Monday, August 18, 2008

Entry from June 12,2007

Saturday June 2nd: Messing with the Waitress (aka: Last Breakfast with the family)

We all got up and ready Saturday morning. Bro and his immediate clan had to get on the road by noon and hubby and I had a flight to catch at 2pm (which meant being at the airport by noon for check in *ugh*). So we all congrated in the hotel restaurant and wouldnt you know the waitress we got was the same as the day before (she also serviced the buffet on Friday). We all placed our orders and commensed to doing what we do (yeah Im long winded and it's my folks' fault) and cut up (my bro and daddy are the worst when it comes to this). The waitress came out with a bowl of syrup because a number of us had ordered either waffles or pancakes. When she left, bro suggested to daddy that they pour the syrup in a different cup and hide it and ask for a refill. When she came back through daddy held up the bowl ..said it was yummy and could he please have more? I thought she was going to lose it for sure she was laughing so hard. Somehow daddy managed to get the blame for the whole thing. Bro got up to take his daughter to the potty and the waitress came back with more syrup while he was gone at which point bro's wife squealed on him. The waitress took and hid his chair on him. He gets back, looks and says "Nice", then promptly grabs another chair to sit in. A bit later another prank was pulled on her, I cant remember what it was but she came out in retalliation with a to-go packet of syrup and a straw for daddy. This escallated to daddy pouring the rest of the syrup into a to-go cup so it looked like coffee and asking for it to be topped off and if she could bring some sweetener for it... LOL. It took her a half second because at first glance it looked like coffee but then she one had coffee at the table. You'd be hard pressed to think that we were in town for a burial and not just a family reunion with the way we were acting.

After breakfast we all stood around in the lobby for a bit for that one last visit before heading our separate ways. This was probably the saddest part of the trip. Leaving and knowing we wont be seeing each other again for at least a year. My folks have no more vacation time and I doubt my brother does either...not to mention hubby. Money is going to be a restriction on all of us for a bit as well as this was rather expensive for all. Hubby and I took our leave, got the car topped off and returned. We made it in more then plenty of time. I had enough time to call my TxSis and let her know all was well. I figured I'd better because on CNN that morning was a huge story about this attempt or threat at JFK airport in NYC. Thankfully our first leg was bringing us to LaGuardia...a whole different airport. I just didnt want her to worry if she saw the news.
The first leg of the trip was...well just let's say interesting. I know for sure my mom would have hated it. We were on one of those prop planes. GAWD you can feel every damn bump and wiggle in it. I didnt like it for sure.Thankfully it was a short flight. The second leg from NYC to Charlotte was a better flight, sort of. We touch down in NYC and check the board...the flight's on time. This is good because this would give us only a short layover in Charlotte. Hubby had time to go out and pollute his lungs and I had a little time to grab a gift for my SCSis (she's a Yankees fan- bigtime). By the time we got to our gate...the damn flight got delayed for an hour. *sigh*. Hubby went to the podium to get our seat assignments for the delayed flight and see if we were going to make our connection to Dallas (I told him if there was less than a 15 minute time between flights we may end up stuck there or on a later flight). They told him that he should be able to, he'd have to because that flight from Charlotte to Dallas was the LAST one for the day. *UGH*!! We touchdown in Charlotte and damn if the flight out isnt running on time (loading at 7pm) and we have 12 minutes or so to get to the gate. Top things all off we're in early Zones on the ticket PLUS I gotta go to the bathroom (I refuse to use the airplane restrooms as Im too big to get in there comfy and I dunno how well the clean them between flights). We hit the gate running...I threw my stuff at hubby and bolted for the restroom. When I got out we ran (well ok waddled very very very fast) for our gate (which was at the opposite side of the airport mind you). You've never seen 270 pounds of woman move so fast. We got to the gate with a minute to spare. My legs HURT so bad (yeah Denise, I KNOW how you feel on that elliptical) and I thought my heart was going to burst right out of my chest. I didnt have time to call TxSis as I had promised...well I did but I was so winded I had trouble breathing fk talking to someone (she woulda just asked me where the hell I managed to have sex in the airport and not bought the running story anyhow)....God I gotta lose weight. The plane left at 730pm (damn you mean I coulda WALKED and STILL made it???). We arrived in Dallas shortly after 830pm (remember there's that 1 hour difference and a 2 hr flight coming from east to west looks shorter on paper than going the other direction). By this time hubby REALLY needed to pollute his lungs (fkn nicotine....I hate that stuff) so I stayed in the terminal to get our bag.

