A Post-holiday vacation….in all it’s GLORY

As soon as the topic for this week’s Theme Thursday was decided upon and announced, as “My Biggest Vacation Disaster” I immediately knew the story I wanted to share with y’all. It’s an adventure straight out of National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise. That is, if one of their movies was set on a Carnival Cruise ship.

I only wish it had been a trip I TOOK. 

No, I didn’t cheat, and fabricate a story about a disastrous vacation with my family. I didn’t have to. My niece, Ryan Anderson,** and her husband actually had one worthy of an award, and she agreed to let me share it. I mean, why wouldn’t she? After it happened, she sent the following letter to American Express, and the Director of Public Relations called her on the phone, laughing hysterically, saying that everyone in the office now had a copy on their desk and nobody could get any work done because they were all giggling breathlessly. At the end of the phone call, they were discussing the possibility of making it into a commercial. Seriously.  Intrigued? Read on….

Dear American Express, 

Sitting around the house late one night after Christmas, my husband Hank and I, childless and full of adventure, poured some cocktails and spontaneously decided to take a Carnival Cruise over New Years. He spent the next hour or so online looking for an available cabin, and I truly believe we booked the last one….in the world. We rented a car that Friday morning, and headed down to Cape Canaveral, Florida, where we stayed the night at the Radisson Hotel. We boarded the cruise ship Glory the following Saturday morning. Our itinerary was 2 days at sea, a day in Cozumel (boring), a day in Belize City (not what I had expected), a day in Costa Maya (LOVED IT), then on to Nassau, Bahamas after a couple of days at sea.  We arrived at the port in Nassau at about 10:00 a.m. The night before, Hank read the daily schedule for the next day, and saw that we were due to leave Nassau at 16:00 hours, giving us plenty of time to enjoy the day before we got back on the ship. So, excited about Nassau, we disembarked in our bathing suits (mine was a skimpy little two piece thing), grabbed a taxi, and headed over to the Atlantis Resort where we purchased a day pass and spent the day relaxing on the beach. It was absolutely beautiful!!! The water was so clear, and the waves were perfect!!! After we got tired of the beach, we headed back to the main part of the resort, toured the stunning aquariums, then walked outside to shop some more and check out all the beautiful yachts docked at the piers. It was truly an awesome day. Around 3 p.m., we decided to head back to the ship so we could leisurely check back in before everyone else, pack, and get ready to enjoy the last night of our vacation. On the way back, we took a wonderful water ferry taxi, then walked through the local craft markets at the dock where I purchased a very cool pair of leather handmade flip-flops. Still can’t wait to wear them!!!

Tired, sandy and a little burnt, we left the craft market and walked towards the Glory. All of the big ships were there as well, so I asked Hank if he would take my picture with all the cruise ships behind me, before we boarded. He said yes, of course, so I immediately tried to pump up my wet hair and make myself look cute for the picture. I was standing there smiling with my head and hip slightly cocked to one side, like the ultimate dork tourist in my skimpy bikini, posing for my picture…Hank raised the camera to his face…I give him a big smile…and then, I watched all the color slowly drain out of his face. I was still smiling (my cheeks were beginning to quiver) as he slowly lowered the camera back down. With jaws dropped, he pointed to our ship behind me and in a weak voice Hank said…”Baby! The boat is moving! Our ship is leaving the port!”

Irritated at his lame attempt at humor I rolled my eyes, exercised my cheeks for another smile and reposed for the picture because I didn’t believe him….for those of you who know us really well, you know that Hank messes with me all the time. He is the ultimate smart ass.

I decided to give him what he wanted….you know, haha, joke’s on me, and turned around. My jaw dropped too….especially when I looked up to the top of the ship and saw everyone on the deck yelling and waving good-bye to Nassau.

