There is no way to write this into a short post. And it is not a list of complaints because every situation came with its own silver lining of gratitude or accomplishment. But it was hard not to take things personally when…
The keys to the condo, which were mailed to me in November, came all the way to the main Bordeaux post office before being returned to sender due to an incorrect address. Yet, the address was fine. It was only La Poste which was screwed up!
(First check-in with the condo office on January 2nd.)
Using internet preplanning, I decided I didn’t need a rental car during the first week because the Collier County Bus System had a convenient Marco Island loop that even went to the Walmart off the island. I arrived on January 1st. The schedule and stops changed dramatically (to my planning detriment) on the 2nd.
My first shopping spree at Winn-Dixie culminated with an expired fidelity card.
Since I don’t have a bathtub, I bought scented bubbles for a relaxing soak in the guest bathroom jacuzzi tub. It was fabulous and I turned on the jets for about 10 seconds at the very end just to see how they worked. The next day, the building maintenance man arrived and determined that the water leakage in the unit below was due to the guest bathtub and put it permanently out of commission.
The next next day, there was water on the floor behind the master bath toilet. (Second interaction with the condo office.) The maintenance man arrived again and put that toilet out of commission until a plumber could arrive to fix it.
I selected several dvd’s and one book from the library. The two available library cards had expired.
Rented a car to pick up the kids from the airport and be able to drive around town during their visit. On the way home, totally bleeped by our exit and ended up in the Everglades before realizing we had gone too far. There are VERY FEW off-ramps to make a u-turn in the Everglades. (Third time to the office for the parking permit.)
We all sat down at the dining room table to eat, and one of the chair legs buckled while pulling up to the table. One chair permanently out of commission.
Our first movie was the oldie but goodie WWII flick Where Eagles Dare. It stopped in the player about 1/2 way through and wouldn’t eject. Gave up and googled ejection solutions the next morning which finally worked to our great relief! Every movie from then on alarmed us with unexpected pauses.
Left the condo to go out to lunch and shop a bit. Started backing up the car and stopped immediately due to a crunching, scraping noise. The entire front passenger side was dragging on the ground and any turn put plastic to tire. Called Enterprise and they arrived promptly with a replacement vehicle and we were on our way after helping the Enterprise man pull off the panel and stow it in the trunk. (Fourth time to the office to get revised parking permit for the new license number.)
One of our errands was a search for local craft beer. Practically got rammed in the new rental car by a huge suv backing out of a parking space without a clue. Truly a heart attack moment. Needed a beer…and I don’t even like beer.
For no apparent reason, my back went out to the point where I couldn’t turn in bed, raise myself to a sitting position without help, walk without a swagger, sit or stand up from the toilet, or tolerate the pain without 2 Aleve twice a day. (Came home with several new ankle and back braces!)
On D’s last day, we tried Where Eagles Dare on the other dvd player and it played well until about the last five minutes. Damn. Then, T and I found out that D had mistakenly returned home with The Grinch. We checked out a copy from the library and it skipped all over the place.
Thankfully I knew where the fuse box was.
T and I wanted to go to the beach with supplies from the storage room. The key had to be finagled to get in but we managed. Coming back with cooler, umbrella, cart, and full bladders…we couldn’t get the key to work at all…for about 15 minutes.
As T left, J arrived with the bronchial flu. Despite our best efforts, I picked it up about a week later. And we both got ill from a crab cakes benedict brunch.
Turned in the rental car and J started driving her parent’s car which is parked in FL. Right before I arrived, a flat tire got replaced. On our first outing, the brake warning lights kept flashing and the a/c didn’t cool. We figured out the 1998 owner’s manual and added brake fluid but let others fix the rest.
I couldn’t access the hotmail account to create the BWC newsletter because of all the new 2-step security protocols. In fact, my Bordeaux cohort and I never did figure it out and I had to have all the article emails resent to my personal address.
D’s boarding pass printed. T’s boarding pass printed if we used the color cartridges. From then on, printing was a problem. J and I spent several hours over two days trying to figure it out…and it finally worked!!! The day before we left, J didn’t print her boarding pass because of the blizzard of 2015. I couldn’t print my boarding pass because it said I needed to be checked in by a gate agent. No printing required. But the blizzard just nicked Harrisburg and the gate agent decided I wasn’t a terrorist so they let us on our respective planes. However, not before the TSA people almost took my bag of brown sugar!
And my big blue suitcase, which started the journey with a non-functional extendable handle, arrived in FL with a MAJOR dent in the side structural bar, and ended the journey carrying US contraband (like chocolate chips and microwave popcorn), has now become my permanent bedroom dresser drawer.