Every year, for the past three years, my BFF, Karen and I go on a girlfriend’s getaway to Mexico. While we haven’t always had great weather, we have always had a great time. We were booked to go again this year for the last week in January. It had been seven long months since I had been there and I was really jonesing for some Grand time.
Right after Thanksgiving one of Karen’s dogs, a white basset hound with blue eyes named Paul Newman, was diagnosed with lymphoma. He was receiving chemotherapy weekly and will until May. I had a suspicion that Karen would cancel. I was not canceling, so I told Zung that either he was going with me or I was going by myself. He is a Frontier Summit member, so he can change his flights without any penalty. He went ahead and booked a seat and if Karen went, he would just change it to our next trip together. As it turned out, she did cancel and my girlfriend’s getaway had turned into a couples trip.
I didn’t have to twist his arm, but he did let me know he would have to do some work while he was there. He is starting a business and we had just taken a vacation to San Francisco/Napa that we had returned from a mere 2 1/2 weeks before (to be blogged at a later date). We were glad that the Grand had installed wi-fi throughout the resort since we had last been there in June.
I started graduate school in October and the semester runs from October to the end of March (although I am now done with all the work in both classes I am taking). I was trying to work ahead as much as I could to minimize how much time I would have to spend on schoolwork while I was in Mexico. It is all online, so working from Mexico would not be a problem.
I was very busy with schoolwork the week and a half before we left. We were leaving on a Thursday and I had a paper due the following Sunday, so I was working on the paper constantly. I was also having a conflict with one of my professors and was rethinking the whole school thing. I got the paper done and submitted and, for the time being, am forging ahead with school. Assinine, incompetent professors be damned!
I had gotten my pre-vacation pedicure the weekend before. My fingernails were a mess. They had gotten thin and as a result were super short from constant Shellac manicures so I was going to do the stick-on fake nail thing. Three days before our day of departure we had new carpeting installed throughout our house. You have to pack up just about everything and take all the pictures off the walls so they don’t fall off with all the banging that apparently occurs when carpeting is installed. We were now unpacking and putting pictures back up. I was getting new homeowner’s and auto insurance. I worked Wednesday.
I was one busy chica! When I got home Wednesday evening I had not even started to pack. I made dinner and got power-packed and went to bed early. Snow was predicted in the morning so the plan was to leave extra early.
I was taking the beast for my luggage. This is probably the beast’s last trip. The beast is just too heavy, 15# empty.This is the beast on another trip.
I bought the beast when Zung and I did our vow renewal for our 30th and I wanted a large suitcase that I could fold the dress in half to minimize wrinkling. It worked perfectly for that. But I was seduced by it’s cavernous interior and was hooked.
It is Thursday morning. We are standing in our foyer and Zung is weighing the beast. It is over the 50# limit. This happens every trip and my love affair with the beast comes to an abrupt end. Zunge says, let’s just take another bag. A carry-on. I refuse and open the beast and transfer a pair of shoes to Zung’s bag. I take out another pair of shoes (Sob!) and my hairdryer and leave them. The beast is now under the 50# limit, but I vow then and there that it will be replaced with something ultralite.
We pack the car. It is snowing and I am dressed for the weather. I have on a down coat and shearling lined boots. I have a leather jacket and sandals to change into when we park at the airport.
This is our house as we are driving away.
It is so cold! Because of the snow and rush hour, traffic is very slow initially. We eventually arrive at Denver International Airport. We park in the parking garage. We have done this a few times when our parking was reimbursed and now we are spoiled. But there is no way we are going to hike through the snow and ice in long term parking outside. Especially not in sandals!
Zung’s Summit status lets us go in the short line to check in and security. We have plenty of time for our ritual pre-vacation breakfast at Chef Jimmy’s (which Zung called Jimmy Choo’s last night – as in, are we going to eat at Jimmy Choos?). Zung has coffee and an omelet.
I have Eggs Benedict.
And if you’ve ever read my trip reports before, then you know that breakfast at Chef Jimmy’s means the official start to vacation with a Royal Mimosa (or two).
Let the vacation begin!