Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Getting to Caye Caulker-Part 1

Friendly Hotel Desk Clerk: Okay, I have you booked here for two rooms.

Us: What? No we should only have one room.

Friendly Hotel Desk Clerk: Hmmm, let me see {click-clack-clickity-clack} No, it says here two rooms. You are definitely booked for two rooms.

Us: Sigh.....

 We decided to spend the night near the Newark airport as our flight departed at 5:45am. It was surprisingly difficult to find a hotel near the Newark airport whose Tripadvisor reviews did not include photos of guests riddled with bed bug bites.  Springhill Suites seemed to be our best option if we didn’t want to carry unwanted insect passengers in our luggage. 

Our bug free bed 
The best available price was the one actually stated through Tripadvisor’s website, so I ended up booking directly through them. Of course what I found out at the desk of Springhill Suites is that Tripadvisor then books you through a third party. Through some glitch in their system they had accidentally, simultaneously booked us through two different third parties, Expedia and Get a Room. I had absolutely no Expedia information. No paperwork, no confirmation number, but I did have the paperwork for the Get a Room confirmation, so the clerk booked us in using the Expedia reservation and advised us to call Get a Room and have them cancel their reservation. If we didn’t get one of the reservations cancelled, we’d be charged for both rooms. 

Me: I explain the situation to the person answering the phone

Joe: I'm going to have to transfer you

Terrible hold music

Me: I explain the situation

Pete: I'm going to transfer you...

More terrible hold music

Me: I explain the situation

Donna: Actually, you have to call a completely different phone number, here I'll give it to you....

The issue seemed like something that should have been easy to resolve seeing as it was a glitch on Tripadvisor’s end, but it took forever. We spent almost two hours, precious hours we should have been sleeping before our 2:30am wake up call, on the
phone. Fortunately we did end up getting the second reservation cancelled, but I will be hesitant to book a room through Tripadvisor again. It wasn’t the best way to start off a trip.

 2:30am, we got ready in record speed, then caught the hotel’s 24 hour airport shuttle to the Newark airport. 

This part of traveling always gives me anxiety. Not the flying part, I enjoy flying, just the making sure that everything falls into place part. I’m usually not fully relaxed until my bag has been successfully set down on the floor of my accommodation. 

Craig from the Indie Travel Podcast suffers the same anxiety and described it as feeling like taking a final exam. That really is the perfect description.

We passed through security smoothly, though while I was waiting for Shannon, I witnessed two of the security screeners arguing and almost getting into a fist fight. Ah, New Jersey.  

I'm always mesmerized by the people who can chow down on greasy egg sandwiches and massive fruit and yogurt parfaits at 4:30 in the morning. All I can manage to do is sit down in my seat and stare. While I was staring, there was a girl yelling at her boyfriend for eating a muffin because it wasn't vegan. 

Once we were in the air, I pulled out my iPod. It was a little too early for reading or movies.  I wanted to go Meta for the first flight, so I saved up some of my favorite travel podcasts to listen to while in the air. Particularly, Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase, because then I was listening to a podcast about flying, while flying.  Whoa.  

We had one of those fancy screens at our seats where you can choose to watch a plethora of different movies or shows, but I preferred watching the flight progress.

We both have our airplane drinks. I don't drink Coke a lot, but I always choose it as my airplane drink. Shannon always gets Ginger Ale.

We landed in Miami in a bit of a panic. We had a very short layover and were aware that our next flight was probably already boarding as we waited to exit the plane. It seemed to take FOREVER for people to mosey their way off of the plane.  We bounced impatiently on our heals as Slowy McSlowster took his sweet old time retrieving his bag from the overhead bin, completely unaware of the backup of eager to disembark passengers behind him. The dread of a possibly missed flight started to envelop me.

In the most wonderful stroke of luck, our boarding gate was directly across from the gate we departed from. We even had time for the quickest bathroom break in the history of airport bathroom breaks. 

Next stop, Belize City, Belize.


  1. I believe I've met Slowy McSlowster on more than one occasion. :)

    1. Slowy McSlowster should have to sit in the back of the plane