The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Allure Trip Journal: Final Installment- The Last Morning, Disembarkation, and the Flight Home! June 18, 2012

DFW

DFW (Photo credit: ksbuehler)

Hello again. Nearing the end… : (

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I let the kids sleep in as long as I dared, and we went to the WJ for breakfast. (This part is totally pathetic, but we were all tickled pink to be back in the US where we could use our phones! All three of us girls had ’em whipped out and were texting like mad over our eggs and danishes! LOL!) My mom had already been up and watching the webcam and marveling again about how big the ship is. I have a picture of Daughter S. with a whole muffin stuck in her mouth like a roasted pig with an apple, but it’s on the one memory card I haven’t managed to upload yet- the micro one from my phone.
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After breakfast we consulted the oh-so-convenient digital signage that tells you where you are to wait for your number to be called to leave the ship. We were assigned to go to MDR deck 5. We went down, and rather than wander around looking for a table, we plopped ourselves down right at the entrance behind the danish and coffee table. Yeah, it might have been a little rednecky, but we set a trend. We were the first, and a couple other people followed suit shortly after. The father of this family was a rather cranky old soul, and by the time they called our number, I was ready to jump out the window if I’d had to listen to his voice one more second.
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So we waited about 45 minutes and they called our number- 75. We got off the ship and into the luggage area, only to find that we’d had a Group Moron Moment, and our number was not 75, but 72! So we could have gotten off a little sooner if I weren’t such a scatterbrain! Oh well. What can you do, eh?