We got to the truck and headed home. On the way we stopped for a bite to eat at Applebees (and a spirited drink which we BOTH needed at this point). Got home after supper to a freaked out cat (she'd been alone for a few days and all of a sudden there are people in the house) and the realization we'd lost power sometime during the time we'd been gone (the stove clock was blinking). Made the bed and quick cleaned out the frige. Unpacked and sorted all into the laundry baskets then crashed for the night.

While in NY daddy had sent bro and I home with care packets. One thing that was sent with us was a typed out version of Aunt D's (gramma's sister who passed a few years back) trip journal from when gramma moved her to Florida. Here's the first entry out of it:

Lousy, rainy cold day. We're off after stopping at 39 Holiday Inn. That is, after MH finally released the brake after telling the trailer to move. 11:45am on-2 bus tours and we left for the first lap of the trip. Foliage on 81 was beautiful, but too rainy to stop and take pictures and anyway I didnt have a camera. Saw sun at Harrisburg and was clear and sunny all the way to Chambersburg. Got our room (nice) and went to dinner. We both had very ravenous appetites. Already had our beds turned down at 9pm. Both pooped and I didnt drive one inch of the way. Going to send a couple of cards and go nite nite. We are in our Dr Denton's.

translation for those who need it:
39 Holiday Inn= the Holiday Inn near exit 39 off the NYS Thruway (toll road that goes through New York). This is the same Holiday Inn was stayed at this last trip and also where gramma used to work when she lived up north.
MH= gramma
81= Interstate that goes north to south through the eastern states of the US
Dr Dentons= pajamas

Entry from June 11,2007

Friday June 1st: One Last Drink For the Road (aka Saying Goodbye to Gramma)

In a few short moments that title will become rather apparent, be patient.

Friday hubby and I got up around 9am or so. I had the alarm set for 930am so I'd have time to get ready so when I awoke at 9am I figured to just stay up. I keep forgetting how little time it takes to shower nowadays with this much shorter hair and as such was dressed and ready in less than half the time it normally takes. It's almost enough to make me want to keep my hair this short permenantly. We were ready to go early so we went down to the hotel's restaurant for breakfast and then headed back to our room to wait. Around 11am we got a call (or did someone knock on their way through?) to start heading down to the banquet room that dad had reserved for us. In the room were some of the family that live in Geneva that we dont get to see. Many I didnt even know. Oh how I hate situations where I hardly know people. My brother's godmother (gramma's niece) and her daughter were there already as were my godfather and his wife. The rest I had no clue who they were. I recognized a couple names so it was nice to put faces to the names. We spent a couple hours or so catching up with everyone and eating (daddy had arranged for a light sandwich buffet to be available for those that wanted to eat).

