Excess Baggage

Posted on October 16, 2010. Filed under: Me, Myself, and I | Tags: , , , , , |

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The baggage policies with the airlines are really just priceless. If you have flown in the past few months you have witnessed this. Some of you have probably been on the frustrated side of things too.

For me after years and years of traveling and watching customer service slowly disappear the baggage doesn’t really get to me. I have just resolved to check and leave delays, cancellations, missed connections, middle aisle seats to get me frustrated.

In full disclosure this also could be that I rarely pay the excess baggage fees since I have frequent flyer status.

Anyway today’s story was just to good to pass up.

  1. Checking in I listen to other passengers complain about the fees for bags. Watch them try and figure out how to get the weight down, combine bags…all that fun stuff.
  2. A connection later we are getting ready to board and the ticket agent starts calling for volunteers to check their bags at the gate. Free of charge. So if you have made it through with the min liquids now you can get rid of that big ole bag for free. Some volunteers…probably those who planned on doing that all along.
  3. Well I guess the computer didn’t say she had gotten enough bags. She proceeded to say she needed more volunteers and if not she was coming for the bags. She said she didn’t think it was fair to claim all the bags from Zone 5 people so she would be doing it randomly. Now here is the thing…some of the zone is done by status of how often you fly. I am biased but I think someone who has status from many flights should probably not have to deal with this baggage bs…but this lady decided she was going to even the playing field.
  4. The plane begins boarding…the rumblings on the plane are loud. She took my bag and made me check it but there is room here. Why did I have to pay for my bag to be checked and her she checked yours for free? For those that don’t see this a lot it is quite difficult to understand. For those of us that do see it a lot we don’t understand but have seen enough not to question and we put on our BOSE headphones and tune the world out.
  5. Well turns out the bag keeper was a little over zealous. She took to many bags and here we set ready for take off with completely empty bins. I mean nothing in them at all.
  6. I had to hand it to the bag keeper she got on the intercom and told the passengers not to take it out on the flight attendants it wasn’t there fault- the computer told her she needed to take people’s bags. At least she had mercy on the poor ladies that have to fly with us in closed quarters for the next 4-5 hours.

Ahh…so here I sit. I have my laptop. I have my itouch. I have my BOSE. And my suitcase…it might be in PHX it might by in PHL it might be somewhere getting really really wet on the tarmac…I don’t know, as it is not with me, but I ok. I have that excess baggage go.

 

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A note to Mommy

Posted on September 23, 2010. Filed under: What she said | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I can’t resist. Here was the morning note I got from MB (via text from TB). Enough to make me smile all day.

Dear Momma,

We buy donuts, chocolate donuts from the store. We’re sorry mommy. You know those white ones we get sometimes, we got chocolate ones. We’re sorry.  (I am not sure what she is sorry for…the fact she is eating donuts, or that she got a different kind then we sometimes get.)

The pumkin growed big and the sun flower is not very big except its tiny. (these are the seeds she got as a gift from family friend and have grown better than any plant kits we have used before)

We love you. Watch out for gators.  (those would be my Florida Gators!)

Here is the photo that went with the note.

Love my munch-kin!

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Refreshed…a great girls weekend

Posted on September 13, 2010. Filed under: Circle of Friends, Me, Myself, and I | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Nothing beats family time…and I cherish every minute.

But there is something to be said for getting away for a day or two.

I was able to get away this past weekend and how wonderful it was.

I headed east to Kentucky. So on top of visiting 2 of my best friends. Yep, lucky me they are married! I got to get a little southern charm.

The weather was just awesome. 70’s. Sunny. Clear Skies.

Combine that with wine, long walks, good food, and good chats. I was so refreshed and thankful for everything I am blessed with.

The past few visits have been full of venting, talking about the crap in my life, and the dark cloud had just always hung around.

That is a thing of the past. What a difference it made. It was just wonderful. No black clouds. Nothing to really bitch about. Just shows how talking negative can make you feel negative. Talking positive leads to being positive.

About the only downer was leaving and realizing it was going to be awhile till I saw them again. Friends know no distance, but it sure would be nice to have them around for more weekly dinners, walks, and wine.

Oh and I have to mention I was reminded how the little touches for guests can make you smile. There was a note on my bed, flowers in my room, and she even turned down my bed one night. Oh yeah over the top. I must remember flowers in the room when we have company. They made me smile all weekend.

