What a lovely welcome-home gift, for my return from Florida to be greeted with Florida-type weather here in Chicago. Usually it's a harsh slap in the meteorological face (what?) when a Midwesterner comes home from a warmer clime. On the down side, I always like a 20-degree advantage when I vacation outside of the summer months. It's such a rip-off to expend money and no small effort just to get the same weather the folks have for free back home. At least the Midwest in April is not conducive to swimming outdoors or going to the beach, so I've got that.
This was a low-key vacation. One of our few vacationy events was taking a river "cruise" followed by dinner. Ben pronounced the cruise to be boring, the lowlight of the trip, and the restaurant sucked. But check this out: We grown-ups (me, Mr. Tangerine, and the mister's aunt) each ordered a glass of wine. The waitress deemed the aunt and me to be clearly over 21, but Mr. Tangerine? Carded. He just turned 40, sure, but apparently he could pass for 20. Or 19. My teen husband. Father of my almost-6-year-old kid. (I feel like a virtual Mary Kay Letourneau.) The lesson here is that without his Transforming Paste, Mr. Tangerine's hair goes crazy and he looks like a kid. (A hot one, if I do say so myself.) We weren't sure which of us should be more offended, him for getting carded or me for not getting carded when he did. Anyone? (I take solace in the fact that I was carded myself some weeks back.)
We flew home last night, and when we reached Baggage Claim Carousel 5, there were a dozen stacks of empty luggage bins making their way around the track. Soon they were joined by some luggage...and more stacks of bins. Eventually there were about 30 stacks of bins on the carousel, and they started getting bunched up where the conveyor belt goes back behind the wall. Two responsible passengers took it upon themselves to hoist stack after stack of bins to clear the logjam and keep the bags moving. I wasn't sure if it looked more like something out of "I Love Lucy" (the chocolates) or "Candid Camera"...but no film crew ever emerged to laugh at those people. Say what you will about United Airlines (try not to curse too much, dears), but I gotta say I prefer United to American. American's half ounce of pretzels sucks, man. And United's flight attendants make far more trips up and down the aisle to gather up empty cans, cups, and snack bags. American, they made us fester amid our measly snack-related debris. (Who, me? Petty? Nah.)
I haven't downloaded my pictures yet, but I did get a lovely photo of the Badcock home furnishings sign. (I still don't know what possessed the Badcock family not to choose a business name like "Furniture of Distinction.") We didn't make it into downtown Inverness, which is where "The Daily Show" taped the segment on the Cooter Festival and where I had seen the "save a fish, eat a cooter" shirt in a barbershop window. Another time, perhaps...