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Friday, October 8, 2010

It's a dry heat, part one

How about you and I hop in the not-so-way back machine for a little rambling and ranting?

Let me tell you about my trip to Arizona for mom's wedding.

But first, a little background.

My mother announced her engagement to Bachelor #3 shortly after I ran the Philadelphia Marathon last November.  She and her new beau started dating sometime in September.  While that may seem like a very short courtship, bear in mind that she is 67 years old.  Not exactly one foot in, mind you, but the timetable gets a little different when you're a senior citizen.  In fact, when she told me about her engagement, she assured me that "they weren't going to rush into anything" and the wedding "wouldn't be for at least a year".  Not only were my brother and I invited to the festivities, we had PARTS.  I was the matron of honor and he was giving her away.

Whatever makes you happy, Mom.

Turns out, I inherited my not so MIT like math skills from my mother.  They set a wedding date of 8/14/10.  Last time I checked, that was only nine months.  If I didn't know better, I would think she was "a woman in trouble".  Of course, I did know better.  But, who am I to quibble?

Whatever makes you happy, Mom.

Bro and I had mixed feelings about going to Arizona.  Mind you, it wasn't that we approved or disapproved of her decision to marry again.  First of all, this was her third wedding, so we didn't quite understand the need for all the "pomp and circumstance".  Secondly, she didn't exactly live down the street.  Airline tickets were running $350-400 per person/round trip.  Finally, and perhaps the most important reason of all, WHO WANTS TO GO TO ARIZONA IN AUGUST???  Seriously.  I mean, I know she lives there year round, but that's her choice.  However, she carried us in her womb for nine months and sacrificed many times over for our health and well-being through the years.  Is taking a trip across the country too much to ask?

Whatever makes you happy, Mom.

After procrastinating for a respectable period of time, we decided to book our trip.  We would be departing Manchester Airport on Friday, 8/13 at 4:03 p.m. and leaving Arizona on Sunday, 8/15 at 2:06 p.m.  Our significant others weren't going to be accompanying us to the blessed event, so it would just be the two of us.  I happen to really like my brother as well as love him, so the opportunity to spend time together sort of took the sting out of our crazy weekend of travel.

The morning of the 13th, I squeezed in an 18 mile run, thinking it'd be next to impossible to take the time to run while I was there.  We figured out that we'd only PHYSICALLY be in the state of Arizona 39 hours, and that included two sleeps plus the wedding.  It was going to be one of THOSE weekends.

After my run, I got myself together, met my brother, and headed to the airport.  We flew to Newark on schedule and scoped out a place to have dinner.  We found this place called Ruby's Diner and had cheeseburgers, fries and chocolate shakes (don't you judge us).  It's very challenging to stay on a good meal schedule when you are traveling, particularly since the airline wants no part in feeding you unless you pay them a small fortune.  So, we did our best to "load up" while the getting was good.

Finally, the time came to board the plane to Phoenix.  The plane was completely full.  I had a window seat and my brother was in the middle.  For the next 4-5 hours, I attempted to read, listen to music, and possibly sleep.  Let me just say that I don't recommend running 18 miles and then sitting on an airplane for an extended period of time.  My legs were a little perturbed.  It was practically an impossibility to get comfortable wedged between the window and my sibling.  But, hey, we were all in the same boat (plane), weren't we?  Time to put the big girl pants on and stop whining.

By the time we landed in Arizona, it was almost 11 p.m.  It also happened to be 104 degrees.  104.  At 11 p.m.  However, to my body, it was REALLY 2 a.m., which is about 5 hours past my bedtime.  After waiting for all the folks in front of us to remove their luggage from the overhead compartment, we made our way off the plane.  I checked a small suitcase, so it was off to baggage claim.  My stepsister, Jen, was coming from San Diego to attend the festivities and offered to pick us up at the airport on the way to my mother's house.  Once we got my bag, we stepped outside to wait for Jen.

Holy HAND GRENADE Batman.  It was like someone immediately jumped in front of you and shoved a hair dryer in your face.  It was bleeping hot.  Now, I know what you're thinking:  but it's Arizona.  It's the desert.  At least it's a dry heat.

Well, for the record, my oven is a dry heat too, but I'm not about to stick my head in it.  Sorry, but I'm not buying it.  104 is 104.  Period.

The good thing is, we only had to bake in it for a few minutes.  Jen pulled up, hugged us and helped us get our bags in the car.  Once we found our way out of the airport (see? Other people get lost too), we were off to Payson, AZ.

Did I happen to mention that my mother lives about 90 miles outside of Phoenix?  Well, she does.  There isn't a whole lot between Phoenix and Payson, except for cactus and coyotes.  Basically, you get on I-87 and keep going.  I put my head back and closed my eyes, hoping to doze off, but I happened to be sharing the backseat with my two young nephews who were a little too punchy for their own good.  At least if I make it LOOK like I'm sleeping, I thought, no one will try to talk to me.

This is what happens to me when I'm deprived of food and sleep.  I'm pretty miserable to be around.

We pulled in to my mother's driveway at 12:30 a.m.  I had now been awake for almost 24 hours and hadn't eaten since Newark.  Just the mere act of talking reduced me to tears.  It was just too much effort.  I was so ready to just curl up in a ball. I mumbled a barely intelligible greeting to my mother who was just a little TOO happy at this late hour, and begged to be shown to my room.  My head was pounding.  I didn't know whether I needed sleep more than food, but chose the former.  Maybe things would look a little brighter once I got some rest.

After all, tomorrow was the big day.  Oh snap, it was already tomorrow...


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