The Excellent Adventures of Kim and Kev

Monday, June 29, 2009

Jamaican Luau?

I know what a Jamaican is. I know what a Luau is. Until June 14, 2009, I had never heard the two words together. And they were being used to describe a festive meal we were about to enjoy.

That is when I knew for sure that I was on a Switzer family vacation. We tend to invent new things/make things up. When it is for a good cause. Like a festive meal.

Just the name Jamaican Luau probably makes you jealous that you weren't there. And you don't even know what we had to eat.

But don't worry. Because I'm about to tell you.

It all started back when I was a little girl and I came up with a cooking/cleaning rotation that would make everything run smoothly and deliciously.

Except for I wasn't that little of a girl. It was only a month ago. But it was before I received 10 more years of sun damage during this trip.

So, my parents and Bethany volunteered to be the chefs/party planners for Sunday night.

Do you remember me telling you about themed dinners?

Good. It will help explain this situation.

My parents went to Jamaica last New Year's. They fell in love with jerk chicken (a food... not a person). They fed it to us and we fell in love with jerk chicken. So, my parents decided to cook jerk chicken with the "fixins" but turn it in to a Hawaiian luau because they love that too. Two themes in one. A fantasy come true.

Jerk Chicken.

I thought that maybe if I typed it one more time in this post... then you would understand what we were eating for dinner.

I kill myself with my repetitive words.

My Mom went all out with the decor. She decorated the house and the table.....

And then she decorated us......

Basically we all got leid. Get it? Everyone in my family got it because we said it that night. A lot. Loudly.
Oh... and if you are wondering what Kev is looking at. Wonder no more. He is purposely looking away from the camera. You are seeing the beginning of "Vacation Kev". And I mean beginning. Because "Vacation Kev" got wilder and wilder as the week went on.
He is now renting himself out for parties.
And breakdancing competitions.
After our DELICIOUS DELICIOUS and did I say DELICIOUS meal of JERK CHICKEN.... we moved on to the festivities.
Jamaican Luau Bingo.
My Mom got each one of us a bucket. Painted our names on it. And filled it with bingo parts. "Parts" being aquarium rocks that may or may not have had old fish poop on them. We were on vacation... so who really cares. We played bingo until every single person (18) had won a round and gotten a prize.
My prize: a stack of post-it notes
Kev's prize: a box of pens
And we were thrilled! Because we needed both of those things for the office.
I was secretly hoping to get the travel sized kleenex or roll of toilet paper. Just because I have never won something like that at a bingo game.
Actually, I have never won ANYTHING at bingo. Because I have never played. I'm too young.
Fabulous meal! Fun times! Great company!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Sounds of Happiness

Humming. Wind chimes. A purring cat. Balloons being blown up. A carbonated drink fizzing. A charm bracelet jingling. Popcorn popping. Waves crashing. Cheese being sliced. Hitting the jackpot on the slot machines. Splashing in the pool. Cat bird. 80's air guitar. Cowbell.


These are some of the sounds that represent happiness. To me. You may have other ideas but I had no way to ask you. I live on the outskirts of town and depend on carrier pigeons for communication. Unfortunately, they are all on vacation at our bird sanctuary where they are "eating us out of house and home".

I apologize to anyone who dislikes that phrase. It is the only way I know how to describe it.


We all know how much I LOVE to laugh. It is a known fact. It is on record at the Gaston County Courthouse. It is obvious because of my laugh lines.

Someone else who LOVES to laugh...... Kev. He laughs about every 15 minutes. On an average day. Mostly at something I do or say. Usually without me even trying.

I have told you before about how I was raised on laughter. It is in my families' DNA. It is what gets you through life. It is what keeps you young. It is what keeps you sane.

So, if we LOVE to laugh so much and my family LOVES to laugh so much and my Dad's middle name is laugh. Then you can only imagine the "happiness sounds" coming from our beach house.

Sometimes you are laughing so much you don't even remember getting your picture taken. Like this one...... We sure seem to be having an awfully good time. Dave is holding a bag of shredded cheese. I'm sticking my hand in it. HILARIOUS!

And then there was skit night. Which I haven't even gotten around to telling you about yet. But just know that we not only snickered, giggled, and chuckled...... We reacted Jerry Springer style. I think the cops were called. I'm not sure because we all pretended to be asleep when they arrived. Stopping dead in your tracks and fake snoring fools everyone. Especially in my family.

Even with all of the stresses in life..... A couple of days of laughing helps you to forget the real world and enjoy your vacation....

