We went to Florida last month for a week at Christmas.
All I really want for Christmas is everything on my list.
Nancy’s family couldn’t wait to see the Dashes again so we took Peace the Puppy with us as a cuteness diversion in case they had forgotten how moody teenage girls can be.
Peace thoroughly enjoyed the flight to Ft. Myers curled up asleep in
his Sherpa carrier my lap. Thankfully it was so early that the flight attendants were too tired to notice. Or perhaps they were just glad he wasn’t a therapy peacock.
Nancy’s mom picked us up at the airport but we had so much luggage with us that she could only take one person back with her. So Peace and I hopped in and left Nancy and the Dashes to fend for themselves with an Uber.
Nancy’s parents’ home is located along Florida’s Gulf Coast in Miromar Lakes which is basically a 5-star resort where people live full time. Which means my plans for the week consisted entirely of sleeping til noon then lounging by the pool with cocktails for the rest of the day.
That is until Jeanne discovered Bloody Mary mix in the pantry and we realized we can sleep when we’re dead because the early bird gets
the worm Bloody Marys to start the day.
After a few days, however, the teenage family members had maxed out their aspirational selfies and decided they needed to go shopping for new outfits so I could take pictures of them at the beach.
And that’s how I ended up buying a dog stroller for Peace the Puppy.
Related: Before you judge me you should know that I’ve already judged myself for you and just in case you’re still thinking about it rest assured that Nancy is still judging me.
Also related: But it’s completely ok because IT CAME WITH A TRAY THAT HOLDS TWO COCKTAILS and now I’m questioning why I didn’t get one sooner.
So we took the stroller shopping and to the beach for pictures and for a walk down to the bocce ball courts that I assume all Italians have in their neighborhoods and to the beach grill bar because Peace likes to socialize at happy hour.
My biggest accomplishment this week.
Our flight home was canceled and rescheduled due to Mercury retrograde so now instead of flying home through Atlanta we had to go through Chicago O’Hare.
For those unfamiliar with O’Hare during the holidays there’s pretty much a 143% chance that you’ll have to walk at least 93 miles to your next gate through a crowd with more people than Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
But I wasn’t phased in the least because I had a dog stroller for Peace the Puppy and everyone knows you can gate check strollers.
Except apparently American Airlines has a vague rule in small print on page 489 of the official Ticket Agent’s Handbook and I happened to get the agent who was hall monitor in middle school.
Agent: **Peers over her glasses** Do you want to check your stroller all the way through to OKC?
Me: No, I want it in Chicago. We have a 3 hour layover.
Agent: Ok, you can check it at the gate and they’ll have it for you when you get off the plane in Chicago. **As she finishes tagging the luggage she notices Peace napping in the stroller.** Is that a pet stroller? You can’t gate check a pet stroller. You’re going to have to check that all the way through to your final destination.
Me: But it’s a stroller. And I need it in Chicago so I need to gate check it.
Agent: You can’t gate check pet strollers, you can only gate check baby strollers.
Me: It’s the same thing. In fact, it’s actually smaller than a baby umbrella stroller.
Agent: It doesn’t matter. You can’t gate check a pet stroller.
10 minutes late I was no closer to changing her mind but at least I could keep the stroller with me until we boarded the plane because the Gate Agent could tag it all the way through to our final destination for us.
We got through security without having to strip down to our underwear and after thanking the TSA agents for working without pay during the busiest time of year I started googling why you can’t gate check pet strollers.
As it turns out it’s not a hard and fast rule for any airline and I found numerous examples of people who had been doing it for years, especially on American Airlines. One woman even posted pictures of the stroller she recommended that she used every month when she flew to visit her mother in California and it was the exact same cocktail stroller I had.
Which just goes to prove my point that the Ticket Agent was probably a Nazi.
Not about to give up I decided to pretend it was a baby stroller once we got to the gate. Except that I had to have Nancy take it up to the Gate Agent because the Ticket Agent had written ‘PET FEE PAID’ in large red letters across the front of my boarding pass which I thought might give it away.
