Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sarah Smile

How was your spring break?

Mine went by all too fast and was far too brief!

I spent the first half of spring break here in town just enjoying not having a schedule or having to get anyone to school.

But my break started off badly...and with a bang...or should I say "ring".

You see, Ke$ha Barbie, because she is "Princess of Quite a Lot" along with sometimes being Satan, was lucky enough to have mom agree that she could go to the Bahamas along with most of her senior class.

I had arranged with another mom for the girls to leave from their place (a 6:00 am flight which meant they had to leave for the airport at 4:00 am) and my ex was to pick them up from the airport.

Hey...it worked for me...

So Ke$ha Barbie's friend's mommy arranged for a car to take them to the airport...at 4:00 am.

At 3:45 am I got a phone call from American Airlines informing me that her flight was delayed by 2 hours...but since a car was taking them they still had to go.

At 4:30 am I got a call from Ke$ha Barbie informing me she had left her credit card I gave her for emergencies at the Indian food restaurant the night before.

That...the Indian food dinner...was NOT an emergency in my book...


I asked her where her debit card was.

Answer: "In my truck"

Which was parked in our garage.

So I got up and drove to the airport at 4:30 am to give her a card and have her tell me "thank you so much mom and please don't say the words "Natalie Halloway" to me again!"

I went home and went back to bed.

And missed body pump...damn...

So then I showed up to do spin and almost didn't get a bike. It's like the whole world...or rather our whole club...decided to go to spin class that day. We have 22 bikes...the instructor rides one...we turned 8 people away...for our club, that's a lot...

Trainer Dawn joined me later and we had fun...I met her new adorable boyfriend and she was with me when I got the joyous news my son had been accepted to his high school of choice.

So what started out bad ended well...I even was a nice ex-wife and suggested that the ex and I take The Cutest Boy in the World out to dinner to celebrate together.

It was fine but not something I want to do all the time. Otherwise I would still be married to him...

So the rest of the week was fine and a bit of a blur...and then Thursday came and I got to escape Houston with KuteKaren so we could take SuperSarah to her horse show.

You see, KuteKaren injured herself at Christmas and unfortunately still cannot drive...it's a bit hard to do so when you have a broken right knee. And her husband was not able to go out to Florida with her...


they elected me to be the driver! 'Cause SuperSarah says I am "fun in a box"...I still am not sure what that means but I know it is good because she is awesome and loves me.

So I was "Driving Miss Karen" (rather than "Driving Miss Daisy").

The trip stared off great enough...we got to the airport in plenty of time and stepped right up to the check in counter...

You know this is where I tell you that things went horribly wrong, right?

Yup...things went south from there...

KuteKaren had also bought a ticket for Miss Morgan the photographer (and friend)...let's just call her MM for short...and we thought it was all under control.

It would have been had we been flying Continental.

But apparently we are now under the dictatorship of United Airlines and it has all gone to hell in a handbasket. United does NOT believe in Customer Service or making things easy.

Let's have a moment of silence for the good airline that was once Continental.

So MM says for us to go ahead and go thru security since it may take a bit with KuteKaren on crutches. So we leave her with the United check-in person that was obviously not going to be helpful...or smart...that day.

As SuperSarah would say: "How many times do you have to flunk the GED to become a United check-in person?"

My answer...maybe twice.

Now, let me tell you...having someone on crutches DOES help you get thru security faster. I don't recommend you try it to see if it helps, but if you ARE on crutches, well it just might...

But it does NOT mean you don't have to go thru the body scanner without them so they can scan your crutches...


She's on CRUTCHES...hello?

She got thru ok and we flagged down one of those flying carts (you know...not because they take you to your flight but because they FLY down the corridors and I think they purposely try to take out people).

MM was still trying to check in.

We had ourselves delivered to Pappadeaux's and figured MM would join us at any moment.



KuteKaren had to go BACK to check in and deal with it. SuperSarah and I ate our dinner and ordered dinner for them and met them at the gate.

