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Friday, February 26, 2010

One Day While Out Shopping.......

Today is another opportunity to share one of my own embarrassing moments. Well, to be honest, I wasn't really old enough to understand that I should have been humiliated but my mom and dad were there and I'm sure they had enough for all of us!!

This little story has its beginning when I was about 4 years old. At that time, we were living in an older home with the typical old fashioned white porcelain bathroom fixtures. I was too young then to appreciate the beauty of the cast iron claw foot tub and white pedestal sink from the 1940's.

Anyway, getting back to the story, we were in T. Eaton Co., a large, high-end department store in our small town. Keep in mind that this was during the 1960's, long before you had to duct tape your kids to your hip in order to prevent them from being snatched by a stranger. This was the era when parents were able to drop their children off in the toy department, go about their shopping and then go back to round up the kids as they made their way to the cashier.

On this particular day, dad was hanging out in the hardware department and while browsing,  heard a very familiar little voice nearby exclaim:

"My, what a pretty toilet!!"

Recognizing that voice and with cat-like reflexes, he hightailed it to the plumbing department where he found me with my draws down around my ankles climbing up onto a brand new PINK DISPLAY toilet!!

My older sister who came running to see what the fuss was about was mortified. She saw him lift me up off that toilet, swing my bare ass around in the air while pulling my pants back up at the speed of light and just in the nick of time!

So tell me, anyone out here brave enough to admit they can relate to this little story? Come on! I can't be the only one who has been fooled by a fancy department store plumbing display!!

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

To Follow or Not to Follow?

Lately, I've noticed several blogs creating cute buttons and icons in an effort to help us all gain more followers. Personally, I think it's a great opportunity to find other blogs with similar interests and share  stories so I like to play along.

Unfortunately, there is a flip side to this. I've been blogging on a regular basis since last Fall and I probably have somewhere around 300 blogs on my roll that I flip through from time to time when I have a few minutes to check out what's happening.

Of all these blogs, I have only used that "Stop Following" button on a couple of occasions.

This is the first time I reached for that dreaded little button:

I had been following and reading along with this particular blogger for two or three months and noticed a common thread to the author's posts "It's all about me, look at me, look what I bought, look what so and so bought for me, I'm so hawt, I'm so cool, everybody else is a big loser, blah, blah, blah".

I continued to follow this blog, left comments, this blogger dutifully commented back but even return comments held that same "I'm self absorbed, I'm shallow, it's all about me and my perfect body, whatever" attitude. It finally started to dawn on me that this author wasn't kidding.

This particular blog still has a huge following, growing all the time but in all honesty, I think most of those followers just want to be associated with someone who they perceive is "cool".  Me? I just think there are too many well-written posts that I'd rather be reading so yep, I finally reached for  that "Stop Following" button. I mean, seriously, how many times does anyone want to read how "hawt" this blogger thinks they are? Well, if you check out how many followers they have, I guess it's a lot Lol!

Another time I used that dreaded little button was because I've got an "evil streak", well maybe more than just a streak but anyway, getting back to the story,  I had been following this blog, loved the material, found the author witty, smart, intelligent and just plain old entertaining. Posts were published almost every day and like a little puppy, I would read and comment on each and every one.

Well, after two or three months, absolutely nothing. No visit back to my blog, no follow back, no reply to my comments, no nothing. I was being totally ignored but I just kept commenting. Eventually this blogger just had to notice me, right? Wrong! So I  threw the only cyber tantrum I could think of and pressed that "Stop Following" button out of spite. This blogger wouldn't notice my absence with the 300 + followers they had anyway.

So time went by, I kept plugging away at my own blog and then one day about six weeks later, there it was! I opened my email and there in my in basket was a comment from "that" blogger! I was stunned! How did they know who I was? What did the comment say? So I hesitantly opened the email and it was a "Way to go" or something like that but it was from "that" blogger! Hey, I wasn't invisible after all, they were even following me now!!!! I smiled ear to ear!!!! Validation!!!!!!!

Well you know that I just had to go right on over for a visit, I left a glowing comment on "that" blog and repressed the "follow" button.

So in light of all the "Follow Me" mania going around right now, have you ever stopped following a blog and if so, what made You press that dreaded "Stop Following" button?

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

#100!!!!! So Let's Celebrate!!

