NOTE: I had too much to write on last weekend’s trip to Florida so I have to break it down into a couple of parts
Last week at this time, I was getting ready for a trip to Florida. My nephew, Matt got married and we welcomed a wonderful addition to the family—the new Annabelle Wynne. And there’s just so much to tell you.
Yeah baby! I was leaving the cold and damp for the warmth, the heat and the sunshine of Florida!
I’ll start at my prep. You know, it’s been a pretty mild winter as far as temperature goes. There were not many below-freezing days—and that’s a good thing. However, in this Northeast climate, it’s been continuously damp and gray. And rainy.
Well, it’s not snowy but it is cold, gray and damp!
The thing about the dampness is that it cuts through to your bones. Even the warmest outwear just cannot compete with Mother Nature’ slack, moist hissy fits. It’s the lull after the holidays and before the warmer weather. That time when pajamas and cozy sweaters and the fuzziness of lined slippers and the snugness of a blanket is what you desire.
And let’s add a good book and a toasty fire to that visual!
You can just imagine how a trip, as short as it was, could be so welcomed. Leaving the north for the Sunshine State seemed like a dream. Sun and a family wedding—albeit a family wedding on a small scale. And it was going to be bittersweet as it was the to be the first time we were getting together since my brother’s passing.
The husbands stayed home—basically for work and financial reasons. And so, it would be a girl’s weekend of sorts. Me, my sister Germaine, my sister Theresa, my daughter Oona. All toute seule!
In order for me to prepare for this trip in the gifted climate, a spray tan was sorely needed to make my fish-belly white pallor come alive.
My legs were nicely sprayed, as was the rest of my body and this darkened as time went on..
As time was of the essence, being sprayed on Wednesday, the night before I traveled, was the only arrangement to fit my schedule. The challenge with that was I couldn’t shower for 24 hours. That meant waiting till I got to the hotel to rinse my heavenly body off.
And as anyone who spray tans knows, the tan is a bit………. dark before that initial rinse. It also smells. Yeah. It does. I’ll get to that later.
My bag was packed with only clothing conducive to warm weather. Since I pack light, there were no jeans. Just dresses—both casual and a dressier one for the wedding. In fact, the heaviest items in my carryon were shoes and makeup, along with wigs. The heaviest article of clothing was a filthy, dense, cotton dress that has evolved into a nightie of sorts. Too lazy to throw it into the laundry, the dried toothpaste had almost embroidered itself into the thing that is now bed wear.
I fit everything into my carryon. And I brought an old purse that fits just about everything but the kitchen sink!
You think I’m kidding about the filthy nightie? I circled the toothpaste stains so you could see what a slob I truly am!
Also packed were my favorite sleeveless green dress from Old Navy, a Lilly Pulitzer Wynne Maxi dress. The sleeveless and body-hugging dress that I wore to Oona’s wedding rehearsal dinner in July was the dress I packed to wear to the wedding.
Bonaparte balked at my packing this dress because he felt it might not have been warm enough to wear it–even in Florida. We’ll get to that in Part Two! BTW, I’ve had this $10 for four years now and it is still holding up beautifully. Old Navy created a winner with this one! This photo is four years old!
My Wynne Maxi Dress from Lilly Pulitzer was packed for the get-together the night before the wedding. How could I go to Florida and leave Lilly behind?
The dress I wore to Oona’s rehearsal dinner would be worn to Matt and Bella’s wedding. Halleluhyer it stil fits!
The shoes? Gold wedge sandals from Lilly Pulitzer (that remained unworn as did the maxi dress), Rondini Tropezienne sandals and black heels.
The gold jewels from Poshmark would adorn my feet when I wore the Maxi dress!
And summer sandals for “summer” weather…
And the pointy-toed shoes to pair with the dress for the wedding. If you are detail-oriented you will see these are Ivanka Trump shoes. They were purchased PRIOR to those people going into politics. And I don’t throw money away so I’m still wearing them. I know, its the only bi-partisian action I’ll take for now.
No winter coat for me. No siree. It was a light denim jacket!
My outfit of choice for traveling out of the chillier weather was a black, short sleeved dress and over it, my favorite lighter denim jacket. Much to the chagrin of Bonaparte, who insisted that I bring a heavier coat, I paid no attention to his pleading because I was going to where the sun shines and the heat hits my body.
My travel outfit of choice. Another great jersey dress from Old Navy, my Kut From the Kloth denim jacket and comfy ballet flats from J. Crew of years ago. I’m wearing Gabor Wigs Soft and Subtle on my head. It kept me warm while looking great!
This dress. I loved it so much I ordered a backup. It’s so versatile! I wore it to and from Florida and then some!
The other benefit of a spray tan is you need less makeup!
And on my feet, I wore an old pair of J. Crew ballet flats. I also took with me an old J Crew Brompton bag. It was heavy enough to carry a plethora of shit but nice enough to not look as though I was the original bag lady.
J. Crew doesn’t make shoes like this anymore. These are years old and were made in Italy. I think J. Crew needs to revisit their shoes! Seriously comfortable this was the greatest pair of travel shoes!
