Mecca looks like a balloon festival

Mecca looks like a balloon festival

I’ve written about ballooning and festivals a few times already and if you want to check out my trip to Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta look here or the Arkansas Balloon Festival can be found here. Both include tons of pics of balloons.

I think I can say annual with confidence since this is my third year in a row…my annual trip to Albuquerque. Has a nice ring to it. By the time I left on Tuesday afternoon I was thinking I’d be lucky to make it through Oklahoma before I was ready to stop for the night. It had been a long day at work and then add driving on to that…. Thankfully I had lots of phone calls and long chats with friends and family all the way up to 1am when I finally stopped in Amarillo, TX. 

As you drive into Amarillo heading west bound there is a big sign that says ‘Amarillo’. Once I see the sign it’s like George Strait kicks on in my head. Amarillo by morning up from San Antone… Off to bed with balloons dancing in my head…not really but it sounds good.

I had planned to be up early, so I could finally check out the Cadillac Ranch. No such luck since my alarm didn’t go off for the second day in a row. Wth – It took a phone call to bring this sleeping beauty around to the living. Ugh it was after 8am and later than I wanted to start my day. A frantic beauty prep and I was hitting the road to Albuquerque aka Mecca. 

The landscape of the southwest is somewhat desolate with low growing plants and dark red outcroppings with arroyas here and there. I spotted a train that looked a mile long, passed a million trucks and campers, and cruised down the highway at a brisk 80mph. Before I knew it I was driving through the Sandia-Manzano mountains coming into Albuquerque. It feels like coming home, but I’ve never lived there. Crazy thing about this vacation I get up at 4:45am, so I can meet my pilots by 5:30am to drive to fiesta field. That’s love peeps. 

I would like to say this was vacation only but work creeps in especially when you have a big project on a time constraint. So there were about three hours with my head stuck in a laptop sitting in my hotel room. Then there were the phone calls and requests that relate to the project. It will be worth it in the long run isn’t that what we say to ourselves. 

Each day was beautiful for flying. I was a little rusty since I haven’t crewed in a year, but I’m happy to do the work. My pilot landed on the field every day I was there so I had it pretty easy this year. No tumble weeds, locked gates, soccer fields or the reservation. I might be jinxing myself for next year. Omg

We tailgated a couple of times and watched the balloons come across the field while pilots were trying to hit the target with their baggie. An evening hanging out at a beautiful home with the oldest wisteria I’ve ever seen. Saturday was game day and off to the Uptown bar to watch some SEC action. Like the previous year there were a bunch of Sooner fans there watching their game against Texas. The UT fans were huddled in the corner and left pretty quick at the end.

Ate at some familiar places and got to try some new ones. Jimmy’s Cafe was delicious. Highly recommend eating there. I had the huevos rancheros with christmas. Yum!

Spent time switching out baskets and envelopes. It may all seem kind of mundane and like a lot of work I’m sure to some. I enjoy the experience, the people I’m with, and the ability to just be myself. I took naps! It’s a privilege at my current age to be able to nap. Once I creep up in years it might be the norm. Lol

On one of the nights we went to the balloon glow and fireworks. Hung out on the tailgate and drank bloody Mary’s. It was an interesting evening especially when we saw the senorita balloon break away from its tiedown.

On the last day we flew I got to go as well. It was the highest altitude I’ve been in a balloon so far. We were going up to 7200′ not sure if we got all the way to that or not, but I know we got to 6800′. The fiesta field still looks huge from that height. It’s just so massive. There was so much balloon traffic that day – more than I’ve ever seen on one of my trips. All of us in the basket were keeping an eye out for balloons above, below and to the side. Some are just so huge you don’t want to hit by accident. Talk about a potential catastrophe. We went from that height to down on the deck pretty much, so we could land on the field. My pilot did an excellent job. I’m fortunate to have the experience and grateful I continue to have the opportunity to fly. 

If you’ve never been it should be on your bucket list or must see items. It’s a sight to behold that’s for sure.

Until next year mecca.

-G.

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Off to Colorado I go

Off to Colorado I go

Work travel with a side trip to visit with one of my besties! 

Got to Denver for a meeting and had some time to burn before checking into the hotel so I took off for my favorite restaurant The Berkshire. If you love bacon this is the place for you. When I landed it was spitting snow and raining so I had the grilled cheese with BACON and tomato-parmesan-basil soup. Absolute deliciousness!!!

