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Vacation's All I Ever Wanted

When I last left you, I wrote about how I was apprehensive about leaving the house to go on vacation. I did such a great job on that story that 99% of you thought the story was about me being afraid to fly. It wasn't, but I'll try to do better today.

The vacation gods, working overtime to make my trip impossible, went all out before I even left the house. The night before I was to leave on a 5:30 AM flight, the air conditioner in our house decided to stop working around 7PM. Within ninety minutes the house had reached a comfortable 89 degrees and when I saw the dogs walking around panting I knew we needed fast action.

I called our local Best Western in Palm Desert and they were gracious enough to get me a double queen bed room, on the first floor, with a handicap bathroom. We packed up the two dogs, Linda's mom and Linda and off we went on an adventure. I got everyone settled in and headed back to the house to stay in our third bedroom that has a through the wall A/C.

I had the home warranty company working on someone to come out the next day and I also called my AC guy and made arrangements for him to come by first thing in the morning just in case.

Linda insisted that I go on my trip even though I offered to stay and cancel it. I picked her up at the hotel at O dark hundred and off I went. When I finally arrived in Ohio I checked with her and was happy to hear they had come out and replaced the blower and all was back in working order. What a relief and it only cost me $85 for the service call, and $145 for the hotel room for two humans and two dogs including tax.

I haven't even had a beer yet on my trip and I'm already down $230. But wait there's more!

The following day I checked in with Linda to make sure the AC is still working and she tells me that as she was returning from the store the check engine light came on, so she drives to the tire store, where we get the car worked on, and the mechanic tells her that the car is out of oil, needs three spark plugs, and the brakes are gone. $800 later they insist all is right with the car.

If you are keeping score at home that brings the total spent to allow me to go on vacation, so far, to $1030. American dollars. But there is still more to this part of the story.

As Linda was walking into the tire store she was welcomed with a little "hello" present as you can see depicted in the far right picture above. That's right, a bird crapped on her shoulder. Just another way for the vacation god's to let us know we will not be enjoying any time off.

Meanwhile, back in Ohio on Buckeye Lake, things are going swimmingly. Steve and Jenny Romine, and me, are enjoying a few peaceful days of cruising the lake. There are virtually no other boaters out during the week so the lake is as smooth as glass and the sun is shinning.

We are participating in our favorite pastime, riding in the boat, stopping to pee, and refilling our bladders with more alcohol. If you've never done this I highly recommend it as a great way to pass the time on a summer day.

A few of my favorite places on the lake include, but are not limited to because I do not want to make any of the owners mad, Papa Boo's upper left, Buckeye Lake Winery bottom left, The Island House center, The Boat Yard upper right, and the The Copper Penny bottom right.

There are about a half dozen more places, all great, and all places I am happy to drop anchor to visit. The Island House, Copper Penny, and Papa Boo's, all hold long time memories for me as I have been visiting these establishments for many years. Sometimes more sober than other times but a pleasant experience each time nonetheless.

Friday we went golfing with Dave Purdy and Bob Bradford joining us, and then back to the lake for more boating and bar hopping. It was an exceptional day of fun and friendship. Steve, Dave, and me, all agreed that at this stage of our lives we are much better at boating and drinking than we are at golfing, and we are OK with that.

Saturday I ended my trip with a nice drive in the greater Columbus countryside with the Romines and we ended the morning with a wonderful lunch in downtown Lancaster. It was a pretty special trip with some pretty special friends.

Of course the vacation gods were not going to let me end on a happy note so they got back at it as I headed back home.

In their infinite wisdom, United decided that it made all the sense in the world to schedule a thirty-five minute connection in Denver, an airport known for their on time performance and lack of weather delays.

After taking off on time from Columbus we hit storms immediately and were diverted around them which added about fifteen minutes to the flight time. Staring at a short window to begin with in Denver I was not holding much hope of making my connection back to Palm Springs.

On a plane of around 200 passengers, at least 100 had the same issue as me, a short connection window. We landed five minutes late and then sat on the tarmac for 25 minutes waiting for a plane to leave our gate.

We were going to go to gate A77 in Denver and I needed to get to gate B92. If you look at a map of the Denver airport, or read the text United sent me, it was a short walk, escalator, train, escalator, walk, escalator, walk, of 29 minutes from gate to gate. With boarding starting in seventeen minutes it did not look good for me.

Finally, United decided to park us at gate B55 which gave me a chance, if only someone had told the gate agents at B55 we were coming so they could get the gate to the plane so we could get off. Luckily I was able to bring all my luggage on board, so I grabbed it, and thanks to the nice people on the plane who followed direction and stayed seated, I was able to Hertz commercial it down to gate B92 just in time to throw my bag to the ground handler and race to my seat.

I arrived in PS to a shortage of staff on the ground so all luggage was sent to baggage claim where the fifty of us on the plane waited ten minutes for it to arrive. I called Linda at the cell phone lot and she came right over to get me and then told me the check engine light was back on and the car was doing the same thing it was doing before we spent $800 to fix it.

Today the car was fine so I'll hold my breath and hope for the best. My sister and brother in law are in town and we will see them tonight so that will be fun and then I will need a few days to decompress from my trip.

Thanks to the Romines for putting up with me and I can't wait for my next adventure.

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