What little touches do you do when you have company?? (I am not afraid to steal them!!!)

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And the Award goes to

Posted on August 9, 2010. Filed under: Awards, Me, Myself, and I | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Wow does this award hit home…I am all over the place with my blog topics or in a positive note “versatile”. Adventures with 3 Girls bestowed this award on me and you should definitely go check her out. She is a LA mom with 3 girls who loves being green. Every Thursday she has a new green post!

According to the rules I am supposed to tell you 7 things you don’t know about me. I guess it should be 7 things you want to know about me too…but no promises.

1. I have an addiction to reality TV. I just can’t look away…Kardashdians, Housewives, Big Brother…you name it, it is probably sitting on my DVR waiting for a night when TB has to work late and I can catch-up.

2. I love to cook. I absolutely love it…I am always looking for something new to try. Our schedule sometimes makes it hard to cook lots of meals…but now with MB here full-time, school starting, and lots of new friends I think there will be plenty of opportunities for me to try new stuff and cook more. Excited about that.

3. I never liked running till I started the couch to 5K in my 30’s and now I am addicted. Only have done 5Ks so far but thinking of going further this season..how far is still to be determined.

4. I am the survivor of a horrible 3 year divorce/custody battle. Where I learned how dubbed I had been in marriage. But that is all behind me and I have a beautiful future ahead with my love bugs.

5. I usually check on my daughter about 5 times before going to bed. Love watching her sleep.

6. I fall asleep with the TV on…love sleep timers.

7. I have been to Africa, Bali, Japan, Thailand…and on and on. I love to travel and was blessed with a family and job that gave me so many great opportunities.

Whoops updating the post as I forgot to pass the award on….the award goes to The Adventures of Chip and Bob. One of my favorite reads! Check out their adventures.

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Family fun and humidity

Posted on July 22, 2010. Filed under: Capture the moment, Circle of Friends, The places we have been | Tags: , , , , , , , |

A long weekend with family in Indy. 4 little ones ages 5 and under. Lots of giggles, a little whining, and tons of fun. Splash in HIGH humidity and bugs, which in the words of MB: “I know why people move to AZ, so they don’t have bug bites” reminded us that 110 degrees isn’t that bad if the humidity is low.

We spent majority of the weekend poolside at TB’s parents house. Unlike our pool they have a slide and a diving board. MB with her running splits & long jumps and TB doing flips. The favorite was the slide. For the first day it was just normal sliding. The 2nd day brought all different kind of combos. Forwards, backwards, on your stomach, on your back. Then the “big trick” was coming off the slide onto the boogie board and staying up. After lots of lots of practice and being told that I didn’t hold the board right (TB needed to hold the board) she had it mastered and could come down the slide, right to the boogie board and glide across the pool. What fun memories. I  know we are going to hear begging for a slide at our house soon. (wish I could post the video!)

We also had some of TB’s old friends join us with their kids at the pool for a BBQ and more pool time. Water guns were the toy of choice, for the big kids and the little kids!

Outside of the pool the kids played non-stop. I caught the girls practicing cheers in the gym. MB teaching lil Sis “up-up, down-down” with the pom-pom’s. The boys took MB for a ride around the yard in their Caddy. Enjoying summer nights…seeing fireflies. Setting off some pretty impressive fireworks.

We had a family dinner which was full of really good eats. TB’s sister-in-law makes some really good coney sauce. I say this as someone who doesn’t like coney’s but loved her sauce!!! I am waiting for the artichoke dip recipe too- another WOW. Bellies stuffed and the kids are quiet. I go upstairs to check on them and MB says “Mommy, we have been playing a really long time with no arguing, isn’t that great?”. Yes it is and I am running back downstairs quickly so as not to ruin the quiet :).

The visit was short…but one of those that fills your heart and soul with happiness and recharges you for life ahead! Even if I still feel sticky thinking about the humidity!

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Prelude to our weekend in Indy

Posted on July 21, 2010. Filed under: Capture the moment, The places we have been | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Our last vacation of the summer. We headed to Indy to see family and friends….it was a much-needed break after spending some time in the Franklin Courthouse.

