I made the hotel and flight arrangements for our Lit Chick group (only three of us got to make it) which carries some responsibility. Being the bargain hunter I am, I found fares on a no-frills airline for about half the price of the others. Good? Well, not entirely. No-frills meant just that – you paid for everything – luggage, carry-ons, water, soft drinks. Peanuts couldn’t even be bought. We arrived early to be sure we weren’t snarled in traffic, and then waited for a delayed flight. After the 3 ½ hour delay, we finally boarded. Ready to fly? No. The agent chased me down three times to check my boarding pass, assuring me each time there was no problem. Then she came aboard and counted, and COUnted, and COUNTED. Again thinking we were ready to fly, a clean-up crew came aboard to clean seats two rows in front of me where someone was just SICK of the flight already.
Ah, now in the air and all is well. When we arrived, my large suit case appeared on the carousel promptly, but not so with my carry-on (which I chose to check). We waited until most of the bags had passed by when it appeared, zipper opened at top and bottom and contents spilling out. Nice people started grabbing my stuff and handing things to me, even my granny panties and bras (sized for the big and beautiful.) To my dread, I saw my bag of jewelry barely attached, bobbing up and down with my diamond bracelet in it. Finally, I grabbed it with great relief.
Things weren’t much better when we arrived. The promised hotel shuttle discontinued service at midnight, ten minutes before we got to the curb. After an expensive taxi ride to the well-known hotel chain where we had secured rooms, we noticed the furniture might have been in a shoot-out. I’m not sure about bed bugs.
Nonetheless, we eventually boarded the ship, after waiting in a long queue, to go to our bright spot – an upgraded veranda room. Things were looking up. My roommate Alice and I started unpacking our bulging suitcases and hanging things in the closet. There was such swaying; we were falling into each other. I, who can ride the most adventurous rides without motion sickness, started turning green. I lay down, pretending I was in a swinging hammock. After taking one of Alice’s motion sickness pills, I felt better and finally got my granny panties put away.
A pleasant cruise and great conference ensued. The entertainment was great and appealed to those who watch Dancing with the Stars (I don’t); the dining was elegant, featuring two formal nights. One night, a couple at our table, who mistakenly thought it was formal night, were dressed to the hilt. When the waiter delivered white wine to the lady, the ship surged with a monstrous wave. Standing behind the well-dressed, dignified man, the waiter had a glass of red wine to fall from the tray and spill all over the man. I would have felt sorry for him had it not infuriated him so. He said a few words foreign to my Baptist ears. All the while his sweet wife assured the scared, frozen waiter that it wasn’t his fault. As we all donated our napkins to soak up the mess, I laughed and laughed. “I’m sorry,” I told the drenched man.
“I would believe you if you weren’t laughing so,” he replied. Laughter is contagious. Eventually, after the head waiter assured him his clothes would be picked up at his suite and cleaned, the man laughed himself.
And the humor continued, but that may have to wait for another article. All-in-all, the trip was a delight. I even had an agent accept proposals for two of my future books. I resolve to remember and think on the good things we enjoyed on the trip and in life. “Laugh and the world laughs with you…”*
Philippians 4:8 KJV
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.