If you ever have time to tour Celestial Seasonings in Boulder, Colorado I highly recommend it. I had the opportunity to be a taste tester for green teas they are trialing, and I was compensated with a box of Peppermint tea. A great trade off for sure!

Sassy

Once my meeting was over I hit the road to meet up with my friend Cindy and I was finally able to meet her fiance. He’s a sweetie and he’s lucky to get her…just sayin’. (Obviously, I’m writing this after the wedding, so if you are just now reading and missed the trip to Colorado for that event you can catch up here. Rollin’ down the highway Part 1 and Part 2 of the Colorado Trip)

We had a blast with her being my tour guide. I actually started my day birding along the Arkansas River. Cindy knew I would love it and sent me on my merry way with a set of binoculars. I added to my life list, was able to contribute some finds, and in southern tradition I met people that know people from my home town. So much so that our families are buried in the same cemetery. Really folks I just have a knack for finding these encounters. Give me a plane full of people and I bet there’s an Aggie on it. Instant rapport and recognition of shared experiences. That actually happened on my trip to Pittsburgh two weeks ago. The guy sat next to me on the first leg. I never talk but I chatted with him. Alright back to CO.

I’d always wanted to visit the Royal Gorge, which is just outside Canon City. We road the gondola. Cindy rode it but didn’t want to look down. I would’ve hung over the side I was so excited to be hanging in air.

A true test of friendship!

It’s funny how I live in Arkansas and the Arkansas River flows through our great state, but it doesn’t look near this pretty. It’s muddy and nasty by the time it gets to Little Rock. The first time I ever waterskied was on the Arkansas River in southern Arkansas. I was staying with my aunt and unlce during the summer. I remember it being dirty and that I about drowned learning to ski. Experiences that last a lifetime. I’ve spent other days hanging out on the river with my cousin and friends of hers. Despite the brown color of the water we had a good time. Just had to keep sunscreen on her ghostly figure. Think vampire and you’ve got the right color. ❤ her!

The Arkansas River…I want to raft that one day!

Look ma no hands!
Aster’s peaking out
Looking upriver – I want to ride the train too!
Quartz is used everywhere – beautiful
A lovely pine

It was a hot was day in comparison to the spitting snow and rain I had when I landed in Denver a couple of days before. I was melting and grateful for any respite that included shade.

Royal Gorge Bridge

The bridge has lots of movement because of the type of construction and there is a boat load of wind whipping through there. Cindy walked down the center and provided interesting tidbits about the bridge and surrounding area.  In the most recent past there was a fire that burned up the gorge area. Devastating to look at the land and see the carnage fire can bring to nature.

Love this photo because it makes me think of art for some reason! 

This is only a portion of my trip. I’m going to have to break this one down. Next part will be about the mountains and a castle. Really you don’t want to miss it. Oh and a cat named Bandit! A real charmer.

Enjoy-G.

Part 2 of the Colorado Trip

Come Saturday morning we were up and gathering our belongings to hit the road once again. We had a short visit then on the road to Colorado Springs. We decided to go a different route heading home. The drive down from Westcliffe was spectacular! The rock formations and shear cliffs were a reason to stop and capture the beauty around us. Evergreens galore….the scent just makes you think Christmas.

It was just over an hour later and what felt like a steady decent downward that we arrived in Colorado Springs. My sister and I headed straight for the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. PSA: it cost $10/adult to enter. We enjoy checking out archeological sites, especially ones we remember hearing about when we were kids in school. We wandered in and out of the cliff dwellings. Took lots of pictures. I had to shed my light jacket because the temperature difference was a solid 20-30 degrees from Westcliffe to Colorado Springs. I was starting to sweat and I wasn’t doing any hot yoga in those yoga pants.

She’s Cray Cray

❤ my sister!
Pike’s Peak in the distance

We didn’t take time for the Seven Falls but I’ll try to see that another trip. It’s supposed to be amazing. Instead the GPS was kind enough to route us through a heavy construction zones to a side entrance for the Garden of the Gods. We stopped right away to grab some lunch out of the cooler and take some selfies. We got back on the road and wound our way around stopping along the way for more pics of the rock formations. We finally made it to what is the front entrance and followed the signs to the visitors center. 

Camels kissing

At the visitors center on the viewing deck on the second floor is the best view of the Garden of the Gods. You get a greater perspective and it helps having the information pointers handy. We browsed the gift shop and then hit the road. We didn’t get far when we saw a gas station with a car wash. Time well spent cleaning the dust of my ride!

