I'll regale you with tales of the personal journey first. Journey is the word. My wife and I journeyed by airplane from Madison to southeastern Florida for a week-long stay that included a two-night cruise to the Bahamas.
We started out on Sunday, January 27. Frontier airlines had a pretty good price...but we had a two-hour delay of takeoff for maintenance.
Our trip was a promotional deal that included a rental car with unlimited miles and two days and two nights at a Ramada Inn in Orlando that included a 4-hour hard sell presentation to buy a time-share. We didn't, but the hard sell and the duration drove the boss back to smoking. I hope we can get her back to not doing that.
After those two days we drove south to West Palm Beach for the cruise. It would leave on the 29th, do a round trip to the Bahamas, and return on the 31st. Then we had that night plus the day-night of the 1st and fly back on the 2nd.
The best laid plans, etc.
We needed an original birth certificate or a passport for the cruise. Did you know that "an original birth certificate" is not really an original birth certificate? We do now. The birth certificate issued by the hospital in 1950 is not acceptable. It must be a state-issued certificate. Hospital-issued certificates are now considered to be good as souvenirs only.
I have no objection to this...but I'm pretty pissed that no one told us. In hindsight, we should have applied for passports. Then we would have found out the truth before it was too late and corrected the situation. But passports would have been $60 each, and we felt that we didn't need to spend money for that since a birth certificate was acceptable.
I was not allowed to board the ship.
Shucks and other, stronger exclamations.
So, the two nights and lots of meals we'd already paid for had to be paid for again for the time we weren't on the boat. We did go to the beach and take a leisurely drive back to Orlando. But those two nights and six meals mounted up, cost-wise.
And, no, we will not get any kind of refund. The cruise line's standing is that we didn't bring the proper documentation, so it was our fault.
But wait! Murphy's Law was not done with us yet. Our flight Saturday morning was leaving at 7 am. I wanted to be at the airport by 5:30, to return the car, go through security, and make the flight.
We didn't leave the hotel until 5:30. We checked in our bag, TSA hurried us through as much as possible and still do their jobs, and we arrived at the gate ten minutes too late. Nobody's fault but our own.
We were able to book the same flight with the same seats for the next day. Meanwhile, our checked bag made the plane.
So I got on the phone and found a hotel with shuttle service to the airport and not too expensive, made the reservation, and didn't have to wait too long for the shuttle. I will say that the Country Inn and Suites we stayed at that night was distinctly superior to the room we had at the Ramada. But that was another about $130 we had not planned on spending. The best thing about the trip was that we missed the week of the coldest temperatures and a fair amount of snow.
Our flight back to Madison was uneventful. Fog was very thick the entire two-plus hour drive back to PDC,
But there is something sort of spooky to include. We had to wait about an hour to get our bag that made the trip the day before, so when we finally got on our way we were pretty hungry. We hadn't eaten in about six hours. So we found a Perkins, had breakfast, and then the boss wanted to order two of their special offers—burger, fries, and piece of pie for ten bucks.
While I waited near the counter for the take-out, a guy about my age came in to pick up his phone order. He met an old friend and they spoke for just a minute. The arrival urged his buddy to google him and bragged that he was "the second-most googled Irv." As he left I asked him who was the first, but he didn't know he said he just knew he was the second.
I thought, the minute I heard him, that the most googled Irv was probably Irv Brown. Many (most?) of you won't recognize the name. Irv Brown was a very successful college baseball coach in Colorado, and a highly respected college basketball referee. But perhaps his bigger claim to fame was a sports talk radio show that he hosted for years in Denver on two or three different stations. That's how I knew who he was, and I even met him once when he was doing his show from The National Western Stock Show.
I've been in Wisconsin for over twenty years now, and haven't thought about Irv for many years. But I did that Sunday.
The spooky part? Monday morning, while reading the internet newspaper, I discovered that Irv Brown had died Sunday, another cancer victim. He was 83. If you want to know more about Irv, just google him.
Only one writing note this time. I have often mentioned, and recommended, the online magazine Page and Spine https://www.pagespineficshowcase.com. The chief editor and publisher of P&S is Nancy Wagner, an author and poetess extraordinaire herself. She now features her own web page, https://nkwagnerwriter.com/ The class and general impression of her web page match, in my opinion, the lady herself. And one really outstanding thing: her blog includes a link to my web page! Thank you, Nancy!
And that's it for this round. Keep telling yourself that winter can't last forever.
Stay well, and well-read.