Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Forget Vacationing...

...Take a Chickation instead.

The Official Countdown for The Chickation started on May 1st. The day I thought would never arrive did, and I found myself at the airport, ready to shove the airplanes down the runway myself. I'm certain that would've been frowned upon, so I managed to control my impulses and sat there quietly eating my Schlotsky's Deli sandwich and reading (again) a JD Robb novel until it was time to board.

The first leg of the journey was filled to the rafters with people. Who were all these people taking up space on the airplane? And a word to the wise about traveling on Southwest---sit there at your computer and at exactly 24 hours before your flight, click "get boarding pass." Getting on the plane after the "A" group leaves you little choices as to where to sit, and where I don't particularly enjoy being on an airplane, and I most certainly must have an aisle seat---thank you Clausterphobia, boarding after all the good seats are claimed just stinks. I sat next to a rather large woman, which meant I had to sit leaning to my right, out in the aisle. Seriously. They don't make the seats for generously sized people. But I digress. We weren't up in the air for very long before we were landing in Phoenix, where I did the concourse jog and made it to the gate for my next flight. In and around all this flying about, I'd called and texted my friend Sherry, my fellow (bwahahahahahahahaha!) Chickation Adventurer.

Second flight, into Houston Hobby, was a party flight. Big plane, 40 people, flight attendants with humor and willing to chat up the passengers. I did ask, because you just never know, what the danger was for a water landing between Phoenix and Houston and after they stopped laughing, the F.A.'s replied, "Hardly any at all." Some wisearse on my way home said that's called a crash. Snicker. Anyhoozle. So, it's time to make the "Thank you for flying with us" speech at the end of the flight, but we're all havin' a grand old time so the F.A. says, "Hey. Ya'll. Shush. I'm trying to talk here" while the other one made the hand sign for "Shut up." (Maybe it was "Please be quiet, thank you very much" but I doubt it.) I'd parked myself in the front row, aisle seat, on the left as you're boarding the plane, and could see the F.A's very well. The F.A. went on to say, "If you have a connecting flight to make, you're out of luck, we're the last flight in, no planes are leaving until early in the morning." After she finished, I said, "Please do not be alarmed by that sound. It's simply the runway rolling up behind us."

So. All giggly and excited to see Sherry, I deplane. Now. A word or two about Sherry. We've known each other online a good 7 years now. Met each other face-to-face exactly ONCE, and that was oh, 5, 6 years ago. Our friendship has been forged in the technological age of Yahoo Messenger, chat rooms (we frequent a certain writer's thread), phone calls, texting...and we know each other inside and out. I'll not bore you with the details of our shared history, let's just leave it at we've seen each other through thick, thin, high water, low water and everything between.

I'd traveled in my orange Bat-a-tude shirt, and when I got of the plane, I put on my bat deely-bobbers. Sherry wore bat wing glasses and held a sign that said, "Lurid Bat." I guess that deserves a wee bit of explanation. That writing thread I said we both belonged to above? It's the Bat Cave at eHarlequin. We're bats and proud of it. We wear it like the badge of honor that it is. Squeeeee's and giggles arc between us, much hugging happened, then we managed to wend our way down to the baggage claim. Serendipity, which will be the theme of the entire Chickation, hits when my suitcase is among the first on the carousel.

First order of business, and it's midnight, mind you, is to get to Sherry's end of Houston and invade the IHOP. It was 3 in the morning by the time we decided we'd conquered IHOP and headed to her apartment to fall face first into our beds.


With no men to tell us we were burning daylight, come on, get up, let's go, we had a leisurely morning of yakking, then getting ready to venture forth. We hit Walmart (my digital camera cardmagummy was all spent up after taking one picture of Sherry's ball of fluff...er...poodle dog, we needed drink mixes for the planned Chick Flick and Adult Bevvies Fest), and a blender, then we staged another invasion. This time, a used book store. The assault on many shelves concluded with tremendous satisfaction, and I am in possession 2 series, and the first 3 of La Nora's Brides quartet. BLISS. Naturally, it is illegal in the state of Texas to visit and not eat at a Texas BBQ restaurant, so we did, and took the leftovers home. Stuffed to the rafters, we stopped at the grocery store for ice cream that we never did get around to eating (we were too busy enjoying our pina coladas and margaritas), a little triple chocolate cake (which we took to Galveston and ate in the hotel there), and a couple more items I don't remember what they were. LOL.