Our trip back was mostly uneventful considering we traveled the entire state of Kansas. We saw lots of crop land, turbines and the wind blows constantly. Cruise was set and we rolled on towards home. Once we got to Missouri and in the wee hours we stopped for coffee aka espresso. Cause we were making it to the house come hell or high water! At 2:45am we rolled into the drive. We were dead tired but we had covered five states, attended a wedding, saw the sights, made new friends, and had a grand adventure together.

What’s your next adventure? 

Enjoy-G.

Rollin’ down the highway Part 1

Rollin’ down the highway Part 1

Originally my plan was to fly to Colorado and rent a car to make the drive to Westcliffe for my friends wedding. I bought a car and had the epiphany that it might take longer to drive but cheaper in the long run. I needed a trusty sidekick for this trip. A co-captain that wouldn’t sleep the whole way, so I enlisted my sister. She’s a photographer. An easy mark, I mean potential sidekick, to entice with visions of grand vistas and mountains galore. She said yes!

We loaded up on a sunny Wednesday afternoon and hit the road to Woodward, OK. I had been trying to set up my hotel through the app on my phone with no luck. Finally I breakdown and call. The chick that answered was super polite and when she confirmed the address it was with extra emphasis on Woodward Okla-homa. I got the impression she wasn’t sure I had called the right place. This amused my sister and I to no end. I told her ‘Yep, that’s my stopping spot for the night before heading on to Colorado. So we’ll see you later tonight.’ 

After several hours of driving I noticed that I had 3 confirmations for a room. Hmmm that was going to be interesting when I arrived and it was. The girl at registration was proud to tell me that she had put all the rooms together on one floor. I had to explain I only needed one of those and the app issues. She looked so disappointed.

Driving to Woodward was uneventful which I delight in that fact. We saw an amazing sunset over a lake, but I had no place to stop for my sister to take pics. A little further down the road we had crested a ridge and the purples and pinks in the sky were fantastic. It looked like I was pitting at a NASCAR race for the perfect spot for her to get some amazing shots. What can I say I was booking it down the road.

Somewhere in Oklahoma
Westbound and down

Somewhere out in the middle of nowhere I narrowly missed a huge buck and what looked like a black bucket in the middle of the road. Possibly a wild hog but we’ll go with bucket. 

I know my Chrysler 300 won’t straddle that bucket like my Nitro. Back in March of this year my son and I ran up on a gray tote at night in the middle of the road. Oncoming traffic and a car in the lane next to us. I slowed but not much else I could do. I pulled over so we could investigate and the darn thing was hung under the vehicle. He pulled and I backed up until it finally popped loose. Thank goodness it was empty – strap that crap down people!

Back to Oklahoma – we made it to the hotel and I crashed in 5 minutes tops! Long day but I loved seeing new places and driving is something I enjoy. We still had at least 7 hours of driving the next day so you would think we would be up at the crack of dawn. Nope! We were all leisurely about it and thank goodness. Just about the time we were loading up to leave I had an email from my new boss. Um I needed to respond to that and then decided I’d just go ahead and jump on the conference call we were discussing. 10:30ish that’s what time we left. As we tooled through the panhandle of Oklahoma my sister got the task of being my admin. She took dictation for emails, kept an eye on our route, looked for anything interesting to take a picture of…I found that bit of interest. Hooker, OK (see below). The jokes in my head are endless and I’m told the mascot is a Horny Toad. I’m not checking that bit cause I really want it to be true!

Makes me laugh every time!

Once we got past Boise City, OK the road got smaller. Two lanes with no shoulder. Not pulling over in the car but we had a huge discussion about native grasses, crops, cattle and crop rotation. That’s what you get with a farmer and a horticulturalist. When we crossed into New Mexico it was with little fanfare other than the huge pumpkin patch that was being harvested that we whipped past on our way to I-25.

I love karma sometimes. We had a red Grand Cherokee pass us like we were sitting still. I’m no slack behind the wheel and I was estimating that he had to be doing close to 90mph. I really didn’t want a ticket in my new car plus I just paid for the tax, title and license, so I couldn’t afford a hefty fine. Miles down the road I see blue lights flashing and I said to my sister ‘bet that’s the Jeep.’ My sister and I laughed as we passed that Grand Cherokee that thought 90mph was justifiable. That policeman didn’t think so.