What better way to celebrate Post #100 than with an award party!  So many received over the past couple of months and I've been so slow to show my gratitude and pass them along but in honor of Post #100, today is the day!

And just like before, the same rules apply here:

All of today's recipients will receive their awards with NO STRINGS attached.  Do with them what you please, decorate your blog, pass them on, tell us your favorite things, whatever you want.  My party, my rules!

So everyone, pull up a chair and pour yourselves a drink!

From Suzicate of The Water Witch's Daughter and New Mom Over 40, I received the Lemonade Stand Award. Both these gals have been so sweet and supportive of my blog so stop by and pay them a visit.

Since Heather of Heather's Gonna Lose It is on her way to a new, slimmer figure, and has been such a great support for me, I thought she would be just the right person to pass this along to. Want to follow Heather's journey to a trim figure? Then check out her blog and follow right along as she journals her progress.

From Heather of Two Little Monkeys Plus Hubby who has been just the best Lose it Bitches buddy, I received the Happy 101 Sweet Friends Award.  Thanks Heather, we both know how much I need all this sugar right now so time for me to get off the sweets and pass it on!! 

One other gal who could use a little sugar high is Gayle of Gramme's Blog, so I will be passing on these cupcakes to her!   

From Don Joe at Workforced, I received the Workforced.Com Award for a comment I made about office bathrooms.  Want to check it out?  Then go on over to Don's popular blog.

From Erin at The Mother Load I snagged the Your Blog is Fabulous Award and let me tell you, this is one stylish lady, Erin is too! Her blog is growing like crazy with new followers falling over themselves to get on her roll so stop by and see what has made Erin so popular!

This fashionable lady walking her cute little dog will be passed on to Anita of Beyond the Diapers and Spills who is one of the first blogs out here to find me.  Love reading her thought-provoking posts so drop on by and see what Anita has been up to and don't forget to follow her.

Both Kat of 2010 Year Of Miracles and Tammy of Tammy's Two Cents honored me with the Beautiful Blogger Award and if you have already visited these ladies, you know why they received this little beauty in the first place.

One blog that is always on the top of my must-read list is Theological Musings  so Bev will be receiving this Beautiful Blogger Award from me.     

Heather of Welch Happenings thought I deserved to receive the Best Blog Award so this awesome award is going to be passed on to Tammy of Tammy's Two Cents. Both these gals are so deserving of this little beauty so if you get a minute, stop by and say Hello to them.

Kat at 2010 Year Of Miracles and Dual Mom of We're At Dads That Week both honored me with the Sunshine Award so the blog that always brings sunshine into my day is by Arizona Mamma of Our Daze in the Desert. All these gals put a smile on my face so please go on over and say Hello to them.

From Elizabeth of Our Journey Through Life  and Respectfully Yours of Here Is What I Think I received  You're Going Places Baby Award and anyone who knows me well knows I love Humphrey Bogart!  

My all time favorite actor so I can't help but pass this on to Corrie of Just Because My Pickle Talks Doesn't Make Me An Idiot who might actually like him more than I do!

Don't be shy about visiting any of these great blogs and catching up on what's going on in their neck of the woods.  Always entertaining and enlightening and while you're visiting, please be sure to press that Follow button!

So now with the formalities out of the way, please join me in congratulating these great blogs and then let's crack open a bottle of champagne and celebrate Post #100!!!!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

This is Post #99!!!

Today is my 99th post. I had no idea when I started blogging that I would have so much to say and share. It all started as my way of reaching out in the hopes of connecting with a few other moms who were not only raising small children, but doing so while struggling with the side affects of menopause.

Well! Imagine my surprise to find that I have amassed well over 200 friends who have shown me such love and support! I am still surprised when the comments stack up, so many of you reading, commenting, sharing your stories and offering your support and experience. I'm still overwhelmed some days at the honesty and trust we have in one another.

Unfortunately there is a flip side for those of us who choose to put ourselves and personal thoughts out here. I too have received ugly comments from cowardly individuals hiding under an anonomymous signature. When that happens, I just use my delete button and let it roll off of my back. I don't want to waste my time or energy on negativity. I also don't want to get caught up in the drama, childish behaviors and name calling that goes on among some bloggers. I'm happy to have left that behind in grade 7. All I am looking for is a place to share a laugh, ask for advice or tell a story.

