I'll start from the beginning, but before I get into the details, there is something you must know about me. Many of my closest friends and family are already aware of this, but many do not know, that I never sleep alone. Ever since my freshman year of college, I have slept with at least 1, but up to 5 "furry friends" every night. (The number often depends on how many I accidently drop on the floor during my sleep.) Their names are Lucky, Rae, Ollie, Roscoe, and Kirby- they are my teddy bears, and I'm not for a minute ashamed of my beautiful family of bears.
It all started with Lucky, a nice little brown bear with a big red heart stitched on his chest. He was gifted to me from my older sister, Kara, when she left to go to college. Lucky and I grew very close, to a point where in college, I was beginning to get the sense that my boyfriend (and now husband!), Ben, might be a little jealous of him. So, I thought the best way to remedy the situation would be to give him a bear cub of his own to love. On Ben's 21st birthday, Little Rae (named after my middle name...making me Big Rae) sprung out of the Cuddle Zone at Target and into our lives. He's got superbly soft dark brown fur, and he's filled with beans, which makes him the best dancer of the group I think.
Inspired by my love of bears, Ben's mom, Lori, rapidly exanded our bear collection by adding Ollie (for my 21st birthday), Roscoe (for Christmas the following year), and Kirby the next summer. Ollie and Roscoe (collectively referred to as the "skinnies") are both awkwardly long-limbed and thin, whereas Kirby is made of llama fur, and is commonly mistaken for an Ewok (the best way to describe him is he kinda looks like he stuck a paw in an electical socket). Their awkward appearances only add to their charm.
So, for every travel trip, I chose one bear to come along as my trusty companion. As you can probably imagine, it's always a tough decision. This morning, I got so far as to zip up my suitcase when I realized I hadn't decided on The Chosen One. My thought process: "Well, this is a big meet, I need somebody reliable, somebody who's been through this with me before...Lucky it is!" I gave him a hug before I crammed him into my suitcase, and we were off!
Now back to my day: my dad picked me up to bring me to the airport this morning. It was smooth-sailing on the roads, and nice to catch up with him a little before he dropped me at the door. I arrived at 10am, took advantage of my new Silver Medillion Delta SkyMiles status to scoot through the bag drop and security lines (I even got to do the new body scan thing...it was fun, I don't get why people are all huffy about that!), and made it to my gate by 10:14. 14 minites? I think that's a new record.
Another perk of the Silver Medillion status is you are automattically put into the pool for possible seat upgrades on the plane. I checked out the screen when I arrived at the gate to see there were only 3 first class spots still open, and would you beleive I was third in line??
First class flying is quite the treat for a typical "business class" traveler like myself. I was pumped to get seconds on the snacks, a great lunch, and best of all- room to stretch out my legs.
Upon arrival, I took a cab to the hotel, and could hardly beleive it when the front desk man, Frank (like my dad!), upgraded me to a 16th floor room with a beautiful mountain view. THEN, when I go to pick up my meet credentials from my agent in the lobby, he hands me an extra goodie-bag filled with fruit snacks, granola bars, etc. If today is any indication of how this entire weekend is going to go, I'm very excited indeed! I can't help but think the credit is partially due to my loyal friend Lucky, who is relaxing with me now before I head over to the track for a pre-meet workout. Yes, Lucky was a good choice.
|Lucky (left) and Rae on Ben's 21st- aka, their first day as brothers|
|Kirby, pumping iron with Ben and I on our Honeymoon.|
PS- Shame on me for being like a typical parent who has a ton of pictures of the first and last kids, but I can't find any good ones of Ollie and Roscoe! I'll be sure to add them when I get home.