This is what getting the entire family together under one roof does to a mother......

And last but not least.... the king of laughter. My Dad.

He was laughing SO hard when I took this picture .. that his head almost exploded. My Dad just makes me laugh. I laugh at his laugh. And I'm thankful that he gave me mine.
Have you laughed today?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Our Shelter From The Sun.... and Sometimes Rain

Before I begin this next post..... I wanted to share an idea that I had last night. An idea that I came up with when I was sifting through 673 pictures on my computer trying to find the right ones from each day.

673 pictures in no particular order.

I lost my sanity in the mayhem of it all. And may or may not have punched Kev in the arm and called him a hillbilly. Sorry Kev.

So, my idea is that I will not necessarily post an order of events from each day.... but will instead post mini themed stories like "laughter", "vacation Kev", "how much beer and ice can a family go through during a week at the beach", "skit night"... etc. I'm sure you get the point. I will also post some stories and pics about each family.

Basically, you will be hearing a LOT about this trip. And will be seeing a TON of pictures. This blog is documenting my life and my families' lives... and every second of this trip is worth telling about.

And so the next story begins.....

It is Sunday, June 14th.

The Cubans finally arrived at 12:30am. They drove in from Jacksonville after flying to Jacksonville from Cuba.

They smelled like cigars and guava fruit.

Wolfe also arrived on Sunday. She mainly came because of my brother. The other reason she came was to experience the Switzers on a bigger level than just Sunday dinner. It is an experience worth experiencing. But only when you are still young and able bodied. Luckily, Wolfe is both of those things. Actually she is MORE than able bodied. At everything. Don't let her fool you. Without getting in to too much detail at this time... let's just say that she threatened my horseshoe championship amongst other things.

Her first name is Laura. And I think she is fabulous. And she fits right in with our crazy group and it feels like she has been here since the beginning. The beginning of what I don't know. It just sounds good to say it that way. A little drama always makes things more interesting.

So, the group is complete. All 18 of us are in swimsuits on the beach and ready to party. That's right. I said party. Because that is what you do when you are on vacation. Regardless of your age. And especially if you grew up in the 80's.

But there were a couple of problems.

#1 The sun was hotter than Brad Pitt on any given day and Tom Cruise in Top Gun and the stuffed jalapeno peppers I made for Dave's party.
#2 The majority of the group was pasty white with a little more whiteness added in for good measure.
#3 I'm deathly afraid of sharks. And overgrown octopus monsters. And flying piranha. And clowns that live on the beach.

Long story short.... We needed shelter. And Kev was prepared to deliver. Because he always thinks ahead. Not only did he think ahead and purchase this tent... but we did a "practice" set up of the tent in our yard. He is mature like that. And organized. And smart. And he is great with landscaping and computers.

I'm just along for the ride. With a couple of good meals thrown in.

And so the tent building begins...... After he tells me to sit down on my "time out" mat and stop getting in the way.... Holly joins in. She's is military, you know. That means tent building is in her blood. I think.

More family members join in..... I wanted to help but I was in "time out".

Enjoying the completed shelter....

I jumped in to this next pic to make it look like I helped. Holly seems to be doing "the robot" while I am posing Run DMC style. Like I said before. It was an 80's party. All week.

Unfortunately, on day three we had a warning notice on our tent that stated we were not allowed to leave the tent up overnight. That resulted in the tent having to be taken down at the end of each day and put back up the following morning. I always seemed to "miss" this process because I was still eating or sleeping... or both at the same time.
We got so much use out of this shelter. It was well worth the cost and trouble. We were camped out on the beach from sun up to sun down every day. Even the one day of rain couldn't keep us away.
And yes. Our group and our belongings took up the majority of the beach. In addition to this set up, we also had a volleyball net and horseshoe court.
The above pic was taken on Monday. My cousins, Angela and Carrie, stopped by to hang out with us. They are sitting to the right. And are wondering what in the world they got themselves in to. Actually, I think they are slowly but surely scooting their chairs away from the tent as to not be associated with any nonsense that is probably about to happen. I don't blame them. I did the same thing a couple of times during the week.
Up next..... A Jamaican Luau???

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pawley's Island - Here We Come!

Ok. Bear with me. I'm going to take you back in time a couple of weeks. It is the only way I can properly begin telling the tales of my beach trip. And I have to tell my tales pretty quickly as I'm 55 in sun-damaged years which means my memory is failing me. It also means that I may exaggerate or embellish some events - but you should be used to that by now and should not hold it against me.

