Friday, February 28, 2003

Before the Blog: You Can't Get Theah from Heah

In January, we realized that Shrike was somehow scheduled for a four-day weekend, right before our anniversary, so we decided we'd use the American Airlines gift certificate that my brother had given us for Christmas and take a short vacation.

After debating for a while about where to go, we finally settled on the Big Gay Mecca of Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Why, why, why we thought that going to a beach town in Massa-fucking-chusetts in February would be a good idea, we will never know.

The plan was to fly from CapitalOfBlueState to Boston, MA and then onto P-Town. We'd considered flying out of BigCityTwoHoursAway, like we usually do, but that would've required a stop-over in BigCityInBlueState, and that seemed silly.

On the way to CapitalOfBlueState, it started snowing - never a good start to a vacation. By the time we were all checked in at the airport, we'd learned that our flight had been delayed.

After we'd been waiting about four hours and the departure time had been pushed back several times, we were finally told that there was no way we'd be getting from CapitalOfBlueState to Boston that day, but that there was a flight to BigCityInBlueState, and from there, we might be able to get a flight to Boston.

We decided that even if we couldn't get to Boston that night, if we at least managed to leave CapitalOfBlueState, that would be some kind of progress, so we went with that plan. We were able to catch a flight out of BigCityInBlueState, and made it to Boston that evening. As we were waiting for our luggage, we saw some people that we'd been talking to in the waiting area in CapitalOfBlueState.

We said, "Oh, did you go to BigCityInBlueState, too? We didn't see you on either plane." "No," they said, "They let us fly out of CapitalOfBlueState after all. We got in about 30 minutes ago."

So, after learning that we'd flown to BigCityInBlueState for no apparent reason, and knowing that no flights were going to Cape Cod that day, we found a hotel, got some dinner and went to bed.

While still in CapitalOfBlueState, we'd talked to the airline that flies to Provincetown and had managed to get on stand-by for both the 8 am and 11 am flights and had actual reservations for the 2 pm flight, in case we still hadn't made it out of Boston by then.

When we got to the airport, we were told that it looked like there would be room for us on the 8 am flight, unless two more people showed up. The girl at the ticket counter gave us a few updates as we waited, and right after she told us that she was closing the flight in five minutes, so it looked like we were good to go - two more people showed up.

"So, how would you like to go to Hyannis?" she asked. "There's a flight leaving for there in the next hour."

Once again, the idea of "making progress" won out, and we took her up on the offer. She explained that there is a bus that leaves from the airport and runs from one end of the Cape to the other; we could catch it at the Hyannis airport and it would take us to Provincetown.

Remember the TV show Wings? That was pretty much what we were flying.

The planes seat nine people, including the pilot, and they ask how much you weigh when you check in. That always worries me, because I know how people are about telling their true weight. What if everyone has lied and we're carring 300 pounds more than the pilot thinks we are? Surely they take that into consideration. . . .

As it turns out, the flight to Hyannis stopped at Martha's Vineyard on the way. The pilot told us that we'd be stopping to let some people off and then continuing on to the Cape immediately.

However, when we got to the Martha's Vineyard airport, a guy from the ground crew came out and told the pilot that we actually needed to switch to a different plane. Everyone got out, got our carry-on bags from the "wing locker" and headed inside.

We got about halfway across the icy runway (yeah, that kind of worried me) when the pilot told us to come back, because we would be staying on that plane after all. Um, ok.

When we finally landed in Hyannis, we went to look for the bus. As it turns out, the bus station was actually a few blocks away. We went to the rental car counters to see if we could get a car there and drop it off in Provincetown.

Only two of the four companies had locations in P-Town, and neither of those had any cars available. So, back to the bus. . . .

We caught a cab to the bus station and the moment we walked in and looked around, we knew that we didn't want to go that route. Not only was it entirely skanky, but the next bus to Provincetown wasn't until mid-afternoon.

We borrowed a phone book and started looking for rental car companies, hoping there was something other than the ones at the airport. As it turned out, one of the "no cars available" companies from the airport had second location just a mile or two away. We called and, sure enough, they had a car that they'd be glad to rent to us.

Why the guy at the airport couldn't have called his other location and checked on that while we were talking to him, we will never know.

So, after another cab ride to the rental car company, and a quick stop for lunch, we were on the road for Provincetown. It took a couple of hours to get there and it was a beautiful drive, all the way up Cape Cod.

We drove straight to the Provincetown airport, returned the car and called a cab to take us to the Bed & Breakfast where we were staying. When we finally made it to the B&B and checked in, we were only about 24 hours late.

This story is already way to long, so I'll just summarize the rest of the trip by saying that it was about 20 degrees out, there was a foot of snow on the ground and we were a few yards from the water. There were probably about 10 other tourists in the whole town, most of the stores were closed and no restaurants were open past midnight.

I believe the highlight of the trip was the first evening in P-Town, when I told Shrike that "We just fucking got here and we haven't even done anything yet, you can't expect shit piles of joy to just come pissing down on your head!"

I don't know that it made us feel any better that night, but we've gotten much enjoyment from it since.

All in all, though, we saw lots of things that looked like they might be fun if they were open, or if there were more people there, so I would like to try it again sometime in season, but I haven't quite convinced Shrike yet.