Tag Archives: Vacation

The thing that made for a bad flight

Hello,

We’ve been vacationing….Smile.  I took a few days off with my book club members to attend the annual Lori Foster Author/Reader Weekend and then came home on Sunday to fly out on Monday to go to Florida with Stan and my babydoll.  I had every intention of posting while away, even went so far as to pack my laptop and camera with cables for uploading my pictures.  But alas, I didn’t take one photo at the Lori Foster event and just couldn’t convince myself that posting was a relaxing experience while I had the time away from responsibilities. 

But now I’m on the plane returning home (with a lay over in Atlanta) and I just wanted to remark on my flying experience this trip. 

The flight down had all the trappings to equal a great flight.  We had a direct flight, it was at a decent time of day (early afternoon) so we had time to drop off the pets (my lovely Sasha-the Schnauzer and Leopard-the Gecko) run to the store to pick up a few things and still not feel super rushed.  I didn’t unpack my electronics bag from my Lori Foster trip so my carry-on bag was ready and I had pulled most of the clothes I was taking with me out prior to leaving for the first trip.  The problem came when we got on the plane.  I have long legs…I’m not super tall only 5’10”, but my legs are long…I have a 35/36 inch inseam.  I also have a crappy knee that will eventually have to be replaced, but I’m holding out as long as possible.  I don’t know what it was but I swear those seats seemed a lot closer together on that flight than normal.  My knee was killing me by the time the plane landed and that was with me sitting in the aisle seat AND trying to stretch it out most of the flight.  (I just extended my knee again).  I told my husband there has got to be a better way.  We are going to have to become millionaires so that we can have a private plane and I can stretch out these legs better.  I don’t even think first class had enough room.  And I didn’t even have on really high heels; they were only about 2-inches compared to the 5 that I have on today. Smile

We had a nice week together and our homtel was really nice.  I was going to post about the room (I may still post) but I forgot to take pictures of it.  We went through Bookit.com

Now the flight back home has been a different experience and  NOT in a good way.  First we had to leave at 6:10 am.  We thought we were leaving at 8:50.  I’m glad we checked at breakfast the day before.  Do you know what time you have to get up to catch a 6 am flight?  From the Fort Lauderdale/Miami area?  Stan set the alarm for 3:30.  AND the alarm never went off!  I’m a light sleeper and my mind and body knew that we had to wake early so I started waking up at 1:30 and then sleeping for half hour intervals.  I’m tired ya’ll but I can’t sleep.  Then we get go to check our bags and try to expedite matters by going to the kiosk to print our boarding passes ourselves.  Did you that you still have to go through the same kiosk process all over again to check the bags?  I really don’t like redundancy and backtracking and I had to suffer through it. Sad smile  We finally get to security and one of the TSA workers gives my daughter her boarding pass and says that she has to hold it.  They send us to the family line which also happens to be the same line the pilots go through.  Guess who has priority?  It sure isn’t the people that have infants, strollers, multiple children etc..  So every time a pilot had to go through we had to wait.  I saw four pilots go through security before one family made it through.  I am not knocking giving pilots priority; I’m knocking giving them priority in the line that already has a lot of factors that cause more time to be needed.  And having my babydoll hold her boarding pass was another mistake.  She almost left it on the ground when she removed her shoes and started putting her stuff in the bins.  You don’t give young kids there boarding pass, something they need to have to get on the dag-gone plane, and then send them through security where they are taking off stuff and putting stuff in bins and not expect them to forget them.  Some adults have problems with this.  Are you nuts?!?!?!? 

