Well, I almost missed my flight again this morning. Let’s start at the beginning. My first alarm woke me up at 3:30 AM and though I did protest and wait 5 minutes to hear the pretty melody again before forcing myself to rise and get ready, I was pretty quick considering. I left a little before 4 after lugging my stuff to the car while trying to be as quiet as possible and my breakfast was a mere 5 dried apricots. I got to the airport in pretty good time and asked if they had recycling there—they told me I could leave my trash in the car, but then the guy gave me a receipt for over $300 which was over three times what I had on the receipt I’d been given when I first got the car—and that was before I decided to return it to Seattle instead of Phoenix. I told the guy that it was wrong, pulled out my receipt (like a boss!) and told him that I had the voicemail that said it would be less to return it there on my phone. They didn’t ask to hear the voicemail, but the two guys started doing something on the computer so I organized my trash and recyclables and took care of that and did some last minute rearranging of my suitcases. Finally they gave me an estimate for about $40 less than the price from my original receipt and by the time I’d paid I was running late, but at least they had carts for me to use for my bags. I power-walked (which isn’t that fast for me—I’m a leisurely person and I don’t really like walking fast unless it’s for something fun) to where the bus picked us up from the rental car drop off and got on immediately. The check-in for Southwest was pretty far away and I no longer had a cart so I did my best to get there quickly and luckily there wasn’t a big line. I used my time in the line to make sure my bags were still underweight and to eat second breakfast, which was an entire granola bar! My Hobbit life coach would be appalled at the scarcity of my breakfasts. 😉 I wish that were a thing. Lol. Anyway, when I finally got to check in the computer beeped at me because I was within 45 minutes of departure so I was a late check in. I asked the woman helping me if she thought my bags would make it and she told me it would depend—if they didn’t make it I would have to wait around Sky Harbor until they showed up because I wouldn’t be able to leave without them since I would be driving miles and miles away. So ignoring that possibility I forged ahead and through security where I remembered to take my laptop out of the case. I was fine getting through security but my gate was probably one of the farthest ones from the main area and long story short I came power-walking up to an empty seating area and asked if the plane had left. They told me I was the last one and I scanned my ticket and entered the plane, surprising the steward who was at the entrance using the intercom for flight safety directions. The plane wasn’t that full so I found an empty row and it was the exit so I had a personal briefing and I even re-read the safety pamphlet because I was just so happy to have made it. I think I shed a few tears as we were leaving, but they weren’t sad tears.
I tried to sleep but I couldn’t quiet my mind and after the sun rose and the city lights had passed I pulled out my tarot cards to find some guidance or clarity. I wrote down all my questions and the cards that answered as I went and I’m pretty sure the male steward started avoiding me because of them, but one of the stewardesses came and talked to me about them briefly. I should probably review the questions I asked—I asked about future job options, my personal life, and about several different moving options. I think I’m definitely at the point in my life where I would benefit from moving out, but if I’m going to just save up and then go to Europe next year then it doesn’t make sense just yet. We’ll see.
We arrived in Denver, Colorado with 40 minutes before my flight to Phoenix so I at least got to see the mountains from aerial view, though I didn’t set food outside of the airport. I found my gate and then backtracked looking for food because I knew I wouldn’t have much time to spare once I got to Phoenix and the best option was Auntie Anne’s so I got some pretzel nuggets (the last one!) and some Dr. Pepper since I was still sleepy.
The guy who was standing in front of me in line to board ended up taking the aisle seat of row 7 and after putting his stuff there he offered the window seat to me. “You looked like you were eyeing it,” he told me and I told him he was right and that 7 was one of my numbers and I probably would have gone to row 12 if he hadn’t offered. Anyway, he was a pleasant seatmate and we kept to ourselves. Oh! And I colored some more. I had already colored the front and back covers, so I just colored the inside covers to make it a little more colorful.