With arms flailing we start running towards the ship like idiots, to no avail. It wasn’t stopping…I whipped out the camera and videotaped our ship sailing off into the sunset while we ran at break neck speed to another Carnival ship in port for help. They basically, in a short direct way let us know that we were S.O.L. Yes, my friends, we “missed the boat”. We were stranded in the Bahamas in wet bathing suits watching our ship sail off without us.

Ok, so, we are standing there speechless and helpless on the pier of a foreign country. Our wallets are on board, cell phone, keys, clothes…EVERYTHING, except thank God, our passports and our American Express card. Yep, that’s it…that’s all we had besides our camera. After making a second attempt to try to recompose ourselves in front of all the tourists who had now caught onto what had just happened to us, we ran back to the security station and contacted the ministry of tourism, with the hope of maybe getting ferried out the Glory. No such luck…the ship could not be stopped.

Ok, so, let’s back up to the day before (well, really the night before….in the casino on the ship…after cocktails…), Hank saw on the daily schedule that we were scheduled to leave Nassau the next day at 16:00 hours, which, of course, is 4pm….apparently, the “six” in “sixteen” stuck in his head, so all day long we thought the ship was leaving at 6:00. Yes, I just threw my husband under the bus.

We left the port authorities and grabbed a taxi after being assured that we could fly back to Cape Canaveral within the next hour, then get back on the ship the next morning to retrieve our belongings. Oh, if it had only been that easy!

We finally arrived at the Nassau Airport, and booked the last flight (7:30pm) to Orlando through BAHAMA AIR…ok, who has even heard of this airline? My thoughts exactly! We purchased the tickets, and proceeded through the airport to American customs. Of course, everyone in front of us have luggage, bags, purses, cute little souvenirs from their vacation in Nassau….Us? Nothing. We stepped up to our customs booth, and the officer slowly looked us over, cleared his throat and finally asks, “Uhmm, where are your bags? And how long have you been in the country?”
Hank and I looked at each other, looked back at him and said, “Everything we own is on the Carnival Glory, and we have been here for 6 hours.” He laughed out loud at us…I mean, who wouldn’t? Here we are getting ready to board a flight in semi-wet bathing suits, our legs and feet still have sand from the beach all over them, we have no luggage, and at this point we are beginning to smell.

Then, if that’s not enough, they walk us out onto the tarmac up to a little prop plane! At this point, I was scared to death and freezing my butt off. The flight didn’t even have beverages. I told the attendant that I was thirsty and she went to the bathroom and handed me a cup of tap water. Hank and I spent the entire flight huddled up together to fight off hypothermia. At every bump and drop in the air we professed our love for each other, wondering if it was our last moment together on Earth.

Thank God, we made it back to the States alive. We left the airport after I hurriedly purchased a sweat shirt and hailed a taxi back to Cape Canaveral to the Radisson hotel, the same hotel we stayed at the night before we departed. The taxi ride cost $100….we didn’t care, we just needed sleep, food, and warmth. Oh, and by the way, let me give you a visual of what I looked like. By this time, my inner thighs were so chaffed from the salt water and running around Nassau in a wet bathing suit, that I thought they were going to bleed, so I am gingerly walking around like I rode a bull for 8 hours, with my legs spread apart so my thighs don’t rub together. It wasn’t pretty and it hurt like hell. Also, to add to the visual, I have really curly frizzy hair that must be maintained with products and a hairdryer to look presentable. Mix that hair with sand, salt water, and give it a windblown effect…and you can imagine what I looked like. I was a dead ringer for the Bride of Frankenstein. My lips were also burnt and slightly peeled back, drawn taut from dried salt that I got tired of licking at some point on the plane.

We finally got to the hotel. Ahhhh, sweet peace. The first thing I did was run a hot bath while Hank went to the front lobby to get glasses and any free toiletries the hotel could offer. In the meantime, while soaking my thighs in hot water, I picked up the phone and tried to dial 411 to get my mother’s new phone number because she had just moved. I am no good with numbers, and I don’t have to be since all the numbers are programmed into my cell phone. HA! Where is the cell phone? Exactly…so, I dial 9 to get an outside line, then 411 for information….Can you imagine what happened next?