And so the story begins.....

It is Saturday, June 13th.

I have slept this much in two days -0

I have packed this much in two days - 5 tons

I have baked/cooked this much in two days - an unnecessary amount. That I would not discover until I arrived at beach house and saw a FULLY stocked kitchen. But I should expect the major food abundance by now. It is a Switzer trip and our best talent is eating. Except for Bethany. She has many talents and reminds me of them daily.

And here is where I will reveal a secret.

I have issues. More than you can count on your fingers and toes. If you can count higher than that.

I can't. Which is why I like my belongings to be in single digits. Like only having one husband. It is so much easier to keep up with. ( alert: the "single digits" rule does not apply to articles of clothing that are denim and canisters of mixed nuts).

Anyway, one of my ( and Kev's) issues is our OCD like behavior regarding packing and prepping the house for a trip departure. I will not go in to detail... but it took hours for us to get ready that morning.


And that is no exaggeration.

But we finally got everything together. Keep in mind that this is the first time we have left our house for a week long trip since we moved in. It was a really weird/scary feeling. Probably the same feeling that normal people feel about leaving their kids or pets. Our house is our baby. Don't judge us.

Also, don't let this picture fool you. Because even though I look so happy to be going on vacation. The vacation part had not sunk in yet. The part where you are relaxed, happy, rested, a pleasure to be around... etc. Nope. I was a HUGE stressball. My stomach was in knots.

I think at the moment of this picture I am saying through gritted teeth... " I am a HUGE stressball." I'm sure this comes as a surprise to you because Kim and stressed are rarely in the same sentence.

That last sentence is a lie. A big one.

I wanted this trip to be perfect. And I couldn't accept it to be any other way.

Our drive to the beach consisted of stomach cramps, heart palpitations, threatening Kev with his life if he had to stop and pee, traffic, curse words, and traffic. Did I mention that we encountered some traffic?

A rolled up newspaper and a spray bottle with cold water aimed at my face seemed to calm me down enough to realize that we had arrived at our location. Our home for the week....

We not only had the largest group at the beach that week..... but we also had to have the largest forms of transportation. Just to make a point. That we are large. And loud. And obnoxious.

Our first night's meal consisted of Domino's pizza. We wanted to make it easy. Every one was still arriving and some people were actually unpacking and organizing their belongings. I was not one of those people as I lived out of a suitcase all week and dressed in what ever I could get my hands on first. Regardless if it was mine.
Anyway, I classed up the meal a little by adding in my wickedly sinful desserts and Paula's spinach artichoke dip.

My Aunt Laurie stopped by that evening to welcome us to her stomping grounds. She is lucky enough to live in Pawley's Island. I try not to be jealous. But it is hard.

She came bearing gifts. I think her middle name should be "I came bearing gifts" because she always does. That lady is so thoughtful and generous. And I love her to pieces.
The gifts she brought? Well, I will let the picture speak for itself.......

And here I will apologize because the night is still young. And I am just on our first day of vacation. And you have a lot of reading ahead of you.
My learnings from Day One:
1. Domino's has great deals if you ask nicely. 9 pizzas for $45.00.
2. Watching old(er) people sleep (parents) is great entertainment. FYI- they fell asleep on the couch waiting for my sister to arrive. I was not in their room. That would be rude.
3. Bethany and I had a LOT of giggles to get out. Late at night. While every one was trying to sleep.
4. "Peaches" was to be used in place of any bad words. Like "doo-doo head" or s*@#. Try remembering that rule when your brother in law beats on the front door at 12:30AM.
5. Swim goggles provide hours of indoor entertainment.
Up next:
The Cubans and The Wolfe arrive. Our group is finally complete. And looking for a good time.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Back To Reality

Eight pounds heavier. Skin that is the texture of a 1980's leather jacket - brown, cracked, rough and sequined. A craving for goldfish crackers and raspberry Firefly. A horseshoe championship. 673 pictures. One thousand incredible memories.

These are the accessories I returned home with. And I couldn't be happier.

Except for returning home means that the trip is over. It means that my family has been disbursed to far away lands and different time zones. It means that we are all back at work.


The hardest thing that I've ever had to do was go back to work today. Even harder than the time that I walked 16 miles. In the snow. Barefoot. In lingerie. With Kev on my back. He is afraid of snow - you know. And the abdominal snowman (or you may know him as abominable depending on where you went to school). But that will have to be a story for another time.

