As you read this (well, if you’re reading it when it posts, I mean, of COURSE you all drop what you’re doing when I post, right? RIGHT), I am about an hour from getting on the road, heading to the airport. Because I am a very poor poor person, my dad’s footing my vacation. Yes, I know, that’s kind of sad. I’ve decided not to feel overly guilty about it. I know I SHOULD, but listen, I have not had a vacation, a real one, in ten years. The last vacation I had that was not me going to my parents’ cabin in the woods (now THAT sounds creepy) for a week and that barely counts as a vacation was right before I moved back to New York, when my friend and I went to California for a long weekend and it was GLORIOUS. So yes, I know. I should feel ultra-guilty that I am a grown woman whose father has to pay the bill for her vacation. But otherwise, I would not GET a vacation. Also, it’s not like he gave me a choice. He kind of just told me to take the time off and emailed me the plane tickets the next day. Yes, I’m spoiled rotten. I know. I KNOW.
I’m leaving out of another airport than the one in my town, because for some reason the plane tickets were hundreds of dollars cheaper if you flew out of the teeny-tiny airport close to my parents’ house and not the normal-sized airport near my house. I don’t know, either. So this morning, I’m in the car and on the way to upstate New York. Yes, I’m aware of the irony of driving the opposite direction from my ultimate direction to get to my ultimate direction.
Oh, and I will of course be sneaking up on my poor cousin that I haven’t seen in over twenty years and pretending to be a psychostalker and saying his name and seeing if I can startle him. My dad says maybe that’s a bad idea because he’s a cop and he might be “packing heat” but I said he’s not an air marshal, so probably he’s not “packing heat” on the plane. My dad says that cops can “pack heat” wherever they want. I asked him if that was a euphemism. He told me he didn’t know what that meant and to stop using big words to try to confuse him. Oh, and in other “what the hell, Mom and Dad” news, my mom ACTUALLY WARNED ME not to join the mile-high club while on the plane. When I asked her who she thought I’d be joining it with, she said, “Well, I don’t know who you might meet, but those bathrooms are really unsanitary.” THANKS FOR CALLING ME A DIRTY WHORE MOM.
I just checked the internet about what I can and can’t take on an airplane, because I haven’t been on one since 2000. You remember what it was like in 2000, right? All willy-nilly with the weaponry and the liquids and such because we weren’t afraid of the terrorists winning. Now there are SO MANY RULES. You can’t have gel inserts in your shoes. I assume because of that shoe-bomber guy, I don’t know. That makes me laugh, but sadly. Sadly laugh. I also am a little distressed I can’t seem to bring a bottle of water onto the plane. I get VERY THIRSTY. My father informs me that for a large amount of money I can buy water once I get past security. Listen, I’d probably pay ten dollars for a bottle of water to bring on a plane. I don’t like to go places without water. If I’m somewhere without water I get stressed out. When I’m stressed out, I’m thirsty. IT IS A VICIOUS CYCLE. Is it a vicious cycle or circle? Can it be both? Both sound equally possible.
Anyway, things I can’t bring on the plane are nunchucks (dammit!), baseball bats (d’oh!) and my aforementioned bottle of water. I can bring breast milk, which will come in handy in case I find a lost child who is nursing. Also, I cannot put lighters in my checked luggage. It’s a good thing I’m not checking any luggage, because all I’m bringing to Florida is a BAG FULL OF LIGHTERS. No clothes, no laptop. JUST ALL THE LIGHTERS. Now that I know I can bring them, it’s all I can think about. It didn’t mention nail clippers, which has me confused, because my dad was all “NO NO NO NAILCLIPPERS! Those TSA bastards will steal your nailclippers and sell them on Ebay and use that money to go on vacation.” And now I’m petrified of losing my $.99 nailclippers I bought at Rite Aid so I think I’ll leave them home. Even though they weren’t even mentioned on the TSA website. Oh, also I can’t bring knives, which is worrisome. How will I stab people who sit too close to me, or open my airplane pretzels?
Then I will be on a plane for three hours. I don’t know anything about this. It’s like being an ASTRONAUT, what with the uncharted territory I’ll be traversing. Can I use my cell phone on the plane? (UPDATE UPDATE I spoke to my lovely friend R. at work today, who is a ray of sunshine, and she says I can only use my phone until the doors close, then I’ll have no service, so if I want to use it, I should load it up with games and use it in airplane mode. THANK YOU R!) Should I bring a book in case I can’t? (UPDATE I have TWO books! I’m prepared!) Will I get a window seat? I asked my mom and she said it depends, and that I’m not allowed to elbow anyone out of the way for one. Dammit. Will the person next to me want to chat? My mom flew down on Sunday and she was SO EXCITED because the woman next to her wanted to chat THE WHOLE TIME and her husband owned a McDonald’s and they talked about that FOR THREE HOURS. Um. I can’t imagine that would be something I’d want to talk about. I told my mother that sounded like possibly the worst time ever, and she said, “I know, when it was happening, I thought, oh, Amy would hate this, and probably want to smother this woman with an airline pillow.” Can I bring my teeny tiny shitty MP3 player in case the person next to me DOES want to chat so I’ll have music playing and I can gesture to it helplessly like, “What are you going to do? Can’t hear you! Music’s playing!” SO MANY QUESTIONS. These questions were not answered on the TSA or the airline FAQ pages. I checked.