“911, what is your emergency?” I was horrified and apologized for inconveniencing them, that I just dialed the wrong number (apparently my finger didn’t push the 4 down all the way). I hang up, and completely exhausted, just give up and sink down into the tub. Hank comes back and I told him about the phone call and asked him if he would get Mom’s number for me. He did. 5 minutes later, the Brevard County police show up banging on the hotel door with flashlights. Hank goes to the door, opens it to find 2 officers on either side of the door with their hands on their guns. They weren’t playing around either. He assures them it was a mistake, but they insist on seeing me to make sure that I am not a bloodied and bruised up wife. So, there I am in the bath tub, trying to keep my boobs under the water line with one hand and the other hand struggling to cover up my hoo-hoo with any soap suds floating around in the water while they looked me over. My God….did it end there?


We finished off the night with some much-needed cocktails, and, naked from lack of clean dry clothing, ate hot wings delivered by a local restaurant who took American Express. Outside, our rental car sat gleaming in the moonlight, locked, in the weekly paid for parking lot with things we could have used, LIKE CLOTHES….but, oh yeah, the keys were on the  ship.

We woke up hours later, took a taxi to the port, and what do you know? Security would not allow us back on the ship to get our things. We had to sit on a metal rod bench (that must have been constructed by the same companies who make the furnishings for death row cells) still in our bathing suits, with minimal clothing, from 7:30am to 10:30am until the ship’s purser finally brought our things to us, which had been METICULOUSLY packed and inventoried on sheets of paper. On the papers each item was listed as “found” and then “placed” wherever, in whatever bag they had chosen. I mean, seriously…these people were thorough!  For example, I had a partly used roll of stamps in my purse, and whoever the unfortunate soul was who had the task of packing our things, actually had to count out each stamp and inventory how many= 92…seriously, you should see the inventory papers. EVERY single item that was in our room was listed, which we had to go over one by one with the purser so he could mark it off the list. With my heart pounding and my face full of shame, I silently poured over the contents until I finally found what I was looking for. There it was, in all its glory, my hot pink dildo. I have never been so embarrassed in my entire life. With impressive professionalism, he quickly checked it off after I nodded my head and moved on to the next item, which was not as bad but I am sure caught them by surprise…the two boxes of “decorative teeth” with fake diamonds embedded in them. Yes, the grills…the ones I had laughed so hard about that Christmas as I stood in line at the mall for an hour waiting to purchase them for our stockings. We actually wore them one night to the disco on the ship, and no doubt laughed by ourselves at how funny we were as we tried to dance to rap music.

So, we finally got our belongings, took a taxi back to the Radisson so we could load up our rental car and get the hell out of Brevard County, and I will be DAMNED….at some point while we were on the cruise, a drunken guest of the hotel had vomited all over the passenger door handle and door. It was pink and chunky and absolutely just not fair! The hot Florida sun had hardened it, and I couldn’t open the car door without tissues…it was beyond disgusting.

So, there you have it. The story is priceless, and I can’t believe all of it happened in less than 24 hours.  I simply had to share it, because if we hadn’t had our American Express card with us, I can’t fathom how horrible this experience could have been. Thank you American Express, I’m so glad we didn’t leave home without you!!!!!


Hank and Ryan Anderson

**Not only is Ryan my niece, she is also the talented author behind the novels in The Detective Hank Jordan Series, and you can order her books here.

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They asked. So I answered.



All my new kindred bloggy souls asked, so I allowed my ‘loose at both ends and tied in the middle” tongue to take the wheel for this post. Might be a train wreck. Hard to watch, but impossible to look away from 🙂 Anyway, here are the results. So grab a cocktail, and get comfy. This train has many cars…..

1) What’s your worst drunken episode of adult life? If I could remember, I probably wasn’t that drunk now was I?