That brings me to my next dilema. There comes a time with blogging, reading and commenting when you have to stop and ask yourself whether blogging is getting in the way of life or life is getting in the way of blogging. I'm at that point now where it is taking up so much of my time trying to keep up with the reading and commenting, that I've come to a decision.

Right now, I have to make my 3 1/2 year old daughter my priority during the day. I will read and comment when I can and as a result,  I will be posting less often. Right now it's nearly every day and I'd like to try cutting that back to every second day or maybe three posts per week including my Sunday Weigh In. If I could, I'd add about 4 more hours to the workday so I could fit in everything I want to read out here but we all know that's not possible.

If you notice I'm not around as much as before, it's because I'm spending that time with my precious daughter, reading to her, drawing with her, painting and teaching her.

I'm still going to be here (mostly after my little one goes to bed and hubby is glued to the TV watching sports) so I'll check in with you when I can.

For now, I just want to say how great it has been to be embraced by such a warm and supportive community of the best blogging buddies out here! Thank you, Thank you!

Now it's time to put away the computer and get out the crayons!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thoughtfulness or Sabotage...?

They say that "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions" which might explain why my hubby thought I might enjoy these which he picked up while out getting milk the other night.

So far I've resisted but that pound cake sure would taste good with my coffee right now and I don't even want to discuss those bakery chocolate chip cookies!!

Anyone else feeling less than supported by their other half while trying to lose weight?

Stay tuned!  Sunday is weigh-in day with Heather's Gonna Lose It where you will find this cute icon for those of you who want to join in:

See ya then!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

One Day At The Office....

Here is a cute little story from my days of working in an office. I promise, no pee involved, just a couple of rosy red cheeks! This one happened to a good friend and co-worker of mine but is typical of what would normally happen to me.

To protect the "innocent", no names will be mentioned but this gal had a very good management position at the company we both worked for. This recounts the day that she showed up at the office with a little more than she bargained for.

As was her usual routine, our gal got up, showered, dressed, did her hair and makeup and then hauled on her long Winter coat. After her 20-mile drive to the office, she got out of her car and walked in to our building. She stopped to pick up her breakfast in the small cafe on the first floor before heading upstairs. She ordered her normal breakfast of coffee and a muffin but was surprised to see that complete strangers were watching her. She thought to herself that it must be one of those rare days when your hair turns out right and you're looking pretty hot, that sounded reasonable enough.

She picked up her breakfast, walked through the crowded cafe nodding and smiling at those who were watching her and continued out to the elevator. While she waited in the lobby, many others showed up for the work day ahead. Finally one of the elevators made its way to the first floor and opened. Our gal got on among the others making their way to their own offices. Again, she noticed that people were watching her but didn't think too much about it.

Finally she arrived at our floor, got off the elevator and slipped through the big front doors of our reception area. She then made her way down the long hallway to her office greeting many of her staff as she went. Once there, she took off her coat but when she went to hang it up on the hook behind her door, there it was...the reason so many people had been staring at her that morning.

On her back, entangled in the fabric belt of her coat was a big-as-life, glossy white, plastic coat hanger that had not only made the entire trip into work with her but had hung off her back in full view the entire time since she had left home!  

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Yes, I'm Lazy and Here's Proof!

Before I get into today's post, I wanted to send out a big Thank You to all of my blogging buddies who not only checked out my post yesterday but headed on over to visit Respectfully Yours of Here Is What I Think. Thanks to all of you, by mid afternoon she had actually surpassed her target of 100 followers! Talk about teamwork, we are the best group of blogging friends out here and now we can prove it!

Getting on with today's post about my lazy ass.....

It doesn't take much to put a smile on my face but I can tell you that getting my crystal out of the basement and into the hutch has been something that I have been putting off for a long time.

When we bought the house back in 2006, we took on an 8-month renovation before we moved in.  When move-in day finally arrived, unpacking my crystal was not a priority. When you consider our daughter had just turned one a few months earlier, you can well imagine that I had my hands full. Just getting the necessities set up took all of my time and thanks to my terrific mum who came over for a few days, I was able to get the basics in place.

So getting back to my crystal, I was in the basement to put away my Christmas wreath and a few other outside decorations a few days ago when I spied some of my carefully packed cardboard boxes. We have a clay floor in the basement so I was horrified to see that at some point during the renovation, workmen had "tossed" a couple of these boxes aside. Of the 15 or so down there, the two containing my crystal were on the bottom and all the boxes had started to rot and collapse.

