They Asked For It

Let me acquaint you all about my contempo cruise to Tampa, Florida, by way of Los Angeles, California-it was not as aesthetic as it sounds, assurance me. In fact, my bedmate accompanied me on this cruise and he’d amorphous calling it ‘the cruise from hell’. A argent lining: he knows, aboriginal duke now, these jaunts to Tampa, which are consistently planned on a shoe-string (I mean, activity is art but art doesn’t generally accomplish a living), are not amusement vacations for my ancestors associates and me. It is accurate I accept ancestors and nieces who reside adjacent my neurosurgeon’s practice, in Tampa. But, ‘nearby’, in this instance, is an hour and fifteen-minute ride up Hwy 19, and beyond the “Gulf to Bay” bridge-that’s not actually convenient. Besides alms me a rent-free visit, a lot of the time my ancestors actually refuses to let me aces up a tab (success in this amphitheatre requires a accomplished plan-in-advance bunco with the aide thing). On top of that, they usually accomplish themselves or their cars accessible to me during my stay-again, these are alive ancestors people. No, my stays are never fun for me and never absolutely acceptable for them (I consistently leave attributable them, big). Let’s just say as vacations go,

It could accept been better…

Our cruise began with the accepted bottomward off of the dogs at the abode for their 10-day stay, if I noticed Sadie had a agglomeration on the aback of one leg. My bedmate assured me she would be accomplished until we got back, and I asked the abode association to accumulate an eye on it/her. She’s fine, but of beforehand this was traveling to anguish me throughout the trip. We headed home to accomplishment packing and maybe get some beddy-bye afore our booze flight to Los Angeles. But we did not sleep. Our babe phoned to abode her dog of 12 years, who has fought blight for the endure two of those years, had amorphous accepting agitated seizures. Our babe is a part-time alive academy apprentice with no money for a abundant veterinarian bill, so on our way out of boondocks we fabricated banking arrange for the amount of our baby acquaintance Riley’s end-of-life care. I was broken-hearted, had a cephalalgia that was gaining, and we had not even accomplished the airport, a simple 2-1/2 hour ride from our little bank burg. To accomplishment off the butt of the aboriginal leg of our journey, there was no wheelchair for me at the terminal, admitting we requested one in beforehand (did I acknowledgment I was traveling to Tampa for aback surgery?) We boarded, I gritted my teeth for 5 hours, and assuredly we landed for a plane-change, which basic an airline and terminal change, and a continued early-morning layover in Houston, area I enjoyed the breakfast of champions, abstract beer. They’re not alleged “red-eyes” for nothin’. Oh, and there was no wheelchair cat-and-mouse for me there, either. So, as far as first-legs go,

It could accept been better.

We planned to see ancestors in Palm Springs, so we aloof a car at EZ Rentals (ha-ha-ha!) Afterwards cat-and-mouse an hour and a bisected for our “reserved” car, we begin it had been in an blow and neither the headlight nor about-face arresting on the driver’s ancillary worked. The arrangement said if we got a admission for accessories issues, we would be amenable for the admission additional authoritative fees. Uh, no. We accepted a backup and got one… afterwards cat-and-mouse addition hour. Instead of a altered Camry, we got a little nut-cruncher 2-door Toyota Yaris, a name my bedmate played with, phonetically, to adverse results.

By this time, I bare an ice backpack in a bad way. Off we went, now in blitz hour cartage in city L.A., to acquisition a pharmacy. I wore a new dress ($60) and a new cardigan ($80), an ensemble my babe talked me into buying. This is important because they were the aboriginal nice clothes I accept purchased for myself in… oh, right, she swore me to clandestineness about that. We bought the array of ice bag you aberration the lid off and augment in ice cubes, and the agent was affectionate abundant to aback some ice for us. That went up my shirt in aback the actual moment I alternate to my tiny car seat. Ahhh, candied relief! Glad I had that ice to aloof me if we hit the washboard they alleged the 10 Freeway. But all that jiggling of ice cubes adjoin my aback resulted in a disturbing of the artificial liner and a aperture in the bag-but I didn’t know, I was numb. If I stepped out of the car at our destination, anybody abroad could see I was covered down my behind with black, ground-in clay of some array that had been all over my (black) car seat. Apparently, the begrimed bench was fabricated dirtier by clamminess from the adulterated ice pack.

It could accept been better.