When we arrived we found KuteKaren wiping her eyes...I was afraid MM was not going to get to go but she was there. KuteKaren was crying because she was so moved by having just witnessed the flight bring in a fallen soldier. It seems that they have the firetrucks line up and spray water over the plane when it has a soldier who died for his/her country.

Now THAT is lovely...

So we finally get on our (delayed) flight and head to Palm Beach. We arrive around 11:00 or so...get our bags and head to the Hertz bus.

You know this is where I tell you that things went horribly wrong, right?



We get to the Hertz counter to pick up our prepaid car. We are 3rd in line.

It seems that we were lucky enough to be served that night by the slowest and worse Hertz counter service man that they had.

He moved...













(the speed of a glacier)

As SuperSarah said "How many times do you have to flunk the GED to work at the Hertz check out counter?"

Apparently you must flunk it at least 4 times...because this guy had no clue...about anything.

The first guy in line just wanted to switch cars...it took 30 minutes to process that. The second guy just wanted another copy of the contract for the car his father had rented earlier that day...it took 30 minutes to process what could have been accomplished in 3 keystrokes.

I was 3rd...or rather I WAS 3rd...but I briefly jumped out of line (because I was the last one in line) and got a bottle of water...and another man jumped in ahead of me. The only reason I didn't fight him about it was because he had a 3 hour drive ahead of him and it was now 1:00 am in the morning.

It took 30 minutes to rent him a car.

KuteKaren and I made friends with the guys in line behind us. We spent so much time with them I am now engaged to one of them and facebook friends with the other.


but it could have happened...we spent enough time with them that I could almost call it a date. One of them threatened to jump the counter and grab keys..I told him to go for it and I would run interference as long as he grabbed 2 sets of keys...and please try and grab the ones to the Mercedes if he could...

One of the guys decided to time how long it took for me to get my prepaid for car. There was now a LONG line of people waiting for cars...at 1:30 in the morning.

17 minutes...that is how long it took...for me to scan my credit card and sign.

When I was done I ran over to the guys in line behind us...tagged them "you are IT!" and wished them luck...I think the rest of the line applauded.

We still had to get to the hotel and check into our rooms. The girls headed to bed...KuteKaren and I headed to our room.

You know this is where I tell you things went horribly wrong, right?




Uh...no...sorry...not happening

We switched rooms...by the time we got to bed it was 3:30 in the morning.

I got up the next morning by 8:30 and managed to get myself to the hotels tiny little gym and spent 45 minutes on the really crappy (but hey I sweated) elliptical machine. We had breakfast with the girls and they elected to go back to their rooms and sleep some more.

KuteKaren and I decided to head to Palm Beach (we were actually staying in Wellington) and check out Worth Avenue. We were so proud of ourselves for navigating ourselves there!

Worth Avenue...


Gorgeous...and fabulous shopping.

We were having a grand time until the horse trainer called and needed us to bring SuperSarah to the barn.

Well we were there for a horse show after all...so we complied.

We got back on the road with the intent to get there just when the trainer wanted. We headed towards the turnpike.

You know this is where I tell you it all went horribly wrong, right?

So we were halfway to Orlando before we could turn around and head back in the direction we needed to go...and wouldn't you know the trainer changed her mind and told us we didn't have to get there quite so quickly....


Oh well....we headed to lunch and just as we are about 3/4 of the way through the trainer decides we need to have SuperSarah there right then and there. So KuteKaren and MM stayed and finished their lunch and I drove SuperSarah to the barn and went back for the girls.

I have never seen so many horses, ponies, and little girls in all my life.

It was like super summer camp for riding girls on steroids...barns and stables and girls and ponies as far as the eyes can see...MILES of it...

I grew up in horse world but I have never seen anything like this.

I also got to experience what SuperSarah calls a golf cart traffic jam. There were more golf carts at that horse show than at all the country clubs and golf courses in Palm Beach.