Now, you must understand that the thought process for my travel wardrobe was twofold. First, I was getting out of the friggin’ dampness of Philly and headed to the warm climate of Florida.
Secondly, clothing made to literally shove into a weekender without wrinkling was key. I needed more room for shoes, and makeup, and fake hair!
My bags were packed and ready to go..
My biggest challenge was what hair to pack? Bonaparte helped me in my choices!
With boarding pass installed on my iPhone, I was ready to head to the office for a few hours (God forbid I could take an entire day off. I can’t even negotiate for extra time off on this job) before Bonaparte picked me up to drive me to the airport.
Are you familiar with Philadelphia International Airport? I am. It is not my favorite by any means. Driving through the very narrow expanse of road that leads you through the terminals is a slalom course that would be safer on skis rather than automobile. And the exterior of the terminals is fugly and trashy looking.
Don’t even get me started on the signage either.
Lucky for me, I have TSA pre-check and going through the checkpoints was a breeze.
My boarding pass on my phone (which makes me love technology so much) and being TSA pre-checked, I was on my merry way.
Mobile Boarding Pass = Best invention ever!
At this point, I was dreaming about devouring a Philly Soft Pretzel. Did you know that Philadelphia is known, not only for the city’s cheesesteaks, but for those marvelously salted and soft-as-a pillow pretzels? And when they are warm, they are heavenly. Note—this is all I wanted.
This is all I wanted. And I went through the terminal in search of one. Just. One. I ended up with a quesadilla and M & M’s instead!
The terminals have been renovated. This means a plethora of new fast-food stands and bars for those who need a few drinks before taking flight. There was not a pretzel vendor to be found. There was no Philadelphia Soft Pretzel Stand. I was not hungry anymore but I was rather hangry—that emotional cross between hungry and angry. I wanted a goddam pretzel and ended up settling for a plain quesadilla and a bag of peanut M & M’s.
I shrugged my disappointment off as best as I could and settled into a seat with an outlet. At the least I could plug my phone in and get connected to my Candy Crush addiction. It was early enough so that I had some space before the crowd of travelers for the flight arrived.
I’m on Level 1275. I should be ashamed but I’m not. This soothes me!
And then it happened. A self-important young woman sat her fat ass down next to mine. And she took her cell phone out and had a VERY LOUD, self-important, narcissistic conversation with a work peer. I had to listen to her speaking about the latest business project. I had to listen to her talk down to another worker. I had to suffer through her being seemingly outstanding in her own field—or private Idaho. Now-please understand something. I despise listening to others’ conversations.
Important only to yourself!
As loud as I am, I do NOT hold phone conversations in pubic unless it is an absolute emergency. I like my conversations to be private and I feel that others should follow suit. I do not, and allow me to repeat. I do not want to listen to a stranger’s conversation—and I don’t want to listen to the conversations of people I know.
No you are not. Stop being self-important!
My only action of combat was to get my cell phone out, head to my Spotify app and click on James Brown’s “Sex Machine” louder than this one next to me spoke. After five minutes she finally got the hint and huffed off to another seat.
Spotify. James Brown. Sex Machine. Loud. My Revenge and it worked like a charm!
It is a strong suggestion that airports install phone booths. Like the old-school phone booths but without the phones. It would be such a pleasure to free me of all the self-indulgent people who feel their conversations should be broadcast for all to hear.
Bonaparte made the plane reservations because I can’t be bothered and he goes for the frugal seats. I was stuck center seat in between two women. And I found myself apologizing profusely over the stench of my spray tan. It really smelled bad. Add to the fact I hadn’t showered in over 24 hours—I was a Petri dish of bacteria and stench. I felt sorry for them—you would think one of them would have moved and given me more space to stink up row by myself but it was a full flight!
But the great thing is that I was seated in the back of the plane. And in Group 5. This means I was able to get my bag in the overhead before the remaining passengers got on. And there were some ticked off travelers because there was no room.
This is a photo of an overhead on an empty flight. Why does everyone have to travel with a carryon, a packpack, a tote bag AND a plastic bag? It’s because the airlines now charge to check luggage. Greedy bastids.
Upon arrival in Tampa, I had a few minutes before meeting my son, Roman, who was flying in from New York. Timing was perfect as we landed within twenty minutes of each other. A friend of my brother’s family was picking us up and dropping us off at my brother’s house.
From there, my two sisters met up and drove to a hotel near to my brothers. Roman stayed behind at my brother’s house to hang with my nephews and other privileged members. Seriously. My sister-in-law, Beth, had the assistance of my other sister-in-law, Yanela, who was busy making the cake for the wedding.
I figured out the reason they didn’t want me at the house was either due to my liberal politics or my annoying personality.
Back at the hotel, my sisters and I gabbed about very important stuff-like the Royal family and Renee Zellweger’s bizarre Oscar acceptance speech. Whatever the topic of conversation was, we were up gabbing until well after one in the morning.
Nuthin’ like a good night of talkin’ trash and gossip with your sisters! Oh those Royals!
And with that, the lights went out, we fell asleep and for one fleeting moment, I felt as though I entered a time tunnel and was back in the home we grew up in.
Sweet dreams. Stay tuned for Part Two!
See you for Part Two!