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car wash blues

12 October 2010

Rob has been singing a lot of Jim Croce to the children. In turn, they have been singing, mangling and mumbling a lot of Jim Croce. The trick, they tell me, is to not breathe. All in one breath – suddenly depressing, low-down mind messing working at the car wash blues. It really doesn’t matter if I have that right.

I am in post-vacation letdown. Six months of prep. Six days of vacation. And now, home. I am trying my hardest not to turn my brain into mush. I need to pick out, then create or buy Halloween costumes for Henry and me. And maybe Bella. Probably not Bella. She can be a cat (from Miranda’s stash) or a lion (from Henry’s stash) . Two is a feline sort of year. We are doing three outdoor activities for Halloween, I hope. I want a warm costume suitable for a 30-something mother. And somehow being an Eskimo’s honey just sounds like it might be a bit racist.

We had a great trip to Texas.  I am not sure if we would have ever visited Texas if we didn’t have friends there. So much America, so little vacation time and money. But seeing as we have gone and will go again, I like Texas. I like how it is big and proud of it. I like how it is in on the joke and yet, still the joke, to nearly any punchline you can imagine. My vowels get just a little longer and I enjoy being called “ma’am” and my children called “baby.” The food was good, even when we didn’t have Tex-Mex.

We visited Ft Worth, Waco, and Austin. Austin made me think of the grown up child of Madison and San Francisco. Still hippie, but bold and bright and business too. I am supremely bad at timing vacations – the kids had school and I thought they’d have a day off.  The Austin City Limits Festival was being held. Which would have been awesome if we didn’t have kids, had tickets and didn’t want to stay in a hotel. The breakfast tacos were very good. An army and a family of 5 travel on their stomachs. That and time at the swimming pool.

The closest we came to dying (the hallmark of some people’s scale of a good time) was the flight out. The plane went up. And then banked sharply over Lake Michigan as the cabin filled with smoke. The smoke then cleared and we headed back to the airport. No idea how bad it really was. Incredibly grateful the older children could not see either my or their father’s face. We deplaned. Waited a bit and got on a new plane. No news.

This trip used up our Midwest frequent flyer miles. The flight itself, except for the smoking part, was fine. The staff was kind. The ride was smooth. The baggage arrived. But the reservation process was a nightmare. Frontier changed our flight number and then our flight arrival time twice. I called, sat on hold, politely pleaded to keep our seats together. in June, July and August, with a “just checking” call in September.  We bought the seats in April. The plane was nearly empty until September. And it didn’t matter. The calls didn’t help. I had to use the great power of Twitter on Tuesday to have one seat changed so we could ride as two twosomes and one single seat in adjacent rows. My two phone calls for help did nothing. But the twitter person @flyfrontier had superior spatial reasoning and found a good solution for us. On the way home we had two seats together and three seats in three different rows. And the phone staff, even the gate agents on the flight out, couldn’t help us. We got the DFW ticket counter 3 hours early and the wonderful woman there did get us all in 1 row, with Rob behind us.

I suppose I could say all is well that ends well. But this is my internet soap box. It was aggravating and a huge hassle. I’ll certainly consider Frontier again, but it isn’t my #1 anymore. And so ends an era. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and be inspired for Halloween.

bon voyage, The Kids, This and That