25 Weeks


Our “babymoon” in Punta Cana couldn’t have been more perfect… with the exception of never getting our luggage. Even when we arrived and our luggage was lost, we both kept the best attitudes and didn’t let it ruin our day. Even the next day, when we were told that our luggage was in St. Lucia and there was no way we could get it by the end of our trip we took it in stride and excitedly took an evening shopping trip to the local mall to buy some clothes and toiletries for the week. Unfortunately, the mall with “US outlets” was not actually outlets, but a store called “US Outlets” which featured small booth-like sections of popular stores like Nautica, Polo, Forever 21, and Victoria’s Secret. Luckily, we each found a couple of items that we needed. (Blake couldn’t even go to dinner anywhere other than the buffet because he didn’t have any pants or collared shirts because the other restaurants on the resort have a dress code!) I had a pair of maternity jeans, maternity shorts and 2 tops to get me through the week in our carry-on so I bought two dresses for dinners and two more tops. Blake got a pair of pants – the ONLY pair of pants in the entire mall that were his size – and a couple collared shirts so at least he could get to dinner. He also had a few board shorts, t-shirts, and we both had shoes in our carry-on so we knew we’d be ok with what we had even if we had to re-wear a couple of things throughout the week. I also had to buy prenatal vitamins and of course the entire mall had only one place that sold them, and that one store had only one box, so US Airways will be paying for a $40 bottle of vitamins. Oh well… this wouldn’t be our last issue with US Airways but I’ll get to that later.

Back to the resort… AMAZING! Everyone told me that the 5-6 month mark would be the best time to take a vacation and they were all right. I was so well taken care of by my husband and also by the resort staff. They were all so excited to hear that we had gotten pregnant on our honeymoon and came back to celebrate with them again. As second-timers we were also greeted with a bottle of wine and a plate of chocolates from the Preferred Club staff. Yummy. It was so great to have a week to relax, get away from the stresses of school and work, and to lounge on the beach with virgin pina coladas!

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Like our honeymoon, we enjoyed the perks of the “Honeymoon Package” as this was their second attempt at getting it right for us and wanted to make sure we experienced everything we had the opportunity to do on our honeymoon that didn’t work out just right. This time, the evening of our dinner on the beach was really windy and it had been raining all day so they set up our dinner under the massage cabana, which also happens to be just steps from our room.

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It was a little windy during our dinner but we didn’t mind. The setting was gorgeous and the food? Caprese salad, shrimp cocktail, asparagus soup, and a main course of beef tenderloin and lobster tail. Blake ordered an ice cream filled cream puff for dessert and I ordered honey-glazed tropical fruits which arrived in a heart shaped box made of chocolate. Woah. It was delicious.

We were also treated to another breakfast via room service in our room complete with champagne mimosas!  I had packed two bottles of sparkling grape juice in our suitcase for this occasion, knowing we would get a bottle of champagne at this breakfast and also upon arrival, but then our suitcase ended up in St. Lucia. So Blake enjoyed some mimosas while I “suffered” through fresh tropical fruit, a delicious cheese plate, cereal, nd yogurt. Not so bad!

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After breakfast, Blake was barely halfway through his bottle of champagne so what else are we supposed to do except take it with us to the beach for beachfront mimosas???

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And who can forget the luscious food display offered at the Preferred Club?  Only God knows how many times I visited this food table during the week and how many coconut macaroons I may have consumed. The foods change every couple of hours so it was always a nice surprise to see what they had out on display.

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Also in our suitcase was our tripod, which we had packed in order to take some good photos during the trip. Being that our suitcase was hundreds of miles away on another island, we booked a photo session through the hotel which turned out to be pretty awesome! The photo session was free and we only had to pay for the photos we liked. Each photo was $12, high-resolution on a CD, and with a simple question about the price, we actually got them for $10 a piece without even hardly asking.

The turquoise-yellow filter they used for our pictures will also go beautifully in the new nursery!

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Even without our suitcase and wearing the same clothes more times than I’d like to admit, we had a truly amazing vacation and we were in great spirits arriving to the airport in Punta Cana. Then we had to wait, and wait, and wait. Our plane was over an hour late leaving Punta Cana, so as we were arriving to Philadelphia Blake and I were already making plans about how we would get through customs. The plan was, he would go with everyone else to baggage claim and get our one suitcase that we had left, go through customs with the suitcase and probably miss our connecting flight home. In the meantime, I would haul butt through customs and immigration with just my purse and run to the gate to catch the flight. I was the first one through customs, first one through immigration, and caught the shuttle to the terminal in record time, only to watch our plane pull away from the gate as soon as I arrived.

I don’t know if it was the hormones or just the exhaustion of our current US Airways experiences but I immediately broke down crying to the gate agents and also to the nice ladies working at the US Airways guest information desk. I guess I got on their good side cause they were doing everything they could to get us home and booked us on a flight to Richmond that would arrive at 10:30pm and from there we would have to rent a car to drive home. We were not too excited about the fact that we would have to pay for a rental car as they do not reimburse for that but we just wanted to get home and had already been told that they do not pay for hotel rooms. Ugh…

So again, we tried to keep our spirits up. We grabbed some dinner from Chipotle, sat at the gate for the Richmond flight and accepted that after getting our suitcase from baggage claim in Richmond, booking the rental car, driving to the Norfolk airport to return the car, and somehow begging a family member to pick us up in the middle of the night, we would not likely be home until after 1am. Just minutes before the Richmond flight gates closed, the desk agent came up to us in a hurry and said, “They’re about to release more hotel rooms and we can put you on the first flight out in the morning.”  We confirmed that we would indeed get a hotel room for free and watched as the Richmond gates closed and the plane pulled away.

Two minutes later we were standing in front of the agent listening to her tell us that she was wrong, they were not releasing any other rooms tonight and we would have to pay for our hotel room out of pocket. For real. Oh, and our one suitcase that we had left was on the flight to Richmond so not only would we not have it for our overnight stay but we would also have to drive to Richmond to get it ourselves. There are no words to explain our frustration at this point.

She told us that we would be reimbursed for a room up to $100 and there were lots of nearby hotels that were much cheaper than that. Unfortunately for us, it was nearly 10:00 at night and every hotel we called was booked until we called Best Western, who had a suite available and it was well over $100. Whatever. Just book it.

Throughout it all, my husband kept his cool, spoke to every person respectfully and calmly, not once showing his frustration or anger over the situation and we didn’t have a single argument or negative tone spoken to one another. We arrived at our hotel and used the toothbrushes from the front desk, slept in whatever we had and woke up to put the same clothes right back on to do it all over again and finally make it home.

And what do you know… BOTH of our suitcases were in Norfolk when we arrived.

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