Heading out to Family Madness

So our journey out to the greater Miami/Ft Lauderdale area itself was relatively uneventful.

The months leading up to it, however, were unmitigated torture.  We started out with seven.  Me, Beloved, our two (Blondie, 27 and The Boy, 22), my mother, 81, and my sister’s two (my niece 26, and nephew 23).

My sister couldn’t go on this seven night cruise to the Caribbean, so we figured we’d make it work.  For anyone who knows us, we have Sunday Night Dinner at Granny’s where the family IS EXPECTED to show up if you’re in the neighborhood.  Sadly, Blondie now lives in Northern California and my niece is all the way in Spokane, so this cruise was a matter of some excitement to get everyone together.

Especially with no dishes.

Then, we realized we needed to invite the sorta-adopted nephew.  He lives with my sister, and adding him in was important.  So we jiggered it around and made it work, getting him flights and popping him into a cabin etc.


Then my niece pointed out that we’d forgotten someone else important, Midori, who comes to dinner every Sunday (despite niece not being there) – she was/is niece’s bestie from middle school and is really family … and my mom emphatically agreed.  So we added in one more of the younger generation.

Starting to go crosseyed, but in a good way.  Six twenty-somethings, two fifty-somethings, one eighty something, three airlines, nine different airports through which we all traveled and it’s a freaking miracle we all made it.

We planned to spend the night in Ft. Lauderdale before boarding the ship since so many of us were using airline points to get there.

Mummy, Beloved and I were all on the same flight into Miami, with the ship leaving Ft Lauderdale – my niece was getting to MIA too, but two hours later.  Beloved volunteered to wait for her while we went on to the hotel to sort out the rooms.

Waiting at LAX to board the plane.

Blondie and the four others were coming into Ft. Lauderdale Intl Airport at different times.  I was stressing about being the first to get to the hotel as the rooms were in my name.

So… as Mummy and I got our bags off the belt, Blondie landed.  We, in Miami, were 40 minutes from the hotel.  Blondie was like 10, but she had the disadvantage that Ft. Lauderdale is the Uber equivalent of the seventh circle of Hell.  It’s worse than LAX (or LAX-it, as they’re calling it these days) for escaping… the drivers abandon you, or they don’t find you, or they just don’t show up.  It sucks.

So M and I were in our Uber zipping along with a very nice Serb or Russian or whatever he was (very quiet, he was, but whatever), bopping into Ft. Lauderdale and scooting past the landing strip of the airport when Blondie messaged saying UNNNNNGH the Lyft driver just canceled.


Um… d’you mind making an unscheduled stop…?

Eeeeeh… waht yew wahnt?

Could… could we just stop at the airport for a second?

You wan stop aht annozzer airpohrt?

Yah!  My daughter’s there!  Please?  Big tip!

EEEEEERK! We took three lanes on two wheels as I madly called her and told her not to book another Lyft.  Hung up and we giggled with glee.

Ooo-eeer.  No idea what she’s wearing, she doesn’t know what we’re driving and we’re about to enter the mosh pit.

Mummy:  PLEASE dear don’t howl out the window.

Me (looking at her like she’s grown another head): You got a better idea?  {{madly rolled down window}} BLOOOOOOONNNNNDIEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

Amazingly, like a baby penguin hearing it’s mother’s cry in a rookery of thousands, she’s hopping up and down.  The Russo-Serbie whatsit slammed on the brakes in the middle of the road and leapt out. As did I.

So happily we made it to the hotel in one piece.  With the first arrival.  Everyone else made it as well, eventually.

The next morning, we planned to eat breakfast at 9:30. I figured Mummy, being her usual early bird self, would be up and at ‘em at sparrow fart. So at 9 I headed downstairs to see if she was there (she bunked with Blondie) but…no.

Went to their room.

Tap tap tap.

Door opens. Mummy in nightie.

Um… you…okay?

Yes deah!  Just doing my exercises, then will showah!

Oooookay.  You…do know it’s 9:15, right?

No it’s not.

Um… yes, Mummy, it is.

Slightly annoyed, she showed me her Fitbitty watch, which did, indeed, read 6:15.  However, she hadn’t, of course, synced it.


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