We got to Phoenix and then came the moment of truth—did my bags make it? They had listed the bags from my flight at the wrong carousel so another woman and I teamed up to find where they had been reassigned and I almost immediately saw my teal bag (I had a teal and a purple bag). I grabbed it, double checked that it was mine, and waited for the purple one. It suffered a battle wound (one of the legs is now broken off), but it was intact and it even had my grapes which I thought might have been thrown away. I had grapes that I’d bought to eat on my way to Seattle but I hadn’t washed them yet so I didn’t eat them and I didn’t want to throw them away. Anyway, I was relieved and excited and I made my way to the sky tram. I missed the first one—it left before I got to it, but I didn’t care and within a few minutes I was on the next one and then taking the shuttle to the general area of my car. I didn’t know where it was at first but I was so happy to see PocaHONDAs (that’s how I spell it sometimes; I find that it forces people to see the play on words and not think I just have a typo ^_~) that I burst into song. I was really more excited to see my car than I have ever been in my life and I went to the back and made room for my luggage and threw off my boots and put on my flats since it was super hot compared to Seattle. I drank a V8 and had a granola bar or something for second lunch (first lunch was pretzel nuggets—lol, I think I might have actually managed five meals this day) and when I turned on my car the Sebastian song from my Little Mermaid CD was playing and I played it twice and just sang and laughed really loudly by myself. After a few rounds of “You Got to Be You” I traded it for the mix CD my friend Taylor gave me YEARS ago. I started jamming to “Hamster Dance” and driving away before I pulled over to search for the parking stub I had. I thought I had left it on my dashboard but the only thing there was my receipt from the Grand Canyon. I checked my wallet next, but to no avail—I found it within a few minutes at the bottom of my carry-on bag. I paid the fee, filled my tank, and made my way to Sedona through some thunderclouds and hail. Michael was going to meet me to show me their studio so I called him when I got to Sedona and we met in the pouring rain but it was totally worth it because their rooms were gorgeous. They had initially only had one suite but after a while they accumulated a second one and they had filled the rooms with plants and fountains and hanging candles, plus some really nice artwork. The rooms were really beautiful and I wish now that I had taken pictures to show you—but you might be able to look online. They were ranked number 6 of “Things to Do” in Sedona from Trip Adviser while I was visiting, which is fantastic.
After that I followed Michael to their house and showered after my crazy long day–I finally felt like a person again. Michael and Joseph hadn’t realized that I didn’t have a place to stay so they offered their guest room to me, which I greatly appreciated. Even though they told me I was the guest of honor and didn’t have to bring anything I wanted to contribute so I went out to Safeway to shop around and see if anything caught my eye. I ended up deciding to use the grapes and pretzel chips I already had to create a cheese, fruit, and cracker plate so I got some gouda and took a chance on this champagne cheese that turned out to be delicious. I wanted to bring wine as well but I’m not familiar with good wines so I called Mom and she, Phil, and Ashley were all in the car and I was on speakerphone so after a few minutes of input I finally chose Twisted Merlot or something similar–it was pretty good later on when I tried it.
I got back just as the first person was arriving–a gentleman named Charles. I would normally say just “a man” but Charles definitely qualifies as a gentleman; maybe I feel that way because he spoke with sophistication and even threw in some French phrases, which I appreciated (given that I love the French language). He came bearing “little weenies” and soon we had those, Michael’s Sicilian meatballs, grapes, cheese, and crackers, artichoke dip, soup, and all sorts of wonderful foods and wines. Cindy and Carolyn (newlyweds!) came and I used to go hiking with them when I lived there and my friend Bri was staying at their house, so it was really nice to see them. I met a lot of new people, my teacher Damian and his wife Dani (also adorable newlyweds!) showed up and I talked to them both for a while. Dani and I danced a little with Joseph and I massaged her back a little. By the end of the night I had eaten lots of great food, had many fun conversations, and gotten a little tipsy from the wine. I talked a long time to someone I met named Gene and it turns out that he did a road trip for almost a year not that many years ago–he camped a lot and explored California through Texas and I think Florida as well. He, Joseph, and I all stayed up late talking about aliens and nature and philosophy. After all that I slept like a baby.
I could talk a lot more about Michael and Joseph’s party, but it was just so full of interactions that it would be too much to try to write it all down. 🙂