Anyway, the point that I am trying to make here is that I had an absolutely incredible trip. And I have more stories that you could ever imagine... or may ever want to imagine after you hear about some of them.

But you will have to be patient with me. Just like you were with the "airport story". Except for that I haven't finished it yet. I'm obnoxious like that. Or scatterbrained. You decide.

Regardless... here are a couple of subjects to tide you over.....

Kareoke, Arabs, The Tall People, Vacation Kev, Singing Cowboys, Chicken Tetrazzini, Crazy Sharks, Taco and Friola, Jackpot (said out of the side of your mouth), Diaper Changes, "In the Showa", Sleeping Parents, Orange Ade, Cadywhampus, Swimsuit Swapping at Sea, Strangers, Yoink, The Groin, Potty Hands and Sexy Walks.

These subjects are just a sampling of what happened during the trip. I will do my best to tell you about them - possibly changing a name or two to protect the innocent - if you can consider any of us innocent - after this trip.

And now I will introduce my family to you. All 18 of us. I love them. I just can't help it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Day Before the Beach.....

It is the day before we leave for the beach. The beach trip that I have been anticipating for months. The opportunity for us to all be together again. In the same house. Like when we were kids.

And then it hits me THAT. I. HAVE. SO. MUCH. TO. DO. and I only have a day to do it in.

I am known for my trip planning. I obsess over it for months in advance. This obsession usually involves buying a notebook where I keep lists, ideas, recipes, plans, and outfits. Two outfits for each day with coordinating shoes. This is real folks... I wouldn't make things up. Usually.

But this trip is another story. I covered the basics during the planning. I bought my notebook. I made a list of some things we would need. And then I worked and worked and worked and before I knew it the trip was here. And all I had going for me was a swollen- jalapeno- juice -burned hand and a couple of recipes that I wanted to make.

So I started to panic.

But then Kev waved some cheese under my nose. And fixed me a glass of tea. And told me to get out of the bird bath. And helped me come up with a plan.

And the entire rest of the day was dedicated to prepping and packing for the perfect beach trip.

After all of the errands, grocery shopping, and laundry... the fun stuff began.


I hope everyone brings elastic waisted pants.

I made this pie.....

A peanut butter cream pie. What? A PEANUT BUTTER CREAM PIE! I couldn't have made this up in my wildest thoughts. I think I'm in love. I licked the spatula. Passed out. Got up and jumped in. Swam around for an hour. And then begged for mercy.

I LOVE peanut butter. Especially in pies.

The recipe is a true winner from The Pioneer Woman website. I am insisting that you make this. To ensure your happiness.

And then I made this cake.........

What on earth could cause a woman to create such delectable desserts? I'm speaking of The Pioneer Woman again. And this recipe is called "The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever". And it is. If you don't pass out from sugar shock. It is one fudgy delight. I loved it so much that I let it sleep in the bed next to me while I took a nap. A nap that I had no business taking since I had so much to do.

And then I made this coffee cake.....

It is a peach coffee cake with cinnamon streusel topping. I got this recipe from the latest Southern Living magazine. The only good thing that came out of my trip to Tampa. Fresh peaches, cake, cinnamon = YUM.

And then I had to add to my three page to-do list...... CLEAN THE KITCHEN!

And then I began packing......

This was just my stuff and the food. Kev had a whole other pile started in another room. He kept reminding me that we were only taking ONE car. His truck. But I had measured the back of his truck. And it is pretty big. So, I kept adding to my pile. Because you never know when you are going to need cowboy boots, a collection of jean jackets, and a large purple tub to safely transport small children in the back of your truck.
Not that I would ever do that. Transport children in a large purple tub. Unless they were being loud. Or if they smelled.

And here is another picture of how much I was taking to the beach..... just so I can emphasize how nonsensical I am.....

And the day was only half over.
We are leaving tomorrow morning. And I am SO looking forward to all of the incredible memories we will create....
I am not sure of the internet situation there.... but I will do everything that I can to keep you updated on the happenings of the Switzer family beach trip. And just because you keep begging me.... I will give you EVERY detail of EVERY DAY. That is 8 posts coming your way.
Actually no one really begged me... or asked for that matter. But I'm sure you wanted to.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Bro Is Home!

Remember this guy......