Now I’m going to tell you about the kicker of my flight.  The night before, we purchased a cup for the babydoll that had dolphins on it (we were in Florida so you figure right?) and it had a straw that you can bend into the cup.  I believe they are called Bubba.  I bought one first because I love having my cup of ice water with me all the time and this cup would allow me to have a snap closure and still have the straw.  Why do I need a straw?  So I don’t mess up my lipstick trying to drink from the cup.  My babydoll saw my cup and decided she wanted one for the trip home.  We found the dolphin theme and we had peace.  She put her water in her cup and we got it in her backpack.  Something told me putting the water in the cup first was a bad idea and I even suggested that she wait until later to place it in, but she said she was going to be drinking it and she wanted it there.  When we go through the scanner part the TSA worker holds up the bottle and ask if there is water in it.  I reply yes and she ask if it’s for baby formula.  We have no babies, so I reply no.  BIG MISTAKE.  I should have lied, but I suck at lying so I don’t do it.  She then tells me that I have to either throw it away OR be escorted out of the line to throw the water out then go through the security line again.  WHAT-THE-WHAT!?!?!?!?  Security lines in Florida are ALWAYS long.  Going back through the line would have been a nightmare and they weren’t going to let me cut even though I had already been through.  I asked the attendant to just throw the water out and give us the cup.  She couldn’t do that.  Why not?  She knew it was water just pitch it and give my baby her cup.  It was a no go people.  We opted to pitch the cup, which I know someone is going to take that cup home; and the tears started falling.  My babydoll stood there looking at the TSA workers and crying and we were hard press to get her to move.  No amount of we’ll get you another one could make it better.  Do you know how heartbreaking it is to see you child bawling and there is nothing you can do about it?  It was made particularly worse because it was just water.  In the past we have pitched a fit over them giving us a hard time about the babydolls drinks.  In the end we have always won, but this time we were just too tired to fight.  I’m angry that the government will let you bring a lighter onto a plane, but not a bottle of water.  Which is more dangerous?  Fire or water?  I had a bottled water that had not been opened and I had no problem with them pitching it; but kids cups are different.  They’re kids people and it’s WATER.  I have replayed about ten different scenarios in my head of how I should have handled the situation and all of them end up with my kid having her dag-gone cup and not crying her eyes swollen.  Stupid TSA/NSA and their wack-a-do water rules.  I just want us to be smarter as a nation.  IT”S WATER!!!!!!!!

The final straw to this horrible flight experience was when I went to pull out my headphones so that I could type this post and listen to more of book four in the Game of Thrones series – The Feast For Crows, and my headphones broke.  These were a new pair.  I tried to get something that wasn’t as big as my Skullcandy Hess (they are big and white and have great sound) and this is what happens.  They weren’t sturdy enough to make it through security.  I ‘m afraid of heights people…I need as many distractions on a plane as possible.  Flying is only tolerable for me if I have all my stuff to keep me distracted from the fact that I am this high up in the air.

So I’m sitting here on the first leg of my two-part flight without music or Feast For Crows to keep my mind occupied typing up my sucky flight rant.  I don’t know how closely they monitor blogs and I may get dinged/flagged; then again I may not.  But I’ll say it again if you can bring fire onto a plane then you should be able to bring a cup of water that isn’t purchased at the gate especially if you know it’s some kids water.  Water….really.

And I end this by asking you to tell me about your horrible flight experiences?  Has TSA ever made your kid cry?  What are your flying advice to make the experience smoother?   

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Cork Vaca: Final Days

This is my last tidbits from our family vacation.  The last couple of days of our vacation were really laid back.  We hung out on the beach both days (I didn’t take my camera because I really wanted to chill-laxe.) and headed to the room for showers and our other outings around 4 or 5pm.  The first night we had dinner and then headed to one of the many Putt Putt golf courses.  Stan and the babydoll have played golf on many occasions so they went in with a so-called “advantage” over me. 

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Half-way through our 18 holes we realized that playing golf and putt-putt are two different things (I was in the lead by several putts). Smile with tongue out  My babydoll was really taking the game seriously through most of the game

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until the last couple of holes and then she announced she had to go tinkle.  At that point she decided that she would stop using her putter and use her hand as a putter. Smile  The 18th hole was my downfall and allowed my hubby to snatch victory from me by 4 putts (yes four…my ball kept going around the hole but not going in.).  Here’s his victory pose…

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luckily he is a genius with computers and not providing for his family on the runway.

You may be wondering why we had on sweaters and long-sleeves while in Myrtle Beach during the summer….it’s because it was downright chilly there.  I think the warmest it got was 85 during the hottest part of the day and that was when we were leaving.  We were extremely happy about the mild weather (and glad we weren’t home because it was averaging 100 degrees) it allowed us to be able to hang out at the beach and not feel like we were going to melt into the sand. 

For our night in SC we went to see the movie “Brave” – which was excellent – then spent some time at the boardwalk amusement park down the street from our hotel.  My babydoll spent a week asking for a bow & arrow and horse so that she could be Merida.  We didn’t respond to the request and we are happy to say that the request have died away. 

We awoke early (when I say we I mean me) and finished packing up everything, cleaned up the kitchen, and straightened up so that we could head out by 7am.  I wish I could say that the drive back was uneventful but that would be a total untruth.  We were delayed by 3 hours due to multiple accidents on the highway.  We couldn’t figure out why there were so many, but there were.

We finally walked into the house at 10:30-ish to the smell of doggy vomit.  YES, you read correctly I said doggy vomit.  My pup had been a little sick from the extreme heat and had the worst case of upset stomach that lasted for nearly a week.  My brother had reported that she had been a little sick a couple of times; but he said that she seemed to be doing well when he had left her that afternoon.  When we got home it was not the case….I ended up giving my pretty girl a bath at 11pm and rinsing out her crate in the dark.  The extreme heat had her messed up until last weekend. 