2) What’s something you’re obsessed with? Going to DMB concerts. I’ve been to an obscene number of shows, and don’t plan on stopping. Until I die, or he stops playing.

3) What hidden/odd talent do you have? I can say my ABC’s backwards faster than most people can say theirs forwards. I also have an uncanny ability for finding 4-leafed clovers. True story. I have 100’s of them.

4) Do you have any irrational fears and what are they? Yes. I am horrified of water that I can’t see through. This includes oceans, lakes, etc. The fear of what is down there is a complete pain in the ass, because I would love to learn how to surf and to sail.

5) Why do you blog? I use it as therapy. I’ve always kept a journal, but I think my writing is entertaining sometimes, and I’m a sharer 🙂

6) If you could have a super power (x-ray vision, invisibility, etc) what would it be and why? It’s a toss-up between Teleportation and Invisibility. Because I like to travel, but I also enjoy walking around naked.


8) Which TV/movie character best resembles your personality? a combination of Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) in “Almost Famous”, Melanie Carmichael (Reese Witherspoon) in Sweet Home Alabama, and Leanne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) inThe Blind Side“.

9) What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? Pumping gas at my daddy’s filling station when I was in junior high school.

10) If your readers met you in person, what would surprise them most about you? How tiny I am. I’m only 5’1″. But my personality is really tall…lol.

11) What is your most embarrassing parenting fail? My Oldest figured out how to unbuckle her car seat when she was 2, and would randomly unstrap herself while we were driving. So I took her to get a different one that had been rated as the hardest one to get out of. In the parking lot of Babies R Us, I installed the new seat, not noticing my keys had dropped out of my pocket onto the seat of the car. Apparently, I put my knee on the remote and locked the car, without realizing it. Once she was strapped in, I closed the door and went to get in the driver’s door only to find it locked. Of course she couldn’t open it, because she didn’t know how to unbuckle herself. THANK GOD I had my cellphone in my pocket, because I had to call AAA to come and open the door. It started raining while I was standing outside the car, so by the time the guy arrived, I was soaking wet, panicked and crying…..all the while my Sugar Bean was waving at me, giggling and giving me a thumbs up for her new seat. Brilliant.

12) What’s the worst date you’ve ever had? There was a guy in high school who kept asking me out, and I finally agreed. He picked me up and took me to a pizza place where they screwed up our order, he realized he forgot his wallet, and then we got in the car to leave and it wouldn’t start. He had to call his mom to come and get us. Worst. Date. Ever. 

13) How I lost my virginity? To the high school sweetheart, but not exactly in a scenario I envisioned. It DID NOT involve the backseat of a car, I assure you of that, but inexperience does make for good comedy, and excellent blog fodder, right? (Oh, and it was not the guy mentioned in #12. He never even got a second date) 

14) What is your weirdest phobia?  Poisonous sea snakes.

15) Is there someone you wish you could apologize to? Yes, as a matter of fact there is.

16) What’s your guilty pleasure? Watching “Married to Jonas”.

17) If you could commit a crime, and absolutely get away with it, what would you commit and why? Rigging the lottery. Do I really need to answer the ‘why’?

18) What historical figure would you most like to spend the day getting pedicures, day-drinking and talking about boys with? Marilyn Monroe

19) Is there anyone you are secretly jealous of? Yes, but it comes and goes.

20) Do you and your mate have a “Hall Pass” list? Yes, we do.

21) If you could be a contestant on a game show, which one would it be? I have been on Pyramid, That’s The Question and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? I would like to be on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, The Amazing Race, or Survivor. 

22) Have you ever been caught ‘doing the deed’? If so, by whom? Almost…by one of my daughters.

23) What’s one accomplishment in life you are the most proud of? Besides becoming a mother, helping organize this.

24) Have you ever met a celebrity? I live in Los Angeles, and The Man works in the Industry. So, yes. Many of them. But they are all people like you and me with bigger paychecks and a job they love 🙂

25) Which skeeves you out the most: vomit, poop, snot or pubic hair? None of the above. Not squeamish at all.