On Sunday, I was in the basement and decided to see what shape my crystal was in. I carefully moved all the cardboard boxes on top of it and opened what was left of the top flaps. Everything was still rolled up in packing paper so I would not know the condition of each piece until it was unwrapped. So I took a plastic laundry basket to the basement and transferred the wrapped pieces of crystal from the rotting cardboard. It took three trips but I could hardly believe my luck when after careful inspection, I could not even find a tiny nick. What a relief!

Into the dishwasher it went and while it was getting sterilized, I went to work dusting the inside of the hutch to make room. This is the finished look.

Finally after three years in a damp, dingy, clay floor basement packed away in rotting cardboard boxes, my sparkling crystal is back where it belongs in full view where I can enjoy it. Now where's the wine? All this hard work has made me thirsty!

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Do You Need A Good Laugh?

I don't know anyone who doesn't benefit from a good old fashioned belly laugh.  After being away on a three week computer-free vacation, I've been trying like Hell to catch up with everyone's blog to find out what I've missed out on.

This is a little unusual for me but I have to tell you about this blog that I follow.  I was reading it the other night during the Super Bowl Game while hubby was sitting directly behind me on the sofa with his eyes glued to the TV. So I get reading this blog and some of the older posts and I got to laughing so loudly and so often that my husband finally spoke up and told me he was starting to get annoyed (as if his jumping up and down off the sofa and swearing at the TV isn't aggravating)! He must have asked more than a dozen times what was so damn funny!

I didn't share it with him but I'll share with you guys! If you want to check out what had me laughing out loud, go on over and start to follow Here Is What I Think.

This fellow Canadian calls herself Respectfully Yours and writes such comical posts about everyday life, she should have more than 1000 followers! Hell this gal deserves an HBO special! Her blog is a riot and when you drop by to visit her, tell her I sent you and make sure to pour yourself a cup of coffee. Once you get reading, you're gonna want to check out her older posts right back to the beginning and yes, it's worth it if you love to laugh.

Always puts a big smile on my face and gets hubby in an uproar listening to my laughter! She's aiming for 100 followers, let's all help her get there by clicking on that Follow Button and telling our blogging buddies about her hilarious blog!

So what are you waiting for???  Go on over and check out the antics of Respectfully Yours!!!!

You'll thank me!

Monday, February 8, 2010

What Are The Odds!....I Need A Calculator!!

If you've been following along the last few days, I did several posts on what a hassle it was to get our delayed luggage while we were on vacation.  If you missed that and want to check it out, you will find it Here.

So on Thursday, I drove my hubby to the airport once again as he had to attend a business conference in Toronto which is only a couple of hours away by air. One flight so he carefully packed his dress clothes for the meeting and then a few casual clothes so he could spend some time with family on the weekend before coming home on Sunday.

Well, the poor bastard gets to Toronto on Thursday evening and can you guess what happened??  Yup! No f@$%ing luggage again!! He had to race around Thursday night before the shops closed and buy a suit and shirt and a few other essentials so he wouldn't look like something the cat dragged in at the meeting on Friday morning. His luggage arrived Friday afternoon AFTER the conference of course!

Once again, we are fighting with the airlines trying to get some of his expenses reimbursed. Their excuse? The luggage weighed too much so a few suitcases were left behind and sent on a flight the next day. Unfortunately, we are not allowed carry-on bags right now so you'd think they would realize the problem this is creating, after all, we are following their rules.

If this can happen to us twice in such a short time, is it any wonder the airlines are in financial trouble? It can't be helping their bottom line to be constantly buying new clothing for passengers! Stay tuned, I'll let you know if we get any of the money back before they go bankrupt! In the meantime, anyone out there care to calculate the odds of this happening twice?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

And The Plan Was.....??? Conclusion (Finally!)

So when we left off, hubby and I were on our way to the mall in Wailea to spend the $500 each that his Visa had approved since our luggage had not arrived in Maui when we did. Two different United Airlines reps had assured us it would be arriving that evening around 6:00 pm and it would be shuttled to us immediately. If you want to read the entire saga, you will find it and all the links Here.

