Today is officially the first day of a two week parenting holiday provided by a fine group of friends and family in Northern California! How am I spending that day? Right now, I'm sitting in an awesome hotel room in Chicago at Hotel Allegro waiting for my friend Kim to wake up so we can go downstairs for their complimentary coffee bar. However, I'm up at this ungodly hour because I woke up wonder if my dear daughter arrived safely in CA and how the rest of the trip went.
There's good reason to have that wonder, so let me fill you in. Sofie and I left NC yesterday around 2p EST on a Southwest flight with final destination(for me) as Chicago. Of course you know, with SW there's no such thing as a short flight anywhere! We had a quick flight to Nashville with an hour and a half to kill before the next flight. We left Nashville at around 4p CST arriving in Chicago around 530p or so. Our plans were to meet up with David, Dawn and family(Debra's brother and family) so Sofie could continue on with them to San Jose. While waiting at the baggage carousel, Dawn calls from the freeway with an update. Even after allowing PLENTY of time to get to the airport, the Friday afternoon traffic gods had other plans for them...first a huge accident, then weather and probably followed by other accidents!
In the meantime, bags are riding the conveyor belt round and round with nothing looking remotely like our bags. By this time Kim has arrived at baggage to meet us so she did a great job of entertaining/being entertained by Sofie while I did a sweep of the area to discover neither of our bags. Oh joy!! Lost bags(or as the SW agent said, "delayed bags")...whatever! I still didn't have either of our bags! Time was slipping by, Sofie had another plane to catch and neither bag was there. I filled out a report, having my bag sent to the hotel and her bag on the next flight to San Jose after the "delay" was no longer an issue. After that paperwork was finished the three of us headed upstairs to the ticketing area to wait. By this point Sofie was a little cranky due to thirst and hunger. Big kudos to Kim for taking her away to find a beverage while I was dealing with baggage issues. I had already bought her a big bag of popcorn from the Nuts on Clark store she spotted in the airport. My girl LOVES popcorn, so her tummy was okay and the crankies went away...but I fear this was only temporary.
The Friedlands arrived after a horrific commute in just in time to miss the plane. I made the quick decision(later regretting but knowing it was probably the right decision) to leave Sofie with them and make a clean, quick break. Dawn called a little later to say the put them on a flight to Oakland that would arrive at 1130p PST...that's 230AM in Sofie's little body. The were then going to have to rent a car there and drive to Palo Alto. Sofie was supposed to be picked up at San Jose by Laurie and Maya for the first leg of Camp California. The Santa Cruz leg has been delayed a day, but hopefully they'll get good time with her. Huge shout outs to the Friedland family for taking care of my girl and making sure she arrived in CA, safe and sound.
Meanwhile, Kim and I arrive at our hotel, check in and immediately look for dinner. We ended up a block or two away having deep dish pizza. Unfortunately they "pushed the wrong button" when entering ingredients into the computer so we were delay an extra 30 plus minutes it took to remake our pizza. It was okay, we just chatted and caught up on life. Laughing, crying and all the emotions in between. We've been in each others lives for 17 years(I think) and always have lots to say when we're together. She's a friend I value tremendously and I'm glad we get to have a little fun in Chicago!
So what's the fun going to be? Well, you didn't hear it hear, but I'm finally getting my second tattoo! Kim's cousin is a very fine tattoo artist in Chicago, so I'm going to see what he can come up with given the ideas I have. Kim's getting her's beautified. How cliche, right? Tattoo's on vacation! Well, that's how I got my first one. Debra and I were in Hawaii. That tattoo was a Valentine's Day gift from Debra so very special to me even today. Along with getting "tatted up" we're going to try to get tickets to Wicked or Blue Man Group for this evening. Fingers crossed it's Wicked!
In hindsight, I didn't plan enough time in Chicago but I will make the most of it...as soon as I have my coffee!