All-in-all our family vaca was really good.  We relaxed, visited a new place, had some good family bonding time, I worked on my camera skills, and most importantly…I was able to read three books and my family didn’t feel like I had ignored them to do it.

Now with school starting soon (the beginning of August for us) and the summer winding down soon, tell me about your vacations – planned or already spent.

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Cork Vaca Day 4

On the fourth day of our vacation, we decided to chill out on the beach. We I arose bright and early at 6:30 am to spend some time with God on the patio overlooking the beach.  It was so sunny and beautiful and was giving promises that it was going to be a beautiful day.  Mr. Stan came out a little later to wish me Happy Anniversary (it’s been 14 years y’all) and we chillaxed with a few minutes of chatter less time from the babydoll. 

After breakfast, we changed to swimwear, grabbed our beach haul, and headed off.  The sun was mighty bright so we decided to rent an umbrella (it was only $15 for the day; I don’t know why we haven’t rented one in the past).

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Now I’ve said multiple times that the babydoll is a water baby; but for whatever reason the ocean intimidates her.  Do you think it’s the sight of the vastness of the ocean?  Don’t get me wrong, she plays in the water and digs for shells, rocks, and crabs a lot, but there is a limit to how far and deep she will go.  Now that I think of it, it may be the taste of the salt water that she doesn’t like, so if there is a possibility to it getting in her mouth she heads in (I just had that epiphany…my own “lightbulb moment”).  Having said this I feel like I won an Olympic event when I convinced her to jump a few waves with me.  We didn’t go as far out as some people, but it made it to her waist people.

I forgot to check the exposure before Mr. Stan started taking pics so they were a little over-exposed.

We got Mr. Stan to come out with us and she was really able to jump, because we were kind of helping her out.

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The craziest part of the day for us was when the tide came in.  As many times as we have spent on the beach we have never witnessed this. 

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The waves got REALLY high and soon passing the line where everyone was chilling out under their umbrellas.  You would be playing in the water and then you would see your shoes floating by from being grabbed by the  receding tide. Surprised smile  At one point I was scrambling to get my camera bag and beach bag – my beloved Nook and camera were in jeopardy of being damaged.  It was supposed to end soon (someone was telling us that it would end around 2:15 pm) but the waves were still pretty high and coming in when we headed back to the room around 5pm.

As stated it was my anniversary and we wanted to go to someplace nice for dinner.  We are not buffet people…we had gone to one the second night we were here because we were told it was the “normal” place to go around here; but we weren’t making that mistake twice – especially not on our anniversary.  The front desk recommended the “Flying Fish”. 

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It’s in the Barefoot area – a off the water that has quant shops and restaurants.  It reminded me a lot of an area we went to while in Seattle.  The food was good and we had a great time as a family.  Babydoll took a few pictures of us so that I could have one of me and hubby.

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(Excuse the lipstick at the bottom of my chin, it was right after eating and I didn’t realize the corn on the cob had caused the smearage.)

When we were walking back to the car, we noticed some young gentlemen with HUGE animal crates.  As we got closer I said, those are baby tigers.  They had the cutest faces. Smile  We were told the adults were in another location around the corner and to check them out.  I took several shots, but it was dark and they were moving around a lot (playing with each other)and I was shooting through glass, so none of the shots came out worth squat (If anyone has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated  – keep in mind I’m in Manual mode on my camera). 

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All in all it was a great family day.  When I woke up that morning I was thinking about my anniversary and reflecting on our 14 years…thinking about what it will be like after 40 years.  Mr. Stan is my friend…even when he makes my butt itch as my husband, he’s still my friend and he still “pops my panties” when I look at him so I think we’ll be good.

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Cork Vaca 2012, Day 2 & 3

With me being sick on my birthday, I felt like the next day should be a do over.  We got up and had a nice family breakfast (this is why we always try to get a room with a full kitchen…who wants to have to rush getting up just so you can find someplace to have breakfast?  we want to lay around a bit..it’s vacation after all.).  Then we headed to the beach.  The weather here has been very mild, not too hot at all; so we have been able to chill out without feeling like we are going to pass out from the heat or have to gussle tons of water to keep us from suffering from heat exhaustion. 

