Almost Missed The Boat

Wednesday August 11th, 2010 – Cozumel, Mexico

Travel is work. Period. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy it. Sometimes. But it is work. It’s a constant, never ending process of always having to be in the next place – barely being able to enjoy the place I just got to. It can be a distraction, especially for a scatterbrain like me.

There are always multiple tasks to look after – mostly the tiniest of details,  and missing just one teeny weeny one can put the entire trip at risk. If I should happen to forget my ID or miss a shuttle or any one of a number of countless insignificant things, I’m in trouble.

It almost happened today. My flight from Chicago left O’Hare at 6:20am for Dallas, TX and then a connection to Cozumel, Mexico. That ends up being a long day after changing planes, having to find gates, going through security, customs, filling out forms for Mexico even though I’ll be leaving the country in a couple of hours, and flagging down a shuttle.

Then I had to find a ticket seller, pay for a shuttle ticket, wonder if the Mexican money I got in change and didn’t expect was correct and/or where I’d ever spend it, find out which shuttle was the one that could take me to where the ship was and try to ask it in Spanish.

All of this needed to be done on a timetable. The plane landed at 12:45pm, and I had to get to the ship as fast as I could so I could check in, find my cabin and jump through even more hoops with the Mexican security people. Oh, and don’t lose the passport. I’ll need it to get me through these checkpoints, even though it’s only a tiny little thin paper booklet.

I was constantly grabbing myself in every pocket, checking to see if I had everything I’d need to get me through the checkpoints. Filled out forms, ID, cash to pay for what I might need from a place that doesn’t take plastic, and all in scorching heat without any sleep the night before. My plane left early and Jim McHugh lives pretty close to O’Hare airport.

He’s a comedian and keeps comic/vampire hours like most of us and he offered to make sure I not only had a ride to the airport, but also a safe place to store my car. I would do it for him too, and he knows it. Still, I’d worked all day and hadn’t had any sleep as I got to his house. He was awake, but I was beat. We got to the airport drop off gate by 4:45am.

After all that work to get to Cozumel, the shuttle took me to where the boats were and it was a major surprise to see THREE docked there. I hadn’t printed out the one document I needed to tell me which one, and I had no clue which was mine. I had to take a wild stab.

It turns out that was the wrong one, but it took almost an hour to find that out. Now I’m really sweating it because I’ve got limited time. The ship was to set sail at 4:30. I tried the next one, and fortunately that was it – but I had a two mile walk with luggage in the heat.

I made it to the right ship, found my cabin and immediately flopped down on my cot for a few minutes just to rest. What a day. I was in no mood to perform tonight, and I’m glad there were no shows. It took plenty of work just to get here. Show business is NOT easy.

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