Before we could begin our family fun my ex was determined to have MB dance in what he called a “recital”. Now MB has missed 3 recitals over the past couple years due to my ex. Recitals with costumes, dance classes that she has attended for years….this was a 4 day camp with a 15min show at the end. Of course he worked up MB to be so excited about it that we couldn’t disappoint. TB and I spent the afternoon in Cbus playing games, getting a special hair-do, and having dinner before the big show. With nothing else to do TB and I attended the whole class. The whole 2 hours of babysitting. There was a little leaping, a little dancing, snack time, arts and crafts, and the best was coloring!

Even better none of the girls were dressed in leotards except MB. Did I mention there were 3 girls? The glass started with 2 and then a friend of the teacher came in…so we had 3. In their everyday clothes and flip-flop. Even the teacher laughed when we asked when the recital was.

So after 2 hours my ex showed up with his entourage…he brought 6 other family members including himself. The other 2 girls just had a parent for pick up and I think a sibling was in tow. Yes we looked like a nutty family. They did their dance steps following the teacher who held her notebook the whole time so she could remember the steps. All this so we couldn’t leave till 9pm for a 3 hour drive home. Another poor move by my ex.

Fortunately at the end the teacher just put on the disco ball and let the kids dance. Well MB is a dancing queen…she loves our dance parties and she pulled out all her moves. Even grabbing TB for a flip mid-dance. She was in her groove. Not surprising the ex and his family were in shock, they had never seen her dance– this was all new to them???? I don’t even know how that is possible- dance parties happen weekly in our house and I have caught MB many a night turning up the radio and just busting a move. That was enough to make me smile…MB and her moves and confirming how clueless my ex is about MB.

To celebrate MB’s dance off we found a DQ and enjoyed small blizzards. Once again I had mine to myself while TB and MB swapped out their’s each trying to find the biggest piece of cookie.

With full bellies and full hearts we started out 3 hour drive and landed in Indy safe and sound at 1am.

Proof is in the pictures 🙂

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Enough is enough

Posted on July 11, 2010. Filed under: Me, Myself, and I | Tags: , , , , , |

Today is not my best day. I am heading off once again to deal with my ex. My support network is flying in to be there with me, but these visits are never fun. Instead of getting to enjoy them it is stress filled- debating, trying to figure out what is going on, trying to reason things out,determining the right next steps. Add to that the stress I am feeling plus constant worry and concern – I am on edge and snappy, making me a joy. Doesn’t that just sound like a fun family visit. I think you can sum it up with TB’s comment– I took you to Kauai on vacation, you bring me here”…followed by a smile. Gotta love my man!

Hopefully the resolution will be good and Tuesday is our break day so I am just looking forward to enjoying the day with my mom and my girl. That is enough to get me through the next 24 hours…that and a little ice cream.

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Family Vacation, take 1

Posted on June 28, 2010. Filed under: Capture the moment, The places we have been | Tags: , , , , , |

It is going to be downhill from here :).

We are off on our first family vacation together (Todd, Maddie, and I) and honestly from my previous life other than Mommy and me trips or family/friend/golf visits this is Maddie and my real first family vacation. Good stuff.

The first surprise was Todd and our airport driver surprised Maddie with a limo pick-up. She was so surprised she got all shy… until she got inside and then relaxed like a rock-star.

Limo Rockstar

We had an uneventful flight. I must vent a little it was amazing to me that in 6 hours they served no food. You could buy snacks if you wanted and they only came down twice with drinks. They didn’t even give you the can of soda and never once did a water run. Airplane travel is definitely no frills anymore. I was prepared with water bottles and we shared some lunch. They also showed Extraordinary Measures as the first movie..not sure I think that is happy plane pick but I did enjoy the movie. Maddie was a dream we started and ended the flight with naps and in between she and Todd snuggled up watching Scooby Doo and she then watched Princess Diaries by herself. There is no doubt she is a professional traveler. Others on the plane were amazed, they didn’t realize there was a child around till she got up for the restroom.

A great flight and we arrived…Kauai is beautiful. The green mountains, the beach. Love it. We got to our hotel equipped with a huge koi pond and truly a look of paradise. Our room wasn’t ready but we enjoyed lunch by the beach and then it was ready. Now they have a little snafu and are going to have to move us half way through, but offered us a late checkout Friday and $250 in hotel credit, so worth the moving hassle.  Travel fairies are looking on us again.