I'm not really a shopper but having the chance to spend $500 on some new clothing was fun. I picked out a few light-weight tops, a nice big sun hat and a pair of nice jeans from Banana Republic (we don't have this store in our town so I was anxious to see what all the fuss was about, after all, Oprah uses them in nearly all her makeover shows!).  I ended up spending less than half of the allowance and was quite happy with that. My nature wouldn't allow me to take full advantage and our suitcases would be arriving in a couple of hours anyway.

So we finished up our shopping and headed over to my step-daughter's condo to meet the new granddaughter and see everyone we hadn't seen since last summer (we are spread all across the country and this was a sort of family reunion to all meet in Hawaii). Had a wonderful but too short visit. I wolfed down my dinner and had hubby drive me right back to our condo so I would be there when the luggage showed up shortly after 6:00 pm.

Well by 8:00 pm I started to get worried not to mention pissed off that I had rushed away from our family gathering to wait for luggage that did NOT arrive when I was told it would. I got on the phone with United Airlines once again and was told, "Whoops! The shuttle left the Maui airport at 5:30 pm, your bags didn't arrive until 6:00, sorry, they will be on the next shuttle that leaves the Maui airport at 10:00 pm". I wasn't overly impressed but this was a reasonable explanation, or so I thought.

I was having a difficult time staying awake, I mean 6 time zones meant that my body considered 10:00 pm as 4:00 am.  By the time 11:00 pm Hawaii time rolled around I was furious. I again called United Airlines and was told "Whoops! There is no 10:00 pm shuttle and all they could get was the answering machine when trying to contact the person in charge of bags at the Maui airport." Call me an exhausted bitch if you want but I was so angry, I hung up on the rep. I thought this was the better option considering the other would be letting loose and I knew this rep was not at fault, sort of.

What made me so furious was that if I had known my bags would not be arriving on Sunday night, I would have stayed with the family instead of rushing off and bought some extra underwear and maybe a nightshirt or something. So again, I went to bed in the same damn shirt I had been wearing all day.

The next morning, the gloves came off. I called United Airlines, demanded that the bags be delivered and then ran to the mall to use up the last of the $500 budget whether I needed the items or not! There is just something about spending someone else's money that makes one feel better when they are having a bad day. With the money spent on several more clothing items (do I need to tell you I bought around 10 pair or underwear, this time 3 for $24 at a different mall?), I rushed back to the condo just in time to sign for our bags which had finally arrived at 12:30 pm. As if waiting an extra 24 hours wasn't long enough to wait for our suitcases, the Maui airport had unnecessarily added an additional 18 1/2 hours to that wait.

Just a quick note, today when I opened the mailbox, tucked inside were two checks one for each of us in the amount of $200 from United Airlines for our trouble. I'll let you know if Visa pays up with the $500 they promised each of us!

THE END - for now!

Friday, February 5, 2010

And The Plan Was.....??? Part III

So if you haven't been following along on the lost baggage story I've been blogging about for the last two days, you can catch up Here.

When we left off, I had just crawled into bed wearing the same sleeveless T-Shirt I had worn for the last 20+ hours when we left Canada. BTW, this shirt happened to be bright white and did I mention I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter who gets her sticky fingers on everything? I think you can pretty well imagine what that shirt looked like when I got up on Sunday morning and had to face wearing it once again. Forget the undies, they had been kicked to the curb and I was on my way to the mall with just my black yoga pants covering my fat ass. On my feet in the 80 plus degree sunshine were my socks and winter boots.

So we get over to the mall in Wailea and thank God the stores were open on a Sunday. My first priority was a pair of sandals, my feet had been jammed into those hot Winter boots and dirty socks long enough. It took about 45 minutes but I was finally able to track down a pair of fancy Crocs in the exact same style as the ones in my missing suitcase only in a different color and for about $60. Now it was time to find some undies. I went from store to store and finally found the only shop in the entire mall that sold women's underwear. I nearly choked when I was charged $27.00 for a single pair that consisted of no more than an eye patch with about 20 inches of lace (Just want to say sorry to all my family who may read this for the visual of me in a thong that is likely to put most of you off your dinner tonight!). So I pulled off the tags and wore them out of the store.