Somewhere between Raton and the Colorado State line the sky was just beautiful. You could see the rain coming down in the distance. I told my sister get your camera I’m pulling over. She was like What – ok! I didn’t have to force her at all. I sat in the car since I was sitting just off the interstate. She tells me to get out here so I can take your picture. Um, what. I hate being the model. Lol she did a great job for a stop that was on the fly. We had lots of stops like that – no sense in wasting good scenery!

Before we hit the rain in New Mexico
Made it to Colorado

The best part of the trip was the exit off I-25. It looked to be in the middle of nowhere. I pull up to the stop sign and I see a car sitting off to the right parked next to a fence. No right and straight puts you back on the interstate. I’m looking at Google maps like what left turn I don’t see anything except the drainage space under the road. Looking down at the map I creep forward and the arrow moves along the line on the map. Hmmm that’s so strange. It points right at the drainage space under the interstate. It’s literally one lane! My sister and I look at each other like you’ve got to be kidding. We took pictures of course.

The car fit!

One thing I noticed about Colorado was all the signs for animals. On the way to Westcliffe we saw deer, elk, bear, and buffalo. Once we got to The Historic Pines Ranch we were given warnings about badgers also called bashers by someone’s phone. My phone changed badger to grudge…wth. Autocorrect needs to get with the program. 

The ranch is beautiful! We were just under 9000′ elevation. Our normal is just over a 1000. We did a little huffin and puffin but it was worth it. The aspen weren’t turning yet but they were still beautiful with their stark, white bark with accents of black. I think it’s got to be my favorite tree just for the bark alone. I know plant nerd outta control here. The bonfire reception with chilli and Fritos was delicious. The wedding the following day everything my friend had imagined and more I’m sure. She was a beautiful bride and the groom was handsome as can be. Their joy rolled off them in their body language, facial expressions and actions. Makes the heart go pitter patter to see a couple like that or in my case brings some tears to my eyes. Can’t help it I’m a big ol’ crybaby. Hallmark commercials slay me!

Just outside of Westcliffe
Beautiful church in Westcliffe
Rehearsal – fun times
Aspen trees!!!

More aspens – love them
Ready for the wedding! ❤ my sister!
The happy couple!

Since this was a 5 state trip full of stops, pictures and adventure I’ve broken this blog into two parts. I hope you’ve enjoyed the fun of our sister trip so far.

Stay tuned for part 2!

Enjoy-G.

Vegas baby!

Vegas baby!

I’m fortunate enough to go once a year for work and sometimes I actually do fun things! 

This year my annual trip started off with a chase across the Nellis dunes at night in a dune buggy. In my mind I was picturing sand dunes everywhere, and there were some…somewhere. There was also hard pack and a lot of rocks in all shapes and sizes. It was the best night and I had an absolute blast! Four hours of thrills and maybe chills if you fly over a dune and drop off unexpectedly. 

We came over one dune and I had the gas pedal on the floor. As I flew over I could see the campfire in the valley I was heading straight for. My buggy liked to shimmy to the left and of course the campfire was on the left. I fought the wheel till it shimmied right and then my lights landed on a big freaking rock. Shimmy back left miss the rock and make the turn to go up the next dune. I don’t think I ever let off the gas. 

Towards the end of the chase some of my peeps were really jockeying for their spot in the finish. You would’ve thought it was a NASCAR finish the way we rolled in. Well someone in out group rolled in with a flat tire and I’m pretty sure that’s the same one that knocked a huge ass rock out in front of me. It was a little tricky there for a second. I highly recommend Sunbuggy for an off-road adventure! 

Sorry no pics because I didn’t want to lose my phone in the desert and it would’ve happened considering how rough it was and how fast I was driving. I will say the view of the city was spectacular and I wished for my phone many times to take a pic. I did get a great exfoliation of my face. I had lovely, rosy cheeks for the next few days, so wear something that you don’t mind getting dirty or dusty.

If you don’t feel like an off-road adventure but still want a view of the city check out the Voodoo Lounge on top of the Rio. Beautiful views all around. Be prepared for a cover charge. We had dinner at the seafood buffet in the same hotel. A bit overwhelming there’s so much to choose from but it was delicious. 