We'd each purchased 2 sets of matching jammies for our Girls Nights In. I'd gotten purty floral ones, with long legs, a tank and a long sleeved shirt to cover that (because Sherry is always cold, which I didn't get as I was always hot in Texas. Even standing under the a/c vent. I shudder to think it was because I had a 4 day long hot flash.)...So, after the groceries were dealt with, we donned on our jammies, fired up the blender and put *The Proposal* in the DVD player. I'd seen it, Sherry hadn't, and I'd received the DVD for Christmas. Nothing beats watching a chick flick with your best girl friend, especially when you're laughing at the same things to the point where neither one can breathe properly. After *The Proposal* came *Mamma Mia.* Now, this is a seriously hysterical movie, and we'd decided that every time Pierce Brosnan sang , we'd hafta drink. By the end of the movie, he wasn't half bad. Of course, he's still a drool-worthy piece of eye candy. But a singer? Not so sure about that. Doesn't in any way diminish my love for Pierce Brosnan, however. GGG.


Yep, another leisurely start. What do you expect from 2 middle-agedish women who stayed up to the wee hours watching movies and indulging in adult bevvies? At some point this day, we noticed and remarked upon the remarkable similarities between our names and *Laverne and Shirley*. Yes, the world NEEDS a middle-aged Laverne and Shirley pair, so Sherry and I decided to step up to the plate. Dirty jobs can't ALL be done by Mike Rowe. What a terrific theme song---we're gonna make our dreams come...and we'll do it our way, yes, our way...make all our dreams come true...Boy, doesn't that just echo too many conversations we've had over the past several months.

We headed out to Old Town Spring, straight to lunch. We walked into the restaurant, were being led to our seat, and who did we see? Sherry's soon-to-be ex with his TwatWaffle. Yes, TwatWaffle. My Mommy told me if you cain't say something nice, don't say anything at all, so I will commence to not saying anything at all other than Flocky (Sherry's name of endearment for her ex) didn't look happy and he most certainly didn't look happy to see her there. Tough cookies, pumpkin. Serendipity struck here in that Sherry saw Flocky and TwatWaffle together, live and in person, for the first time, with moral (perhaps immoral?) support along with. We rubbernecked a bit when they left, then resumed the giggling. After lunch, the shopping.


Girl shopping.

Now. I have three sons and one husband. "Shopping" is not in their lexicon. They want to go shopping with me about as much as I want to go fishing with them. Sherry's daughter, a lovely, sweet girl, doesn't do the shopping thing either. So here we were, two shopping deprived ladies, in Chick Shopping Heaven. Let the angels sing and dance, what a joy this was. So many shops, so many purchases...We eventually had to go home because, well, our legs refused to take another step that wasn't towards the car.

This night, we wore the jammies Sherry'd found---Betty Boop, True Romance jammies---PERFECT for two romance writers. Sherry's thinking of framing the shirt (I told her she was a weirdo), but *whispering here*...I may frame mine too. Comfy pink capri-length printed pants, a gray shirt with a fantastic logo. More adult bevvies, more chick flicks... I did embarrass Sherry's little poodle, Teddy. I interrupted a very private moment he was having with his stuffed soccer ball in the guest room when I trooped through to the bathroom. I had no idea you could embarrass a dog. He stared at me like, "Whu'? You didn't see ANYTHING." I told him he was in danger of going blind and to knock it off immediately. Not sure he believed me. He never left his stance over the ball and yes, we did giggle when I told Sherry I'd interrupted the 9 o'clock hump. End Saturday.


