The wake up call comes way too early. I had no idea that there even was a 4:30 in the morning. Normally, I don’t set myself up in situations like this when I’m traveling. I love to sleep in, so there had better be a good reason to be up at this hour. Because we are traveling as a group, some folks wanted the early flight so they could redeem airline miles and perhaps they have a cruel streak.

The first few minutes are a blind rage of disorientation, stumbling around the unfamiliar room, trying to figure out how I got here. My body can’t handle itself very well at this hour, battling back bile and nausea, in attempt to come to terms with the fact that I can’t kill whatever woke me up at ungodly hour. My husband is equally as cranky, but being the road warrior that he is, has the presence of mind to keep his voice down as people in other rooms are probably sleeping. Fuck them, I think. If I have to be up at this hour, then so should they.

Since I got my shower the night before, I leave my husband to his preparations and go down to the front desk to acquire our shuttle ride to the airport and get help carrying our ridiculously heavy golf gear to the elevator. The front desk is expectedly vacant, but after waiting a few minutes a very nice, but tired looking gentleman arrives to assist me.

Although we advise the bellhop to stack the clubs vertically on cart, he doesn’t seem to understand and lays them flat anyway. Then realizing too late that we have two other large bags that need to be placed on the cart as well, he haphazardly flings them on top. I wonder if my clubs will be bent by his careless tossing of the luggage, but then realize, I give the clubs even less regard when I’m playing, often flinging them hard into the ground or into trees. I feel much better. If golf technology hasn’t factored in the angry golfer’s tantrum at this point, it’s their own undoing.

We arrive to the hotel lobby to find both shuttles leaving without us. The bellhop is clearly angry, yelling into a cell phone in a language I don’t recognize. I imagine the conversation went something like this:

“Hey asshole! I’ve got two more people with all their shit to go the airport. You think this is funny.”
“Well, it wasn’t funny when you shacked up with my wife. Now it’s payback time. You can take them on the back of my mule of an ex-wife, douchebag.”
“Screw you, pal. She came onto me, and frankly, I gave her what she needed, needle dick.”
“Okay, I’ll take them myself. But this isn’t over. Pistols at dawn, asshat.”

Within a few minutes, a lifelong friendship destroyed, and the poor bellhop had to go get the backup van and drive us. We arrive at the airport and decide to try something a bit different. Usually we try to be heroes and haul our stuff through the airline checking by ourselves. However, seeing as how we have so much stuff to take, we decide to use the skycap services to check our bags.

Rather than wait through the long lines, the skycap brings us to a small bench and handles everything for us. No waiting. He takes our passports and credit cards and checks our bags for us. From there all we have to do is get on the plane. Totally worth it, if you ask me. And if you’re travelling with kids or other unruly baggage, I highly recommend going this route.

We are downright giddy with excitement at how easily this works out. We meet our party at the gate and proceed to board without issue. Luckily, the extra seat in our row was not taken so we had the luxury of stretching out a bit. We downloaded a rented movie from iTunes, Fantastic Mr. Fox, which we had seen before. It was quite enjoyable on the small screen, no element of detail lost, and the convenience of not needing an internet connection was worth the $4.00 we paid for the rental.

We had actually downloaded a second, but didn’t get to it before the plane was ready to land. Although there was a bit more turbulence than we expected, everyone arrived safely, lunches intact. We cleared customs and immigration without issue, a long serpentine line winding around, the sound of ink stamping clicking down on documents as we are whirled through with little fanfare.