The making of Witches Brew

We ventured out to a couple of my foodie faves. Hash House a Go Go….be amazed at the portion size and the food is delicious. Everything I’ve tried so far is great. I’ve hit up 3 locations. Two in Vegas and one in Orlando…all good. Cabo Wabo for scrumptious Mexican food. I could eat there everyday and if I had that same waiter that would be even better! I was waiting on my gal pals happily!😉 

Chicken and waffles (bacon in the waffles) – my fave
Meatloaf and the pic doesn’t do justice to the size of it!!
Fried green tomatoes & chicken salad…yum!
A huge bloody mary!

One of the nights we drove the strip. This is my 4th or 5th trip and the first time I’ve done that and it was so much fun. There is so much to see and people to watch!

If you have a car and get time, go out to Red Rock Canyon. I try to carve out time to go each time I’m in Vegas. It’s beautiful and the colors of the rock are so striking as you drive towards them. This year I actually had a co-worker go with me so that was a nice change. She had never been, so I got to show her all the cool stuff I’d seen so far. One day I hope to have time to actually hike but that will have to be on a personal trip. Not enough time for that when I’m out there to work. On the way back we ran through a smoothie drive thru. Nothing like that back home so it was a fun treat.

Crazy hair day lol

Primrose
Can you see the hands?

Another night we wanted to hit up the Blue Martini bar but discovered there’s a dress code. Flip flops and shorts aren’t part of it. Dress up if you go!

For anyone preparing for a zombie apocalypse or prepping for doomsday I’ve found the place for you to shop. It’s on the strip right under the big Swarovski crystal sphere. 

Always a great trip to support a group of folks that have a lot of talent within our company. It’s also fun to see a different part of the country and to have time to get out and really see the sights. Vegas definitely has it going on! 

If you were expecting ‘Hangover’ type confessions you are out of luck!😂✌

-G.

Weekend in Kansas City

Weekend in Kansas City

My mom and I took off to Kansas City for a weekend of shopping and culture. Since I was traveling on her actual birthday it was nice to be able to have some mom and daughter time. 

The drive was filled with gossip, chatter and lots of laughter. We made a wrong turn once and it was a complete accident. Really it was my fault but an exit and a turn were side by side. Anyone could’ve made that mistake. 

We got to our hotel to discover it was filled with soccer and softball travel teams. Kids of all ages were everywhere! It felt like a convention was going everytime we would try to get on the elevator. The wait felt eternal. It wasn’t but it felt like it. Obviously I’m not the patient sort. We had soccer balls hitting the door but if you went to the back of the suite you were safe from the noise. It was a good thing because you could find kids lounging in the halls on the floor like it was a beach. I stepped over more than one with the warning don’t move…really. You know the parents were looking forward to the free happy hour that started at 5:30 that evening.

We dropped our bags and took off for some food and shopping until time to get ready for the ballet. The caprese salad  we had for lunch was delicious. I’ll be recreating that particular dish in the future. 

This was my mom’s first ballet and one that I’ve wanted to see for a long time. So a big check check on the bucket list. The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has beautiful architecture with views of downtown Kansas City. Since we’d never been there we went a little early, so we were able to get a glass of wine and sit back and people watch. The Rose’ was a tragedy. You just read that – it was tragic! Worst $8 ever spent so I don’t recommend the wine just go straight for the liquor. 

The people watching on the otherhand was spectacular! Flashy to understated. A real mix. There were a few ladies with an amazing amount of flesh on display for a ballet. Lots of little girls dressed up as princesses, so cute.

When the bells chimed we made our way into the performance hall for the ballet – Sleeping Beauty. It was everything I expected with some amazing performances by the dancers. One of the interesting things was a lady in the audience. She was up in the mezzanine and was conducting the orchestra pieces. I kept being distracted by her hand movements. At least she was enjoying herself and the music was fantastic. The Kansas City Orchestra was a treat! Mom and I felt like we got two for one. Ballet and orchestra performance. 

During Act III the guy in front of me drifted off to sleep at just the right moment in the wedding scene. I had a clear view of Puss in Boots and the White Cat’s performance. They were cute and funny. Such an amusing piece of the show. Anyway back to the sleeping fella….

His date kept looking at him so I could only imagine what she was thinking. Is she amused? I mean his head is so low I can see over it and this guy is well over 6 feet. Or was she irritated that she brought a guy that fell asleep at a public place in the middle of an artsy event. Of course he might’ve sprung for the tickets to impress his girl….if so he’s doing a bang up job. I’m laughing inside.