Around 1pm, we all gathered up and headed for the cemetary. On our way out, daddy told me how to get there and made me repeat it several times (I get lost easy but if I repeat the directions several times and am not distracted any Im fine). We followed daddy out of the parking lot and as we headed off my loving husband goes "Isnt he headed the wrong way?" Sure enough my DAD took the wrong turn out of the parkinglot and the new son-in-law who'd NEVER been to the state was able to discern this. *LAFFING* Once daddy realized this and got turned back around we started off. I should have known that first flub was only the beginning of it all. Hubby decided at one point that he needed to shift to the left and shortly after he did, dad exited. We had to get ourselves turned right the hell back around and yeah I was lost at this point. Why? Because I was looking for an exit that DADDY said to watch for and I hadnt seen it yet. Daddy hadnt seen it yet either and that's why he exited but because we were in the incorrect lane we couldnt follow them. *sigh* We spent the next 10 minutes or so playing cell phone tag with mom who was trying to tell us what daddy was saying and me trying to relay to hubby what was being said. I know the Western Union on both sides was getting pretty frustrated. Hubby and I managed to get ourselves to the State Fair sign (large enough landmark that it can be seen for miles around) and parked ourselves right under it. *whew* We were found and commenced to heading to the cemetary. I pretty much told hubby to duct tape our car to dad's ass and dont lose track of him (duct tape fixes everything you know). When we got brother and his crew were already there (they'd started out after us....seems to be the theme for this trip...). Got a big hug from my godmother (godfather's sister) denying who she was as that clan all seems to look alike.

The ceremony was short and sweet. My godfather stood up and had some really nice things to say (gramma was like a mother to him). After him the preacher got up and had some nice things to say and led us in prayer. God help me, all I could see while he was praying was gramma sitting on her cloud saying "bah", laughing and knocking back on a bottle of scotch. *shakes head* I dont know if that vision was because she wanted me to see it or because I KNEW what was coming next. When all was said and done, daddy got up and had dixie cups passed out and either scotch (her drink....that and Diet Coke) or water was poured in each cup. He then said a toast to his mother and we all knocked one back in her honor. He then told us that all her friends in Florida were gathering in a favorite wateringhole at 530pm that night. All the redhats, the people she worked with, the workmates in the hospital and others were going to knock a shot of scotch back in her honor at that time. He then poured a cup of scotch and placed it on her urn for her to take with her. I have to admit...that's the way she'd want it. Actually...I'd think she'd have rather taken the whole bottle with her.

We went to visit a couple other gravesites while in the cemetary. Actually I should say one other site for two other friends. A dear friend of ours passed a couple of years back from throat cancer and his mother passed a couple years before him. While we were in the area we thought to pay our respects at the mausoleum that holds their remains. Our friend has a small floral garden there that was dedicated in his honor. The beautiful purple flowers there were exactly what he'd pick for his own garden. He always had the most beautiful yard on his block.

That evening we went to godfather's for a BBQ and got to spend some time with them before we all parted ways. We had a lovely evening chatting and the kids had fun playing. My niece spent most of the night playing dress up. She took a turn on the swing and found she didnt like it none. I guess she's more like me at that age than my bro cares to admit. My nephew, on the otherhand , is much like my brother and ADORED being on the swing. We could barely get him off it...even to have supper. Later that evening hubby and I took our leave. On our way out, dad said not to wait up because they'd be later back to the hotel (not that I'd wait up because they are adults but it DID open the door for me to mess with him the next day). My godfather's wife hugged me tight on our way out the door and said to not let it be another 15 years before we visit again. I guess this means a trip to NY in the next 5-7 years.

On our way back to the hotel, we passed the Friendly's that we'd been to the night before and I simply HAD to have one last fix of the place before heading back to Texas. I went in to get us a boothe and hubby stayed out to pollute his lungs (the good thing about this trip is that he really had to work hard to get smoke time). When he came in I heard a familiar voice and it wasnt my hubby's. Turns out my brother had had the same thought. His wonderful wife said she'd stay with the kids so long as he brought her back a scoop of sugarfree with almonds. It was nice to be able to sit and visit with just him for a few minutes. The lucky bugger is doing well...he'd managed to lose 31 pounds on the Atkins diet. I never could do that. The diet, that is. I am too in love with my pasta and sweets to pull off a diet like that. Unfortunately, until my love affair with carbs stops...I may just end up like I am for a while as genetically Im not built to handle carbs well. Ah well.