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After around 3-4 hours on the beach we came inside had a snack of meat, cheese, and crackers along with some grapes, everyone hit the showers and we headed out.  I really wanted to get to Bath and Body Works because they are having their Semi-Annual sale and this is the only time I can get my favorite body wash – Dancing Waters- that I take with me on all my trips. The babydoll had picked up a $5 off coupon for Build-A-Bear and that was her requirement for the day.  We found an outlet mall and I found some items at Old Navy while trying to find a light sweater for my babydoll (I can’t believe I let her leave without checking that she had a sweater of some kind).  I walked out with stuff for her, but no sweater.  We spent some time in the Adidas store, cause I love shoes and I’ve really wanted some shell-toes in pink and white every since I saw a pair at the mall in Natchez, MS when we were in the South for my grandmothers funeral.  I didn’t find the shoes there.  And can you believe it…there was no Bath and Bodyworks to be found in the outlet mall.  We headed to another mall, Boardwalk on the Beach, to get the bear.  We walked away with Myrtle Beach (yes that is the name of this bear Smile with tongue out)

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and some fabulous earrings, because I have short hair and must have my dangly earrings to emphasis I’m a girl (like my hips and backside don’t emphasis that enough) and I love, love, love my accessories; (I found this accessories store, Bijuju, be still my over beating heart)

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but I still found no Bath and Bodyworks. 

We went to dinner at Captain George’s Seafood Buffet (there are a lot of seafood buffets around here) and came home for some more of the wonderful ice cream cake.  It was a better day than the previous, so I couldn’t complain.

The next day was a beach and pool day.  Two hours at the pool and another three/four hours on the beach.  It was another cool day (it was actually a little chilly) and Stan and I didn’t feel any burning desire to get in the water.  My babydoll spent a lot of time finding shells and and attempting to find a crab. 

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We encouraged her to search without us being right beside her.  She got so comfortable and distracted that my little one had walked away from us and hadn’t noticed.  I had to go get her.  On the walk back we came across a baby stingray.  Of course I didn’t have my camera…can you imagine my angst to miss that photo opportunity. Sad smile

We had Mexican for dinner.  And I was finally able to get to Bath and Bodyworks to get my shower gel.  They didn’t have the creamy version, but I have gel no-the-less.  As much as we wanted to walk down Ocean Blvd to look at some to the night attractions, as I stated earlier it was too chilly.  We wanted to get to the room to warm up.  Maybe tonight we can do some nighttime sight seeing…the day promises to be a warm one.

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Cork Family Vaca 2012

When we plan our family vacation, the babydoll has two requirements…a beach and a pool.  Because of this we have tended to find ourselves somewhere in Florida or California.  Don’t get me wrong we have traveled to some amazing cities that do not have a beach, but we can’t spend a week away and not have a pool.

This year we wanted to try something different.  We have heard from many people about Myrtle Beach, SC.  It’s funny to think that we’ve never been here, but have been to locations really close by.  We decided to make the drive (for several reasons – the cost of airfare is crazy stupid right now and there’s a boat load of stuff you need for the beach that we already had at home so why buy more when we get there to throw it away when we couldn’t take it back with us on the plane.) and headed out Saturday morning.  I have to have a side note really quickly…we left a lot later than we expected Saturday and one of the biggest reasons was my niece gave birth to her baby girl at 3am Saturday morning and we needed to get keys to my brother (the proud grandfather), who was dog-sitting for us, so we had to go to the hospital.  Of course we weren’t leaving without seeing my new great-niece who looks like a beautiful babydoll.  She reminded me so much of my babydoll.  There were a few complications with the birth (just like with my babydoll), but I’m confident babygirl will be just fine.  Now back to our vaca.

The drive was fun and very mountainy (is that a word?  it should be.) and we didn’t arrive at our hotel until around 11 (did you know that North Myrtle Beach is actually the name of the city and not a division of Myrtle Beach?)  We checked in and got on pajamas and checked out for the night.  I’m an early riser…so I was up at 6am the next day to a beautiful view of the beach.  It was my birthday…the big 4-0.  I was excited to begin our time here to see what everyone was raving about.

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Unfortunately I ate something for breakfast that deflated me.  It hit me while we were in the grocery store (which was about 30 minutes after breakfast) and stuck with me for the rest of the day.  My birthday dinner consisted of a piece of chicken from Bojangles (first time having that) and the ice cream cake that my hubby picked up while at the grocery store.  Another side note: some people would think an ice cream cake is cheesy, but my favorite dessert is ice cream and cake so this was perfect for my especially since it contained tow real layers of cake sandwiching vanilla ice cream.  I have got to make one of those when I get home.  Smile

The babydoll did get to spend some time in the pool.

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I think she would have had a hissy fit that would have made any “queen” be proud if she had not.

Stay tuned for more details of our trip.

How about your family…are there any big trips planned for the summer?

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