“And here I am in your dress,” I sighed. “At 6:30am I was rolling like a baller, and now Im in a borrowed dress and Walgreens underwear. What went wrong?”
Work was sending me to the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach for an industry conference. So what did I do? Booked a ticket two days before the conference began and invited Francaise Fille to join the party. We spent the days leading up to the trip emailing each other with one word — “MIAMI!!!” — in size 48 font, and texting each other with daily, sometimes hourly, countdowns.
We were excited. And we couldn’t wait to eat!
Yet nothing could psych us up like the phone call we made just 10 hours before takeoff. Francaise Fille rang the hotel to see if we had a room with two beds. As she listened to the voice on the other end, her face lit up and her hand started flapping with enthusiasm. “What? What? What?” I asked, terrified I was mistaking her enthusiasm for fear.
“Hold on sir, can you please repeat that?” as she put the phone on speaker.
“Due to room availability you have been upgraded to an 800-foot oceanview suite with a kitchenette, jacuzzi and walk-in shower and balcony.” You could hear his smirk.
I literally started jumping up and down — hand over my mouth of course so the man wouldn’t think we were bringing a 5-year old with us.
10 hours later, I am standing at the desk at the gate in Newark airport volunteering to be bounced for a $500 travel voucher and first-class ticket on a flight leaving 7 hours later. I mean was there a question?
Francaise Fille replies to my explanation of why I will not be there with daquiri in hand when she arrives (she was on a different flight) with, “Wow, you are flying first class to stay in an oceanview suite at the Fontainebleau… Look at you!! High rolling!!”
“Seriously… I’m such a baller!”
And that is when I jinx myself.
Not only was I put back on the flight — which was absolutely finnnne since it put visions of beach bums back in my head — but I disembarked my economy seat only to find out my luggage hadn’t made the trip.
Yep, luggage-less. Nowhere to be seen. The story of the luggage is deep enough to warrant an entry of its own so I am going to skip it, but trust me, it is long, annoying, and has yet to find a happily ever after.
During my cab ride to the hotel, before I started interrogating my Cuban driver for hole-in-wall Cuban food recommendations, I thought, “It’s ok, you can sit on your oceanview balcony and blog about this incident. By the time you hit publish, your bags will arrive.”
WAKE UP LIZ!
There was no oceanview suite. Why? Well, I don’t know.
And complaining and questioning the front desk people about a free, unwarranted upgrade for a room that I was only paying half-price for to begin with wasn’t something I felt I was in my right to do. So instead, I sat in my very lovely, fancy-Marriott-type room waiting for my friend and my clothes to arrive.
I’m not real “attached” to my clothes, and I never spend a lot of money on them. But in this suitcase was my favorite summer dresses, a couple newish cocktail and work dresses, two of my roommates dresses, four pairs of shoes including one brand new pair and another pair only worn once, all my gym wear including three new tank tops and half my toiletry cabinet. I typically travel very light and am willing to wear clothes over to save suitcase space but, come on, this is MIAMI! I was going partying in the city where the heat is on, all night on the beach till the break — sorry, I’m just saying, I needed my finest. And I was working; I needed to spruce up. Sooooo everything I liked, loved and kinda didn’t mind wearing is in there… was in there… may still be in there?
Four days, two dozen phone calls to Continental’s baggage service, three shopping trips and two comfort-Mojitos later, I was again clothed, smiling and more in debt. Ahhh, such is life.
My mishap didn’t ruin my trip — the Mojitos saw to that — but it was a pleasant reminder that I am not meant to be a baller. And whenever I begin to think I am, I will remember this reminder.
In the meantime, while I am waiting for Continental to find my bags since “95% of them are found, you just never know where they will turn up — they could be in a warehouse in Asia,” here are a few pics of our fun.
The pool and beach… look how clear the water is…
The pool twinkled at night (hard to tell, but those are twinkle lights under the water…), and an attempt at documenting our fun. (This is probably the third photo Francaise Fille and I have ever taken together — we’ve been friends since 5th grade. Yeah, we need to get on top of this!)
The lobby of the hotel had a great bar that turned into quite the hot club scene at night.
And some shots of the outdoors — the boardwalk along the beach and a shot of Francaise Fille flourishing in the sun with Sangria. Yumm!!
And that’s that… Miami sans luggage and an Oceanview Suite… yet filled with fun.