The bad part about our flight being so delayed on the Monday we were supposed to fly back was that we were supposed to meet up with two of my cousins and my Aunt on my Dad’s side of the family in Tampa where they live.  We were to have about a 4 hour layover and I didn’t even know my cousin Chris and his two boys who I have never met were going to be there too until we told Holly we weren’t going to make it.  Once our flight got delayed, we tried to figure out our options.  The thing that sucked was that NO OTHER airline at the Key West airport was having any problems with “weather” and were flying all around us – one Delta flight even announced over the intercom “flight 582 – our plane got in a little early so we will start boarding in a few minutes” while someone sitting in our section yelled “I’ve been waiting six hour to leave!”

My Mom stood in line while I was on the phone with Silver airlines, only for me to be told that she couldn’t actually help me over the phone because we had already changed a flight at the gate, and we had to rectify the situation there.  What I did learn though was that if we were to fly into Ft. Myers like our first switch was, she told me that the next available flight out of there to Chicago wasn’t going to be until WEDNESDAY!  Fuck.  So when we saw that an actual plane was on the ground, going to Tampa, we jumped at the chance.  Sadly, by the time we got there and got our luggage it was nearly 7:30 p.m. – and the last flight out of Tampa to Chicago was at 6:40 so we were stranded for the night.  We stood in line for about 30 minutes trying to get a hotel voucher when I told my Mom “screw it” they had a Marriott at the airport and I told her lets just go there.

It was booked solid though.  So we ended up staying at another Marriott about 3 miles from the airport and after our reservation was made, I got the number to call for the shuttle and we finally sat down to eat.  We really just kind of snacked through the day so we were hangry!  That beer?  After we’d waited at the terminal for six hours, I finally said “I am getting a beer” only to find out after a few sips that we were finally boarding and I had to throw most of it away.   The burger and sweet potato fries were very good and that’s our sad faces finally being shuttled to our hotel at nearly 10:00 p.m.

PicMonkey Collage - tampa hotel 

The beds were super comfy, Momma was really tired and after just a few minutes in bed I saw her roll over and I said goodnight and she was down for the count.  Before we knew it, it was time to get up.  We still had meal vouchers and time before our 11:30 flight, so we got the shuttle back to the hotel and enjoyed a nice breakfast – Mom got French toast and I got the egg special.

PicMonkey Collage - bfast

We were still delayed by about 30 minutes due to weather across the midwest, but we finally made our plane! 

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And even though I was going from 82 degrees to 18 degrees, I still wore my sandals all the way home.

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So our final thoughts about Silver Airways:

  1. Not enough planes, so if one gets side tracked due to maintenance issues, it screws up the entire rest of the day
  2. Lack of communication – most of us found out information online WAY before any announcements were made
  3. They would finally say “we have a plane in the air coming in at so and so time. . .” only to have one customer refute that because he had an app on his phone that could track the planes on that airline and said there wasn’t a single one on its way to Key West
  4. So if you are going to Key West, fly Delta or U.S. air and there shouldn’t be any problems.

All in all though, it was a fabulous trip.  Since I went to my cousins Memorial in January and now this past trip to Key West, it’s the first time ever that I have seen my Aunt and cousin more than once in a year.  AND I am going to see them again in July when we go to my Aunt’s river house.  I think Hannah and Jacob enjoyed having the house to themselves for a week, but I know Jacob missed my food.

So I just had the first change since Tony died.  Obviously the biggest change was having Hannah and Jacob and their two dogs move in weeks after Tony’s death.  But other than that, I really haven’t changed a thing.  The laundry basket that had the last load of his laundry that is folded but not yet put away was still on my bedroom floor.  I haven’t changed any of his clothes in the closet.  His reading glasses are still on the bedside table and they are the last things I see before turning out the light.

I don’t know if you remember me talking about us having a “megabed” in our bedroom.  Tony got up a lot during the night and it was disrupting my sleep.  So after Hannah moved out, I moved her queen size bed into our room next to our King size bed.  I had to scrunch on and off the bed from the foot of the bed to get in and out.  And in the morning when I woke up, it was a good six rolls to get over to Tony’s side of the bed.  It was quite ridiculous and awesome at the same time.   Hannah and Jacob brought their bed with them, but their box spring was shot.  All they had on the floor was their mattress, and they were talking about saving money to get a new box spring.  Well, I suddenly realized that I really didn’t need the megabed anymore, and Tony’s side of the bed box spring was only five years old, so I told them this weekend that we could move out the bigger bed and they could have the box spring.

Knowing Hannah like I do, I knew that the change was going to be made by the time I got home last night.  Once she gets an idea in her head, there is really no stopping that young woman.  Now, don’t give me shit about the snowmen bed stuff, it makes me happy.  And it makes me happy to have the window open – Tony didn’t like the window open any time of year because he was always cold.  So some summer nights I wouldn’t have the central air on because Tony was cold, yet I’d be sweating balls on my side of the bed.  Also, that orange carpet is going soon as well as new paint on the walls.   I am actually thinking grey!

PicMonkey Collage - room

I love the action shots of Rummy jumping off the bed and running back into the room!  I was both happy and sad at the same time.  Happy because the kids did so much work, but sad that now it’s a bedroom for me and not us.  I can leave the window open, turn on the fan if I want and not have boob sweat anymore while I sleep.  But I’d give anything – including sweating off my balls – to hear Tony’s breath as he slept.   I miss that the first thing I did when I woke up every morning was to look over at his side of the bed and see if he was okay.  I miss calling him at 11:30 telling him I am about to go to the gym.  I miss calling him on my way home from work telling him I was stopping by the store to pick something up and to see if he needed anything.  I miss that he was always here.  Every.Single.Day for at least the past five years he was always home when I got home from work.

What I will miss most of all though – is coming home when it was nice out and have him waiting for me on our back patio.  Frank Sinatra would be playing in the background, and he’d have a tumbler of ice waiting for me and a bottle of wine ready to pour.  I’d drop my bags right there and lean in to kiss him, the smell and taste of his cigar lingering on my lips.  And as I pull away see the love in his eyes as he looked at me he would say “Welcome Home.”