Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vacation re-cap

Hello my long-lost-friends!!

I am here!  I haven't deserted you.  I've just been trying to get back on my feet after vacation.  It's been a task.  So let's begin and maybe you will understand why I'm so behind at this point.

Monday, the day before we left, was a great day.  I was getting work done, I came home and did laundry, I was on a roll.  About 9 pm, I realized that the left side of my throat was a little sore, so I took a couple Vitamin Cs, some Airborne and Nyquil.  I was not gonna let a cold get me down.

Tuesday, 5 am, time to get up for boot camp and now my entire throat was on fire.  I thought about going because I've heard that exercise can help a cold go away, you know, get the blood flowing and all.  But after about 3 minutes of that, I decided that I needed another couple hours of sleep so I could get on a plane in little over 12 hours.  So I texted Meanie Christinie and bailed.  I felt bad, but I also felt awful! 

So I went back to bed and woke up a couple hours later, for another massive dose of the cold meds and vitamins.  Managed to get some work done and needed to figure out which CFP cram course I was taking - I had it down to the one in Phoenix who uses Dalton stuff or Ken Zahn, probably in San Fran. I needed to decide before I left so the package could be waiting for me when I got back.  But I couldn't wrap my mind about who was better...and this was a huge decision to make!  So what did I do...I took a nap.  I couldn't hold my eyes open any longer...the Nyquil was kicking in big time.  I woke a couple hours later and had an email waiting for me from the professor of the one in Phoenix and a guy who took Ken Zahn's class.  They both said the right things and I went with the one in Phoenix (2 hours drive and no plane ride)!  But then I couldn't get the damn thing ordered, their server was down.  OY!  I didn't have time for that.  I gave up!  I printed all the info and hoped I could catch him the next day.  J got home, we finished packing and before we knew it, the cab was here for our ride to the airport.  Kissed the furry kiddies good bye and began vacation!

For those of you who haven't ever been to the Tucson International Airport, it has a total of 9 gates I think, maybe 10 tops.  It's usually not a crazy place to be, although I have seen it a little bit hectic at odd times of the day.  However, a Tuesday night in the middle of August, was not one of those days.  It was deserted!  We basically walked right up to check in and right up to security.  Security in the Tucson airport is kinda funny.  I've had people tell me they will take away shampoo bottles that are 4 oz big, but they'll let you walk through with a 12 oz Eegee drink.  For those of you who aren't from Tucson, an Eegee is God's greatest creation...basically ice with great flavoring!  But definitely liquid!  However, in Tucson, it goes.  Nobody would hurt an Eegee!  But I through security and headed for the only "real" restaurant in the place.  Split something for dinner and then headed to the gate to board.  I swear, there were 23 people on the plane that would seat 100!  So we each had our own row.  I asked for a pillow and was told that they didn't offer those anymore since H1N1.  How crazy to me! 

So laid down and tried to use the arm-rest as a pillow, with a little cushion from the hood of my sweatshirt.  One of the stewardesses pulled up a seat cushion and gave it to me worked great!  Don't know if I slept at all, but we landed in LA, with no problems at 10:20 pm.  Still needed luggage and rental car.  Got those pretty quick and then hit the road for the hotel...that took forever.  J dropped me off at the door so he could go find parking in their incredibly small and packed lot.  The door said it locked after 11 pm (and we were now at about 11:30 pm) so to ring the doorbell.  I did.  I did again.  The people waiting for the counter looked at me.  I rang it again.  Nothing.  Finally, fed up, tired and sick, I banged on the glass.  Finally, they opened the door and when I walked to the counter someone said..."I think the doorbell isn't working!"  Well, duh!  Got checked in and off we go.  Oh wait, J still hadn't found a spot to park.  So the lady who checked me in said that if we waited for a few minutes, she would let us have her spot.  Five became ten and Nikus became irritated.  Finally, she comes running out and gives us her parking spot!  Very thankful she did and we finally made it to our room, about 12:30 pm now.  Unpacked a few things that shouldn't get wrinkled and to bed we went, again after medicating heavily. 

