed at 1:30 am and then had to pick up our rental car. Of course our car was located as far away from the terminal as possible, which made it a bit of a struggle to drag our bags (at least we had one less bag to carry) and the boys (both of whom were strapped in their car seats and fast asleep) about 100 yards through a dimly lit parking lot. Once we loaded our bags into the car, we then had to briefly rouse our boys from their slumber, lift them out of their car seats. We then quickly installed their seats in the rental car (all the while Finnegan kept saying, “I sooo tired, I wanna sleep!”). It was now after 2 am and it was muggy and I was resenting wearing long pants and a long sleeve shirt.
The boys quickly fell back to sleep, but the next challenge was finding the house we were renting for the week, in the dark, on roads with which I was unfamiliar. In fact, I had never been to Puerto Rico before, so this seemed like a daunting task. After a 30 minute drive we found the house, but any hope of keeping the boys asleep quickly vanished. Restored by a few hours of sleep on the plane and the car ride, both boys woke up and began exploring their new surroundings. The house was nice with four bedrooms, a spacious kitchen and an in-ground pool. Finnegan raced around the house exploring all the rooms.
By 3:30 am, everyone finally went to sleep. I was up the next morning by 8 am, sweating in my jeans and still not in a good mood. At 9:07 am I got a text message from my colleague saying the jury sent out a note to the judge indicating it had reached a verdict. Ten minutes later I got a call saying I won the trial! Things were looking up.
After breakfast my wife and I set out to buy some essentials. We stopped at the first place we saw, a K-Mart, and I picked up a week’s worth of warm weather clothes. After our purchase I changed right in the parking lot and felt infinitely better to be in shorts, a t-shirt and shades. My vacation was finally starting.
The next six days in Puerto Rico were quite enjoyable. The weather was perfect, the ocean was warm and the Puerto Ricans sure know how to party! The wedding we attended was probably the most festive I have ever experienced and the music did not stop the entire night. Even old people were up dancing for hours (and all of them had better moves than me). The boys were a big hit in PR, with women swooning over them constantly. I wish I had my camera because there was one moment when Finnegan was in the hotel swimming pool and was surrounded by four or five bikini-clad 20 – 25 year old PR girls, all of whom were fawning over him. The kid is far better with the ladies than I ever was…
The moral to the story is pack your bags in the car to go to the airport yourself!
Jen’s version: The morale of the story is to specifically ask your wife to bring your bag to the airport if that is your expectation. Don’t leave your bag near mine and assume it will magically arrive. I was asked to pack the suit and dress shoes, and both made it to PR.
Tomorrow we will post a full review of Rincon and our rental house.