The Dangerous Errand

Living in the country has an interesting effect on people. Every trip into town becomes a three to four hour event in which you must stuff as many errands as possible. Going into town for just one store? Pah! Amateurs! 

Any trip Marc and I take into town involves a Tractor Supply run, along with maybe a John Deere or Napa stop, and then a pick up at Goodyear. Oh and then church or visiting friends (aka the purpose for our trip in the first place). I am not a logistics gal, and usually all the errand running wears me out, and has an 85% chance of making me "grumps". 

So when I got a part-time job in town, this opened up an entire new world for the farm! Someone new to pick things up!

So when the honeymoon stage began to wear off, I started getting asked to run farm-related errands on my way to or from work. Now don't hear me wrong, I love helping Marc out with his work. I'm meant to be his helpmeet. If that means running errands, by golly, I'm gunna do it... but not without a little complaining. And I have good reason (maybe) for my complaining; let me give you a scenario:

A couple weeks ago, Marc asked me to take an old battery into Insterstate Battery and ask for a replacement. I rolled my eyes but said "Okay". 

Before I continue I feel the need to explain my eye-rolling. Last time I had to pick something up for the farm, I went into a store that smelled like oil, metal, and guy and was asked a barrage of questions to which I didn't know what to say to most. Then there's the matter of "what account to put the order on" and "blah blah blah"... Suffice it to say, I felt a little stupid after leaving and did not relish the idea of going back. 

NOW that you have some back-story, you can see where my trepidation and sassiness came from. 

So there I was. At Interstate Battery at 8:36 AM on a cold Friday morning in January. But this time I was prepared. I'd grilled Marc the night before so I knew I wouldn't say the wrong thing or ask for the wrong battery. My mission was simple:
1. Carry the old battery in (with my gloves on)
2. Set it on the cart inside the door
3. Tell the man at the desk I needed a brand new battery exactly like the one I brought in. 
Oh and I didn't need a warranty on it...
And I was to pay with the purple credit card. 

I put my gloves on. Part of step one: complete. Feeling pretty good, I popped my trunk and walked around my Honda to get the old battery. This is where the plan fell apart. At step one. I looked down in horror to see that there was no handle on the battery! So, okay, this was not part of the plan. I thought there was going to be a handle for me to carry the battery with one hand! ... But I straightened and thought to myself, "I'm a scrappy, farm wife now!" I could handle this. So I picked up the battery with two gloved hands, round-house-kicked my foot up to close my trunk, and walked towards the door. Crisis. Averted. 

Until I got to the door. With both hands on the battery, there was not an effective way for me to open the glass door that read "Pull." I thought about using my foot again... but decided that might be awkward for anyone who might be on the other side of the door. So I set the battery against my stomach, and tried to hold it between my stomach and the window so I had a free hand to reach for the handle. 

This little Improv Show began to go awry right away. The battery was too heavy for my tummy-vise, and immediately started to fall. Right as it started to fall, a man on the other side of the door saw my performance and attempted to open the door to "help". Well as his hand came out of the door to reach for the battery, my hand pushed firmly against the other side of the door. (I wasn't trying to stifle his chivalrous act, but the battery against my stomach and the window put me in an awkward position and I needed to steady myself.) This effectively smooshed his hand between the door jam. Meanwhile, I crumple over to try and keep the battery from falling onto the concrete. 

I'm not quite sure how that all worked out, but somehow I regained control of the battery, the man got his hand free, and he held the door open for me. As soon as I got inside, though, he grabbed the battery from me and asked a rhetorical, "This need recharged?" 

As he walked away all I had time for was a "Huh, oh... yeah?"

So far this was going stellar. 

Once he finally came back to the front, I was able to say "My husband actually just wants a new one." To which I got a confused look and a "Are you sure? It looks like a young battery. I couldn't tell if I could recharge it though..."

I shrugged and said, "I'm not sure. But my husband said to just get a new one exactly like it without a warranty." I smiled sweetly, secretly proud I'd remembered Marc's exact phrasing.

He looked disgruntled. But I was positive that was what I was supposed to say. "Oh, and he wants me to pay with this purple card!" I blurted out as he headed for the computer. Nice. Give the man all the details. 

"You know," he said as he was printing the invoice, "next time you come in (Ha! I thought. I hope not) come get one of us to bring the battery in for you. You could get acid on your clothes, and that can disintegrate them." 

"Oh, okay." I said as I tried to casually look at my shirt to make sure I still had a shirt. "MARC!" I thought, "You didn't tell me this mission was DANGEROUS!" Clothes are vital. 

So I signed the invoice and let him carry the new battery behind me to my car. (Which for a moment I thought I had locked my keys in.. but that story is for another time...) 

I'm hopeful that the more I run these kinds of errands, the better I'll get at knowing the answers... or the better I'll get at faking knowing the answers. 

*Note: the guys very rarely send me to town for errands. I'm being overly-dramatic. They're very kind with combining trips and running their own errands usually... Hence all the errand running when I'm with Marc. ;)


How to NOT plan your Honeymoon in one easy step

I would love to give you the answer to the title of this post right away... but then where is the fun in that? I've been waiting for a special occasion to tell this story and I figured our one year anniversary was the perfect time! 