So with $87 spent, I decided I just had to ditch the formerly white T-Shirt I had been wearing since I boarded that first flight. I found a pretty blue shirt and it cost somewhere around $35 so at least I now had something to wear later that night to the potluck dinner that my step-daughter's were hosting at their own condo (BTW, these two girls and I are very close, one has two daughters close to the age of my own and the other has a baby that was just born in November we hadn't met yet). Needless to say, we were anxious to start our vacation. (In case you were wondering, yes my husband got a pair of Crocs and new shirt too, it wasn't just about me!)

Since it was still early afternoon, we decided to call United Airlines again and follow up on the baggage situation. We were hoping that my husband's suitcase had been located and wanted confirmation that mine was on the way. Made the call and were delighted to hear that both suitcases were taking the same flights we had a day earlier and would arrive in Maui around 6:00 pm that evening and be immediately shuttled to our condo at their expense. Yay! Disaster averted!

At the same time, my husband pulled out his Visa card and decided to give them a call to see if there was any Lost Luggage benefit. We had already checked our Travel Insurance and there wasn't anything there. We were stunned to find out that the credit card the airline tickets had been purchased on was offering EACH of us an additional $500. Wow! That made a total of $700 each to buy new clothes while we waited for our suitcases to arrive and after a quick highfive, we jumped into our car and back to the mall. We had only a few hours before our suitcases arrived at 6:00 pm! After all, two different United Airlines reps had said they would be arriving.......right?

Conclusion - Tomorrow

Thursday, February 4, 2010

And The Plan Was.....??? Part II

So if you read yesterday's post, you know that after 15 hours of travel time and 6 time zones, my husband and daughter and I landed in Maui still in our full Winter clothing only to find that our daughter's suitcase was the only one that had made the trip with us.

WTF?!  The airline was happy to give us a pencil case with a few 50 cent toiletries in it, a Lost Baggage Form with toll-free number, assurances that my suitcase would be delivered to our rented condo shortly after 6:00 pm the following day and that they would locate my husband's suitcase. They then sent us on our way.

Okay, so we get the rental car, get ourselves and that one lonely suitcase on board and head to the condo about 30 minutes away. Once we were settled in, I couldn't wait to kick off my Winter boots and heavy socks.  I mean we had come from temperatures somewhere around 20 below to 80 above.  Hello!  I was hardly dressed for Hawaii weather and with all the restrictions they put on carry-on bags now, I didn't have one thing with me.

After we shared that one toothbrush, my husband pulled out the Lost Baggage Form and called United Airlines. The representative was lovely and offered us each $100 to replace what we needed to get by until my suitcase arrived and my husband's suitcase was located. I beg your pardon?? This is Maui for f#$% sake!!  You can't even get a damn coffee for under $15!! There is no Dollar Store here, the local shops had stores like Rolex, Tiffany, LV, BCBG just to name a few! Hello!!!  We were dressed in full Winter gear in the middle of 80 degree weather and had a family dinner to attend!  After much persuasion, the rep agreed to $200 for each of us which was the maximum allowed. Don't forget I only had to get by one day while my husband's suitcase was still missing.

So we had a total allowance of $400 to shop with. I was worried about my husband not getting his suitcase at all and offered him the balance of my allowance once I had purchased a pair of sandals.  I knew I could get by with the sleeveless shirt and yoga pants for one day.

So after traveling for more than a full day, I wore my dirty sleeveless shirt to bed hoping that the local shops would be open on a Sunday so I could pick up some footwear and a pair of undies until my suitcase arrived the next evening somewhere around 6:00 pm. That's what the rep said, it would be shuttled to me quickly once it arrived in Maui, the rep wouldn't lie about something that important....... right?

to be cont'd....

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

And The Plan Was.....???

So after traveling for 15 hours and through six different time zones, we finally arrived in Maui at 5:30 pm Hawaii time on a Saturday evening.  Yes, they still starve you on the planes so....

This Was The Plan

I had put a bit of thought into the clothes I wore on the plane. I had on a pair of black yoga pants, a sleeveless t-shirt covered with a fleece zip-up hoodie, socks and zip up winter boots. Just had to ditch the hoodie and trade my boots and socks for the high-heeled Crocs I had carefully packed on top of the clothes in my suitcase and I would be perfectly dressed for the humid Hawaii evening. We would then head to the nearest restaurant for a quick meal, then off to the rented condo for a quick shower, a change into my new light-weight cotton pajamas and then into bed.

