Heehee, what a surprise it was.
You see it was my parents 30th wedding anniversary in September, and about a year ago they agreed that they would renew their wedding vows in Cuba this October. I was going to miss it though because I was going to be in Australia.....or so everyone thought. Mom and I briefly discussed flying me out to Cuba as a surprise, but we didn't make any definite plans. When I arrived in Darwin in June we looked into it and within a week it was booked!! I would arrive earlier then them so I could surprise them when they arrived at the hotel, and it would be the best surprise EVER!! I have to admit, mom had it worse then me as she saw and spoke to everyone about the trip, and the poor thing couldn't say a thing!!!
I left Brisbane on Oct 9th, a Friday, and arrived in LA the same day, earlier then when I left - such a weird feeling. I had 16 hours at the airport and do you think I could find Internet??? Nope, nothing, they had WiFi, but of course I didn't bring my laptop! SO, I rented a room at the Holiday Inn, which was conveniently across the way of an Internet cafe! Now, the difficult thing about my flights was the fact that I was flying to Cuba, via the States. Supposedly I had a completely different itinerary for LA to Mexico so the USA didn't know my final destination was Havana. Well, I get to the check-in counter in LA, and sure enough they knew my final destination!!! The girl went and spoke to her manager (great I'm thinking) but when she came back she just said she could only check my bags to Cancun. Fine, that's totally alright with me!!!
I then flew to Mexico City at 2300 Friday night, and had a horrible aisle seat. I am very picky about flying and really prefer to have a window seat as I like to keep my feet up and I can also lean against the window. Needless to say, I had a horrible 4 hour flight as I couldn't sleep. I arrived in Mexico at like 6am, and had a few hours to kill. I actually thought the airline had lost my bag as I thought I had to take my bags through customs and then drop them off again to be sent to Cancun, but no, I found out that they where checked all the way through and I didn't need to take them through customs......why can't every airport operate the same??!!!! I then had a shorter 2 hour flight to Cancun, where I then had to pick up my bag, and check it in again to Havana!! After another 3 or 4 hour wait, I got on my last flight and was off to Havana. It was a nice short, one hour flight and it was so nice to land in Cuba!! But, it wasn't quite over, I still had an hour drive to the resort!! I had a cab come pick me up and I was at the resort by about 5:30. I was so relieved to be there, and even had a bit of a cry when I got to my room!! Amazing how jet leg makes you feel!! I was feeling very very tired, and not sleeping much the night before didn't help, so I grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed to bed. I don't think I lasted 5 minutes before nodding off, well actually, probably passing out as I didn't move until about 8:30 the next day!
Sunday was probably the longest day EVER waiting for my family to arrive. They where estimated to arrive at the 5:30 so I had all day to wait. After having breakfast i headed to the pool and hung out there, all day, waiting! At about 5 o'clock i couldn't wait any longer and headed up to the foyer. I put an order for drinks in for the family, and waited, and waited. At about 5:45 the bus finally showed up! I was hiding beside the bar and mom spotted me right away. I found this couple that I started talking to and I got one of the girls to video it on my camera. Once they all got there bags out and where checking in, I snuck in behind them all and once I got close enough I said "excuse me, could you help me", they all looked up and the looks on their faces was priceless - it could have been a Mastercard commercial!! I started to cry right away, and gave everyone hugs. As I was giving my dad a hug he still couldn't believe it was me, I think he looked at me about 3 times, and was still speechless. It total there was 8 of them on the bus, Mom, Dad, my sister Laura, her friends Rance and Rachel, my god parents Brad and Lisa, and my Dad's aunt, Diana. After everyone checked in and got somewhat settled, we all went in for some supper, then went for drinks and coffee at the infamous Piano Bar! Ah it was nice to be back in paradise with the people I love!!