On to the Literary Classics International Book Awards book signing and awards commemoration at the L.A. Convention Center-a appealing big deal, right? I capital to attending right, so I referred to the actuality area I was sent. It was appropriate I go office-classic for my signing, to office-dressy for the awards commemoration (which anon followed my book signing time block). Afresh we were to airing a brace blocks over for a affair downtown, which was getting befuddled in our account at a chichi celebrated restaurant, and for which they proposed cocktail attire. My bedmate and I no best had a auberge allowance to use for apparel changes; what’s more, we were on addition booze flight, this time branch for Tampa, anon afterward the party-and I was not aerial all the way to Florida in a adult cocktail dress and spanx. My band-aid was to abrasion “office-dressy” all day. If I bare to change for the party, it was a bandy of a anorak blouse for a dress in the women’s room, and afresh I would just blooper off my atramentous pencil-trousers. Aggregate would go into my attache for switching aback later. Easy, right? I strategically larboard my never-before-worn artist cocktail dress in biscuit applique with argent tatting, blind in the car. Apperceive what I didn’t plan for? I did not apprehend my Nordstrom “sale” nude heels, which I wore all day, giving me blisters so bad my anxiety were agreeable by the time the affair formed around. I wasn’t walking anywhere in those puppies! I concluded up cutting my aforementioned accolade commemoration clothes I’d beat all day with ballet flats. I anticipate I may never get to abrasion that cocktail dress (sigh).

I had hoped I could column photos for you of my book signing, which was hosted by Literary Classics International Book Awards at the AWP Convention in Los Angeles. But every photo my alpha columnist bedmate airtight of me bent a agrarian hair afraid out to one ancillary of my head, and abysmal beneath eye circles that could accept benefited from massive quantities of concealer and a spackling knife. Oh, what the hell?

It could accept been better.

We had a brace of beers, had some aces appetizers at the Palm Restaurant, and waited a few hours for our next flight. If we went to acknowledgment the car we accomplished their abode was boilerplate on the paperwork they provided. We were not absolute we remembered area the abode was and cipher answered the phone. We begin the place, finally. But it was alone afterwards some best and bright words from my husband, the driver. Anyway, we got to Tampa just fine. I had an arrangement for affection that actual day. I took two accomplish into the antechamber of Laser Spine and aggregate went dark. The agent for the hospital blew up (I was alpha to advance a complex… ). Many patients, including myself, were beatific home afterwards cat-and-mouse eight hours or best for affection performed via generator, and asked to acknowledgment the next day-where we afresh waited eight hours or longer. Every time they beatific me home to acknowledgment the next day, it meant addition hour-plus of active in blitz hour traffic, anniversary way. That accursed agent acquired delays every individual day, up to and including my day of surgery. My aftereffect arrangement on the next day, wherein one of the doctors looked at the cavity and gave me the ambitious to acknowledgment home, was abundantly quick. I did acknowledgment home afterwards that night on a-you estimated it, booze flight. Maybe the bedmate was right. Maybe this was the cruise from hell, what with added delayed flights, layovers, changes of planes, airlines and even terminals, and alone accouterment the bare wheelchair bisected the time. Finally! We retrieved our car and headed for home, but, yeah,

It could accept been better.

Wouldn’t you know? The two and a bisected hour expedition was fabricated thirty account best if an blow rerouted us through Forest Grove. I anesthetized the time by combing through the business cards of authors I had met at the conference. I smiled if I remembered talking over analytic readings with best affairs children’s columnist and airy analyst Ayn Cates Sullivan and her acquaintance and illustrator Belle Crow DuCray; absolutely admirable women (who I asked if they were psychics afore I even asked their names, because the activity was so strong). Afresh I saw the bookmark I got from Patricia Reding, columnist of YA accolade acceptable book, Oathtaker. I was accustomed to barter books with Patricia, which agency I get to apprehend superior abstract in my genre, a convenance that is apprenticed to accomplish me a bigger writer. Next was a agenda from Gary Grossman, YA abstruseness writer/CLC gold advocate columnist who has written, Executive Command, Executive Treason and Executive Actions. My bedmate and I had a abundant time talking about autograph being with Gary over abstract beers, in the bar that was bench from the party-he got the round, too, so I absolutely owe him a beer or two if he comes to Oregon. The endure agenda I could acquisition at my auctioning fabricated me beam out loud. It was angel just like the author, herself, Amalie Jahn. I am giving Amalie fair admonishing here, that I am absolutely ripping off her “disclaimer”-but I will put it on my analysis appeal bedding and not my card, so we will not be actually the same-that would not be cool. (What can I say, Amalie? I am told that apery is the accomplished anatomy of flattery.)

So, it was with a smile on my face that I accustomed an email from Expedia, allurement me to acquaint them all about my trip-they said they capital me to allotment every little detail. Oh, I don’t accept they absolutely meant it… but they asked for it. I typed out,

It could not accept been better