Florida holds so many wonderful memories. My first stop was to visit Casa Frita and his two kids. Casa Frita and I worked together years ago at Disney. He was an artist and I was the person that sharpened the pencils. Lol. He is Columbian so once in a while I would say a random phrase in Spanish to him. My most common phrase was when I was trying to say “What’s up home fry?” in Spanish. My translation was “Que pasa case frita?” If you know Spanish at all then you most definitely know I was not saying “What’s up home fry?” Little did I know I was saying “What’s up fried house?” For months I’d say this to Sebastion and he would just smile or laugh. Other friends that also spoke Spanish let me continue on for months as well. Finally I had to ask why they found it so funny. After he explained we had a good laugh and then we continued to say it to each other. Eventually we shortened it down to Casa Frita…aka…we call each other fried house. We all thought it was funny. So yes, I call some of my Spanish Friends Casa Frita and they say it right back to me. He sent me this meme a while back. And this meme says so much about our friendship. Lol.
My absolute favorite part of Florida was getting the chance to visit my cousin Andy, his wife Ashley, and their little guy Shea. Andy and I grew up less than 10 miles from each other and was one of my closest cousins growing up. It was my first visit with Andy and Ashley in 3 years and my first time meeting Shea. I’m sure glad that Shea and I became fast friends. He is an absolute cutie with his Dad’s personality. This may be my favorite picture of us. We visited the Turtle Hospital and an animal sanctuary. I was not ready to leave when it was time for me to go. I hope all of our paths cross again before to long.
Then I was off to Symposium. This was my 7th Symposium in a row. I look forward to this event every year. The first two years I went to try and find jobs. Every year since I have gone for the reunion. As I like to tell people “These are some of my favorite Humans.” My first year I was a volunteer Human Arrow, worked my way up to a Super Volunteer, and then a few years ago I was invited to join the ITMI Team at Symposium as the Coordinator of Volunteers. This years Symposium sent us to Cozumel by Cruise Ship. It was my first ever cruise. Since I’m the Coordinator of Volunteers this involved a lot of time studying Deck plans and trying to figure out where and when I needed people to assist. I was also representing Premier Alaska Tours during Marketplace. So the added challenge of this Symposium is making sure volunteers were where they needed to be and when even though I couldn’t be in multiple places at one time. So first off I have to send a huge shout out to all the volunteers that assisted us and the people who stepped up to the plate last minute and volunteered. We couldn’t have done it without you. We were able to greet people onboard the ship wearing t-shirts and sailor caps. I saw some wonderful friends, met some amazing people, and had a lot of fun representing ITMI and Premier. I’ll be honest, I never did make it off the boat to Cozumel though I had every intention of roaming around the city. However, I did catch a lot of R & R on our free day.
One of my favorite parts about Symposium is our final night. I love themed parties (though I’m not a huge fan of Halloween). This years theme was Disco. As you can tell I tend to go all out for my costumes. Since I was working most of the Cruise I didn’t take many photos Our next Symposium is in November in Tuscon, AZ. I look forward to seeing you all there. I’m already wondering what our theme for the final night will be.
My flight home was an added adventure; however, a wonderful one. Not many people would say that on a delayed by almost 24 hours flight. My flight was delayed due to a break in the Hydraulic Line. Eventually the flight was canceled due to the Hydraulic Line and blizzard conditions in Minneapolis. Myself and two other ladies seemed pretty relaxed while everyone else was in a near panic. A few things I have learned traveling as much as I do. One: you should always leave yourself some leeway when it comes to flying. As in don’t have every moment of everyday planned. If you need to be somewhere at a certain time / date then perhaps you should fly in a day sooner. Two: If you fly in the winter to Minnesota you should already be well aware that your flight may very well be delayed. Three: a plane is just like a car. Sometimes they break down even if you take good care of them. I don’t blame the ticket or gate agents for this. There is literally nothing they can do and getting angry at them due to mechanical issues or weather will serve no one.
Delta Agents at FLL Airport provided us with sandwiches from Jimmy John’s. There is a first time for everything. Thanks for feeding us Delta. My delayed flight got delayed hour after hour until it became a 5:45Am flight. I watched as many people walked up to the Gate Agent and changed their flights. However, I was watching MSP’s Twitter account and I realized that almost all flights would be canceled. I’m glad I didn’t switch flights. A mechanical issue delay involves a free night at a hotel. A weather delay involves no such compensation. So even though my flight was delayed and then canceled and rescheduled for the next day and then delayed again I was able to get 2 free meals (Jimmy Johns and a Nacho Bar at the hotel) and a free night at a hotel. While all other flights were delayed and canceled due to weather they did not receive any compensation. Yes, I had places to be and things I needed to get done; however, I knew the risks I was taking trying to fly into Minneapolis in January. So I rescheduled what I could. The best part of the delay is that my sister and her husband would be in the Cities heading home and could pick me up at the airport. Which meant no shuttle. It was wonderful spending time with the two of them. I was glad to finally get home about 24 hours after I should have been.