Entry from June 10,2007

Thursday May 31st: Trip to NY part 2: Reunion with old friends (aka revisiting past memories).

After a wonderful night's sleep (my God a hotel that puts REAL pillows on the bed and not that flat shit you find in most!!), we got ourselves up and going. I hadnt gotten to sleep much before 2am and we found out later we were one of the first awake. Hubby called my parents around 1030am or so to see what they had on the agenda. I had to laugh as the phone call woke them up. Here we'd planned on breakfast with everyone too. We all met in the hotel lobby and got an idea of where everyone was headed for the day. Dad said lunch at Heid's of Liverpool at 2pm. For those not from the NY area...Heid's is THE place to go for hotdogs. They use Houffman hotdogs and are the only place Im aware of that sell coneys (pronounced coon- ees), a white hot dog that most find irresistable. Right next door they have Sweet Treats which is an icecream parlor affiliated with Heidi's.

Since there was a few hours before that, I decided to take hubby up to the WalMart on 31 and see if an old friend of mine was working. We went in and to the fitting room area to see if they knew if she was in. They said yes, but she was more than likely out to lunch. Our best bet was to go around to the smokers area and see. Sure enough that's where she was...on the phone home with one of her daughters (who'd come home on vacation from college). So I yelled her name and she turned around and said "Oh my GOD it's..". I guess the daughter got all excited and my friend hung up on her. *laughs* I never realized how much of an impression I left on her and her family. From what she told me during our visit, her kids would get the mail and get all excited when a snail mail showed up from me. They'd beg her to be allowed to open the envelope and she'd tell them no they had to wait til she got home. I wish I'd been a fly on the wall when she got home THAT night! *laffs* She brought me back to her office and then we headed back to receiving to see another friend of mine. Again I was greeted with "Holy SHIT it's YOU!", at which point she hung up with whomever she was on the phone with. I get the impression I was missed....LOL. After spending about 15- 20 minutes with them, catching up with things, I took hubby over to the mall in the area. We mainly went to kill a few minutes and to get out of the heat (it was in the 90s and very humid that day- actually HOTTER than Texas by nearly 20 degrees!). We bought a couple items, but mainly just wandered to cool off. Around 115pm or so we decided to start back to Heid's. Thank goodness we did as shortly after we started out we got a call from my mom saying they were there already. Geez. Good thing I wasnt out in bumfux Egypt someplace with a 30 minute commute....I was just around the corner by about 10 minutes.

We got to Heid's and bought 2 specials ( 2 dogs, small fries and a drink). Shortly after we got there we were joined by my godfather and his wife (my godmother is my godfather's sister). There was alot of catching up while we were eating. My SIL's kids were acting like kids and she pretty much was out of earshot most of the time unfortunately. It was so good to see my godfather again and seemed to be enjoying playing with the kids more than he was the conversation. LOL. We got some great shots of him and my nephew. Around 3pm or so, seeing that hubby was getting bored (and frankly I was too), I decided it was time to take him to some of the other places I grew up. I asked daddy about supper and he told me since I missed out meeting up with Gary to go ahead and do that if I chose. Mom told me if plans changed to give them a jingle later and we could join them for supper.

