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The Fantasy Vacation That Wasn't

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Friday, February 25, 2011

The Fantasy Vacation That Wasn't

Before I tell this story, I want to go on record as saying that I know I am not going to come off well in it. I always told Leo that my fantasy was for him to arrange for a babysitter(at the time, we only had Nico), pack my bags for me and whisk me away to some exotic place. For my 30th birthday, we were in Wisconsin with my family and at midnight, when Leo said, "Happy Birthday" and I burst into tears (I was not in a good place at the time. I had been trying to get pregnant for two years and it wasn't working but that is for another post), he asked if I wanted to open my gift. I perked up because who doesn't like getting gifts? He paused and said, "Well, you already met Troy Aikman (at the time, that was the equivalent of meeting Tim Riggins/Taylor Kitsch) and in November, I have a surprise trip planned (so much for the whisking away part) and we are in Wisconsin with your family." Then he sat there staring at me until I said, "So basically, you have no gift for me to open right now?" He paused again and then as if saying and thinking at the same time, he said, "And also...a $200 shopping trip to your favorite clothing store." I laughed and said, "If you think I am going to let you off the hook later because you just came up with that, you are wrong. I'm spending it."

In October, Leo said I needed a passport for our trip. A PASSPORT!!! I was so going to Jamaica or maybe Mexcio! Maybe Italy!! November came and I had no idea how to pack (which is why I wanted that part to be included in the whisking away). When I asked Leo, he said, "Just pack for weather like it is here." I looked outside at the cold, wet dreary day and said I hoped where we were going had better weather (Jamaica didn't look like that) and he said, "Oh, yeah...not like that. Just pack summer clothes." I was sooooo going to Jamaica! We were going for over a week so I packed two little suitcases of summer clothes. Surprises make me a little nutty so I would try and get Leo to tell me where we were going. At the time, Leo LOVED watching professional soccer (so much so that he would give me suggestions of guys he knew I'd think were cute so I wouldn't complain. Love David Beckham) so when he suggested I pack an umbrella, I told him that a vacation to London to watch a professional soccer game would be his fantasy vacation, not mine. He laughed and said that wasn't it and stop trying to figure it out.

We were driving in the limo to the airport and Leo looked at me and said, "I hope you brought summer clothes." Like an idiot that didn't know where she was going for over a week, I said all excitedly, "I SO did!" I couldn't wait to sit by the pool, sip a frozen drink, listen to my music and read a beach novel in peace. Jamaica, I was on my way!! When we arrived at the airport, the first thing I saw was a single guy Leo worked with and I remember thinking how strange it was that he was going on vacation the same time we were. Then I saw another guy Leo worked with standing there with his wife that I had met once. Leo made fun of me that I still didn't know where we were going even though we were at the Virgin Airlines desk. How did I know the only place they flew was to London? I was going to Jamaica. When I looked at the flight board and saw London, my heart fell. Leo, all excited said in front of everyone who was waiting for my reaction, "So, do you know now? Do you know where we are going?" Then, I pulled off the academy award winning, fakest excited reply I could muster and said, "Oh, my God!!! We're going to London!!" Inside I was screaming, "Oh, my God!! We are going to London with people I don't know when I really wanted to go to Jamaica ALONE!" but with everyone staring at me, including the people at the desk that knew he was surprising me, I sat with a huge fake smile holding back my disappointment. Then he dropped the biggest bomb that ruined the entire trip for me. He said, like it was nothing, "So this is really a business trip and you have to fly home alone at the end of the trip and I have to stay for five more days." "WHAT??" I remember feeling pure terror because I had never flown alone let alone overseas. "Don't worry, E (the wife that I met once) is going with you." I was still shell-shocked when we got on the plane and I asked him in the most pleasant way I could, "Why did you say that about summer clothes in the limo?" "I wanted to throw you off and make you think you were going to Jamaica. It worked right?" "Yes, I REALLY thought that was where we were going." My tone was lost on him. "So did I ever tell you that I wanted to go to London?" I asked hoping again to hide that I was upset. He thought about it and said as if proud of himself for thinking this was a great idea, "No, you never did." And I thought to myself, "That's because I wanted to go Jamaica!" He gave me a book of things to do in London and I perked up and said, "All I want to do is visit the world's biggest bookstore, see the English countryside and ride the fast speed train to Paris (because when else was I going to get the chance to do that)?" There was a chance it could turn out to be a great trip.