Now, Sherry's friend had given us a hotel room in Galveston for Sunday night. This friend of Sherry's stays with Sherry during the work week, and well, this was OUR Chickation. We arrived on Galveston Island, serenading it with, yep, you guessed it, our very bad rendition of Glen Campbell's *Galveston* (Galveston 2, which shows some of the aftermath of Ike.). We headed directly to The Strand, and I'm taking in the sights of the devastation Ike left behind. Heartbreaking. We parked next to the cruise ship dock and lo and behold, there was a cruise ship. Of course, we sang to the cruise ship, no we hadn't been in the liquor. Yet. (And just because I can...STAR TREK LOVE BOAT. But I digress. We lunched at a Nestle shop. Yep. Sammiches, then ice cream. Then. Yep. You guessed it. MORE shopping. And picture taking. Oh, yes, picture taking. We walked past a building that had been marked with the high water level caused by Ike. We also drove past the older buildings that had survived the 1900 hurricane---buildings that are marked with plaques marking them as storm survivors. Next time I visit Sherry and we hit Galveston, we're going to take pictures of the Victorian homes. Beautiful. Just beautiful. (That next trip is scheduled for 2012, as next year, Sherry's coming to ME! Yay! Is it next year yet? How about now? Now?) Anyhoozle. We shopped. And shopped. And shopped. Drove back up the seawall to our hotel, staged an unsuccessful invasion of the pool. Unsuccessful as the main pool was damned cold. There were 2 jacuzzi pools, one hot, one lukewarm. We parked in the lukewarm 'cuzzi. The pool area was then invaded by college students. They mostly stayed in the cold pool and the hot 'cuzzi (Whyfore? Wasn't it hot and sticky enough for them? We were baffled.)... Then we got dressed and perfumed up and headed out for just a wee bit more shopping, followed by dinner.

Mmmm. Seafood at a delightful restaurant called Fisherman's Wharf. A view of the shipping lane, with intermittent dolphins, a coolish breeze and fantastic food. And adult bevvies, natch. We split a dinner, having decided from just reading the menu there was no possible way we could each eat a full meal on our own. We picked an entree that had 2 crab cakes (alas, not Maryland crab cakes, which I miss tremendously), fresh fish of the day, skewered shrimp with veggies, scallops and rice. Mmmmmm....Mmmmmmm....Mmmmmm...And the pina colada...Mmmmm...Pardon me. I'm having a Memory here. (Plus, after the Teddy Incident mentioned above, we cracked jokes left and right about having Private Moments--me with the pina colada, Sherry with her sweet potato casserole mentioned below.)

This fantastic day ended with the last 10 minutes of a Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engval, Larry the Cable Guy and Ron White show, then Bill's *Aged and Confused*. I thought for sure our neighbors would call the front desk to complain about us as we were laughing so hard. At one point, we were laughing so hard we couldn't make a sound.


Awwww. Monday. Go home day. Donwanna. We headed to Kemah Boardwalk and Serendipitously walked into a seafood buffet restaurant that had just opened. This was opening day. Now, you'd think there'd be kinks to work out, new grills/etc to baptize, but no. The food was fantastic, the service, awesome. We told the manager he really should consider moving the sweet potato casserole over to the dessert bar. The Oompa Loompas came to roll us out of the restaurant...yep, for MORE SHOPPING. Girls can't shop enough, I'm telling you. We strolled around the Boardwalk, saw fish, boats, baby duckies, purchased nifty things---I found a t-shirt that says
Mom of Marvelous Sons

Of course, I had to own it. And a cute pair of sparkly pink dot earrings to match the pink lettering on the shirt, and a gorgeous sparkly amber necklace and earring set (Sherry, Mistress of the Dark, purchased the pink version). We rode the wooden rollercoaster there and Oh. My. Goodness. I wound up holding my sunglasses, managing to grab them before they flew right off my face (and I'd been holding them to my face, too!). Up, around, straight down. We screamed with laughter. I think I still have bugs in my hair.

Too soon it was time to head to the airport. My plane being late in gave us a few more desperately wanted extra minutes, but the time came to head down through the security line, then head for my gate. Late plane. Gate change. Joyful. Worries about making my connecting flight home. Fortunately, that was late too. Thank you storms across the US. Bumpy ride through storms and rain from Houston to Lost Wages...er...Los Vegas.

The Chickation was what the Chicks decided it would be---we did it OUR way. Yakking, shopping, lunching, dinnering, drinking, movie watching, giggling, a too short fantastic time. We're already planning the next Chickation. (Fair warning.) And we reserve the right to take the Chickation on the road.

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