Once I get there, my father will be waiting for me. I asked him to have a sign that said my last name and to also wear very dark sunglasses and look impassive but he said he wasn’t going to do that, so I told him way to crush my dream. This did not move him, though. He’s really quite immovable when it comes to dream-crushing. Then we will drive back to the condo. I’m sure this will be exciting because I have not seen him in person since Christmas and I will talk his ear off. He alternately likes that and hates that and sometimes sighs dramatically and sticks a finger in his ear and wiggles it around as if his ear is sore or broken. Don’t worry. It doesn’t stop me from talking. He’s immovable about pretending I’m a celebrity at the airport, I’m immovable about not ever ever ever shutting up. It’s a thing.
THEN THEN THEN. Once we’re at the condo it will be late but I am PROMISED Dad has a number of flashlights and I am welcome to go frolic on the beach in the dark. He said to just watch out for crabs and poisonous jellyfish. Well, that’s not at all worrisome. I want to say hi to the Atlantic Ocean. I think it wants me to say hi to it. I mean, it’s been waiting for me to come back and see it since the last time I saw it which I think was 1995, so it’s probably been pretty bereft without me.
Then I will fall asleep in my room with the screen doors open so I can hear the ocean ALL NIGHT LONG. I know. It’s kind of the most exciting. Dad says I will not be able to sleep because that ocean is SO LOUD. He hates the sound of the ocean. That makes me laugh the hardest. I don’t understand why he keeps getting a condo on the beach if he hates the sound of the ocean so much. His complaint about the ocean? “IT NEVER STOPS.” I tried to explain that if it stopped, the world probably would, too, and we’d all be dead, but he didn’t seem to understand or appreciate my totally awesome logic. I will be able to sleep JUST FINE with the sound of the ocean. Because I sleep year-round with a fan on just for the white noise. I know, it would be smarter to have a white-noise machine. But I tried that and I didn’t like it. It bothered me. I am a weirdo.
Then I have a WHOLE WEEK ZOMG in Florida. There will be zoo-visiting. There will be flea-market visiting. There is the potential for a visit to some sort of turtle sanctuary. (I KNOW! This is a new thing that was just sprung on me recently. I’m very excited about the potential to see ALL THE RESCUED TURTLES.) There was the possibility of seeing Jim, which made me so excited I ALMOST died, but unfortunately Jim and I are two ships passing in the Florida night and will not be able to meet. See, Jim is going on a business trip to Florida while I’m in Florida, and there was the possibility his plane would come into the airport near my condo, but that was not the case after all. I told Dad about this potential scenario and he was all, “Oh, that’s nice,” and I said “Won’t that be fun? Jim’s totally an Amy’s Dad fan, he would love to meet you!” and Dad said “I AM NOT GOING. He’ll expect me to be FUNNY. I’m not a trained SEAL. I can’t perform on COMMAND. I’ll give you the car. You can go ALL BY YOURSELF. Don’t crash that car, I need it to get home.” However, he didn’t even once say that Jim might murder me, so I’m really pleased with this development. Apparently, Jim gets a pass from Dad on the “all internet people are spies, assassins, or psychokillers” thing. I’m pretty sure it’s because I told Dad that Jim’s a Republican. IMMEDIATE LOVE FOR ALL REPUBLICANS! That’s Dad for you. That’s ok. I think that Florida might sink from the awesome with both Jim and me in it at the same time ZOMG, so look out, Florida, the collective awesomeness in you this week might be mind-boggling, even if we don’t get to meet. Someday I WILL meet Jim and we will have the best of times so WATCH OUT MERKA.
Oh, also, apparently we’re going to every single happy hour in Florida to try every single margarita. I’m completely down with that. I’ll drink all the slushy drinks that the town has to offer. Oh, and eat all the seafood. And and AND, Dad found one bar that is on the water and apparently, while you are drinking the margaritas and eating the seafood, DOLPHINS SOMETIMES SWIM BY. I think that sounds like something that happens in a movie and will believe it when I see it.
So, there you have it. Yes, I promise to blog while I’m in Florida, complete with a ton of photos of me having adventures. I’m bringing the laptop. The TSA website says I can. I CHECKED. And also Dad knows that I need at least 2-3 hours a day for computer time. He calls that my “dealing with those weird internet people” time, which makes me laugh. He has also been informed I will be Tweeting while we visit places together. I have been told to inform you all “that kind of behavior is very rude and NO DAUGHTER OF MINE would have behaved like that BEFORE SHE MET ALL OF YOU.” I consider this a win for all of you, because it implies he believes you all exist. DING DING DING WIN WIN WIN. (Oh, side note, my dad was VERY CLEAR on the fact that I am NOT to take any photos of him for internet viewing. “I don’t want those people to see me,” he said. “Then they’ll be tracking me. And I can’t have that.” No, Dad, we can’t have that. They might see you go to the grocery store for soda, or the gas station for lotto tickets. OH THE HORROR.)
However, tomorrow’s blog might not be at the EXACT TIME YOU HAVE GROWN TO EXPECT IT. It might. And I’ll do my best. But I am not promising anything. I might be frolicking with the turtles, who knows, and it might be a little delayed.
Send “plane, please stay up in the air” thoughts, because, although a turbulence-filled flight would make for a very funny blog post, a fiery death by airline crash would not.
Here I go!