Working on our picture journal at lunch

Beach, pool, and catch up sleep the first day…Looking forward to the adventures ahead.

Pool with mommy, Ocean with Todd

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Disney Magic

Posted on June 5, 2010. Filed under: Capture the moment, The places we have been | Tags: , , , , |

There are so many emotions around our trip to Disney. The place is just magic. The excitement a 5 year old has is contagious. From the moment you step onto Main Street the magic takes over.

Last year was focused on characters and princesses. This year was more about rides- especially Tomorrow Land. Buzz Lightyear, race cars, and rockets. There were of course others– but those were the requests and the ones that seemed to be favorites.

We happened upon Mickey’s 3D show, and it was a nice surprise. The aroma spray and 3d show was awesome…I got a kick out of Maddie trying hard to grab for Ariel’s gems.

We stopped everything for the parade and shows. I got teared up as we watched the first parade. She sits in awe, you are having just one of those memory making days, and full of so much love. Couldn’t have been happier.

I could go on and on about the day…but I think I will focus on the end. We went back to the hotel to take a little rest and then headed back for the light parade. We had time for one ride before the parade- Maddie wanted to head to the race cars. I smiled, Todd is really making his impact and I love seeing some of that shine through.

We then got our mickey mouse ice cream cones and found a spot for the parade. Maddie managed to work her way up to the front and got a first class seat. The lights were amazing. We then had time for one more ride before the fireworks. Madison chose the rockets back in Tomorrow Land. The rockets were on top of a building and she had so much fun. Snuggled in together she was in the driver seat to keep pushing us higher and higher. Then the fireworks went off. Maddie started laughing. The infectious laugh. Summing up the day.

We hurried off the rockets back towards the castle to catch the rest of the fireworks. I was carrying Maddie so she could watch while we walked. The fireworks were awesome. Set to the Disney music- big, bright, and beautiful. We found a spot and I kept holding Maddie. She had her arms around my neck, she snuggled her head up next time mine. A couple of times she turned to kiss my cheek. Sounds of oh wow, how beautiful, were heard. As we left the park she kissed my hand and looked up to me saying “you are the best mommy in the world”, “I love you mommy”. A woman walking next to me said- “how sweet”. Yes, how sweet. Yep the ticket prices are outrageous. You will spend a small fortune for just one day, but it is a day you and your little ones won’t forget. It is happiness. It is love. It is fun. It is laughter. It is magic.

Thank you Disney for another magical visit. Next year we will be back with our Frog Prince – who is looking forward to getting some of that magic live. He got a taste of it via the phone this trip with a replay of the day’s events (from both of us) and I think is ready to get in on the action live.

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Brandy’s Restaurant and Bakery

Posted on May 30, 2010. Filed under: Good Eats | Tags: , , , |

During our weekend getaway we tried out my first Food Network featured restaurant.

Featured on Diners, Drive-ins, & DivesBrandy’s Restaurant and Bakery in Flagstaff, AZ.

We had a full day of driving and visiting the Grand Canyon so the group was pretty tired.

I have to say it was a good pick. The menu was full of lots of fresh cooking and flavors that sounded really good. Todd and I decided to share 2 entrée so we could get double the tries. We enjoyed both. Maddie got a grilled cheese with ginger soy carrots. I have to admit my favorite 2 things of the meal were the fresh 7-grain bread brought warmed to the table (and used in Maddie’s grilled cheese) and the soy ginger carrots. Brandy’s had started out as a breakfast and bakery spot– and I think next trip we are going to hit the breakfast.

The chef was out talking to all the tables and spent some time with us, well with Maddie. Maddie was busy drawing and they talked about if she wanted her drawing up all the wall with the various artist work he displays. Madison said she was  a very good drawer and would be happy to share. After dinner she searched him out to give with her signed artwork, that he happily accepted along with the compliment that he was a very good “cook person”.

Now I must admit Maddie didn’t love her carrots. She likes them raw…it was one of those you have to eat 6 carrots to be done. So when the waiter came over and asked how she liked her carrots (which were almost gone thanks to Todd and I) I cringed. Yet it seems Ms. Manners is working. Maddie turned and said they were good. Then she even added they are really really delicious. Nicely done, Maddie. Though now I wonder about how well she delivered the compliment….guess I might have to start 2nd guessing when she gives me her opinion 🙂

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