This reminded me of the time I went to see Swan Lake. The guy I was dating at the time got the tickets and the Bolshoi were absolutely wonderful. I’d seen them the year before in a Nutcracker performance except I was down and center. He got tickets up in the wing. I couldn’t see some of the performance on the wings of the stage because of my position in the audience. Our knees were touching the seats in front of us they were so close. I wonder if he went to sleep. I was so into the ballet I don’t recall or maybe it was just too long ago. Still I would’ve made fun of him just a bit if he did sleep. You know the guy in front of my mom and I got to hear about the sleeping later. 

I asked Mom what she thought about her first ballet. She said it was ok but she preferred a musical. At least a show where they sing. I think I ruined her by taking her to see Wicked first. It is amazing. I’ve seen the show on Broadway and a touring show. They are both exceptional, so if you ever get the chance – GO!

We were able to get down to the valet and out pretty quick. The cost was well worth it with my mom’s bum knee. Even if she didn’t have a bad knee I’d valet! We were starving and at that hour of the night we ordered pizza. They delivered right to the room…can’t beat that.

Next morning consisted of breakfast and a stop at Krispy Kreme for my dad…ok us too. Then we were heading south. We made a stop in Branson, MO to do a little shopping before finally making it home that evening. 

A successful mom and daughter weekend! So glad I could spend time with my mom. Time is short and fleeting and the older I get the more I notice it. 

A few more pics of our weekend.

Enjoy! Just not that wine Mom is holding!!!

-G.

Online dating: from the creepy to the crazy and everything in between

Online dating: from the creepy to the crazy and everything in between

It was an eye opening experience and in some ways it was hysterical. I really never thought I would write about this but since my encounter in the Tampa airport it just won’t get out of my head, so here we are with me telling this story. A couple of years ago I decided to give online dating a try. I live in a small town where I’m related to a more than average number of people, and it’s not that easy to meet someone single because there aren’t a lot of options. Options I’m willing to explore. Maybe I’m too picky – hell yes and I should be. 

It was like a New Year’s resolution to try and get out there and meet someone. Not sit at home wallowing in loneliness. Later I would realize that loneliness is preferential to what I found online. Really it was a convention of perverts and misfits half the time sprinkled with a few really nice people. I started off with Christian Mingle. If there were some Christian men on there I didn’t find any. Talked to some nice folks in the chat room from all over the world but mostly it was trolls. I opted for the free version because my expectations were seriously low. My coworker was kind enough to send this ad for Christian Tingle, which is seriously funny. Click on the link for a good laugh. I jumped off that site after a month or so. I just remember I wasn’t on there long.

Next up was OK Cupid. Seemed “okay” at first but the longer I was on there the creepier the guys got along with the requests. As an fyi I cast a broad net geographically since I really don’t want to date a cousin. I became an exceptional investigator out of necessity. This is not to be confused with stalking because it’s not the same. I was able to eliminate a disturbing number of married men, guys with criminal histories and drug abuse issues which are all things I don’t need in my life. There are way too many that just wanted a texting relationship which isn’t really a relationship. Wth! Oh and the catfishing you have to constantly be on guard for that crap too. At some point I was actually on two sites Plenty of Fish (POF) and OK Cupid. I ditched Cupid when I had a guy think I would just pop over to his job and hook him up with a bj. Yeah not happening. 

Dick pics were a common occurrence. We started taking bets on how soon I would get a pic once I started talking with some guy. And if they think I wasn’t sharing all that with my friends wrong…it had become a sick form of entertainment for all of us.

So now I’m approaching July – seven months of online dating and I’d had enough. Right when I was about to leap off POF, which is a lot harder to disconnect from than you think. You can’t do it from the app on your phone you actually have to log onto the computer and go through multiple steps to get off that train to hell. I was going to miss my conversations with a fella from the UK but in the long run he would survive my sudden disappearance from POF. You got it I didn’t plan on saying goodbye.

What happened to slow that train up, some guy, that’s what happened. He was sweet and had all the attributes I was looking for in a man. I should’ve known he was too good to be true. Ultimately my investigating lead to discovering his stint in rehab, his lying and all the other women. I was thankful we didn’t meet but that was only because he stood me up. That was extremely disappointing at the time because we had spent so much time texting and talking on the phone and planning the meet up. Definitely makes you do an evaluation of self and wonder is it me….ummm no. He was the one that wanted to be Facebook friends and wanted me to get to know him and said he had nothing to hide. Bet he didn’t really think I would dig. 