Now you should know...I am totally Danica Patrick with a golf cart! Totally...

We had a great dinner that night and hit the bed a bit earlier than the night before. I still tossed and turned...I was missing my temperpedic! The next morning we woke to find that SuperSarah was not feeling well so a quick run to the drug store and we had her well medicated and we found a deli/bagel place and had a diet breaking breakfast of a (shared) bagel and lox eggs benedict. Yummy...

SuperSarah and her beautiful horse Calistoga (Cali for short) had a nice run in the show ring and I spent the time she was on that horse with my heart in my throat (jumping makes me nervous) and in awe of SuperSarah....and I took pictures.

Here is SuperSarah with Cali...aren't they both beautiful?

After that we headed back to the hotel for a clean up and headed to dinner in Palm Beach.

If you are in Palm Beach I highly recommend you eat at Echo. MM suggested it and it was the best suggestion of the trip.

Asian food.

Really really good Asian food.

Part of the Breakers Hotel...

I had miso glazed sea bass. It melted in my mouth. KuteKaren had delicious pad thai, SuperSarah had lemon chicken and MM had the best fried rice I ever tasted. KuteKaren also had a cosmo in the cutest glass ever...here's a pic:

Dinner was the bomb...and I also discovered that saketini's are delicious...I had 2. We also made friends with the guy at the hostess stand...does that make him the host? He was hilarious. He loved that I had lost 150 pounds...and he kept coming to check on us and we made sure he knew that Houston women are the bomb...and I told him that my only regret was that I was not hungry enough to eat the sea bass twice...but then it was time for dessert...

You know that this is where things went horribly wrong, right?

Um yeah...it appears that the entire reason we were there was so we could have dessert.

Chocolate chocolate chip souffle...


and yes we shared it (we had 2 for the table...one for the girls and one for the big girls)...

Totally worth every sugar gram and calorie...I would marry it if it was legal...it was sweeter and more satisfying than most men I know.

We headed to the hotel and got up and packed up so we could get SuperSarah to the show again.

It was great...and SuperSarah was having a terrific run with Cali...flying over the jumps with grace....looking so very amazing...

You know this is where things went horribly wrong, right?

I don't know what it was...and neither does SuperSarah...and neither does the trainer...but Cali "spooked".

One minute she was flying over a jump and the next she was rearing up and bucking a bit.

SuperSarah held on and then slid off and settled Cali down.

She was amazing...and a true picture of grace.

She walked Cali out from the show ring...deciding it was better to just end it than to make the horse continue when something was wrong.

Smart of SuperSarah.

She will not have to go work at Hertz or United...unless she decides to run them.

So we said goodbye to Cali and the friends at the show and headed to lunch and the airport.

I had no trouble returning the rent car and we hung out at the airport until our flight.

We got on the plane and I finished up reading "The Hunger Games" (great book). The flight was smooth.

You know this is where things went horribly wrong, right?

WRONG...it was all good...

We got back and the only trouble we had was that is took a while for our bags to be unloaded.

We had a hilarious ride in the cart with a guy who thought he was not just supposed to drive us but to give us a comedy routine.

He says to us as he let us out: "This is a great job! I get to pick up women all day long and I don't get slapped!"

So we got back from the airport, had some dinner and I dropped the girls off and came home to see my children.

It was a great, fun, and amazing weekend...and I would do it all again in a heartbeat...

In fact, I plan to...

I just told KuteKaren I would love to go again...she says next time we are staying at the Breakers...

I'm packing my bag now!

Inspiration Song: "Sarah Smile" by Hall and Oates...because I love to see SuperSarah smile...it is a gorgeous smile on a gorgeous girl...and it is never bigger than when she is on her Cali!

Bye Darlings...things may go horribly wrong but you can make them all right...and still have fun...especially when you are with friends like KuteKaren and SuperSarah!

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