Flew Southwest to West Palm Beach. Not a quite direct flight, had a stop in Tampa, but I got to stay on the plane. I wound up in the very last row in the aisle seat with an older gentleman who looked troubled or just exhausted. Someone else decided to sit with us and it was a bit of a squeeze. The flight attendant, Robert, found the dude in the middle another seat, much to my thanks as his statement when he was made aware of the empty seat of, "Great. This sucks." was not something I found to be very pleasant. Believe me, I was not looking forward to five hours of sitting to the right. With him gone, the gentleman and I had room to breathe.
For about two and a half hours I got to listen to my audiobook, and that was pleasant. Had some hot tea and guy in my row was drinking vodka and Sprite. He had about five during the whole trip. Every now and then he would kind of throw his hands up a bit and shake his head. Something was definitely weighing on him. He finally had to use the restroom (this is the first flight I had ever been on where more than three people needed to use the bathroom. I wondered what they were putting in the drinks.)
When he came back, he wanted to chat. *sigh* So, I put aside my headphones and listened. He was on his way to see an old Marine buddy of his that was in Viet Nam with him. He hadn't seen him in 45 years. He told me about his wife of 43 years, his dog, his want of a puppy to train and take to assisted living places and children's wings of hospitals, his fall foliage cruise and his prostate surgery. He reminded me a bit of my grandfather and I felt sad that he was drinking so heavily and that his life seemed lonely but that he was making connections with old friends. Nice guy.
I was able to move closer to the front of the plane, which helped me to race off earlier than everyone else, so yay! I spent the rest of the flight with an old lady who did not want to chat (thank goodness) and just dozed a bit waiting to land. Got into West Palm Beach and was greeted with flowers, a latte and hugs. AND HUMIDITY. My goodness, I forgot how oppressive it was. By nightfall it was much better, but five in the afternoon was just horrid. And the traffic. *sigh* I am glad I left. I got out in time. Went to bingo at the Eagles hall and Heather and I won a combined $85 for our trip the next day.
We left at 7 a.m. and had breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then hit the road. We got into Ft. Myers about 11 a.m. and went to Big Lots to kill some time, then Target to get some drinks and snacks for the weekend and then the hotel. Awesome hotel. We had a two room suite. The living room and kitchen (full kitchen) were one room and the bedroom with 2 full beds. Woo! We fell in love with the place, didn't want to leave. We relaxed for a few hours and ordered a calzone and some appetizers from a local pizza place. Heather was entranced with the "pizza button" on the hotel phone. I was a bit impressed :) Then I got a mani and a pedi from Heather since she was training to be a nail tech. She did a great job. My feet look AWESOME. :)
Then we headed for a pre-wedding party, this was in lieu of a bachelor/ette party for the afianced couple. I got to see a few people I hadn't seen in a while and met a few new ones. That was very fun. :)
Saturday had lunch with Nikko and two friends she brought with her to the wedding. We raced to the trolley station where we were going to catch our ride to the wedding and saw the trolley pulling away. I felt like I was in a slow motion flick: *running away from explosion* NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! that sort of thing. Turns out, there was another trolley on the way. *sigh of relief* Then we got to see Bobbie and the bridal party. She looked gorgeous. Ankle length tank top style white dress with buttons all the way down the front and white embroidery. Very nice and casual. A crown of sunflowers in her hair, which had been curled and styled. A bouquet of sunflowers and a few other kinds, I didn't get a good look. And her braces were off for the week. Her teeth look fabulous! She looked beautiful. I was ready to cry right there. :)
We caught the trolley and headed to the wedding site. It was a grassy area with a palm tree lined brick walkway in the middle. A very pleasant view of the Gulf was ahead of us and the skies were blue and clear. I got to see Sarah and her fiance. He is very nice and friendly. Fits in well with the group. We approved. Saw Josh and his groomsmen. They were dressed in guayaberras, his was blue and they had green and all were in sunglasses. Typical Florida wedding :) Beautiful ceremony, Bobbie was escorted down the aisle by both her parents. Her mom was all weepy as was her dad. They exchanged their vows and this was my favorite line: With this ring I take thee as my best friend forever. (paraphrase, I was too busy weeping and snapping pictures)
No recessional, instead we mingled. We hopped back on the trolley and then began our trek up to Bobbie and Josh's house in Ft. Myers. The backyard was set up very nicely. Large tent in the backyard with the tables, open bar and some fruit and cheese in the center of the tent. I had a rum and coke and chatted with people and just hung out and fought gnats. We went inside for a bit to get away from the bugs and humidity and watched a few minutes of football. Food was announced and I had the best freaking blue crab casserole I have ever had in my life. OMIGOD. There was sushi (pass), pasta and caeser salad and a pork roast with a mustard that was just so good I wanted to weep. And then...cake!
Three layers: chocolate and hazelnut, white cake with fresh strawberries and carrot cake. mmmmm. The cake was beautiful, too. A coral color, with marzipan shells, sand dollars, starfish and seaweed. There was no traditional topper, just the marzipan shells and such. The layers were large squares set askew on one another. I, of course, didn't take a picture. I know, I suck.
Heather and I left about an hour or so after the cake was served. I was sapped from the heat and was tired of fighting bugs. We headed back to the hotel and watched tv in bed with the air cranked down to 68 and snuggled in for the night. I was asleep by 10:30.
We headed back to west palm the next morning and sadly left the hotel behind us. I had dinner with various family members at Cracker Barrel (a journey begins and ends there) and was happy to see everyone again. I got to see the twins again, too. They are so big now. They'll be 3 next month. I miss them so much.
Ft. Lauderdale airport was my destination Monday morning and I was quite the adventure getting there. Remind me to never fly America West again. So disorganized. Maybe it will get better now that they are under US Airways. We'll see.
All in all, a great trip, worth losing a job over.