So there I was sitting in the airport in Tampa, FL reading on my kindle, and  waiting for my flight when I look up and have this immediate recognition with this guy standing about 10 feet away. There was something about his tattoos, bald head and features that made me think I know him but how!? Could it be work…don’t think so. My gut is screaming at me…I rely on that 6th sense and it’s got something to say but what! We both made eye contact and the screaming gut is giving me the bad juju feeling that I need to figure this out. We end up on the same flight and he’s actually sitting one row ahead but on the opposite side. I give my brain a rest hoping by giving it another task I’ll figure this out in my subconscious. Still haven’t gotten it by the time we land and he’s standing there waiting for his buddy that was seated behind me, so as I pass him again we make eye contact. 

Off to find my gate and as I’m waiting on the tram they walk up to stand right behind me. Not a coincidence either cause I could tell he was trying to figure out this puzzle as well. Up pulls the tram and I walk to the other side and stand between people and grab a handhold. We make eye contact again, really this is getting old, and I can see the curiosity in his eyes. Then he speaks to his buddy….that was the trigger I needed to kick my brain in gear. His voice. Holy crap that was guy that was supposed to meet me and he ended up being a total loser. He never did figure it out from what I could gather and once I did I wanted to avoid the “do we know each other conversation”. I was thankful my flight was on time and he wasn’t on the next leg!

During that seven months of online dating I met eight guys in person. Seems like a low number but the pickings were slim! Aka I’m picky. One or two were worth a meet and that’s it. Several were way too young but they put out a good effort to get my attention. Still wasn’t happening bless their little hearts. One I actually dated for several months because he happened to keep my number long after I stopped online dating sites. He was lots of fun but we had different expectations for our lives and careers. His expectation was a party every day and a sugar momma. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

 Another guy wanted a nurse maid and that’s a bit much to ask from someone that you meet up with the first time and you’ve only ever talked online. At least he was willing to throw that out there right from the start considering some of the lies and half truths I’ve heard. I had actually gone to school with one of my dates. Not awkward but it did feel like I was out with a cousin so he was out. 

Then there was doily man. Holy crap that was a lunch date and all my coworkers sat at a table down from us. That was awkward as hell. He indicated what I should order and then proceeded to take my leftovers home. He touched my food. Most of the meal he talked about how he had been able to finally buy his dream car – it was a Toyota Camry. I’m being serious that’s what he said and I saw it his dream car. 

How do I know about the doilies – this was a bad decision I will admit but he wanted me to see his house. This was my first online date so I was still trying to figure this shit out. I agreed partly because I felt like I could take him if he tried anything and the posse knew where I was going. I’m not above giving someone an ass whipping to save myself. And some sick part of me just had to see. Again not the best decision but OMG what an amusing experience. This is a story we still laugh about around the office. 

It was like his grandmother decorated his home and he was showing off his palace except he allowed cats on the table. Ick. He kept talking about how I could lie around by the pool sunning myself with my girlfriends and he’d bring drinks. Not ever happening. He showed me almost every room in the house. No worries with the doilies I wasn’t going to be seeing a red room any time soon. When he finally noticed the tattoo on the inside of my wrist I knew I was out, thank the Lord, cause I wasn’t going for any of that crazy. The man had valentine flags lining the walk up to the door! Seriously. Freely admitted he sucked in the bedroom – if the doilies weren’t enough that just put the cherry on top.

Traveling made things fun. My phone would literally blow up with notifications. A few got demanding in their expectation of meeting. Seriously I’m there to work. It was nice to know that if I lived in a bigger city I would have a lot more options AND a lot more crazies to filter out. Geez the filtering would be work. I really missed an opportunity with all the conversations that I could’ve shared and blogged about…for real. I follow plentyoffishmyass on IG. That’s some funny stuff and sadly I can relate to a bunch of it. 

The reality is I actually know people that met through dating sites, and they were successful at finding a wonderful partner. That makes me happy for them. So I know it can work but it just didn’t work for me. In many ways I’m glad it didn’t work because the times it didn’t was a time that something really great or a fabulous opportunity happened in my life. They just weren’t meant to be which is fine. My coworker Mary said none of them could handle all my awesomeness! Lol Like I said I’d rather be lonely alone, than put myself in a position to be lonely in a relationship because that sucks. I’ve done that before no sense in doing it again. Of course my faithful companion Ginger might get a little ticked that I’m saying I’m alone. Technically I have a 14 pound rat terrier that rules my life. Not quite the crazy cat lady but close….really, really close. 

-G.