Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Final Touch?

Moi, age 16

I opened the shower door and reached for a towel this morning.  I barely open the door to avoid the cold air to enter and I am basically blindly picking an available towel.  My luck, I grabbed my favorite towel.  Yes, I have a favorite towel.  This piece of fabric has touched, wrapped and caressed my body since the age of 10.  This towel has gone with me to oh so many places of this wonderful planet and through a lot of life situations. 

My towel wears my most favorite color blue and displays my name on the bottom side.  It traveled with me eleven times to different places in Spain, touched a tip of Portugal, been thirteen times to France, rushed around a corner of Luxemburg,  seen the Netherlands, been all over Germany, enjoyed the water in Switzerland, gone to Austria, Hungry, Poland, has seen tons of America and the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as the B.V. I.’s.  

One can say, my towel and I are inseparable indeed.   It is not the prettiest towel you have ever seen, and it is not huge, nor fluffy.  Wrapping yourself in it does not make you feel as if you are in a spa.  It does not make you feel like soft hands are running all over your body.  None of these hold true for my towel, yet I don’t enjoy another towel more on my skin than this one.   And today, when unfolding my towel in the shower, I had to see, that my towel is succumbing old age.   A hole has formed in the middle of its body.  I have noticed that it has gone thinner over the years; dismissed it as typical wear and tear…  Seeing this hole makes me rather sad, as it only recalls the obvious.  Nothing is safe from getting old and eventually fading away. 

With this hole, memories are starting to fade away.   Often, I would just stay wrapped in my towel and dwell in memories of where we’ve been together or situation we have faced throughout the years.  This towel survived break-ups in which I would lose important documents, baby pictures and other memorabilia, but never did we get separated.   I never made the notion to make sure to safe this towel, it just always happened that way.  

Thirty years this towel was my loyal companion, my servant, my comfort.  Yet again I face the true nature of time.  The cruel presence of age.  And the realization that nothing is forever.

[This, my fine friends, is a re-post from a looooooooong time ago.  It's been a very busy day and it will get even busier for me come this Wednesday.  My free time will come to an end, my research will suffer once more and you fine people will again see much less of me :-(  .  Anyway,  this blog post came to mind earlier today and I wanted to post it, just because...   one more time as it hits home today as it did back then in 2009 or so when I first wrote this post.      Good night to you fine people ;-)  Perhaps you will wrap yourself in an old memory tonight ;-)  hugs, kisses and all that fun stuff ;-) ]

Monday, August 8, 2011

The trip ALMOST known as "The Great Cancun Vacation"


So there we were, all ready for the new frontier (for us) of an ancient civilization and the ocean blue of Cancun, Mexico.   The phone rings at 6 a.m., American Airlines on the line,  the flight from Atlanta to Dallas has been cancelled, but not to worry, we are getting on the flight from Atlanta to Miami and we will catch a connection flight from there.  Great, not too bad, it only puts us 30 minutes behind the original arrival time in Cancun.  We can actually leave the house a little later than originally planned.  After careful consideration, Lewis decided that we drive ourselves to the airport and will just park at one of those "protected" off-site parking places, since we have to be back earlier anyway.  We learned a couple of nights ago at a cocktail party that Lewis really needs to be back on Thursday as he has Exams Friday and Saturday and there is no way that he can miss those [He is doing a 3 year MBA in only 17 months... you can imagine the work load].  But it's all good, we got this, so we just shuffle around our plans for a week and make the most of it in 4 days ;-)    Let's go... we are soooo ready.

We are parking the car at exactly 11:37 a.m., hop into the shuttle bus and off we go.  Lewis had the pleasure of stepping into that round tube and be violated without a notice and as he stepped out, a young man felt that that wasn't enough and kindly informed him that he will pat him down.  After Lewis'  pleasure trip through the security check up was finally over, we had to hurry it up a little bit as I wanted to make sure to buy enough snacks as I just hate the airline "crap" they offer.  1:10ish p.m. and we board our plane, whoo hoo.   Settling down, out comes the ole Ipad as Lewis figured he can read his text books during the flight and I just take out my little head set and we are ready to take off.  Cancun, here we come... well, Miami first....

We get to Miami and the lovely pilot informed us that  we were put into a holding pattern due to some storm clean-up.  An extra circling had to be done as a machine was still occupying our gate.  Finally, we are on the ground, out the door and a quick stop at the restrooms before continuing on to our connection flight to beautiful Cancun.  Lewis checks the monitors one more time for the accuracy of our flight information, as he always does and "what's that?"  Our flight number is not to be found... not to worry, out comes the Ipad....   What?  The flight is cancelled?  And so the running begins...  Gate D10... "sorry, the flight has been cancelled, we can put you on stand-by for the next flight out to Cancun, but it doesn't look good, it's a full flight".  "What other options are there?"  There are flights to Cancun tomorrow through Dallas, but they are all fully booked as well, doesn't look good for a stand-by."  We were placed on standby for the next flight out to Cancun...  we didn't make it... the flight was super-full.  So, we rush to the counter of a Dallas-bound flight, thinking that we could catch a flight to Mexico from there [Miami and Dallas are the only hubs for Cancun].  We made it there in the middle of boarding.... "sorry Sir, the flight is full".  We pass the line for "re-booking flights" holding at least 200 people if not more.  By now, it is close to 8 p.m., we are not going to stand in this line and miss even more flights.  We found a quiet corner and Lewis is dialing American Airlines...

There is nothing that gets us to Cancun tonight, nor tomorrow.  There is nothing that gets us to Dallas, not tonight, nor tomorrow.  Okay, how about back to Atlanta? ... we made it to a different terminal, lungs are burning, but we made it and Lewis tells that nice gentleman behind the counter that he has just communicated with a lady from AA and she booked us on that flight.  "She is not supposed to do that, you have to go through "re-booking flights" this is a full flight....  step aside, I will call your name shortly".... Yessssss, we got on the flight, but our luggage will have to stay behind.  "What happens to our luggage?" it better not be seeing the airport of Cancun...  one should never ever be jealous of ones luggage, is all I'm sayin'.    "You have to file a claim in Atlanta".    This is the only flight to get the heck out of Miami and the most disorganized airport we have ever encountered.. [well, there is the story of Charles de Gaulle, but I shall not get into that one].   We get our tickets.. different seats, but by now, we just don't care.  Departure is at 8:43 p.m.   We run to grab a quick bite to eat; we only had about 10 minutes or so.  "Boarding Zone 2 now".. that's us.

Lewis managed to talk the guy next to him to trade places with me and our perk for the night: Exit seats... leg-room, yesssssss ;-)  We touched down in Atlanta at around 10:50 p.m., first stop at the office to report our baggage claim.  We arrive at our car and hit the ticket drive through at 11:35... two minutes shy of a 12 hour stay...   she charges us for the full 24 hours and she had no pity on us at all....   she smiled away Lewis'  remarks and opens the gate.   Off we go to "Home, sweet home"... ahhh.. Home... who wants to see Cancun anyway????  And who wants to go to Mexico, I mean, really?  We had our fill of Spanish as a first language in Miami...    so we are good on that foreign thing... what more do we need?   And thus, this day shall be remembered as the day we almost started a great Cancun Vacation.                [sigh]

(To add insult to injury, Lewis just got off the phone... jealousy knocked on the door, our luggage is in Cancun!!!!)