funny, humor, humour, kids, mom humor, nurses, parenting, society, travel

The Disease of Being Busy…

“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence and honest purpose, as well as perspiration.” Thomas Edison

Like the majority of people, I am busy. I have 4 busy children, a house that needs tended to, and I have a full time job. I have to fit in orthodontist appointments, teacher meetings, sporting events, dinner plans, and somehow have to manage to keep my own appointments in the process. The concept alone is exhausting.

“Life is short”, we all say. We have to fit in as much as possible, and stay as busy as we can, while we can…right?

The thought process of that statement is genious. It seems to make perfect sense! That is, until something happens that proves you are a complete idiot.

Recently, I have been so busy and tired that Ive begun to whine about it publicly, irritating my own self in the process….. BUT this month, in addition to all of the busyness of my various undertakings, this was happening….

Starting about a month ago, I began to notice a small leak in my back tire. At this point, I would spend the $1.00 to fill it with air, in hopes that the temperature was to blame for the deflation, instead of the 100,000 miles that had been placed on it.

4 days later, I would spend it again….

Losing track of days and money, I would randomly fill this tire with air again and again, between toting my children to their desired places, taking my pets for their vaccinations, and grocery shopping for the umpteenth time. I would get to that tire when I stopped being so busy.

During a 3 day stint at work, after having to start the process of filling the tire daily, the reality began to hit me that the dangers of this tire may have started to outweight the importance of my busy IMPORTANT tasks.

I was running late to work on the third day…as usual. This time, I not only noticed the tire light on again, but also my gas light. Being to busy to stop, I went ahead to work.

After saving lives all day, I walked out of the hospital tired and aching…longing for that well needed glass of wine, and a foot rub that was unlikely. I knew I should have stopped at the gas station then, but I was just too tired. I decided to chance it, and try to make it to the station closer to home.

Half way home, I began to worry. I sent a quick text to my loving companion, to notify her that she may have to come fetch the pizza I had bought for dinner, on the side of the highway. I also asked that in case that were to happen, that she please bring a tire iron and a few gallons of gas.

Luckily, I found my way to the exit, riding out the last of the trip on only a rim and fumes. After rocking my body back and forth quickly, in a head banging sort of fashion, I eked my way directly in front of the pump. I then scoured my car for any remaining change, and went in with nickles and pennies, to ask for 4 quarters to fill my tire with air.

The gentleman inside smiled and said “Ma’am, this is kind of a fancy air pump, are you sure you know how to use it”?

Irritated, I scoffed at him. Having used every air pump in Indiana in the last month, I said “Sir, I have used half of my salary the last month on AIR, that we breathe for free. I could have bought 4 tires by now! I think Ive got it”! Geez, couldnt he tell I was BUSY!!?

Still, another week and a half came and went, and I was just as busy as ever! In addition to my regular chores, I had wine trip to get to, and a country concert…oh and dont forget about the poolside lounging, and the multitude of naps I needed to energize myself, before and after my “real” task oriented projects…like piddling…

I headed to work yet again, and this time I had to stay late. I wouldnt get home until midnight, and I had to be back at work at 7am the next morning. Again, my tire light was on before I left that morning…. I didnt even check it. Instead, I parked the car, and went into work, knowing that at midnight tonight that tire would have taken its last flat.

As though the tire could read my own mind, I came out to find that it sat nicely on its rim. I should have changed the tire at this point, to at least the spare, but I didnt have time to deal with this.

So instead, I naturally drove my car to the nearest gas station. Not knowing where that was, I relied on the GPS, which took me to one of the top five places in the city to get yourself shot! I was too scared to put the fix a flat in, because I didnt have time for my flesh to burn off my bones…and because I had trouble finding anyone who spoke english and/or anyone who wasnt at risk to show their underwear further, if bending over…So I did what any other foolish woman would do….

I filled that tire with an unknown amount of air, and drove it home with the hopes it wouldnt blow out on the highway. As luck would have it, I made it safely…

Today, 3 of my 4 tires are new.

Sometimes our “busy work” is an excuse to ignore more important things. I find myself saying “I dont have time”, more times than not. The true reality is….We have the time for what we think is important.

Life is short…We SHOULD fill it with what is important!…..But do yourself a favor and stop and check every now and then, just to remind yourself what is REALLY important!