Anyways, let me start from the beginning. 

When Marc and I were planning our honeymoon, we decided that we wanted to spend as much time as possible in our destination (Puerto Rico), so we planned to get married in the morning and fly out of Utah that afternoon. This would get us into Puerto Rico at around 5 AM the next day. 

We knew our hotel wouldn't let us check in till mid-morning at the earliest, but we comforted ourselves with the fact that the ocean and warm beach would be a perfect nap place while we waited for our room to be available. 

Doesn't that sound romantic? Dash off right after a small ceremony to a small island where we'd sun bathe and get a nice tan? I thought it did. 

We started our first flight in high spirits. We were off on an adventure! I couldn't believe I was traveling with my best friend to an exotic destination! I kept pinching myself to check if it was real.

The high spirits faded into exhaustion after getting MARRIED, three flights, and only eating McDonalds in each airport. When we finally got to Puerto Rico I was really looking forward to a shower and some fluffy blankets to cuddle up and sleep in... I could care less about the beach. But we made it! All we had to do was find a taxi to take us to the hotel!

After a ten minute roller-coaster taxi ride (complete with immediate stops and 0-50 mph starts), we arrived at the little boutique hotel. Taxi-man then said something in Spanish, but my brain that had been up for about 24 hours couldn't translate the number he'd said fast enough to give a response, so after a couple awkward seconds of silence from both Marc and I, taxi-man said "Fifty-five dollars." This immediately woke me up. Fifty-five dollars for a ten minute ride!? He had to be joking! But neither of us cared to argue, we just wanted to get settled in the hotel. So we paid his crazy amount and dragged our feet to the lobby. 

The hotel was adorable. Even as tired as I was, I took the time to take in each cozy detail as we waited to be helped. As I took in the Mediterranean styled details, I also realized that there was no place for us to hang out or nap. The boutique was quite small and only had one little love seat in the "lobby". 

"Woah, you guys are suuuuper early..." desk-guy stated after finding our reservation in the computer. We sleepily chuckled and said, "Yeah... we took a red-eye flight." 

"Oh, okay! Well... your room won't be ready till around 1 PM today. But you can leave your bags here with us until it's ready! We also have a roof with couches and a pool you can come back to when we open at 7 AM." 

My heart sank at the realization I'd have to do without my shower and soft bed for another 7 or 8 hours. But I was glad he could take our bags. So we left our bags and went back to the dark outside to a little bench that overlooked a bay with some city lights reflecting in the waves. The lights were pretty, and it was fairly warm so Marc and I sat and watched the pretty New Years lights for a while. It felt pretty romantic except for the occasional shouts of early morning partiers. We were beginning to settle in our little spot... then I saw some drunk men walk around the corner and right to the edge of the bay. 

"Uh, is that guy peeing?" I whispered to Marc my eyes wide with disbelief. 

"No.... yeah. Yep. Ooookay let's walk someplace else." He said. 

We walked down the street in a daze. The sun was finally creeping up... but it creeped into a cloud-filled sky. All dreams of sitting on the warm beach faded on that chilly walk. As we walked, we passed the Vanderbilt and Ritz Carlton hotels. Our hotel was on hotel row apparently. Since leaving Utah, we'd only eaten McDonalds in the airports, so like any other bored and tired American, we decided to go eat something. 

One of the hotels had a Denny's connected to it, so we dragged our feet up the steps into the diner. When I think "Denny's" I think about a quiet, greasy, breakfast restaurant, with elderly folks eating pie and coffee. Walking into this particular Denny's was NOTHING like that. We could barely hear each other over the club-like music, and it was dark inside, with a bar going down the entire length of the restaurant. Over in the corner was a table of sequin-clad hussies in hoochie-mama heels. We'd landed in the only club Denny's in the world. 

After an interesting and conversationally quiet (I don't think Marc and I exchanged more than ten words) meal in club Denny's, we decided to go back to our hotel and try to nap on the roof on their promised couches. The roof was very well put together, they did have several couches and a mini-bar with tables for the night scene. Marc and I collapsed on the couches, and no sooner had I closed my eyes, when it started to rain... 

"You know..." I half-chuckled as I zipped up my hoodie and looked across at Marc, "This will probably be hilarious tomorrow." 

Marc just shook his head with a sleepy smile on his face, "And your dad told me to take care of you... I'm doing a lousy job of that so far." 

"Ohhhh come on! Club Denny's was fun!" I said sarcastically as I laid back down. 

Thankfully, the hotel staff took pity on us (probably because we both looked trashed), and finished cleaning our room 3 hours earlier than promised, free of charge! I have never appreciated a shower and a cozy bed more in my life! Our room was beautiful, and the rest of our trip will always be one of my favorite vacations... but we learned a very valuable lesson that day: Never start your honeymoon on a red-eye flight with a hotel room that won't be available till 1 PM! In fact, take your wedding day easy. Get a hotel in town or go home, heck! Even eat at a normal Denny's and load up on breakfast and pie! But whatever you do... don't do what we did. 

There you have it. How to not plan your honeymoon in one step! Even though I wouldn't change ours for the world. It makes a good story. Happy First Anniversary, Marc! I love you.