Adventures in air travel

If our annual reunion weekend of my Duke girlfriends had a theme each year, this one might be “Making a Silk Purse from a Sow’s Ear.” But seeing as I have a mini sow at home, who is such a valued member of our family that the idea of using her ear, or any other body part, for a purse is utterly repulsive, we’ll go with another cliche. Perhaps “Making Lemonade from All the Lemons We’ve Been Given.”

In the 8 years we’ve been gathering each June for a long weekend of catching up, we’ve never been rained out. Until now. Thanks to Tropical Storm Debby, we spent maybe an hour and a half on the beach this trip. Total. One evening walk and one brief session on the lounge chairs. The beach umbrellas were dutifully erected by charming young beach attendants but served as a shield from rain more than sun. As Winnie the Pooh would say, “Oh, bother.”
Instead of lounging lazily at the edge of the surf, being bronzed by the sun, we resorted to Plan B: curling up in front of the TV to watch seasons 1 and 2 of Downton Abbey. Thank goodness for quality entertainment from across the pond! None of us in our little group are big TV watchers, but we all were mesmerized by the Crawleys, et al and their upstairs-downstairs life.
We still managed to get ourselves to our favorite Captiva Island restaurant, The Bubble Room, for dinner and a piece of the orange crunch cake. It sounds like an odd combination: white cake with an almond-streusel filling tinged with orange zest and frosted with an orange buttercream. Trust me, it is beyond delicious. Great, just typing that description made me wish I had more now. Right now.
The beach washout wasn’t the end of our troubles, as the flights out yesterday were a mess. Half of our party was flying Delta to Atlanta and then points beyond, and were met with a mechanical issue that delayed them 5 hours and would require a stay in an Atlanta airport hotel. The other half of our party was on United to Houston direct, trying not to feel smug about heading home no stop. That smugness was rudely interrupted, however, as out takeoff was aborted because of faulty brakes.
The faulty brakes issue was not to be resolved because of a lack of a mechanic in the area, so it was off to the airport Hilton for us. Oh, bother.
We’re booked on the same flight today with fingers crossed. If all goes according to plan, we will land in Houston at the tail-end of rush hour and will face the 50-mile trek from the airport back to the ‘burbs, a full 24 hours after our originally scheduled homecoming Oh, bother again.
Meanwhile, we’re killing time in the hotel until they kick us out and will then kill time at the airport until our flight (hopefully) takes off. Oh, the joys of travel!

Rain, rain go away

Many thanks to my friends who saw the weather forecast but didn’t mention it to me. Imagine my surprise when I awoke this a.m. to the drip-drip-drop of little raindrops falling. With my trusty iPad by my side, I looked at the island locale to which we’ll be traveling today and saw some ugly stuff on the radar. I feel like Sandy from Grease, lamenting about it raining on prom night.

After umpteen days with no rain, the heavens have opened and the deluge has come. My yard and flowers need it, as do the woodland creatures around here who’ve been spotted out in the open, foraging for a drink.

I too will be foraging for a drink if the sun doesn’t come out on SPI.

Well, at least I don’t have to worry about my precious little babies missing me. Gone are the days in which I had to prepare activities out the wazoo to keep them entertained in my absence. Payton went to bed last night without even saying good-bye, so funked-out was he over the baseball game rain-out last night. When I went up to tell him good-night and good-bye, as I will be gone this a.m. before he awakens, he said, “Have fun!” Macy at least hugged me, but there were no tears this time, and when I walked into my bathroom, I saw she’d been in there to ¬†leave me a message: See Ya Later on my mirror.¬†

My kids rock!