Bienvenido a Miami

So my trip ended up being fairly normal with lots of tanning and seeing the nightlife, which included this: maybe not ENTIRELY normal. But compared to most of my travel, this was uneventful and the craziest stuff actually happened BEFORE we got there.

The planning for this trip began in 2010. So we've had a long time to get ready. And we all booked a hotel through LivingSocial because it seemed like a great deal. We booked the flight and hotel during my grad school finals so I was brain dead and my friend *Rachel kindly offered to book everything for me.

Fast forward a month or two to last Monday, and we are scheduled to leave on Thursday. A few of us that are going on the trip are all hanging out and one persons says "Yeah, can you believe *Joe thought all you had to do to get the hotel was buy the voucher? He asked if we also had to call the hotel!" And we all laugh because that's just silly, of course you'd also have to.... WAIT.

Rachel and I look at eachother. We didn't call either. Um, let's do that tomorrow, just to make sure we have a room.

We didn't.

Thankfully, they still had rooms available so we got that squared away and I'm looking for Rachel's email about our flights. And I can't find anything. And she says the confirmation was sent to me. During Finals. AKA - It is now in a black hole because I was rocking in the fetal position at that time and probably deleted several emails in a blind rage just to feel powerful.

So I'm like "ok, what airline was it, I'll just call them?" Rachel says it was booked through Cheaptickets and she can't remember.


And about this time, I vaguelly remember her saying, back during finals, that she just guessed on my birthdate for the ticket because they needed it right then. And a couple months later, that finally sunk in.

I used to work for part of the Government that deals with air travel safety. I'm pretty sure they frown on the fact that your license doesn't match your ticket. Frown to the point of possibly detaining you and keeping you from flying.

So now I have two problems.

Long story short, we finally figured out which airline it was and I call them and they ask what flight I'm on. I say - it's tomorrow. They ask what time. I don't even know.

In the end, they find my ticket and I'm explaining to the lady that I need to change my birthdate, and she is all "oh look! Your friend put you down as a year younger than you are, that was nice! haha"

Ha! Oh that is nice. Don't we all want to be younger? Ha Ha. Oh hey - can we focus and fix my ticket now so I can actually get on my plane maybe?...

So we got all that settled and get to the airport the next day. Where Rachel realizes, at the ticket counter, that her ID is in her beach bag. At home.

And she desperately tries to convince the ticket agent that "look! I have credit cards! with my name on them! Clearly I'm not lying!" but nothing works. So then I'm left sitting in the airport starbucks surrounded by both our luggage while she's nervously texting from a cab "Now I feel like I'm on the Amazing Race..."

She makes it back and we are getting our tickets and mine says "Danal" and her's has an extra vowel at the end. NOW what!? We are never getting to Miami....

I finally realize the computer squished our first names and middle initial together so it's fine. And as the agent yells "Danal?" at me, I'm too tired to even correct him and I just embrace it with "yeah that's me" and hand him my bag.

Then Rachel and I get seated in different places on the plane. The boy on my left is a self-proclaimed "unaccompanied minor!" who keeps offering me mints and gum, making me self-conscience about my breath, and the man to my right immediately informs me he doesn't speak English. Then he starts touching his arm and saying something I don't understand. You want to know the time? You're a firefighter who burned your arm saving someone and you don't want me touching it? You are telling me you'll be hogging the armrest?

I never figured it out but he did hog the armrest. While singing out loud to his iPod. In Spanish.

We finally get to Miami and the trip went fairly smoothly after that except a few bumps like NO GOOD AIR CONDITIONING- ANYWHERE! And I go out the first night with a few guys from our group and another guy on our trip shows up about midnight, fresh off the plane from San Francisco.

And he made it all the way there with no ID.

*the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Or, rather, the people who probably don't want to be associated with me on a public blog. AKA all my friends.