The last day of vacation is always full of activity. It is so much nicer to return home with clean clothes rather than a suitcase full of laundry. So the first order of business was to get the laundry done. But first we had to get out of the final bits of dirty clothing and we sat around and talked for way too long instead.

We finally got ourselves motivated and got showered and dressed and then could finally manage to get the laundry started. We were on our way to getting the day going and it was already 9.30. So not an early start to the day.

The one thing I learned from our return trip from Vegas was that Phoenix traffic is insufferable and the rush hour starts a lot earlier than one might think. Therefore, we needed a plan for how to get our happy asses to the airport in time for an 8.30 flight after dropping the rental car back at an off-site place. We didn’t really know when the rush hour started, but we figured if it started before three in the afternoon, it had to start earlier in the morning, too.

We queried our hostess and she was unable to give us a definitive answer, so we needed a better query source. Pam sent Jen a text and she would call us after she was done with a business call.

Pam was hosting a Happy Hour/Block Party in the afternoon and we had gone through all my recipes in Dropbox looking for something different to make and share. We settled on Hot Ham and Cheese Pinwheels and so needed to walk over to Safeway and pick up the few ingredients we needed. We also picked up some other stuff. And I picked up the other two bags of coconut granola cookies that were on the clearance rack. I had looked online and found them available for anywhere from $8 to 12 (shipping not always included). So, the half off $6 for each bag looked good (shipping was included) and then they sold them to me for $5 for both. So I’m set with some low carb tasty snacks for a while.

We had one load of laundry washed, dried, folded, and put away and the second load washed. It was time to go out to eat lunch. We decided we would try Chipotle because Dick and I really liked Jen’s meal the day before and it was a chipotle recipe, so we wanted to see what else was there. We picked up Aunt Babe (who was very unsure of the menu) and took off for lunch. We all found food that we could not only like, but really enjoy.

We did not have enough time to actually shop after lunch because there was still much to do with the day. When we arrived back at the house, Pam noticed she had missed a call and so she called Jen back. We determined that we should leave somewhere between 5 and 5.30 in order to not have to be crazy getting to the airport in time. We settled on 5.15 and were then able to plan accordingly.

We got the other load of laundry in the dryer and began filling up suitcases. I packed the wooden bowl and padded around it and filled it with socks and gloves and whatnot and after getting all my clothes and groceries in, the lid was still going to shut.

Pam had looked at the forecast and it was supposed to be sunny with a high of 68 degrees. But then it changed its mind and was only going to get in the low 60s. She asked her neighbors if she could use their driveway for the party so we didn’t have to park ourselves in the wind tunnel street. They said they would share. We looked out the window and they were cleaning up their yard and putting out tables and got the space heater ready to go. Pam’s party was being set up by them. What wonderful neighbors.

We decided it was time to start cooking and got the sandwiches into the oven. Pam filled a basket with paper plates, plastic utensils, and napkins and took that over along with some chairs. When our stuff came out of the oven, we went over with that, too.

There were somewhere between 30 and 35 people there with each household bringing something to share. We had a Canadian hunter there and he and his wife fixed moose for sandwiches. That was delicious. We had a wonderful time and spent about 1.5 hours there laughing and talking and eating lots and lots of different foods.

Dick and I went back home and left Pam to socialize for a while longer. We needed to finish up the packing process and get ourselves settled. Pam came home and we talked for a much shorter time. We were going to have to get up in the middle of the night for our flight home.

We set alarms for 4.30 and managed to pry our sleepy selves out of bed and get ready for a day of flying. I was having coffee at Pam’s and I ate the last hard boiled egg, too. Dick chose not to fuel up there. He walked to Aunt Babe’s in the cold and dark and got the rental car. We hugged Pam goodbye and left at exactly 5.15.

The Garmin wanted us on the 60 and we wanted to be on the 202 and so I had to be the naggigator until we made it there. I managed and after hitting the right highway, the Garmin decided to play along. We were able to keep the car moving at speed the entire way, but by the end of the journey, we were one of the milling thousands filling up all five lanes and heading west. We returned the car, waited patiently for the shuttle bus, were attacked by rolling suitcases on the ride to the airport, and then were finally at Sky Harbor.

We dropped off the huge luggage and I kept my purse and Dick kept his backpack. We were hands free for the airport, which was really nice. We found our gate and then found some breakfast. We were ridiculously early, but that was better than frantically late. We were Pre-check and so TSA was a breeze and it all went well. We had bacon and eggs while being unrushed and then could board the plane without issue.

We bought Basic flights which means we did not pay for a particular seat and let them put us wherever they wanted. We were not sitting together, which was not as traumatic as one might think. I was sandwiched between a guy going to Florida to meet friends and golf and an annoying asshat. The asshat kept getting calls and talking on the phone while in midair, a place that is supposed to be free of that shit. And then … he started to listen to music without headphones. I looked at him. Not a Mean Mother look, but just a unhappy glance over. He turned off the music. Or got out earbuds or somehow made the noise stop.

I played some games on the tablet until they brought coffee and a snack and then did that and then, since I was really tired, I napped or maybe just dozed or did something with my head nodding me awake every so often until asshat had to go to the bathroom and we had to let him out. After that I was wide awake.

We got to Atlanta, I found the same little vegetable tray for lunch. Dick got a sandwich and then we went to Dunkin Donuts for coffees. Dick wanted a donut and I said I would have a single donut hole, since I figured with just the veggie tray, that wasn’t too many carbs. They only sell them in sets of five. I declined. I said I was diabetic and couldn’t do that because I’m being treated like I am in fact already diagnosed.

The other lady stepped in and handed me a single donut hole. I asked how much I needed to pay her and she just gave it to me and said I really shouldn’t be eating any. I showed her my veggie tray. And I savored each of the three bites I got out of that little donut hole.

We got to the gate and made it to the very back of the plane. This time we were sitting together. The flight attendants were bitching about the horrid Basic people who demanded some service after not paying extra for a seat choice and only paying a few hundred dollars or something. How dare they! We sat in the very loud noisy stuff and got home without problem.

Bob graciously offered to pick us up and was there with our drive home. He had already been to the airport once that day, taking Gerry for his flight TO Arizona. Apparently, this is what we do in this neighborhood.

We got home and I got unpacked and ran to the grocery store because there was nothing here to eat. I filled the refrigerator with all manner of food and we are ready to get back to our regularly scheduled lives. I baked eggs so we have breakfast ready. I’m going to the gym and Dick is playing golf and Gned is back on his shelf. We are home. Safely. We had a wonderful time and my sister, as always, was a fabulous hostess.

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