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Unfortunately, here is where our experience went sour. One of our bags was missing. I knew the minute I saw the ones that WERE there, that the missing one… also happened to be the one with the seashells in it. Oooooohhh boy! I began to be ever so slightly terrified that our bag was missing precisely because it had shells in it, and I would be concluding my vacation with a nice little stay at the Gray Bar Hotel. We searched and searched, checked the Lost Luggage area, waited, wandered, asked a few different people, and finally decided to give up. We went through customs (me still shaking inwardly, wondering if they had somehow flagged me and I’d be stopped at that point. I wasn’t). So we went outside and up to the first agent we saw and told them we still hadn’t found our bag.
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Apparently some breakdown in procedure had happened here, because the first 2 or 5 people we had talked to inside should have directed us to the ‘fill out the correct form’ desk, but we managed to get outside without having to do this, and we were sent right back in the front door. Then we were sent OUT the front door and alllllll the way down to the Day Visitors door to fill out the form. Talked to some guy with a walkie talkie who seemed to be listening to someone on the other end telling him that some bags were still in customs. Again… oooooohhh boy.
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So I filled out the form and we waited around for a few minutes, and I began to be further terrified that we would miss our flight. The kids were a little distraught at this point, especially S. She of course, being the wisest and most discerning among my three little munchkins, was quite upset that this would happen to us. The other two were just kinda like, “How long is this gonna take again?”
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After a while, I decided that we’d better just go. It was 10:45 and our flight was at noon. We left the room and trotted as fast as we safely could without running, alllllll the way down to the end of the terminal where the taxi line is, got in the line, and tried to just breathe. The kids at this point were like, “Ok, so we’re leaving without it. How are we gonna get our stuff?” and I said I hadn’t the foggiest. I was trying not to have a weeping meltdown at this point. What a crappy end to a great trip.
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Finally we got in a cab. I did my usual thing of asking the driver if he was doing ok, and he just kind of shrugged and mumbled. We made it to the airport. (Fare was $15.90 and I gave the guy a $20, in case you’re interested.) We checked our luggage at the curb, because I didn’t know you could do it inside, and we got stuck behind these two women traveling together who had the wrong luggage with the wrong ticket, or something, but finally we got inside. I felt a little lost, because it seemed like there were no employees anywhere, and I went up to the desk to ask where in heck we were supposed to go. [ETA: I had used the Flight Check In kiosk late the night before, which was quick, convenient, and no complaints.] I got directed in the right direction, and we went through security. The kids went through ahead of me and I somehow started talking to this lady and telling her what had been happening, and it was here that the stress finally got to me and I began to cry.
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I went tearfully through the rest of security, and got my shoes back on, and we found a place to sit and wait. This terminal, I might add, was nowhere near as well-appointed as DFW’s was- it was tiny and crowded and stress-inducing, but maybe that was just because of where my overall stress level already was. Right before boarding I ran and bought some gum and some water and Chex Mix. We stepped onto the plane and I immediately began to need to pee. But I was in the middle seat with Daughter J. on my left and some cute kid from Nebraska who had been on a Carnival cruise to the Bahamas on my right, and so I just put it out of my mind.
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Toward the end of the flight, I desperately needed to go, but the kid was asleep and I just decided I’d suffer until we landed. Finally we made it, and I waited patiently before standing up until most of the plane was already clear (may not have mentioned that on our first flight, I stood up as soon as we stopped moving, and I felt like a moron still stuck waiting there for everyone to clear ahead of me. Live and learn.)
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Once again on a Bathroom Mission, I apparently went sailing right past my dad, who saw us come off the plane and waved like crazy, but we were oblivious and finally spotted him again closer to the luggage claim area. The kids made a mad dash and we swarmed him and hugged him, and then a little farther on, Mom was sitting there too, in the row of seats against the wall, and we ran for her too, and I have to confess here, that although I will be 40 years old in September, I have never been so glad to see my mommy and daddy in my entire life! I wanted to cry with relief!
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So we claimed our luggage, got out of the airport, went for lunch at Cracker Barrel, and headed North! Stopped at the WalMart in Gainesville to pick up a few things that J. needed, because get this: we were taking the poor child straight from the airport to a week of church camp! Finally, we got home, dragged everything inside, and started trying to refresh, renew, and recuperate.
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***Ta-Dah!***
Things I learned:
1) If it’s not formal night, almost anything goes in the MDR, but it really does look a little sloppy to go in there in shorts and t-shirts.
2) I only noticed what people were wearing because of the CC boards.
3) Give your luggage to the first person who asks.
4) Every time it occurs to you to do something, go ahead and do it, because you may not remember to come back to it.
5) The wild animal species LoungeChairius Hoggus does exist, but the FoodLine-icus Defenderus is much more prevalent and vicious.
6) Never again with Character Vacations unless the people I’m with are prepared to Divide and Conquer the character search on their own time!
7) Powerstrip is definitely a must (didn’t have) and we forgot to even try to use the Ipod dock. We had a wall charger with 4 USB ports for that. We had an alarm clock, but I never needed it because I always wake up at around 6:30 on my own no matter what.
8) We apparently scored the Triple Crown Trifecta of family travel: three women in the family and nobody was on their “Girl Time”!
Things I took and didn’t need:
1) Dollar Store rain ponchos (it rained a couple of times on ship, but if we hadn’t stayed out of the rain we might have just enjoyed dancing in it. You never know. Although now that I think of it, they would have been great at Sailaway! Duh!)
2) Clothes pins. (never saw a clothes line)
3) curling iron, nail polish and remover, and other beauty items like hair combs, pins, and so on. (You just can’t make a bunch of girly-girls out of a bunch of low-maintenance country girls, even on Formal Night!)
4) Highlighter- nope, never used it. I either circled stuff in pencil or just carried the compass around and referred to it frequently.
 
5) Workout clothes- Duh, goes without saying. (Here is the promised confession of the result of my incredible gluttony: For the two weeks between the Tuesday before we left and the Tuesday after we came back [Weight Watchers meetings are on Tuesday] I showed a gain of an incredible 15 lbs.! But I am happy to say that in the ONE week after we were back, I made such good choices I took off the entire 15, plus a few ounces, which tells me that the VAST majority of it was nothing but water retention.)
6) Sunscreen- not all of it, just two or three extra bottles I could have done without, seeing as we didn’t spend a ton of time on the pool deck, and when we did, it was after dark!
7) Extra swimsuits. I didn’t end up getting to swim all that much, either on ship or in port, and I had about 4 or 5 with me and only two ever made it onto my body.
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And so we come to the end of our journey. If I forgot to revisit any subject I promised to revisit, (and in case you’re interested) please ask any questions you have. If you have any other questions, just let me know, and I’ll try to remember.
Regarding what we’ve been up to since the cruise: We picked J. up from church camp last Saturday the 9th and went straight up to Oklahoma City for my baby sister’s wedding. It was beautiful.  We now have a few days before we leave for a road trip to a family reunion in Colorado that I’m very much looking forward to, and when we get back from THAT, I need to immerse myself in paperwork for Daughter S.’s college and The Boy’s online public school that we’re going to try this next year.
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I don’t know when we’ll get to cruise again. I like to think that I will eventually get to go again someday, with someone, but if it never happens, I had this one golden memory of a trip with my babies at a special crossroads in our lives.
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Thank you for being with me!
Until next time,
D.

