Baby Shower Exclusive!

And off to the baby shower event in Tucson for the newest Gardner baby! (and mommy and daddy, of course!)

January 28th and I am heading to Tucson via Southwest Airlines. Only my second experience with that airline and not sure if I am crazy about them or not. Dulles International Airport is also not my favorite. Hubby overshoots the Southwest Airlines sign and has to drop me quite a way from my original stop. Hugs and kisses and I make the trek back towards the applicable overhead sign. Only to find out as I enter the terminal, that Southwest Airlines is NOT in that location, but at almost the exact point where the hubs had left me to begin! Okay, I can deal with that. I dutifully wait in line and hand over my passport and e-ticket, placing my luggage on the scale one at a time as instructed. As I begin to walk away, I am summoned back with “oh, hey. You forgot your luggage.” Excuse me? “You need to take your luggage and go around that corner and then down the hall and give it to the attendant.” um, Huh? I thought the airlines did that – you know where they cheerfully check you in and weigh your luggage and then slam it with carefree abandon on the moving belt behind them. So now, back to dragging all of the luggage around and waiting in another line while a man in a different area cheerfully slams the luggage onto the moving belt. Ah, okay, now on to security and then I can sit down and get some accounting done with my 2 hour before departure time. Follow the signs to security. Up one level we go. A man is standing in a huge open area of the upper level to direct us to an escalator going “DOWN” (yes, we go up to go down) with many many security areas and lines that look like the day after Thanksgiving at the Wal-Mart. Standing in line for over an hour and I ask a nice security lady, restrooms? Sure. But, not on this level. Back upstairs past the nice man at the podium directing traffic and down the empty hallway to the ladies room. Back to the escalator and back to the lines and this time, only a 45 minute wait! I get to my gate just as they are boarding. So much for getting some work done.
The flight was fine and uneventful except for my massaging of my arm which pulled all of the luggage here and there,
Landing in Chicago for a 45 minute layover, I ask a nice airlines lady, which gate for Tucson? “B18″ she cheerfully says. I sit and notice that people are coming and going and they have yet to call my flight which is supposed to leave in 4 minutes. I inquire at the desk and am directed to gate B20. As I run through the area, I am being paged and am the last one to board the plane – and so much for early bird check in!! I am told to take the first available seat which is the middle seat between two ladies. Is this seat taken? “no” says a young lady by the window. Thank you, as I scoot in past the aisle lady and hurriedly sit down, put my laptop under the seat in front of me, buckle my seat belt and make sure my seat and tray table are in the upright position as I hear a very exasperated “DAMMIT” directed at me. I apologize to aisle lady and she explains “I was HOPING to have more room” and as her butt cheeks spread out onto my seat I reply, I know what you mean!” Nice conversations with the window lady during the flight and then we land in Tucson. FINALLY – familiar territory. And just let me say this – the Tucson Airport is easier to get around and much nicer looking and decorated than any of the other airports I have been through. Jeffry and Kerri greet me and we head to their beautiful new home.
Kerri has decorated each room and had the furniture placed very thoughtfully. I love this house. And the fact that my bed is in the guest room makes me want to fall face down on the mattress and stay there for a week. However, Jeffry gives me the tour of the entire house and shows me their improvements and shares the future plans of what they will accomplish one step at a time. So comfortable and inviting is their home, and I am thrilled that they got it and are quite settled in before baby arrives. Kerri even has a prominent baby bump and it is really seeming REAL – my baby boy is having a baby boy! Surreal. Exciting. Cannot wait.
Friday was a nice day for a walk in the Tucson sunshine with Elway so the kids could show me around the neighborhood. They left for Phoenix to pick up Devon (Kerri’s oldest and best friend from Canada) and I left for a day of shopping and then dinner with my dear friend, Pat. Saturday brought more shopping for me and dinner at Zivazz hosted by Chris and Maggie Mundle and Jeffry and Kerri. We had the best waitress I have ever experienced … now, what was her name? Oh yeah – Megan Mundle!! Got to visit a bit with Kerri’s Uncle Matt which is always a treat. I got some accounting done while Kerri read and Devon beat Jeffry in Mario Bros.

Sunday was the big day for the Baby Gardner Shower! Megan & Maggie came over with an abundance of decorations and food, and while Jeffry & Kerri attended a Bradley Birthing Class that morning, Devon and I pitched in and under Megan’s guidance, we all got the house decorated and the food out and taste tested a LOT! Ladies began arriving shortly thereafter with packages in hand and hugs for Kerri. Fun to see some of the friends and family again. The Pack ‘n Play and the new stroller quickly filled with gifts of all colors and sizes and shapes. Gifts spilled out onto the floor as everyone helped themselves to treats and visited with old friends and met new ones. Let the games begin! On the last game, I finally beat out Stephanie and won the “who can guess the belly size” game and came home with a wonderful scented diffuser. Next came the gifts, and there gifts a plenty. It was a wonderful affair and after wards, we separated the clothing gifts into sizes and tried to get things put away and get the kids house back in the correct order.

Monday, I was back at the airport saying my good byes – but only for a short time as Bob and I will be back in April to meet our newest grandchild. Tucson to Chicago, I sat next to a nice lady who is one of the representatives in Maryland. Nice and easy flight. The flight from Chicago to Dulles, I was seated next to Ski Johnson, who was returning home from Los Angeles after winning a Grammy for song writing. He is also a jazz saxophonist. I had him text Jeffry from the plane, which I thought was very funny. Jeffry was a bit bewildered at first, but he knows his mom and understands my humor. He gets me.

All in all, a wonderful trip and I am making plans again for our return in April. Now, back to everyday life and accounting!

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