Wheels Up Pt. 2

For the first time in my travelling life, I would need to use the baggage claim at ATL.  Usually, my trips to Atlanta include hurried runs with the family from terminal to terminal to ensure we don’t miss our connecting flight.  It felt a bit foreign not feeling rushed upon landing in Atlanta.  Fortunately, the rushed feeling was replaced by the mortification and embarrassment of our continued run-ins with the boys’ favorite fellow passenger and her nipples.  Had they not announced it every time they had a visual on her, it probably wouldn’t have been so embarrassing.

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We collected our baggage, as the boys continued to stare at the beautiful women and her see through shirt, and headed out to the shuttles.  It was after midnight and the shuttle lines were crowded.  Storms across the Eastern seaboard left several passengers stranded in Atlanta for the night.  Michelle, the boys and I muscled our way onto a shuttle with three older travelers  after the shuttle driver assured us he could take us to a hotel that would take our vouchers.

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We drove for what had to be 20-30 minutes before pulling into a seedy looking motel with funky colored lighting up the side of the hotel.   We had taken the backseat, so we were the last ones into the hotel lobby.  The shuttle driver followed us in and was given cash by the clerk in the hotel lobby.  The lobby of this Choice Hotel was dingy, dusty and gross.  A breakfast nook off to the side beckoned the boys, who by this time of night had become hungry again.  The heavily tatted hotel clerk was unwilling to let the boys have any of the cereal to eat.

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The Mayor and Andrew in 2015
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The Mayor and Andrew 2032

There was a couch off to the opposite side, so we sat the boys down and waited our turn to check in.  Our fellow travelers had been trying to check in with their vouchers, but the hotel clerk was refusing to take them. He was trying to charge us over $110 for the night in his seedy, roach infested hotel.  As they argued with the clerk, we tried to keep the kids occupied and relatively quiet.

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This became increasing difficult as a few hotel guests started to file in.  These guests, clearly prostitutes with their johns, were dressed in clothes that would make even Tara Reid blush.  Our boys’ eyes were wide with wonder and hysteria at the veritable shit show that had started to walk through the hotel door.  Now Michelle and I were starting to get worried one of their comments might get us shot.  Needless to say, we were not comfortable staying in that hotel.

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Our knight in shining armor, was a fellow traveler, a beautiful woman from Milwaukee that is a merger and acquisition specialist (something tells me that Choice Hotel isn’t her normal hotel of choice.)  She arranged for two ubers to pick us up and booked us each a hotel room in a hotel close to the airport.  She truly saved our bacon.  Finally after the longest night of travel and fearing for our physical safety, we made it up to our hotel room at 2:00 am.

That morning we headed back to the airport bright and early to head to Minneapolis.  The weather was beautiful and sunny as we hopped the shuttle to ATL.  Security was kind to us rushing us to the front since we had the young hockey players and all of their gear.  Finally after an adventurous evening starting at PBI and a circus of a night in Atlanta, we made it to Minny.

To Be Contd.

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Wheels up

Two years ago, the Mayor and I headed north with his best friend Andrew and his mom Michelle to a Selects tournament in Minnesota.  We were originally slated to go to tournaments in Minneapolis and Boston, but opted out of the Boston trip when the stars aligned and round two of the Stanley Cup put game four of Minnesota vs. Chicago there during our trip.  It wasn’t a tough choice.

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From the first minute of the trip, I knew it was going to be an epic weekend.  We were flying out of PBI on Zachary’s birthday.  When we got to the airport to check our bags at the Southwest counter, the customer service rep handed us a $200 in vouchers and a hotel voucher for a luxurious stay in Atlanta.  Lucky us!  We headed to security where we met up with our friends.  As we prepared to go through the queue, the boys felt compelled to ask if Doritos were considered a weapon.  Thankfully, TSA had a sense of humor that day.

As we waited to board, we watched in awe as several elderly passengers sat in wheel chairs waiting to get pushed to the baggage area.  The airport was not staffed to handle the volume of wheelchairs and they soon grew impatient.  No more than five minute had passed before they felt compelled to take matters into their own hands.  Soon they all stood and started pushing their chairs.  Only in Florida….

Finally boarding zone B was called and we were free to board the plane.  Our boys, on their way to their way to their first out of state tournament and their first Stanley Cup playoff game, were bouncing off the walls.  At the time, the Mayor had just turned 9 and Andrew was still 8 and only came with one volume level extra loud.  We got them calm enough to stand in line to get on the plane.

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As we walked down the aisle of the plane to find some window seats for the boys and ourselves, people stopped moving as our fellow passengers put their carry-ons on the overhead.  As luck would have it, we were stopped in front of a very attractive, young black woman wearing a white shirt and no bra.  Had this site only elicited giggles, it probably would have been okay, but we were not going to get off that lucky.  Nope the boys had to announce that they could see her nipples.  Oh the shades of red Michelle and I turned as they loudly shared their discovery with us.

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We continued filing to the back of the jet, but the boys could not believe what they just saw.  They were completely transfixed (pretty much like every other guy I know.)  As our flight took off and headed to Atlanta, the boys became distracted by discussions of hockey, jets and life in general.  Lucky for us, we would continue to cross paths with the women in the white shirt everywhere we went in the ATL terminal.

To be continued.

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Catapults, Toothpaste and a Bass

Life as a boy mom is not for the faint of heart.  As I looked over today’s prompt, I first thought about how Jake’s graduation was about to catapult him to the next stage of life. I then thought about all the crazy schemes, inventions and concoctions my younger boys have come up with over the years.