He is my brother. A Marine. And I think he is one of the coolest guys on the planet. And in outer space.
He came home last week. A week earlier than we had thought. And surprised us all... so much so that I began doing jumping jacks the minute I found out via text. I was in Publix at the deli counter. It was one of the only times in my life when I didn't care if people were staring at me. The other time being when I was dressed as Minnie Mouse for Halloween at the Magic Kingdom. I looked pretty cute. Except for my fake eyelashes that were flapping in the breeze.
Anyway, I was thrilled times a billion.
But then I realized how much I had to work. I had vacation coming up on June 12 and there would be NO days off in between. I was so discouraged that I grabbed the pound of bologna that I had just ordered from the deli counter man and ate every bite. Food relieves my stress. And gives me heartburn.... but that is another story.
So, a couple of text messages later... we figured out a way to see each other before the beach. We would have him over for dinner. Which we did on Tuesday. Except for the life of me, I cannot figure out why I didn't take any pictures. Dave brought his friend Laura. We grilled steaks, twice baked potatoes, and creamed some spinach.
And it was wonderful to have him home.
On Thursday, my parents hosted a welcome home party for Dave. And just about the entire city of Columbia showed up. So, of course, I was going to take pictures. Except for I forgot my camera AGAIN. I'm so ashamed.
You will just have to trust me that the party was a lot of fun. Despite the extremely painful jalapeno chemical burn that a certain someone received because she handled 50 jalapenos without wearing gloves.
Did I mention that I made cream cheese and sausage stuffed jalapenos for the party? They turned out pretty good.
After the party, Dave announced that all of the women folk had a gift waiting for them in the dining room. Which we immediately all screamed.... ran in the dining room... and began searching the room for gifts....and then began pulling each other's hair because we couldn't find any.... Until Dave informed us that he meant to say living room.
This is what we found.....

A hand carved jewelry box from Turkey. From the country... not our next door neighbor. And this picture doesn't even due the box justice. And did I mention that it is not just any jewelry box... but a special, secret puzzle box that will guard your most important treasures.

Like cheese whiz. Or maybe diamonds.

It is the coolest thing I have ever seen. He got each one of us a box. Each one was different. You seriously move pieces of the box around until a small key falls out. You then search for the keyhole... insert the key... and the box opens.....

I almost took pictures of each step in unlocking the secret box. But then it wouldn't be a secret anymore. And I would live in fear of something happening to my cheese whiz.... I mean diamonds.

I don't think this guy could be any more generous... or thoughtful....or handsome...

And so I will start the auction for him at..... ONE MILLION DOLLARS! Make checks payable to me.

Dave... it is so wonderful to have you home!!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

My Favorite Things

As promised... here is my weekly installment of My Favorite Things. Except for these were my favorite things for last week as I am super behind. And I have a "super behind". But that is a totally different story. And for those of you who are sitting on the edge of your seats waiting for my finale to the Airport Story.....I promise that it is coming. Soon. If I don't forget about what happened. But I can't imagine that I would since it was SO horrific!

Have I told you that I go on vacation in THREE days!! THREE! And have I mentioned how badly I need it. I have even stopped dancing at work. (Except if you count the "dance off " I had in the office last Monday.... and no -it was with someone... I was not by myself. Because then I would have won.)

That little tidbit of information has absolutely nothing to do with this post. Except to give you proof that I sometimes have diarrhea of the mouth and I say random things. (and that I am so excited about going on vacation)

Anyhoo.... on with the post.....

SWEET POTATO CHIPS. So, you have all heard my dramatic childhood regarding sweet potatoes.... and then my introduction to them at a later age that turned in to an obsession with their sweet, delicious, creamy goodness. I mean that I just love these root vegetables. A LOT. And then one day I was skipping through the incredible selection of fresh veges and fruits at the local Publix... and I came across these chips. Now, as you know, chips can be greasy, fattening, and just plain rude. I try to steer clear of them. Unless I am eating nachos. Which I do daily. I doubted that these would be any better for you. But then my curiosity kicked in. Curiosity can be dangerous because it killed the cat. I am very brave, however, when it comes to trying food. So I gave the bag a "look-see".

These chips are actually pretty healthy. Sweet potatoes, sunflower oil, and sea salt. Only .5 grams of saturated fat. But here is the kicker.... they actually tasted amazing. Because I opened the bag right then and there and started eating.

Settle down... I wouldn't actually do that. Besides the fact that I haven't paid for it yet... it would just be tooo embarrassing to be standing alone in the produce section eating a bag of chips. People would stare. And point.

