Sunday, October 31, 2010

Leaf Peepers in the bonny state of Virginia

Dear Imaginary Friends,

How beautiful is the state of Virginia! In the autumn, my husband Carlo and I love to take a drive out toward the Blue Ridge Mountains for a bit of leaf peeping. Gold, red, and orange fleck the hillsides, and the breeze flutters through them, making them sparkle in the clear autumn air. My favorite trees are the sugar maples.
Yesterday, to see the trees out in wine country, we hit the towns of Berryville, White Post, Millwood, Leesburg, etc. One of our goals was to go to the Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville to hunt down some good old fashioned sherry and brandy laced fruitcake, covered in chocolate. I think if you buy this stuff from a monk, God makes the calories evaporate! At least, that was what I told the monk.
After buying that and some traditional fruitcake, some children's books, some cards and some homemade honey, it was time to eat dinner. No, I was not hungry after all that fruitcake, but a girl has to do what a girl has to do. We went to the charming Battlefield Inn, a B and B in Berryville, where we ate luscious shrimp and grits and yummy macaroni and cheese on the side, plus some rich onion soup, etc. The house pinot noir came in a massive wine glass for only $7. It felt like half a bottle was in there!
We attempted to find Long Branch, a lovely historic home in White Post. Our Garmin navigation system kept sending us round and round in circles. It made no sense. After 3 attempts of driving continuously, hunting for the mythical address, we gave up. Our Garmin is definitely possessed. Sometimes, it listens to its good angel, and sometimes to its bad angel.
Technology is like that. It is great as long as it is working!
By the way, Holy Cross monastery has retreats, and is a lovely spot to contemplate fruitcake!
Your friend in Virginia,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Why I Hate Spirit Airlines

Dear Spirit Airlines,

How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways!
Last weekend, my husband and I trekked to Miami Beach and we made the consummate mistake of flying Spirit Airlines. Biggest problem: apparently, knees are optional! If you are taller than 5 feet, you will wonder where you are supposed to stow your knees on their airplanes, which seem to hark back to darker days when our ancestors travelled in stowage to America. If you had a magazine in the pouch in front of you, you no longer had room for your knees. Because the space allowed is 3 inches maximum.

As if the space issue is not heinous enough to turn one away from this wretched airline, add to that the charges for tea, coffee, soft drinks, reserved seats, and carry on bags.
This leads to the inevitable person-on-a-budget-making-unwise-spatial-decisions syndrome.

A very fat young lady stuffed all her belongings into a back pack and proceeded to stuff it under the seat in front of her. She was avoiding the $35 charge to carry on a bag in the overhead compartment. My sad luck: she was my seat mate. Consequence: I had to leave the aisle briefly in order for her to shove it with all of her might into the tiny space. Then, she parked her foot and leg in my foot space. Now, I am not normally a irritable person, but this made me want to accidentally kick her. Of course, I did not actually do so, but the temptation grew stronger with every minute. In the privacy of my own mind, I formulated plans to drop an anvil accidentally on her foot. Slight problem: I had no anvil, and if I did, there would have been an anvil-dropping charge imposed by Spirit.
Then the lady in front of her got really angry as the backpack girl pushed her voluminous body into the seat ahead of her in order to retrieve the MP3 she dropped on the floor in front of her. This sort of thing went on for 2.5 hours...

Smells like Bad Spirit...not teen spirit. I. 
Never again. 
US Airways is looking better... as would Rat and Bedbug Air.
Original denizens of Miami

Veteran of the airways