26) What’s the grossest thing you’ve found in your food? not a strand of hair….but a WAD of it. 

27) Most embarrassing thing you’ve done while meeting someone famous. Spilled a tray of champagne on them.

28) What do you want on your tombstone? (The actual stone, not the pizza) She was a force of nature with an old soul, who loved with her whole heart.

Okay, y’all know enough. Go do something productive with the information, will ya?


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Here I go…dreaming again.

Found this image on www.annawrites.com. Isn’t it cool?

Welcome to Episode 2 of “Theme Thursday” where talented ladies (and a guy too!) join forces to bombard you with more entertaining, random thoughts.  This week we are pondering a ‘what if’ scenario of sorts, discussing the topic of…

                                              MY DREAM JOB

This post may come as a complete shock to some, because my dream job is vastly different from the 20 or so I juggle on a daily basis within the realm of the hardest one I’ve ever held…motherhood.  What? You thought my career aspirations evaporated the moment The Oldest Girl came squirming out of my hoo-ha? Uhh….no. While it’s true that I do love it, and I wouldn’t trade anything for my precious girls, motherhood was not my idea of the perfect career path when it happened all of a sudden. Yes. I said it….all of a sudden. Celebrity style. Cart before the horse. You get the point, right?


Now you are probably wondering what in the holy hell it is that I would rather be doing. First you should know that I am a performer at heart, have a passion for entertaining, and believe there simply is no better high than getting up on stage and delivering a flawless work of cinematic or theatrical genius that leaves the audience feeling as though you changed their lives. I scholar-shipped my way through college, and graduated with degrees in Dance and English (shocker, right?). Then moved to Los Angeles, promptly after graduation….following a dream boy. All this being said…there are a couple of jobs I covet. To be fair though, I’m going to break them into two categories: Pre-children and Post-children. Because of course, not all jobs are conducive to family life.

The job I would love to bring home the bacon with if I didn’t have The Girls is forensic investigator/medical examiner. Yep. Working with crime and dead people. I’ve always been fascinated with medicine, and anyone that knows me agrees…if you need dirt on someone, I’m better than the freaking FBI and CIA combined at finding it. And I won’t elaborate the diabolic mind I possess when coming up with ingenious ways to use it against them. Funny…my tweenager probably thinks she’ll be able to get away with shit someday. This makes me smile. Because not only is she wrong, she no doubt is grossly underestimating how creative punishment will be for trying 🙂 But I’m getting off track here. I genuinely LOVE solving problems. My brain is creative and logical, but I think outside the box too. However, I don’t have much tolerance for bullshit and defiance, which would make working with live patients quite difficult….because they talk back, and often don’t follow orders. Kind of like children. So there. Oh, and you should know….when The Middle Girl was 5 months old, I decided to take a CSI course at one of the UC campuses. Aced it.

As for the job I would like to have need now that I have reproduced…that would be:


Because let’s face it….it takes a village and a bulging wallet to raise kids these days, and this mama needs a full-on staff of professionals to take care of everything else so she can blog, Facebook and Tweet attend to the young ‘uns properly. Not to mention the joy it would bring me to be able to grab the family and take to the road following the Dave Matthews Band, camping out along the way like a tribe of hippies. You may be laughing, but you secretly agree. Maybe your DMB is some other band, but come on, you know it would be crazy fun. Admit it. I’ll keep it between us….Promise.

All kidding aside though, I have a pretty good gig and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m a wife, a mommy, a sister, a friend, a voice-over actress, an artist and a volunteer. Oh, and literally at the end of the day.….I write, and it entertains people. When I opened the time capsule I put together my senior year in high school at my 10 year reunion…um ten years ago….I hadn’t said anything about my future self being a writer. But sometimes the best things in life are its surprises 🙂

Now, if I can just figure out how to monetize all that in a big way…..

Okay, now you know my dream jobs. Go find out what my bloggy family has to say about theirs:

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