But that reminds me of a time I was in the produce section of another grocery store. In Gaston. And a Mom and her daughter were "sampling all of the grapes". The Mom told the daughter that it is important to "test" the produce before you actually buy. So, they stood there eating tons of grapes off of every bunch and then decided they didn't want to buy any. They were probably not wearing their shoes and shirts either. I don't remember. I was staring and pointing. And looking for the product police.

Ok... so all of that information just to tell you that these chips are worth your time and energy. And your body will thank you. Except for I can only find them at Publix. So, it is a special treat every time that I go.


This is one of my prized possessions. It was given with love and thoughtfulness. And it has beautiful colors. And I love Mexican food. And it completely expresses how me and Kev feel about our house.... mostly.... It depends on who it is.

My sister - Holly and her husband - Kris (not to be confused with Kris-ten my other sister) got this for me as a souvenir from Mexico. In Epcot. In Orlando, FL. It is the same as actually going to Mexico except for that the service in restaurants is probably better - in the real Mexico - not Florida. ( If you are unsure of what I am talking about... go back and read my Disney adventures in March). Anyway... Holly thought of me when she saw the sign because of my repeated comments stating that her and Kris were always welcome to stay at our house. Repeated comments all on the same night. Because I am forgetful. And I like to say things over and over. Especially when I'm not getting any attention.

Regardless of how much I talked. They felt that I deserved a souvenir from their Disney trip. And so they got us one. Simple as that. Sometimes you are just given random things that are absolutely perfect. This was one of them. I hung it above the door in my kitchen. It reminds me to share. And how much I love tacos.


Now I know that you all remember the bird feeder that I got for "Mother's Day". It has been the highlight of my every morning to look out there and see the birds.... except there hadn't been any. And I was starting to get discouraged.

And then Red Bunny (a hopping cardinal) came along. He loved it and started to tell his friends. That resulted in a small mess below the bird feeder right in the spot where you walk outside. Kev said that he REFUSED to track in bird seed in to the house and began to come up with another plan.

This was his plan.....

Isn't it delightful!! This is now my new favorite spot in the back yard. He even planted a couple more palm trees around it. To make the bird sanctuary complete.

I can watch it for hours. From indoors. Because it is so darn hot outside. Even though Kev put a Sangria feeder out there for me so I wouldn't feel left out.

And now we have become the neighborhood bird's favorite restaurant...

I always knew that we had a ton of birds in our backyard.... but we have birds flying in for dinner every second. Kev has even seen four birds eating at a time. Four different species of birds. Sharing a meal. We are creating bird peace. And I love every second of it.
How will we ever name them all?
And what are they going to do when Kev puts them on a restricted eating plan? Because they are eating us out of house and home.... whatever that means. Aren't "house" and "home" the same thing?
Anyway... as always thanks for reading about my peculiar life.....
FAMILY VACATION COMING SOON..... which means I will be posting a ton. Especially the pics of "Switzer Family Skit Night". I hope you can stand it!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Airport - Part Three! Are We There Yet?

So, I'm stuck in the Atlanta airport. One of my least favorite places to be.... my other least favorites being a men's public bathroom, a snake pit, and jail. I cannot even begin to tell you how "over this trip" I was at this point. I was sweaty, smelly, and starving. And I was not about to keep it to myself.

I began texting every body that I could. And dramatically told them of my current situation. There are some (lots of) situations that I absolutely cannot stand to NOT be in control of. My bowels, Kev's meals, family skit night.... and traveling. I am so serious when I say that I would rather drive cross country ( to Tennessee... is there really anything else beyond that?) than fly. Flying is such a waste of time.

Enough whining... it was time to take control of the situation. I sponge ( paper towel) bathed in the bathroom sink, readjusted my bra for comfort ( which means I took it off) and went on a quest for food.

Finding healthy food in an airport is quite exhausting. If you remember.. I am/was competing in The Biggest Loser competition... and just because you are in a horrific situation - it does not mean that you can eat whatever you want. Unless you are so freaking starved by the time that you get to Tampa that you go in to a Carrabas at 9:45 at night and order pizza, bread, and sangria. But I don't know who would do that... because I sure wouldn't.

Anyhoo... I finally found the perfect healthy meal. Organic nut mix. Ummmmm... I don't think that was the real name of it. But who really cares. I wonder if you can guess what was in it besides delicious dried cranberries and blueberries. Anyone? Anyone?

That's right... NUTS!

One of my favorite foods of all times. They always say...." If it don't have cheese and/or nuts on it, then it ain't worth Kim eatin'." I don't know who "they" is and why "they" are so "country".... but "they" do have a good point.. about my eatin' habits.