Safe travels my friends….

friendship, funny, humor, humour, parenting, society, travel

The Upside of Owning Crabs!

“Now please guys, NO fighting. If you try hard to get along, EVERYONE will have a stress free vacation”.

These are the words that Renee left the children to live by, as she sent us all off with an “I miss you all already”, knowing she had 2 full days of silence to herself. We all knew what her statement meant….

…..”Don't Piss your Mama T off in the car, if you know whats good for you”!!! (smiling and waving)

I had already thrown one massive tantrum that morning, after learning that my sweet daughters had placed my newly packed luggage in the shower, hoping to pull a late April Fools joke. My eyes dared my little cherubs to push me further.

Luckily for all of us, they were angels. It may have been because of their fear of my reaction, but it was most likely due to the fact that they had free reign of their electronics during the 4 hour trip, which was a luxury that they rarely got to have. Regardless, I got much needed quiet time on my trip….and least between the songs I was belting out, when an “oldie but goodie” came along.

While driving, I thought about what new adventure might come our way on this trip. We had never been to this city before, and the friend I was going to visit, assured me that there was nothing to do in her town. I thought this was absurd! How can there be NOTHING to do?

Honestly, I didnt need much entertaining. I was just hoping to catch up with her, and maybe get a good laugh or two in, while our children played. The only other thing I wanted to do, is to roam the city in search of a handful of deaf people. I HAD to interact with deaf people!!

It may seem that Im being politically incorrect by saying this, but believe me when I say, my intentions were good. My friend is a principal at the school for the deaf. She is married to a professional man who happens to be deaf, and one of their 5 children is deaf. They know the ins and outs of this community, because it is just a natural part of their lives. For me, this lifestyle is foreign and new.

I grow more fascinated by every new thing I learn, but admit I havent really learned anything new on my own. My friend teases me and tells me I need to learn some signing, and has even gone to the extent of putting apps on my phone that will teach me this trade. Though I have opened them a couple of times, I dont see them often enough to keep up my skills.

So far, I can only call a deaf cat or dog, but Im hoping to expand my horizons. If I could just find a group of deaf college kids to hang out with over a couple of beers, I know I could be fluent in this language.

Day one of our trip is over, and I havent seen anyone appearing to be deaf, except for the ones in her immediate family. Even then, I am not communicating up to my potential…..unless you count my head nodding, pointing, and speaking loudly to get my point across…

I guess there is always today to better myself. In the meantime, we plan to entertain ourselves with other things. After researching her city myself, it turns out shes foolish. There are lots of things to do!!

Not only did we spend last night taking “tasteful selfies” of ourselves, in her teenage daughters clothing, followed by loading all of our kids, and the kids of her extended family, into the swimming pool at the Hampton INN, TONIGHT we have an even bigger night planned!!

What could be bigger than this you may ask?

Bingo at the AM vets starts at 6:45 sharp, and I can not wait. I just hope I brought something nice enough to wear. If this isnt enough already…AND…If our hands arent too callused from playing the bingo boards..We will be following this new tradition up with crab racing at a local bar. Apparently, the locals bring their best and fastest hermit crabs, and then people come to bet on whose will win. I have made a mental promise to myself that I wont wager any more than one or two hundred dollars, and have high hopes that I bring home some BIG MONEY!

Cross your fingers….This trip could end up being better than Vegas!!









family, funny, humor, humour, stories, travel

When Squirrels Attack!!!…by an Imaginative Traveler

Aprehension and nervousness have begun to take over my once, relaxed body, as I prepare to embark on yet another journey to my neighboring state of Illinois.

You may recall the last time I visited this state, when my family and I were alerted to the dangers of the boxing deer, in the area we were staying…The kind of deer that travel in large packs, and have the capability of leaving a human for dead, if not punched in the kidneys in time to be released from its muscular haunches…

My family and I are INCREDIBLY smart, and we became curious if these deer maulings were actually common place, or if it was just a hoax that the local pranksters were playing on us.

So, we asked our waitress if she had heard of this deer bullying phenomenon. She looked confused, which proved to us right away that our touristy legs were being pulled. She said “Well, we do have alot of deer here, but Ive never heard of them attacking people”!