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Photo taken from the Mayor’s Drone

Before heading to bed several years ago, I remember walking upstairs to look in on them.  Their door was slightly ajar, but they didn’t hear me come up the stairs and I could not see into their room.  All I heard was Goalielocks says to the Mayor, “do it again, next time it will bounce higher!”  I never found out what “it” was, lord knows they wouldn’t tell me when I asked.  To this day, I have no idea what “it” was and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know.

During this same general period, Goalielocks and the Mayor did their best to give us a run for their money.  Somehow, again they are miracle workers of a special breed, they managed to get enough toothpaste on each of their feet to put prints from their bathroom into their bedroom and into the hallway upstairs.  My husband was so overjoyed that we ended up with a beautiful new hole in the wall.

A more recent story of their shenanigans comes from last October during Hurricane Matthew preparations.  As the storm braced down on Florida, or so we thought, we sent Colin off to Tampa with his coach so he wouldn’t miss his hockey tournament.  Jacob and I went into the backyard to start trimming the banana trees of the dead leaves that would become airborne if Matthew’s KAT 4 winds hit Florida.  I was supervising and Jacob had the saw.  We started with the plant closest to the house, so he pulled down the banana tree and naturally a large mouth bass fell out of it.   A couple of important points here.  First, we’re not directly on a lake.  Secondly, the storm had not hit yet, so it could not have been carried and dumped into the tree by said storm.

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There were only two ways the fish could have made it into the tree:  Goalielocks or the Mayor.   I asked the Mayor first since he was at home.  His dimples sucked in as he smiled as he quickly implicated Goalielocks, however, there is no doubt in my mind he was complicit in bassgate.  I texted Goaliocks, who then promptly called.  His response was that the bass had been in our small pond (we have a very small pond in our backyard) and was unhappy so it must have jumped out of it.  Perhaps the bass was hoping the banana tree would catapult it back to the much bigger lake less than 500 feet away.  I will never know…. What I do know is that I will never be bored as a boy mom.

A Simple Gesture Equates to a Magical Birthday for the Mayor

Celebrating the Mayor’s 11th birthday was an all-day affair that was uniquely his own. After our 5k, I called home to see if he wanted his favorite Dunkin Donuts sandwich for breakfast being that it was still only 8:30 and I had to stop to get my coffee. The Mayor, however, had other breakfast plans consisting of a pepperoni pizza Lunchable, which has long been one of his favorite things to eat. Admittedly, I didn’t quite believe my hubby when he told me he was picking the Mayor up a Lunchable for breakfast, so I had Jake call the Mayor who confirmed his breakfast wishes. While my stomach churns at the notion of eating a Lunchable at any hour, I can’t even begin to fathom eating one that early in the morning. The Mayor, as you may recall, still has his iron gut courtesy of the rink floor skittles he enjoyed years before, so the Lunchable for him that early was no big deal.

As soon as I finished showering and eating post-race, the Mayor was ready to get his gift. His mind had been set on a new GoPro, so he could be mic’d up during his games and get some good video. The Mayor is a legendary chirper, so Luke and I were happy to oblige. I cannot wait to see what comes out him wearing this camera during games. Prepare to be entertained. He spent the remainder of his afternoon playing around with the camera outside with Goalielocks.

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The hallmark of his birthday came at hockey later that evening. It is always a good day for the Mayor when he is playing his game. There is nowhere else he would want to be than at the rink playing hockey. The squad had two games back to back in Lake Worth versus the Bulldogs (Estero) and Goldenwolves peewee squads. We had the first game in hand, but gave it back in the 3rd and the game ended in a tie.
The window between game one and two was quite short, but after a hard fought game us parents were worried the kids would be gassed. The coaches, smartly, had a plan up their sleeves. Perhaps the perfect pep talk pregame would be enough to light a fire under the kids and energize them for three more periods of hockey. So who better than Macklemore to give the kids an awesome pregame pep talk to help them get their mindsets ready for the game. As they left the locker room to hit the ice, Macklemore fist bumped each player offering encouraging words.


Would it work? Would the coaches’ plan workout as they had hoped. After 3 periods, 7 goals for and 0 goals allowed, I would say it more than worked. So I had to wonder, can we clone him? Can I bring him to all of Goalielocks’ and the Mayor’s games next year? I don’t think it is particularly unreasonable.

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As the game came to an end and the opposing team made its way back to the locker room, people started to recognize him asking for pictures and he obliged. As the kids took off their gear, the coaches invited him back into the locker room and he gave them another rousing pep talk. The kids, being kids of course, started asking him to sing. In the end the entire locker room, Macklemore included sang happy birthday to the Mayor. Afterwards, Macklemore was kind of enough to pose for a picture with the Mayor. Thereafter, my birthday boy was on cloud nine. The subsequent sleepover replete with a mini-hockey tournament, Sushi Yama (only 3 bags of takeout needed to feed these kids), street hockey and shenanigans were the cherry on top of a wonderful birthday.


It is amazing how the seemingly smallest gesture can have the biggest impact. It doesn’t always take grandiose acts of kindness or love to make people feel special. Sometimes it’s a pep-talk, a picture, a song or a simple compliment that can make a person’s day. The Mayor’s birthday could not have been more special not because of the material gifts he received, but the acts of kindness he received that night from Macklemore. He will always remember that moment as long as he lives and so will I. So when you go to work tomorrow or to the gym, compliment someone. Say or do something nice and see the positive impact you can have on someone else’s day.