During our drive around some of the places I grew up, I found many many changes. More so than I was expecting to be honest. The Kinne Street elementary (where I went during 5th and 6th grades) had been torn down (which I knew) and a big huge building put in its place (this I didnt know). It's now known as East Syracuse Elementary. The library I used to go to in the summer was also torn down and relocated closer to the elementary school (surprise). I brought him to see the house on Irving St (the green house above) where we lived for 9 months. The new people had taken really good care of the property as it looked nicer than I remembered it (it's painted white now and the foundation is still in good repair). I do have to admit while we were in it, it was a rental property and now it looks like whomever's in it actually owns it. Heman St elementary (where I went for 3rd and 4th grades) had become an admin / GED building and looks like they're doing some work on what used to be a playyard. The pool at Heman park was open but since school was still in session it wasnt in use yet. I took hubby down to Second Street on the other side of the bridge from East Syracuse proper and damn didnt it LOOK like the proverbial "other side of the tracks". I do NOT recall it looking quite so ...well rough. My mom would use the excuse of "well it's because you're looking at it through an adult's eyes and not a child's eyes any more" but this isnt the case as I lived there until I was in my early 20's and it didnt look that bad then. The house I'd lived in most my life had been resided in yellow (props for the residing , boo on the color) and the eagle that had been in the peak was removed and a sunburst put up there. The foundation and the driveway were another matter though. They'd definitely seen better days. I didnt even think to look at the roof. We drove around the corner so we could see the back yard and they'd fenced it off (making it look shorter), moved the shed to the back corner (it had been up against the house) and built a deck back there (making the yard look smaller still). Kudos on the removal of the huge tree in the middle of the yard though. As for the deck, it's a nice addition but unnecessary if there isnt a pool back there. While riding around I also noticed that the old park in the area had been ripped down to make room for other industry, the bar (which shouldnt have been allowed to operate in a family neighborhood was changed into a Thrift Store, the house that had been behind our house was no longer there (as well as the huge willow trees that had been in their yard), and there was a huge-assed garage in the yard where the neighbor who'd lived there used to practice his driving (he was an avid golfer). I figured to take a ride up to the second WalMart I'd worked at and it had been replaced with a Sam's Club so we headed to the other 2 schools I'd been at. I opted not to take him to the jr high as school was letting out (or at least the late bus run was going) and it's a bitch getting out of that parkinglot during that time so we headed straight up to the highschool (which looks larger...they must have remodelled the gymnasium). Hubby told me it was larger than his old school to which I replied we'd had over 300 in the graduating class alone. To think, mine wasnt even the largest graduating class either. At least we could hold ours on the football field. I know some schools so much larger they had to rent one of the Community buildings in Syracuse for their commencement ceremonies!

After the trip to the highschool, I took him to the one place I'd vowed I wasnt going but something inside told me to face it. We drove out to that one trailor I'd rented so many years ago. It was a little difficult to find, made harder by the fact it had been painted from a lovely colonial blue to a shit brown. It looked like a huge turd in the middle of that piece of property. I have to admit it looks like it held up really well all this time though as it was pretty old when we rented it in the first place. We didnt, however, drive down the road my ex's parents live on. Somehow at the time I couldnt face it. Now Im wishing I had faced that one bit of the past. *sigh* Ah well.

Once the rounds were made, we went back to the hotel to freshen up and wait on Gary to call after work. Around 530pm or so he called (Gary correct me if Im wrong) and we'd decided on 630pm for the get together. He picked us up right on the nose and we headed to his house for the 25 cent tour (another quarter coulda bought me the trip to the basement but I didnt think my knees could handle the trip down ...nevermind back up). He has a beautiful little house...perfect for two. Then we went to Friendly's for supper and dessert. For those not from the north east part of the United States, Friendly's is a restaurant that specializes in icecream for dessert. Many of their sundaes are simply not made anywhere else in the continental U.S.A. As a child who grew up in NY, this is the one place above all that I want to go when I hit the north east as this restaurant doesnt exist south of the Mason-Dixon line or anywhere to the west. While we were waiting on our suppers, he showed us the pix of his trip to Tennessee for our wedding in August. All of us had a wonderful time and I was sad to have such a short time to visit with my friends.

Hubby and I got back to the hotel and crashed for the night as Friday was going to be one long day for all of us.

Entry for June 5,2007

Wednesday May 30th :Trip to NY part 1: Getting there's half the fun (aka How to make a 6 hr flight last 12 hrs).