There was a pause in her speech, where we all giggled, feeling foolish about our newfound deer phobia, but what she said next, stopped us dead in our deer tracks!! She said “Its the Carbondale squirrels you should worry about! They will chase you and attack you for no reason”!

Our nervous laughter, mixed with the pointed fingers in her direction, left her deciding whether we were laughing in fear….Or at her! Still, she carried on with her story.

She told us that the campus squirrels were the most dangerous. She said to always be aware of our surroundings, because they are always looking at you in thier periphery. She then went a little further to say that it is common to be standing in a circle, visiting with your friends over a cup of coffee, and out of nowhere see a squirrel sprinting towards you…or your friend.. whoever is its intended victim.

I nervously asked what we should do, if this happens to us, when we are out on our own. She replied by saying “DROP YOUR COFFEE AND RUN”!

At this point I went into a dream state….

I could see myself starting off my new life on the college campus. I was proud to call myself a Carbondale Squirrel Terrier, the toughest mascot of all the Southern Illinois colleges. It was my first day of school and I wanted to make a good impression. I was wearing a darling yellow sundress, with giant white polka dots. My hair was done in a sensible braid. My sandals had more of a heel than I was used to, but I was dressed to impress. I had my brand new back pack on, and had ordered a fancy coffee at the local starbucks, for extra flair.

I was walking innocently to class, trying hard not to trip, or do anything to embarrass myself in front of a prospective new college friend…or better yet, a hunky boyfriend that may have been playing a game of frisby golf in the front yard of the fraternity.

As if it was a dream come true in that instant of my thoughts, the frisby hit a tree, bounced off, and landed right at my feet! The tan man, wearing only a nice pair of pecs, a speedo, and a tasteful pair of athletic shoes came to fetch it. I smiled, as I handed it back to him, grazing his muscular thumb in the process. I was playing bashful, and it was working!

Just as he was writing down his phone number for me, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was fast, it had hair, and it had a purpose. As a kid, I had heard horror stories about the Carbondale squirrels, but up until this point, I thought they were simply Urban Myths.

It was still a block away, and I had hoped I still had time to gather my new friends number, before I had to run…but I didnt.

He kept forgetting his number, saying “I never call myself”. I laughed nervously, and looked back to the creature soaring towards me. I could now see the whites of its teeth, and I had to run. Oh did I run!

My right heel broke off immediately, leaving me running at an awkward angle. I dropped my new backpack, because the weight was too much to carry. As I was trying to push the bottom of my flowy sundress out of my eyes, I found myself wishing I had done my laundry and worn a nicer, less raggedy pair of underwear under this dress, but before I could finish that thought, it happened…

That squirrel lunged at me, landing in my hair. Its teeth seemed to bore into my scalp, while I made every attempt to punch it in the kidneys to get it to release me. I fell to the ground, using my flexibility to try to kick it off the top of my head. It was no use.

Finally, I was left with one last strategy…I dropped the Starbucks cup! The squirrel released its hold on me, picked up the cup, took a sip, winked at me, and went on his way.

I stood up on what shoe I had left, and brushed my skirt back down, dusting clumps of dirt off in the process. Most of my braid was pulled out of the rubber band. I looked up to see all of my new prospective friends giggling and pointing in my direction.

With what pride I had left, I looked back at the tan man with the number. With what energy I had left, I raised my hand and waved in a motion that said “Lets just forget it okay”? Then, I turned and walked away.

Now, as I am sitting here drinking coffee at my dining room table, I am thankful that this story is only a part of my imagination. I only hope that the Jacksonville squirrels are nicer than the Carbondale squirrels, and that I make my way home safely without incident, as I did the last time. Wish me luck!:)


family, funny, humor, kids, mom humor, parenting, travel

Humor: Through the Eyes of a Child..

Excitement was growing. The seating arrangements were already made, and each small person was already in their seat without having to be asked…a miracle in its ownself….

We were going to pick up our new houseguests…

Every now and again, when I feel like 4 children are not enough chaos, I invite my nephews to come join us. Something about the addition or subtraction of one or two children, changes the dynamics of our own home, and allows for a change of pace. Sometimes it keeps them more occupied, and sometimes they bicker even more than usual, making me question my decision the entire time.

After taking the one and a half hour journey, we finally pulled into their driveway. My children were jumping over each other to get out of the car, to be the first one to joyfully embrace their cousins. YEAH! This was what spring break was all about.

