Last month, I was blessed enough to travel to Belize for my brother’s wedding. It was such a roller-coaster because I didn’t think that we would actually make it there.The reason was because the wedding was the same weekend of the evil that was Hurricane Matthew. And due to that headache, I was doubly blessed to meet the Surfboard Doctor.
Our flight to Belize was supposed to connect through Miami airport from New York to our destination of Belize City. Well, that was all shot to hell after I rescheduled three times and the airport was then closed because it was in the path of the storm. The only loophole that I could find was to fly out of Newark, NJ and connect to another flight in Houston,Texas at eight the same evening and of course that didn’t work out because one family member was late, the MTA always plots against me, and I have a tiny bladder.
This is where “the Surfboard Doctor ” enters the picture. After we missed boarding by fifteen minutes, we had to wait in line to reschedule our flight yet again. And the agent at the desk was, Mr. Fernando Pires, the Surfboard Doctor. I have to admit that by now, my mood wasn’t the best. And I realized that he could sense that but, I was going to be as polite as possible because this man held our chances of making my brother’s wedding in his hands. Now he didn’t look stern or anything but, I’ve heard other people’s opinions about their experience at Newark Airport. So I prepared myself for the drama.
But I was ecstatic, that he proved me wrong. “The Doctor ” went to work checking through all the flights leaving that day, and the next trying to put an itinerary together to get us there .
Since we were a party of four, it made things more difficult to arrange (darn pesky family members). In between his work, were passing time with small talk and the obligatory question of where we were from came up and we found out that we live in the same neighborhood. I didn’t think that I would run into a neighbor in Newark. And this is where the name “the Surfboard Doctor is explained, we live in the same shore front community, where he settled after emigrating here from Brazil and opened a surfboard repair shop and school.
I thought that this was hilarious because I didn’t hear about the school before. And I was just where his shop is located this summer while taking visiting relatives to the beach and didn’t run into him. To make this story more of a New York one, he told me that was recently written in the New York Times newspaper. I looked it up, right then! I read about his childhood in Brazil, his emigration, struggles with keeping his business and house. And here is the article. “What the hell! Why don’t I know you already?”, I shouted. We all laughed. I was feeling a lot better after that chat. After he got us all seats on the next two flights, we could finally breathe easier. We were rerouted and set up with TSA pre-check to move through the check-in process quicker (so grateful for that). I hope that he will remember us next summer when we visit his surfboard repair shop.
Unfortunately, because we missed the last flight to Belize that day, we would miss the ceremony and have to sleep in the airport to make the next flight that would get us there for the reception. My mom was gutted, missing her only son’s wedding. There was nothing that I could say to make it better but, at least this time we knew that we were on our way. And that gave us a great story to tell when we finally got there. I’ll write about our stay in Belize in my next post.
Have you ever had difficulty traveling? How bad was it? We can collectively cry into our drinks in the comments below. I’d love to read about your drama too.
Until our next rendezvous …