The plan for Wednesday was to get up and be in Disneyland about 10 am.  Well, that didn't work so well.  J is not a morning person and I didn't sleep very well, so we were a little lazy.  I was feeling a bit better, thanks to the overnight drugging too and the shower helped a lot.  I was ready at 10 am, J was not.  I tried calling to order my CFP cram course, but no one answered.  Finally broke down and emailed Mom begging her to take care of it.  We finally got to the lobby about 11 am, and missed breakfast.  Again, oh well.  Discovered there was a bus that would cost us $8 and opted to drive because I didn't remember having to pay for parking the last time...oops!  Parking was $15, plus the slowest line ever.  Then to park and get in another line for the tram.  Oy vey!  I don't think we walked into Disneyland until about noon!  From then on, it was great.  We did the same route as last time, starting in Adventureland weaving around the park and ending up in Fantasyland at the end.  We ate expensive-okay tasting food, stood in lots of lines, but none longer than maybe 30 minutes, and saw a fantastic light show and fireworks display at about 10:30 pm.  By then, we were destroyed.  Did I mention that the guy from the CFP cram course called me while there and upon hearing I was at Disneyland, still went on to talk my ear off as we tried to get into Captain EO?  He did.  It had been a long day.  However, J is a big fan of Abe Lincoln so we stopped to see him on our way out and then missed the crowd to the cars, so that was nice.  Again, in bed about 1 am. 

Thursday, time to check out!  I had asked for late check out the night before, due to our late return and that was nice to have.  Got the bill squared away (thank you Mastercard miles) and set out for a late breakfast.  But then determined we should just get in the vicinity of our new hotel and didn't realize it would take us F-O-R-E-V-E-R!  Thankfully, I had a fiber bar in my bag and that held me over.  Called Mom and Dad once I thought they had landed and they were already on a bus and heading to our hotel.  We found the hotel, but there was no place to just park for a minute, so we begged the valet to let the rental car sit there while we ran inside and checked in, only we couldn't check in without Mom because she was the name on the room.  So ran downstairs to get the luggage and J in the car, and then Mom called to say they were upstairs at the same agent we had just been at.  J drove around while we got checked in and then carted the luggage upstairs.  Then ran down to find him outside and find lunch-breakfast-food!  Drove probably 4 blocks about 12 times looking for California Pizza Kitchen, then parking that wasn't $12 for an  hour - and finally gave up and settled on returning the car - at the hotel no less - and walking across the street to the food court.  So another hour later, we had lunch!

Then, went back to the hotel and hung out with Mom and Dad.  And gave her the present, J, Dad and I had bought her to celebrate her being inducted into our company's Hall of Fame of Financial Advisors (sorry, can't give out the name of the company- Compliance and all).  We had gotten her this really pretty amethyst bracelet and earring set (her favorite stone) in rose gold.  Very unique and pretty, but not crazy expensive...she would have killed us.  Anyway, she wasn't expecting it and we surprised her!  It's hard to do that.  A couple of her Advisor friends dropped by, with another gift and to chat before the first night's party.  Then it was time to go...Mom & Dad and their friends went, we went upstairs to the rotating bar for dinner.  Only one guest allowed at that party.  The bar was nice and you didn't need to drink a lot to feel woozy - because the room was already spinning.  The bar actually rotated 360 degrees in an hour and 20 minutes...very trippy.  Okay food, but best view.  Here's a few pics.
J at the rotating bar.

Me at the bar.

A great view!
J, admiring the view.

Finally headed to bed about 11 pm, after another quick visit from Mom and Dad when they returned from the party to pick up their luggage that had been deposited in our room rather than theirs.

WOW, that was only 3 days and the best are yet to come.  Will have to finish tomorrow!  The gym calls me bright and early tomorrow!

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