Immediately, we loaded back in the car to make our way back home. I looked back in my rear view mirror, happy to see them all getting along. They were talking, laughing, and showing each other funny videos on their electronics, that were more than likely innappropriate. I knew it wouldnt be long before these boys would find it too much of a hardship to come visit their aunt, so I was just enjoying the moment before me.

Well, that is for about 10 minutes…

Suddenly an aroma started filling the car, that was very distinctive. It was a mixture of farts, sweat, dirt, and a faint aftersmell of day old, partially absorbed garlic. I knew this was coming from one of the four boys in my car, but learned a long time ago not to bring it up, because then it becomes funny, and begins to happen more frequently.

Half way home, my tone of voice was already raised, due to their inability to keep their hands to themselves. The back of my seat was being kicked, the car was rocking, and some of my non paying riders were already crying. My children had been in the car to long….

I tried to turn the music up, so they would sing along, but quickly turned it off when I heard giggling in response to one of these cherubs singing loudly “RAISE YOUR BLOUSE”, instead of “Raise your glass”….A once very well written song that PINK sings.

I quickly changed tactics, and the knock knock jokes started. The jokes were the same old stupid jokes that Ive heard a million times. In fact, I thought for a second that if I heard that “banana who?” joke one more time, that I would have no choice but to turn the PINK song back on, and just endure the funny song they made up, that was innapropriate and depreciated women as a whole.

I figeted for a moment before finally shouting “ENOUGH”! I reminded them that a joke isnt funny anymore when its told over and over, because we already knew the punchline…..Even if you replace the word banana with apple!! Seriously…

They were all quiet for a minute, before I heard a new, fresh joke, that started with “Whats the difference between deer jerky and deer nuts”? Giggles again ensued, because the words “nuts and balls” have recently become hysterical in our household. I honestly did not want to know the answer. Not because I didnt want to know the punch line, but because I had a feeling that the answer was going to be inapropriate, and then I felt certain that I would recieve a phone call from the principal next week, when one of my own children decided to retell the joke.

I stared in silence into my rear view mirror, which honestly, I was watching more than the road, during the entirety of the trip. He grinned at me knowingly, waiting for me to dare him not to answer, before he blurted out the answer and the entire car was filled with childrens laughter…..

I laughed too…

Something about children laughing is uplifting…as long as they arent laughing at you.The joke wasnt as bad as expected, and truthfully Ive exposed my children to far worse.

After a few magic tricks, and a few lost coins later, we finally made our way home. Five hours was too long in the car, and I was exhausted. As they stumbled over each other to get out of the car and grabbed their luggage, I made my way to the couch for a well deserved nap. However, before I made it to the threshold of my door, I heard “Hey Aunt Tia, What are we going to do now”?!…

Ugh! “You go play until I can think up some fabulous plans. Dont come in the house until I figure it out okay”?

Of course that didnt work out, but I did manage a tiny nap.

Next up?….Formulating real plans. I had a feeling we would have a very active week!!

………Oh….and in case you wondered what the answer to the deer joke is….

……Deer jerky is $1.50. Deer Nuts are just under a buck!! 🙂


camping, family, funny, humor, humour, society, travel

How NOT to Get Punched by a Deer…

“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength”. ~St Francis de Sales

This quote has never touched me as much as it did, during my last wine tour with my family.

I will begin at the beginning….

As we were nearing the cabin that we had rented for the weekend, we were naturally overwhelmed with excitement. We had driven 6 hours, in the southwest direction, only to land ourselves smack dab in the middle of a state, that looked exactly as our own!

Still, it was beautiful. Country roads were snow covered and hard to navigate, yet we carried on, despite the wilderness' attempt to turn us away. Large empty cornfields led the way to a large dense forest, which was the home of our rented abode…..The place where our adventure would begin…

As we cautiously made our way down the lane, we saw massive amounts of deer, in the empty cornfields…more than we had ever seen at one time. Deer are something that we commonly see, in our neighboring Midwest state, yet the amount of these white tail deer in one setting was absolutely mesmerizing! We had come to a complete stop at one point, to watch them in all of their glory. I believe we would have gotten out to view them more closely, if only it weren't so cold.

They just stared back at us in stillness….heads cocked with curiosity…

Or so we thought….