As soon as we got there, I realized I didn't have any clothes other than the ones I was wearing that fit the cold and rainy weather there. We had to take the tubes to go shopping for me and London and Leo got a taste of each other. Leo needed to find a bathroom and though they speak English, they don't speak "Leo". He mumbled to the young salesperson, "Where is the bathroom?" She didn't understand him. He mumbled again, "Washroom?" One of my pet peeves is Leo's one word commands and this girl said, "Pardon." Leo said louder, "Bathroom?" "Pardon?" "You know washroom? Toilet?" "I'm sorry, Sir. Pardon?" Then in a very loud voice, Leo yells, "I HAVE TO PEE!" She, not very happy directed him to a toilet that he had to pay to use.

If you know me, you know that I am NOT a city girl. Give me a strip-mall with plenty of parking and an easy way to get from here to there and I am happy. I am also a relaxing vacation type girl rather than adventure type girl. In London, we either had to walk everywhere or take the tubes (series of subway things) and there was no relaxing. The plan was to sight see everything and everyone else was so excited to climb 400-something stairs in some cathedral (not only was I not on a beach but now I had to exercise, too. This was vacation?). I did it all without complaining (ok, complaining just a little to Leo) and never did I wish that I was a beer drinker as much as I did there because there were a million pubs we went to. I would ask for vodka and get a dirty look and and a teeny tiny bottle of vodka and an equally teeny tiny bottle of giner ale. I wanted to scream, "Bring 12 more!" It was also great that every time we went to dinner, Leo had to order spotted dick because I was basically married to an eighth grader that laughed every time he said it.

At one point, Leo thought it would be okay for me to find my way back through the tubes to our hotel so he could go to a soccer game. I looked at him like he was freaking crazy and I am pretty sure it was at that moment that I told him what I really thought of that trip. All of that was done in front of the single guy he worked with who took my side when I started crying about finding my way back. We went back with Leo pouting about missing the game until I told him he could go the next day and I would stay back in the room and watch London soap operas and write in my books (might have been my favorite part of the trip).

We never did go to that bookstore, I never did see the countryside and we checked out the fast speed train but Leo didn't want to spend the money. I know I sound ungrateful and I don't mean to. If I had known I was going to London, I would have been better prepared and would have put my foot down about the three things I wanted to do and I probably would have loved it. Instead I spent the trip getting over not being in Jamaica and fearing the flight home (which was spent listening to the twisted fantasies of a woman I barely knew). So for my 30th birthday surprise vacation, Leo saw a soccer game, got drunk at pubs and ended up seeing the countryside after I left. So glad he got his fantasy vacation. Needless to say, that was ten years ago and that fantasy vacation to Jamaica has yet to happen. How much do you want to bet that when he does finally do it, it will be to Vegas?


At February 26, 2011 at 11:46 AM , Blogger Maria said...

We certainly wouldn't have good stories to tell, if men we love didn't screw up as royally as only they can. Loved it. Can't wait for more.

At February 26, 2011 at 8:00 PM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

So glad you loved it and want more! Luckily life with Leo will lend itself for a lot more! Love the comment and it is so true!

At February 27, 2011 at 1:13 PM , Blogger Tara said...

What an adventurous way to bring in your 30's, hope you get Jamaica'd soon :)Tara

At March 1, 2011 at 2:19 PM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

Me, too!

At March 3, 2011 at 1:40 PM , Blogger Chris said...

Come back to England and I'll show you around, we'll have a great time and take that train to Paris. :)

At March 3, 2011 at 3:16 PM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

OMG, I would love to! I think it would be so fun to see England with you!

At April 25, 2011 at 9:12 AM , Blogger Kendra Mareva said...

This is a good example of why I have warned my man away from giving me surprise gifts or what have you. Our men have good intentions, but for some reason they only occasionally get it right. Gotta love 'em, though. ;)


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