I’m so happy to back to the blog.  Sadly, between travel and moving, there’s been little time to write.  I’ve felt a mild sense of stress and emptiness these pass two weeks.  I guess I really love my work.  That or I’m addicted to the blog.  Anyway, it’s good to be back!

My Florida Thanksgiving vacation was a wonderful trip.  I spent time with family that I hadn’t seen in years, ate Grandma’s cooking (which is always the best), and sat around doing a whole lot of nothing.  For exercise I took walks, went wake boarding with the teenagers, hit golf balls at the club house, and did Yogilates with my new Aunt Teresa.  Now that’s doin’ it Florida style.  The weather was okay. It could have been warmer but I didn’t mind.  Only the people from the colder climates were looking for a more “fun in the sun” vacation.  In California I’ve got that every day of the year.

Here’s a pic of the Thanksgiving dinner crowd…

laura's fam

Now for the “Wild Blue Yonder Adventure” part…

pittsburgh plane

The voyage back on Tuesday was a journey indeed.  We left my grandparents house in Palm City, Florida at 8:00 am Eastern Standard Time.  It was a 45 minute drive to West Palm Beach Airport, which Teresa was kind enough to be the driver for.  Checking in was painless and so was security, leaving us plenty of time.  And what better to do with free time than shop.  I bought a painted flamingo to match my new pink bathroom.  Tacky city and I love it!

From West Palm we took a short flight to Charlotte,  North Carolina.  There we deboarded for lunch.  I had my first taste of deep fried pickle.  Just writing about it is making my mouth water.

fried pickle

Of all the airports I’ve been to, this has to be my favorite.  They had beautiful Christmas trees of pointsettia and ivy, Santa Clause was riding around with all his jolly cheer, and all along the food court there were rocking chairs for your sitting pleasure .

charlotte breezeway

pointsettia tree

The All-Star said this was the greatest idea ever.  I found a sense of serenity watching my fellow travelers rocking in the sunshine.

John is Charlotte

After lunch we got back on the same plane and took another short flight to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Time of arrival: 2:38 pm Eastern Standard Time.  Hours of travel:  6.38 hours.


We had a two and a half hour long layover in Pittsburgh so we found a spot for another bite to eat.  Things to enjoy at Pittsburgh airport? An art exhibit showcasing the life of Andy Warhol as well as a display dedicated to Fred Rogers and Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.

I’d like to take a moment to explain the difficulties people were having with the boarding process.  The All-Star and I were boarding for the 3rd time that day and we pretty much had it down.  Our carry-ons fit under the seats, we knew where our seats were located and we avoided the mad rush.  Others did not have such luck.  The over-head compartments filled quickly and many had to check their bags, couples were getting separated and those seated near emergency exits were disgruntle about the “job requirements.”  One poor stewardess really heard it from the woman sitting in front of me.  She complained about the airline and the customer service.  I felt sorry for them both actually.  Who needs extra baggage when traveling, right?

From Pittsburgh, PA we flew to Denver, Colorado.  Landing time was 7:13 pm Mountain Standard Time.


At this point I had no idea what time its was on the East Coast nor how many hours I had been traveling.  I only new that all the take-offs, landings and being in the “Mile High City” has taken their toll and I had had enough.  I was hungry but full-feeling, tired but wired, I had a headache and was beginning to get cranky.  I opted for a tall cup of Tazo Calm Tea.  It helped, and just in time to board our last flight to our final destination.  Time of take-off: 8:50 pm.  Flight time: I don’t even know…

crazy in denver

I slept most of this flight which was great because according to The All-Star it was the worst flight of the day.  There was a dog he became allergic to sitting behind us, a girl who talked the whole time, a woman who laughed very loudly, and an old lady who kept kicking his seat.  Poor guy, he was ready to be home too.  We arrived safely in Orange County, California, on-time and so did our luggage.  After a ten minute cab ride we were home sweet almost home and ready for bed.

Time of arrival:  11:15  pm Pacific Time.  Total air-travel time: 4 hours and 24 minutes.  Miles traveled: 3,695 miles. Time from door to door: 15 hours.


Now for the lesson, do we still have time for a lesson?  While both The All-Star and I had our shared moments of “stress” during this journey, we practiced  patience and endurance.  The goal was “home” and we had to keep moving.  We could have become angry or frustrated more than we did.  I could have taken my crankiness out on my travel partner, or the poor stewardesses.   We could have got good and drunk at an airport restaurant and disturbed our fellow travelers.  And I could have bought a heck of a lot more than a silly pink flamingo and regretted my purchases later.  But no!  We kept our chins up and took advantage of seeing the county via airports. We joked that next time Jet Blue offers 30 days of unlimited flights for $599 we’d taken advantage and see the nation.  It’s still not a bad idea.  We have certainly become pros at air travel. But for now I’ve had my fill and for the next 3 weeks I’m staying on the ground.  Luckily our flights to New York for Christmas will be a little less time, and patience, consuming, I hope.