We snuggled into our cabin without incident, and made our way to a few wineries before dinner. Some of my family members are still avid smokers, and due to the “No Smoking” rules in most facilities these days, they had often times found themselves outside frolicking with the locals, thus picking up valuable information for the rest of us, for the remainder of our trip!

At dinner that same night, we learned information that could essentially save our lives….

The smokers in our party rushed to join us at the table, with faces lit up so bright, that you knew they could only be carrying more knowledge…. And they were! Casually, while taking a drag of his cigarette, a local man asked if we were visiting for the first time. After a quick answer of “yes” followed, the man filled their brains with knowledge of the Illinois land….

He said to be wary of the deer, for they will attack! You may not even see them coming, but may turn to find their front feet up in the boxing position, and see that your nose is bloodied, before you can even say the word “HELP”!!! Apparently, sometimes they will keep boxing you, and won't let you get away from them, putting you at risk for death! Lucky for us, this gentleman was nice enough to tell us how to free ourselves from the strong triceps of this creature, that my family could only consider to be a genetic mutation of deer…a kangadeer if you will!!! We certainly weren't in Indiana anymore!

So, how do you get away from these hybrid deer you ask???…..


Of course, as we noshed on bar food, and sipped more wine, we dared each other to stand up to a deer, we offered money to the first person who would walk to the road and back in the dark, not knowing how many deer may be lurking……and then of course, we seriously discussed our tactics! Though it was never said outwardly, I know we were so thankful we didn't get out of the car to view those initial thousand deer up close! Honestly, we wouldn't have known what to do then….as we did now!!

We were all more than willing to engage in a fight with this species if necessary, though we all agreed that we would not send anyone to help, for fear someone else would die. If you fought….you fought alone! We would however, shout out all of the valuable information we could remember, to the unfortunate victim that the deer chose, in hopes to calm their nerves and help them defeat the deer. The main problem though, was that none of us knew where the kidney of a deer was located. It could be up high, or in the middle, and we may have had to make a huge effort to reach North of the deers body, in its chest cavity…we just couldn't be sure. None of us wanted to be in a situation, where we were blindly punching, only to find out we were hitting the deers appendix…or worse, the thyroid gland of the mammal! We needed to be more prepared!!!

Thankfully, none of us ever got boxed. I think its mainly due to the safety measures we took.

We always traveled in pairs…. We looked in our periphery constantly….We stayed in the car…. AND most importantly, we made sure the doors were latched securely and locked, in case these creatures had opposable thumbs!!

I love my family, and I'm glad we lived through another adventure that could have ended in tragedy.

When I got home, I tried to find out where the kidney of a deer was located, then started researching other tactics. Since that man, who was a stranger to us, helped save our lives, I decided to help all of you with my new knowledge…just in case you encounter the same issues.

The kidneys are located beneath the lungs and behind the liver.

Carry bear spray/or pepper spray for safety.

Carry a long hiking stick with a hollow handled survival knife taped to the end, to use as a spear.

In an emergency, set off a road or marine flare, making sure not to set a fire.

Most importantly, DONT RUN! First find out why its attacking, and be sure to make eye contact as you slowly back away. When you're far enough away, start flailing your arms and yelling, to scare it off!!

If none of that works, and you find yourself being beaten down by the same hooves you shook just moments ago…..just start punching its kidneys!!

You're welcome…



friendship, funny, humor, humour, society, travel

Sometimes There is No Moral to a Story!!

After my third night staying in this resort, I found that I was not as forgiving as I was on my first couple of days. The bags under my eyes were becoming larger instead of smaller. It's not because I hadn't had a relaxing time in the sun everyday…I had! I even understood that many people would say I have nothing to complain about…but I did!

The beds in which we were sleeping on were made from limestone or bedrock, and the only thing softening them were the plastic pads that keep urine off of them. As luck would have it, it was only on my bed…not my friends bed! The pillows were made of feathers…about 20 of them, which have been compounded over the years into one giant feather, that felt more like petrified wood. Initially, I would try to double them up, lay on my belly, toss and turn, until eventually I brought myself to moaning outwardly, hoping the front desk might hear me and bring me a fluffy pillow. Surprisingly, they didn't…not even in my dreams!