Here's What Happened

When we got off the plane, our daughter was sleeping so my husband headed to the baggage area to pick up our suitcases while I walked across the room to sit by the open door while holding our daughter so she could continue her nap. After a few minutes my husband made his way over to us with her suitcase and then headed back to the baggage area to retrieve our suitcases. We each had packed only one.

After what seemed like an hour, my husband made his way back to us but instead of our suitcases, he was holding a black pencil case. I asked what that was and he replied "This is our luggage." I'm sure my jaw hit the floor when he told me that my luggage had missed our first connection and was still only an hour away from our home back in Canada. It was scheduled to arrive in Maui the following day at 6:00 pm where it would be quickly scooped up and delivered to our condo. My husband's suitcase hadn't been located yet. In the meantime, they had provided us with a pouch that contained:

1 short-handled blue toothbrush with bristles so stiff they should have been on a toilet bowl brush
1 cheap men's hair comb that would have better suited a Barbie Doll
1 tiny men's deodorant that was about the size of a lip gloss pot
1 test tube of clear blue body wash
1 test tube of clear blue shampoo
1 test tube of clear blue conditioner
(each of these was about 1/4c and the color of that blue crap you put in toilets to make the water blue)
1 flimsy men's disposable razor
A form with a phone number where we could contact the airline to get updates concerning our luggage

(to be continued...)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It Takes How Long To Get There?!!

If there is one thing that I hate, it's flying. I am so nervous and have so much anxiety every time I board an airplane, it's a wonder I travel at all. Somehow I manage to sit quietly, smiling at everyone while drawing on every bit of self control I have to keep from screaming and running through the plane trying to get the doors open so I can jump.

I think I already mentioned that we spent 17 hours traveling to get to Maui so that's a heck of a lot of time for my mind to run through the details of every single plane crash I've seen on Mayday (this is a television show where airplane crashes are recreated and the causes discovered). Well, as much as I like to stay focused on my own unfounded fears about flying, all it takes is a problem with my 3 1/2 year old to snap me around to forget my own panic.

Coming back home took about 15 hours but my thoughts of all those crashes quickly faded during our take off. Imagine how panicked I became when my 3 1/2 year old grabbed her ears and started screaming hysterically. It must have been that short runway over the water that caused the pilot to climb so quickly and steeply that my daughter had no time to clear her ears. She had been in such good humor before the take off so I knew the problem had nothing to do with being cranky. My husband and I tried everything we could think of to calm her down and get her to swallow or yawn or anything to clear her ears but she was so hysterical, there was nothing we could do but wait it out which takes a long time when you are taking off at sea level.

To the woman with the long, light brown hair hidden under her baseball cap who flew from Maui to Calgary last Friday evening, I want to say the biggest "Thank You" ever. This fellow mom jumped up out of her seat the minute that seatbelt light went out and ran over to us with a candy lollipop that she keeps on hand when traveling with her children. This 25 cent lollipop was all that our daughter needed to clear her ears and within a few moments, she was able to settle down and finally fall asleep.

Later on when I found this mom to thank her for her kindness, she happily handed me a bag of lollipops when I told her we had two more flights to get through. I promised her on the spot that I would never again travel without enough lollipops for every child on the plane and I plan to keep my word on this long after my daughter no longer needs them. I had always relied on a drink with a straw but in this extreme circumstance, the straw couldn't do the trick.

To the flight attendants on that same flight who I asked for advice or assistance, thanks a lot for the plastic cups with hot water towels that you told me would NOT help. What a total waste of f#$%ing time. Learn something here and spring for a $2 bag of lollipops and keep them on the plane for f@#$% sake! You travel for a living, have you not noticed a pattern with some children and their ears??!!

To the employees at the screening station in the Calgary airport, I want to offer my sincere apology for the vomit left behind by our daughter in one of your plastic x-ray trays. She had a rough six hours out of Maui and had an upset tummy after her ordeal. By the way, I would have loved it if she had spewed on the Canada Customs Agent instead. Might just do a blog post about my thoughts on them one of these days.

Thankfully, the other two flights were fine for her although I didn't know that at the time so instead of bracing for the crash, I worried about how her ears would be during every take off and landing all the way home. Personally, I think worrying about her was a lot more distressing than worrying about crashing Lol.

So that pretty much sums up the air travel time. After all that traveling, I can tell you with complete honesty, as beautiful and warm as Maui is, there is just no place like home!