I got my snack mix, my water, eleventy billion more magazines and searched high and low for a remote and quiet spot.

And not five minutes later a family decided to sit down RIGHT BESIDE ME when there was plenty of empty seats all around me. And not only were they a family but they were a family with a screaming baby! I texted Kev so much that he changed his phone number, email address, and moved to some state on the other side of Tennessee.

It was bad folks... and I seriously do not know how I survived.

But I did. And I boarded the plane to Tampa without too much of a delay......

That is actually the plane I was on. I set the camera on a timer due to my insecurities of taking pictures by myself in public.

I arrived in Tampa safe and sound. And then preceded to wait for 1 hr for the other people to get there so we could share a van. This was not by choice but by force. After the hour was up... and some people were "no-shows"/lost/purposely adding to the agony of my day... I was granted permission to get a cab. I was so sweaty, starving, smelly... and exhausted at this point that the cab driver doubled his fee. Just to spite me. And to cover the expense of cleaning the smell out of the back of his cab.

Luckily, my hotel was DE-vine. A brand new Embassy Suites. And it sure was "suite". (sorry - I had to do it)

Once in the comfort and seclusion of my very own bedroom.... I began taking pictures of things that I had experienced throughout the day....

Such as this delightful bag/purse whose straps decided to start letting go of the bag halfway through the trip. It is always so much fun to carry your large totebag filled with heavy binders... under your arm. It makes people stare at you and call you "weirdo". Out loud.

Then there is this tasty treat. Oh.... and I was right... it is NOT called "organic nut mix". It is called "simplicity medley". This stuff was seriously out of this world and the best "nut mix" that I have ever had!
Ok... so that was one good thing about my day... and here is the second good thing.... FIJI water! I used to drink a HUGE bottle of this every day. Which is crazy and ridiculous... especially considering how much a bottle costs. But when the company is paying for your food.... it is all about buying the good stuff. I mean they did force me to FLY and SIT IN THE ATLANTA AIRPORT FOR MOST OF THE DAY. I think I deserved it.

And then the third good thing about my day was who was waiting for me in the hotel room... on the bed.....

My parents! Ok... so they weren't really there. But I was so delirious that I thought that they were and I asked them to sing to me.
Sing to me? I think I am delirious right now... so I better wrap this up. I do, however, want to let you in on a Switzer family secret... We LOVE to take pictures of us posing on hotel beds. We all do it. And no one ever questions it... well family never questions it. You probably will be questioning it so much that you won't be able to sleep tonight.
I may or may not post my equally ( if not more) agonizing trip back to Columbia. It has truly traumatized me to re-hash this story. It also depends on if anything else exciting happens in my life this week.
Ok... so that probably means that you will be hearing about my return home.
Up Next... "My Favorite Things". Because I do care about you enough to give you a break from airport stories.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Airport - Part Two - Skin Chips and Pit Stains

Thank goodness for my phone. My texting phone. The one that Kev got me for Christmas. How on earth did I ever travel without it. It gave me the ability to text Kev at every second to tell him what was happening, what was going on around me, and jokes - you always have to have jokes in the mix - it keeps things real.

I'm sure Kev was thrilled.

Texting is way better than calling, though. For one... I don't tie up Kev's time. He is a very busy bee these days. For two... I have this "thing" about talking on the phone in public. I hate it! And I just know that every one is listening to me. So, I usually have to walk the airports looking for the most remote spot to hunch down in a corner and talk on the phone. Besides the fact that every one is just dying to know my business.... I prefer to talk to Kev in our secret language. And I won't tell you what that is.... because it is a secret!

Would you like to know the other thing that I am paranoid about? Taking pictures of things when I am in public and by myself. It is horrid and creepy.... and I know that every one stops what they are doing to look at me and say that I am weird. Out loud.

I had my camera with me.... and had all of these great opportunities to snap photos of things I saw or did..... you know... just for you ... my blog readers. But I couldn't bring myself to do it. Yes, I got a few shots here and there.... but only after I put a paper bag over my head. Which messed up my hair. Or maybe it was already messy because fixing it is a chore.

Bottom line is that I may walk around with jingle bells on my shoes... and honk a bicycle horn when I want people to clear a path for me.... and quack like a duck - out loud - whenever I feel like it. But that doesn't mean that I want people to stare at me when I take a picture, or listen to me when I talk on the phone..... or watch me when I dance in public in the Magic Kingdom.

