Princess: Happiness despite the hormones |

Princess: Happiness despite the hormones

Ali Margo
The Aspen Princess

“We don’t have a reservation under that name,” the guy at the front desk said.

“Check M-a-r-g-o-t,” Ryan said, as if the kid was so dumb he wasn’t going to be able to find “Margo” but he’d find it with the extra letter at the end.

The kid was kind of dumb, and he was a kid, or at least he was playing dumb. We’d just arrived at the Jersey Shore on one of the most spectacularly beautiful weekends I’d ever seen on the East Coast — sunny, clear, warm (but not too hot) and somewhat dry. It literally was as if the clouds had parted for Kate and Brett, whose wedding we had traveled almost 2,000 miles for. And now we’d finally arrived only to learn there was no record of my reservation. No confirmation email, no charge on my credit card.

“I made the reservation back in June,” I told the little, blond, freckled surfer kid with the dead blue eyes. “I talked to a guy; I don’t remember his name.” I started to feel slightly insane, like the crazy person who escapes from the mental hospital and is wandering around in public with her nightgown on speaking gibberish.

People are always talking about “preggo brain,” but I always thought it was a made-up thing pregnant women used to get out of having to make plans. But it turns out this thing is real.

Like the day we were planning to leave for Denver, I stopped at Wells Fargo in Aspen. I went to the drive-thru and filled out all my paperwork; stuck the check, my license and my ATM card in the little thingie; and pushed the button to have it sucked up and away to the teller one lane away. (This was perhaps my first mistake. From now on, I will pull up to the window.)

My mom called and was giving me the pug report, since she had taken Gertie for the week for the first time.

“Oh my God, she is hilarious. She’s not even a dog,” my mom was saying. “I got her a new brush and some shampoo and conditioner, and she got her photo taken at the pet shop and was the pet of the day on their Facebook page.”

“Nice,” I said, holding the phone with my shoulder.

At some point during this thrilling conversation, I became so distracted that I drove away without remembering to collect the little envelope with my money, my ID and my ATM card.

I figured this out several hours and 24 miles away when we were about to leave for Denver, and I discovered that half the items in my wallet were missing, and I didn’t have the $200 in cash I’d withdrawn. I called the bank and was shocked when they told me no one had turned it in.

“How am I going to travel without my ID?” I asked Ryan, my veins percolating with adrenaline.

We got to New York thanks to my passport, and we got to the Jersey Shore only to discover we had nowhere to stay. The hotel was totally sold out on a long stretch of coastline where every hotel is typically sold out on the weekends.

When you are almost five months pregnant and have enough hormones coursing through your veins to stop traffic, your emotional threshold is a wee bit shorter than normal. That’s when I started to cry.

Plus, I had dragged my friend Dina from Brooklyn to spend the night with us, and she was nice enough to hide her irritation with having to jump back on the ferry and go back to the city where she’d just come from to the tune of $45 for a round-trip ticket. When we drove her back to the ferry dock, one of the boats had caught fire, an army of fire trucks and ambulances and other emergency vehicles circling in a cacophony of impending doom. We were a little worried the whole marina might blow up, but it all added to the ambience of chaos that had begun to swirl around us.

All I can say is thank God for Airbnb and for Valerie, the kind woman who literally took us in off the street because I’d played the pregnancy card when I sent her a last-minute inquiry rife with desperation. She had a room in her townhouse available and agreed to take us in, at almost 10 o’clock at night, for a rate that was comparable to what we would have paid for the hotel and less than 3 miles down the street.

Valerie turned out to be quite the character, an Italian Manhattanite divorcee who treated us to a lovely, home-cooked breakfast and many other perks, such as borrowing her beach chairs and umbrellas and towels and almost going so far as to offer us the keys to her BMW X5. The bed was king-size and appointed in the finest linens with lots of big, down pillows and a patio overlooking the water with the kind of ocean breeze you dream about when you live in the mountains, a gentle wind that tickles your cheeks and kisses your face and folds you into its oxygen-rich arms for the deepest sleep you can remember.

Despite the hotel debacle and the lost money and license and the ferry that caught fire and the two-hour delay we had on our trip back to the city because I misread the ferry schedule, it was an amazing wedding and a wonderful trip spent with family and the best friends you could ever ask for, both old and new. I’m also grateful for my husband, who thinks my little quirks are cute and can still make me laugh harder than anyone, even in the middle of a crisis. And even if this little bug in my belly is making me a little forgetful, these are the happy times I will never forget.

The Princes is feeling a little weepy today. Email your love to