In the 2 hours of broken sleep I had that night, I had reached an ultimate low point. I had grown exhausted. Like clockwork, I had to get up and use the bathroom in the middle of the night. My bed was furthest from the bathroom and it was pitch black in the room. Having vacationed with my friend in the past, not including the two days before this one, I knew she was a light sleeper. She likes to point out every time I flipped over throughout the night, each time I went to the bathroom, and each time I have difficulty figuring the lights. Then, she assures me it didn't disturb her sleep at all…..

I tried to tread lightly to the bathroom this time. I thought about not even turning the bathroom light on, because I knew my tossing and turning had probably kept her up enough as it was. I took the tiniest baby steps in order to keep myself from kicking the bed or knocking something over, defeating my whole purpose!! It seemed to take forever, but I finally found the threshold of the bathroom door. Only, I found it by smashing my entire face and head into the wood frame.

Immediately I had had it! An expletive came flying out, before I lit up the entire place with lights!!! My head and neck ached partially from dehydration, and the rest from my pillow being so concave, that my eyes would have been looking at my spine, if there was enough lighting to see it, while I mimicked rest.

I suddenly no longer cared who I awoke. I needed water, I needed ibuprofen, and I needed a pillow that was in fact a pillow…even if I had to go gather a bag of leaves myself!!! Im fairly certain that my friend was awake, but she didn't dare open her eyes or question me, for she could tell I had reached my limit.

I stumbled back to my bed, bumping everything I possibly could, in the hopes of finding something that resembled a pillow! What I found was better than anything I had, but pathetic and a little embarrassing nonetheless…

As a hilarious joke, before leaving on this trip, I had asked my daughter to borrow her purple cat airline neck pillow to take on the plane, simply to mortify my friend! Turns out, I not only slept well with it on the plane, but it had also become my pillow of choice in the hotel! Thankfully, after placing it delicately onto the fold of my neck, I got about a solid one and a half hour sleep, before my friend gingerly told me it was after eight..meaning we had to get up! As she leaned up to see my less than smiling face, she could see my neck cocooned in this tiny neck device and giggled…sadly, this is honestly what it had come to. My eyes dared her to tell me one more time how fabulous these thin pillows were…but she never did!!

I drug my dragging ass down to the ocean again, miserable, but not complaining one bit. This warm air still felt so fabulous, and I could always nap outside couldn't I ? I wadded up my bathing suit cover up, and laid on my belly, hoping to doze for a second. I didn't. However, I came up with a variety of new ideas for a good restful sleep on my last night there…. Not only had my friend volunteered to let me use her adult sized traveling neck pillow, but I started being able to envision myself stuffing my pillow cases with dirty clothes and mint condition underwear, to make my pillow fluffier than it had been all week. What was the worst that could happen anyway?…..A belt buckle could lacerate an ear? Well, I had cauliflower ear as it was! It was worth a try!!

The moral of this story….

There isn't one!!


friendship, funny, humor, humour, society, travel

The Measurement of Safety….

Mazatlan is a beautiful country that has gotten a bad rap in the past several years, due to the high crime rates, mass amounts of drug cartel, and the increase in incidences involving tourists. As this information began to hit the media, tourism in the country went down, and cruise lines stopped including them in their stops. The country has since taken huge measures to protect the tourists, by hiring a new police staff in order to traffic the area, and help cut down on crime. Just last week, one of the largest drug lords was arrested in this country, due to their ongoing measures. Just this year, 2 cruise lines have decided to revisit the country, because crime rates have drastically dropped.

If you are aware of these things prior to visiting an area, it may keep you from visiting that particular place. One may think its not worth the risk, and that it isn't safe to travel. However, my friend and I looked at it as a deal. The prices to visit the all-inclusive resort were more than reasonable, and it didnt take long for us to decide that this was the place for us!

I consider us to be smart girls though…as most of you probably already gathered. We decided early on that we wouldn't attempt to buy any drugs, we wouldn't bat our fair colored eyelashes at any drug lords, and at no point would we EVER leave the resort….It simply wasnt safe!!

However, and as most of you probably gathered, it only took me talking to the van driver, on the way to the resort, to make me change our minds. I assured my friend that this man was a native to the land, he had lived here his entire life, and he certainly knew more than the media!!! When he mentioned we could ride in the Pulmonias, which were fancy two door golf carts that drove through the city, there wasnt a chance in the world we werent going….plus I now desperately needed to see the cathedral he spoke so highly of!!! AND….as luck would have it, this just happened to be the week of CARNAVAL. There were parades and everything!!!! We just had to go.

