I think it was in London a few years ago when I first heard about Ben – he worked with Shilpa and she thought Ben & Jana might hit it off. A month later in the Bahamas I started hearing a little more about Ben. Finally I met Ben at Disneyworld and I could see how good he and Jana were together, and how good they were too each other. Fast forward to now, which takes us to their wedding in Playa del Carmen. When Jana asked me to be a bridesmaid I immediately said yes! I would love to stand with you as you get married.
Leading up to the wedding, there was just a bit of panic around the dress. First, was it going to arrive on time? It did. Second, was it going to fit? No problem, in fact it needed to be taken in. Third, what about alteration? And here is where the problem(s) arose. Not having much time, I took it to an alteration place near work and they took it in just a smidge too much and did not reattach the very important hook at the top of the dress! Instead they hooked it with a thread which did not do the job (especially with the dress being a smidge too tight!). With not a lot of time left before I had to leave on the plane I did what I had to do. I called my mommy. (Backup plan was to call Jessica’s mommy. Backup plan #2 – safety pins.) One of the difficult aspects of this all was with it being quarter end I didn’t have a lot of time to be running here and there. With Mom on hook duty, that left the whole smidge too small problem. The problem was easily solved if I didn’t wear a bra. Yeah, I don’t do that – the girls need support. But it was either that or find a smaller bra. And again, given the fact I was days away from leaving on the plane it appeared I was going to have to go braless. This should be interesting...
Before I knew it, it was time to leave. I packed hurriedly the night before. As long as I didn’t forget the dress it would be fine. The flights down were on the turbulent side, but I had been upgraded into first for both legs which helped. (As an aside, I don’t know if I’m going to make elite this year and boy am I going to miss the perks if I don’t make it!) I landed in Cancun, made my through immigration, picked up my bags and headed for customs. Guess what - I got chosen to have my bags searched. It ended up being a fairly painless process and I stepped outside to find my shuttle.
It was raining, but finally I found my shuttle rep in the sea of shuttle reps. Waiting for the car, he asked if I was married and was shocked when I said no. He wanted to know why. You and me both!! He went on to say the guys I know must be stupid. It made me feel a little bit better even if he was only angling for a tip or making conversation as my 33rd birthday draws ever closer.
The rain turned into a downpour as we left the airport. The driver asked where I was from and upon hearing Seattle asked about the Sonics. Oh Sonics, why aren’t you still in Seattle? Don’t get me started – stupid Thunder. The hour drive to the hotel ended up being more like an hour and a half with the rain but I made it. I checked in, dropped off my bags and headed over to the dinner restaurant to say hello.
I could hear the rain off and on all through the night and woke up to more rain. At breakfast I ran into several people and found out the plan for the day was to go into town and do a little sightseeing and shopping. We made it into town and walked around a bit before it started pouring so we took shelter in a nearby restaurant and sat and talked over snacks and wine. Jen (who I hadn’t met before) & I bonded over Disney & *NSync. After lunch and a bit more wandering, we walked back to the hotel. As we had some time before dinner we made plans to head towards the beach but wouldn’t you know it? It started pouring!! Instead we congregated in the hotel bar until dinner. It was back to the bar after dinner but after awhile I was feeling tired and headed back to my room.
Saturday morning I woke up to sun!! Yes, sun!! Hooray!! I walked along the beach before gathering up my things and making my way over to Jana’s room to get beautiful. A manicure, hair style and make-up session later I was beautiful as I was going to get. Jana was stunning!! And Shilpa was beautiful as well. All this beauty in one room! :) And then came the knock at the door. It was the wedding planner letting us know it started raining. What?! And with that the wedding was moved from the beach to the breakfast room.
Shilpa & I grabbed a towel and held it over Jana as we sprinted up to the breakfast room. Everyone got organized and soon it was time to walk down the aisle. Jana reached the front and there was a huge thunderclap followed by the lights going out for a second! Talk about a dramatic entrance! Jana & Ben said their vows, signed lots of documents, and were pronounced man & wife. The rain cleared up and they were able to take pictures outside. The rest of the evening was spent eating, drinking and dancing the night away! I somehow ended up doing two tequila shots, which is so not me. I told Jana she was one of very few people I would do a tequila shot for!! :)
Sunday I had a massage on the beach. It was nice, and I enjoyed the actual sound of waves crashing as opposed to a soundtrack of it. I was about to head into town to find some lunch when I came across Jen & Carlos and Ben & Jana about to do the same thing so I joined them. We had lunch at a great restaurant (lobster, yum!) and walked back to the hotel along the beach. We said goodbye to Ben & Jana who were off to enjoy their honeymoon at another hotel. I made plans with Jen & Carlos to meet up at the pool a little later. On my way to the pool I detoured and took a dip into the ocean. We relaxed by the pool alternating reading with dozing. It started getting chilly so we made our way back to our rooms with plans to meet up for dinner later. I stopped off at Ben’s aunt & uncle’s room to have a glass of wine with them before meeting Jen & Carlos. After dinner, we went to another place for dessert – crepes and coffee, but they made it in front of us and at one point pouring fire from one cup to another. It was really good!! We walked back to the hotel and said our goodbyes.
I woke up early Monday morning to catch my tour to Chichen Itza. In general I am not a tour person. I like to go at my own pace. Although the caveat is if the guide is really good. I was not overly impressed with the tour or the guide. Or some of the people on the tour who couldn’t make it back at the appointed time. I admit I have time issues and would rather be early but over 20 minutes late? And no apology? Anyway... But I really did enjoy Chichen Itza. It was very impressive!! The tour was an all-day event and by the time I got back to the hotel I was exhausted. I ate dinner, packed and fell asleep, but not before setting my alarm for way too early in the morning.
The shuttle picked me up at 5:30 a.m. and it was time to head home. I was only upgraded on the first leg, but one leg is better than no legs. On the flight to Seattle I was more than halfway asleep and started dreaming I was in a car and couldn’t stop the car. My foot was pushing on the floor (trying to slam on the brakes) and then I started pulling on my armrest trying to pull the emergency brake! It was at that point the pilot came over the intercom and to tell us we were experiencing turbulence. Oh, no wonder I couldn’t stop the car in my dream!
Congratulations Ben & Jana!!