We took the pooch to the vet for boarding on Tuesday the 29th so thankfully we didnt have much hurrying to do to get out the door. Just the usual stuff that needed to be packed at the last possible minute (medicines, brushes etc). We grabbed breakfast at McD's and read the paper. The sky was beautiful with not a lick of trouble. As we approached the airport, I remembered a conversation I was having with daddy on Tuesday night. Their layover was going to be in Dallas but they didnt think we'd make it to the airport in enough time so not to worry about seeing them off as their plane was due out about 950am or so (about the time we were scheduled to arrive and go through security). I looked up to the sky as we walked up to the terminal and saw those nasty black clouds starting to roll in. I remember telling hubby that my folks were probably just now leaving and wondering if we were going to make it out because of the nasty weather starting to head in. Man, I was hoping it would hold off at least until we took off. While waiting at our gate, it got darker and darker out there. We could see the wind whipping the rain was coming down in buckets! Let's not even mention the lightning. Needless to say our flight got delayed so I fired up my cell phone to let everyone else know. We were supposed to meet Gary at the Syracuse airport, go see his house and then to supper Wednesday night. I called him to let him know there was going to be a delay, we may end up in a bit later. Then I called my cell phone to get my messages. I had to laugh at the first was from my mom. The message was telling me that the Dallas news was reporting 1 hr 30 minute delays at the airport and not to believe it for a minute as the skies were beautiful and planes were taking off left and right. I take it back, I didnt just laugh...I ROARED in laughter. The next message was from my TxSis checking to see if I got out before the storms fired up. I called her back to let her know that nope I was still there in Dallas. Lord help me but I cant remember the rest of that conversation. While I was on with her I got a call from my SIL (bro's wife) to find out if we got out. Again I cant remember most of that conversation other than they were going to end up being the first ones in to Syracuse (and here we all thought they'd be last....reminds me of the tortoise and the hare story...). Called Gary again once I realized we wouldnt be in Syracuse until nearly 11pm and made arrangements for him to call us when he got out of work the next day. While on the phone with one of them my daddy called to tell me to check in at the desk and the key'd be there because my bro was going to get us all checked in with rooms. Hubby and I went to get some lunch as at this point we werent scheduled to leave until 2pm (and because of this delay we'd miss our original connection so they put us on the next flight giving us a 3 hr layover in Charlotte). I told him that if it got pushed later that we should grab the truck and just drive as we'd get there a whole lot faster. While we were eating, mom n daddy wandered down from their gate to visit with us. May as well as there wasnt anything else for them to do. They'd gotten delayed repeatedly and cancelled and rescheduled. At the end of it they were due to go out around 3 something and got routed through DC. *ugh* After a short visit mom n daddy went back to their gate. Our plane got out just after 2pm. Charlotte was a 3 hour layover and then the flight in to Syracuse. Getting our checked bag was a trip with all those damn black bags. At this point I swore when I got home I was going to paint ours with hot pink polka dots (and I hate polka dots!!). I had sent hubby ahead to get the rental car as Alamo closed at 11:59pm and he only had 10-15 minutes to get to their counter. We started off to the hotel when I got a call from my daddy asking where we were and I told him. He said to take Exit 38 off the thruway and he was waiting on the side for us. Go figure they left later than us and arrived before we did. SHEESH. Anyhow, on his way to the hotel he'd noticed construction and was afraid we'd get lost (does he know his daughter or what!) so he and mom came out to lead us in to the hotel. When we finally got to the hotel we were all beat to high heavens but by the time we got to bed in our respective rooms it was well after 1am...closer to 2am. Mom and dad had had a trip and a half with all the excitement and the airlines losing their luggage. At that point hubby was mighty greatful I'd had the presence of mind to pack a few extras in the carry-on just in case.

You know what the worst part of the trip was? Getting on one of the planes and discovering my engagement ring had broken to the point it's unwearable right now. Lord knows when or where I was when it broke, all I know is on the band (palm side) it's split to the point where it looks like one of those cheap adjustable costume rings. Man Im so upset! If hubby cant find the receipt Im going to have to get a new ring (this could be a benefit now I think of it...).