She smartly chose to approach the male Gate Agent off to the side while I hid Peace behind the Dashes and leaned closer to the woman behind me who was holding an actual baby in case he looked over my way. Success! He was more than happy to gate check the stroller and promptly tagged it and took it away without ever checking her ticket.
With that done we all went back to crowding around the only working outlet in the entire airport to finish charging our phones so we didn’t have to talk to each other on the flight.
Just as they were about to begin the boarding process, however, the female Gate Agent’s voice comes booming through the PA system, “Passenger BASFORD please report to Gate D5!”
Though she didn’t include my first name the tone in her voice made it clear she meant me and not one of the Dashes. I left Peace with Nancy and innocently walked up to the counter.
Annoyed Female Gate Agent: According to the system you’re checking a pet stroller, is that correct?
Me: **WTF - the Nazi put a note in the system for the Gate Agent?!? Ok, play dumb.** Yes, I checked a pet stroller that’s correct.
AFGA: **Raises eyebrows.** You checked a pet stroller? You mean you checked it already?
AFGA: Where did you check it?
Me: **I decide to stall to try and buy some time to figure this out.** Here. At the airport.
AFGA: **Looks at me trying to figure out if I’m an idiot or an asshole.** Yes I know that, but where at the airport? Was it here at the gate or was it at the ticket counter?
Me: **Shit… think… THINK!** I don’t remember.
AFGA: **By now assumes I am both an idiot AND an asshole.** You don’t remember where you checked the stroller? Was it right here **points to the counter where we’re standing** or was it back at the ticket counter where you check your luggage?
Me: **I nonchalantly wave my hand in a random direction to avoid flat out lying.** I think it was earlier back there. But it’s all taken care of, so there’s no need to worry about it.
AFGA: Yes but I need to know where you checked the stroller. I can’t find it in my system anywhere. **Her eyes are now squinting at her screen and something tells me she might actually hold up this flight for a fucking dog stroller.**
Random Woman Behind Me: **Suddenly stepping up to the counter and leaning in to the Gate Agent.** Listen, it's obvious she checked it at the Ticket Counter but either way this isn't an actual problem. On the other hand, you’ve got a whole line of people back here with real problems so how about doing your damn job so we can get on with our lives?!?
And that’s how I met my new friend Hollie.
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Text Door Neighbor
A person whose phone number is one digit off from yours. Try texting them now - it’s a great way to make new friends (or enemies).
Hang up one of these really big coloring posters on your wall and then unplug your WiFi. It’s a great way to force family bonding time (and you can always blame the outage on your internet provider until you’re sick of everyone).
Monthly Subscription Box
The Mysterious Package Company
For those with a love of the weird and macabre. Also makes a great gift for friends who are easily disturbed that you want to scare into an early grave.
You can order each sticker in a variety of sizes, making it super easy to customize your laptop or anything else that needs some personalization in your life.
Drunk Stoned or Stupid
Looking for something new for game night with the kids? This isn’t it.
Which means it’s probably perfect for your next office party (assuming your division is the company’s HR nightmare).
Bow and Drape
Customize your own shirts, jackets, bags, hats, and more. Obnoxious tongue-in-cheek phrases are highly encouraged.
January’s creative brief from our favorite community that supports independent artists and creatives around the world.
Travel guides that take you off the beaten paths to interesting secret spots, design destinations, and the places to be.
Blue Miromar Martini
Best sipped at the Blue Water Beach Grill.
- 1 oz. Malibu coconut rum
- 1 oz. Blue Curacao
- 1 oz. Peach Schnapps
- 1 oz. white rum
- Splash of pineapple juice
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the Malibu, Blue Curacao, Peach Schnapps, and white rum. Give it a good shake for 15-20 seconds and strain into a chilled martini glass with a cherry in the bottom for garnish. Top with a splash or two of pineapple juice.
- You don’t actually bite down on anything. You bite up.
- Technically any mirror you purchase at a store is in used condition.
- Parallel parking is 1000 times harder when people are watching.
- When you smile you are showing as much of your skeleton as possible without injuring yourself.
- If you find the perfect hiding spot, then you never found the perfect hiding spot.
- The year 2021 will have a lot of ‘hindsight is 20/20’ jokes.