Anyone who knows me closely will tell you, if I have something in my mind to do, it's very hard to dissuade me. Since my eyes were lit up on fire, my friend didnt even try this time!

When the morning came, I woke us up promptly…which is generally not the case. However, my friend, if not reminded, will sometimes casually forget about the things that she doesn't necessarily care to do!! I wasn't forgetting. We made our way downstairs to the lobby, where I proudly shared my knowledge and need for a Pulmonia ride into the city! No problem. For a firm price of 160 pesos, or roughly $16, we could get a ride into the city. He told us NOT to tip the driver, and to make sure the price was confirmed, prior to entering the vehicle. This was SO easy, and I was proud of myself for actually listening.

It wasnt but a minute down the road, before the driver was trying to talk us into just going to the Golden Zone, which was a shopping area in the hotel zone, instead of the city. His reasoning made sense…the boardwalk going into the city was closed, due to the Carnaval. If we wanted to go to the city, he would have to drive around the city in a different way, meaning he would have to charge us extra……

This is where my friend Kellie and I differ. This is where she plays bad cop while I play good. Immediately she didnt care for the change of plans!! She became panicked, and envisioned him taking us to a remote area, raping us, and leaving us for dead. She shook her head and sternly reminded him that the deal was a FIRM 160 pesos. He said he understood, but in broken English tried to tell her again his rationale…..the road was closed!!

She refused to listen, and demanded that he turn around so we could go back to the hotel and locate a driver who would stay firm with his promised fee!

I tried to soften it by asking about the place he wanted to take us, which actually I remembered the van guy talking about it in my previous conversation. I was trying to piece the conversation back together, trying to recall the instructions he had so clearly given me. I pleaded with Kellie to please allow him to drop us at the Golden Zone…it sounded so familiar! Although she said “FINE”, I could tell by the look on her face that I was really pushing it! I made small talk with the driver until we got there, and then it came time to pay. Kellie handed him the agreed upon $16, and we started to walk away…but he stopped us. There was an issue with the payment!!!

Kellie quickly made her way back to the man and counted the dollars one by one, to prove she had the full amount we agreed upon! He said he understood, but she OVERPAID him… She couldn't understand his Spanglish and reminded him of our deal…160 pesos!! He said again he understood, but it was only 120 pesos to the Golden zone…she had overpaid him. I quickly used what street knowledge I had, before he called the rest of his cartel to help bind our hands and feet with twine, as he beat us with golf clubs. I said in full English…”Sweetie, you overpaid…he's giving you money back”!

She was humbled and gave him the entire $16 so he could take his own children to the Carnaval later, but not humbled enough to prevent herself from being irritated with me, when I told her we would have to take the bus into the city, that I couldn't speak Spanish, and that I had no idea which bus would take us to the market. I reminded her that she needed to have more sense of adventure, but honestly I was a little nervous myself!!

Somehow we made our way into the city, and got off at the right spot! We saw a beautiful cathedral, visited the boardwalk, saw awesome views of the mountains and the ocean, and made our annual visit to the farmacia! Then….it was time to find our way back!

We were in the same spot as we started, when we decided to take the Pulmonia back to the resort. Kellie was dead set on the 160 pesos! The first man we came into contact with was charging 250 pesos, which Kellie wasnt having ANY part of! He was just starting to pull his oozy out of his holster, when she finally moved onto the next driver…looking for a firm deal! I continued to look pretty in the background, shaking my head, tsking her, and acting like I was speaking Spanish under my breath, until she found a deal she liked… and I jumped in!

The little firecracker had got what she wanted at a reasonable rate!!!

I harassed my little friend the whole way home…giggling that she was so tough and caused these people to hate us. Truthfully though, I need her smarts to get us through! I would have easily paid the 250 pesos the first time, and likely would have gone up to 400. I would have let that man drive us to the outskirts of the city for an increased price, and would have seen no other choice but to load onto the yacht of the drug lord, who would, for the rest of my life, have been my master!

The real roles here are clear… I get us in trouble, and she keeps us safe! However, it was yet another great adventure with my tough as nails friend who I truly adore!!!