Vacation: DAY 1

Sunday was beautiful in Chicago–nearly 60 degrees. Craig M picked us up and drove us to the airport at 10:45 that morning–despite his wild Saturday night.:-) Arriving at the airport in plenty of time, I decided to take advantage of some yogurt with little M&Ms and hot fudge. Yum! Unfortunately, as is usually the case, my eyes were bigger than my tummy and I wound up passing the rest of the yogurt on to Frank. Such a good fiance.

We boarded the plane and got cozy with our knees tucked under our chins–airplanes, as it turns out, are not made for tall people. Ah, the irony.

Once all the passengers were on board, the captain backed the plane out of the gate and we were off! Whee!

And then we came back.

See, if the hydrolic fluid is leaking in the wing, this means that there could be trouble either taking off or landing. This repair is also a 24 hour repair. We deboarded. Once back in the terminal, we saw a line of over 150 to get rerouted. Fortunately a very friendly young man directed us back to the ticket agents where we came in.

After a little negotiating, we managed to get bulk head seats from Chicago to Atlanta and first class from Atlanta to Tampa. We also got a free meal. Yum. More food!

The rest of our trip to Tampa went fairly smoothly… and then there was the rental car.

BEND OVER–and grab your ankles, please…

Frank was getting the luggage and I decided to run over and get the rental car. I was feeling pretty ferocious after our negotiations with the ticket lady. Once at the counter, however, my ferocity dissipated. The gentleman at the counter helped me assume the “take me for everything I got” position.

“Under 25? hmmm… Do you want our insurance package?” I thought about it. I thought that perhaps it wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

“Sure,” I said.

“Okay, that’ll be $37.99 per day. Great,” he said. He was so smooth that I couldn’t even figure out how to say no. I looked over at Frank who was now sitting on some benches, waiting for me to return with the car keys. He had no idea, the poor boy, what kind of mess I was getting myself into. Like a silent choking victim, I could only plead with my eyes. My plea was SAVE ME FROM MYSELF!! But I think he thought I was making eyes at him so he gave me his best James Dean smile and kind of winked. Crap.

I turned around to look at the car guy, who was now writing my liver and kidneys into the contract, smiled warmly at me.

“Just for you, I have the Ford Explorer,” he said, handing me some keys. I was signing and initialing–but what, I wasn’t sure. I think my firstborn now has to be named Budget.

Frank came up to me, smiling and patting my shoulders. If he only knew…

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