 

3 Movies: What I Loved and Learned from Meryl, George, and Emily May 2, 2010

Hello all.   This weekend has been a pretty good one.  Because the other two are at Campfire camp, Daughter S. and I have been by ourselves since Friday after school.  Friday night we went out to eat at the local Italian place, Luigi’s, and rented movies.  The three movies we rented were all so different, and they made me think about a lot of different things that I wanted to share in this entry.

The first movie we watched was It’s Complicated, with Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.   I really enjoyed this movie, because it was about a strong, independent woman taking chances and risks and doing what she needed to do to learn about herself and to discover how to be happy.  I could really relate.  I loved the parts where she was having dinner with her best friends and they could talk and share what they were doing in their lives, and be honest without fear of judgement.  I liked how the character of Jane took charge of her life and made the changes she wanted to make for herself and nobody else. 

The second movie we watched was called The Young Victoria.  It was a costume drama about Queen Victoria of England before and immediately after she first came to the throne.  Here again was a story of a strong, intelligent woman who could hold her own in a man’s world.  Emily Blunt played Victoria.  The movie had a lot of other great English actors in it, but that wasn’t the best part.  The part I liked best was how she made her own choices and stood by them, whether they were popular or not.  She knew that even if she made mistakes, they were her mistakes and she would own them.  I loved the passion between her and Prince Albert, how even though they were drawn together by outside forces, they were lucky enough to see each other for themselves and to fall in love on their own.  It also made me think about medicine and childbirth in that time period, because they had nine children!!  I’ve only had one child that wasn’t by c-section, and that was with an epidural.  I cannot imagine going through it nine times, with no pain relief, and no technology.  Even though she was the Queen and she probably had the absolute best care available at that time, I can’t imagine the strength she must have had!  And then the fact that amazed me was that their descendants have become the royal families of about 10 countries!  Just incredible.

The third movie I watched was Up In the Air starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, and Anna Kendrick.  This movie just depressed me and ticked me off.    It was about a clueless corporate guy who fires people for a living and gets his thrills from committment-free sex and the elite status of his ever-increasing air miles.  He was also a motivational speaker whose message was basically ‘Let go of everything and everybody in your life, keep yourself free of baggage, and you’ll be happy.  Yeah, you’ll die alone, but your life will have less crap in it.’  Then he gets all sentimental about this woman he’s been seeing and he tries to get more emotionally involved with her and the other people in his life, only to get kicked in the teeth by finding out she’s married and has a family.  Then he achieves his goal in life of racking up 10 MILLION air miles and it means absolutely nothing.  He can’t even remember why it was so important.

After this movie, I went to bed feeling. so. bad!  It was like nothing mattered.  I wanted to take my blog down, blow off the class reunion, tell all my friends to take a flying leap, never be a teacher again, give up on losing weight, and just throw in the towel on everything.  I don’t know exactly why I had this mood crash, but it was awful.  I just let it go and went to sleep, but this morning still woke up feeling blah. 

Today hasn’t at all gone the way I planned so far.  We’re missing church, partly because I waited too long to get up and get ready  because I was messing with blog stuff and messaging on Facebook, but also because Daughter S. had an allergy/sinus attack yesterday and today has a raging sore throat from the drainage.  I had planned to get up early and make it to Sunday School and enjoy going to church, just me and Daughter S., but I guess we can go tonight.

Anyway.  I think the only thing I can learn from this Movie Weekend experience is that I absolutely have to keep working on the things that matter.  I have to keep working on my weight loss, and keep up with my housecleaning, and keep working on trying to be a better parent, and especially keep believing in my writing and relationship dreams.  We all have baggage in life- we’re all going to have baggage.  But I can still be strong and independent, I can make my own choices and mistakes and own them and stand by them.  I can let go of the things that don’t matter, but not everything, because a life free of ties is no life at all.  It’s a drifting, pointless journey.  I don’t mind drifting, but I can’t handle pointless. 

Until next time,

D.

 

 
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