Now that you know me a little better.... can we please move on to the story.....

So, the flight said DELAYED.

After texting Kev a million times expressing my dislike for traveling and such. I picked myself up by my boot straps and went shopping. For snacks and magazines. There were things I needed to know.... like how to decorate my sun room, how to grill the best burger, and what was Kate up to now ( from Jon & Kate plus 8).

The flight is boarding!!!

It wasn't too long of a wait. Great. Things are looking up. I gather my stuff , show my ticket, and skip outside to the plane. WAIT... OUTSIDE? That's right... it was going to be a little one.... but I had NO idea how little it would be until I saw it.....

The pilot was waiting outside the plane to greet us.... or wish us luck. I'm not sure which. There was probably about 30 of us who had to fit inside this plane. Which leads me to my title of this post.

I've decided that close quarters with 29 random people = unsanitary conditions. And I'm not saying that I was completely clean either. I'm sure that I contributed to the "people dust".
I started this bizarre OCD behavior of looking around and noticing EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF DIRT, HAIR, and TOE JAM. It was almost hard for me to breathe... which made me start to sweat.... which added to the aromas..... which made my nose hurt.
Is it just me or after a long flight do you feel as if someone has been sitting in your lap the entire way? In their skivvies. Eating a Polish sausage with kraut. And did I mention they were German.
No? You think I'm crazy?

That is how I felt. Like I needed a shower and some clean clothes. Or maybe I needed a shower because I had forgotten to take one that morning. I don't recall. Regardless, I wasn't feeling so great. And this was just a short little flight... 30 minutes max... to Atlanta. It was just the beginning of my trip.
And then we landed.
I exited my tiny little plane. Walked in to the terminal. Looked up at the screen to check my next flight. And it said.....
Flight to Tampa..... DELAYED.
To be continued......

The Airport - The Arrival

Flying is for the birds.

Which is why I have decided that I do not want to fly anymore. Ever.

The following tale takes place between 11am and 9pm on Wednesday. 10 hours. To get to Tampa. For the record, I could have driven in 8.

It all started when I was informed by the weatherman (Kev) that Wednesday and Thursday were not good days to fly. The weather was supposed to be horrible.


Now let me just take you back to the Fall of 1991.......we were moving to Columbia due to my Dad's transfer with work. His company offered to fly us. I was deathly afraid of flying. But the flight was free and how many times in your life do you get a flight for free.... so, I decided to give it a try.... translation - I was forced to fly and not given the option.

We were all dressed in our "Sunday best" because that is what you did to travel. If you lived in the Little House on the Prairie. My Ma and Pa wanted us to look respectable when we rode up in to town..... or Columbia, SC in the year 1991. Regardless, I was petrified. I sat next to Kristen who was sitting next to a window. I refused to look out of the window for the whole 45 minutes we were flying. Vowing to never fly again.

But then I became a "business woman" (ugh! I hate the sound of that) and flying became a natural part of life. I became so comfortable with flying that sometimes I wouldn't even zip up my pants. And I may have burped out loud a time or two. Once, I put on a crazy, hairy costume that zipped up the back. I then climbed out on the wing and made scary faces to the other passengers. While we were flying. Oh the things I will do for a laugh... or scream...

Fast forward to today.....

It has been a year since I have flown. And for some reason, I just wasn't feeling it. And I came up with a couple of reasons why:
1. I've diagnosed myself as being mildly agoraphobic. I've decided that I do not like being too far away from home. I've been drinking Kev's koolaid... and I like it.
2. I was not looking forward to this business meeting - AT ALL.
3. Is it just me... or has there been a lot of horrific plane accidents lately? One of them being at the Columbia airport just last Fall.
4. I hate wearing my "Sunday best" to fly. It involves spanx and makes me breathe funny.

Kev quickly reassured me that everything was going to be ok. And to hurry up and pack and get the heck out of Gaston. As I was driving away from the house.... I'm pretty sure that I saw him kick his heels up in delight. Probably in the realization that he would have the house to himself for two days. I'm sure you will find this hard to believe.... but I am rather annoying. And needy. And eat a lot of food.

So, I drive to the airport. Park a million miles away from the terminal. Sing the "Brownie Smile Song". And began my long trek to the check-in counter.... with a positive attitude and a spring in my step.

Until I encountered my first obstacle of the day.

Flight from Columbia to Atlanta (my layover)..... DELAYED

To be continued.......