It was mid-February, so time to head out west to Scottsdale/Phoenix for the annual University of Nebraska Foundation reception for donors, alumni and other friends. In addition, there is also an alumni get-together for UNO, about 100 people, and 25 or so have degrees from our business college. Keep in mind that we do this in February when the weather is cold and windy in Nebraska.
On the way out I was asleep by wheels-up, always a good when it is an early morning flight. But, I cheated in a way. We were delayed about 30 minutes on the ground. An overnight light ice storm warranted de-icing before we were airborne, so I had extra time to nod off. However, I didn’t stay conked out for long. Chatty Kathy, Sister of Big Mouth Bill, was in the row right in front of me and her monologue lasted the entire flight. Her husband is a farmer, they own ten houses in the Phoenix area, her dog…Help Me! The poor souls who sat next to her were rushed to a Phoenix Psych Ward upon arrival, and put on suicide watch for a week.
As you know because you have read other posts by me (well, maybe you have), I am still in mourning the loss of Skymall Magazine. You also know that the airline magazines have taken up some of the slack, and are now offering products and services that years ago seemed exclusive to Skymall. So, because Chatty Kathy was yammering on and I did not want to require a mental health intervention upon landing in Phoenix, I began to study (again) the opportunities for purchase in the Southwest Airlines magazine. Think about these:
- Got warts? – Electronic wart remover, 3 minute home treatment, 100% successful but, you have to call them to order
- Bye Bye In-grown Hairs and Razor Burn! (no I did not make this up) Tender Skin reduces the unsightly appearance of ingrown hair
- Pain Zone – Happy New Year, everybody hurts (rub on ointment)
- Mosquito Joe – Mosquito control services, buy a franchise and get a cool truck and uniform
- com – I find the website name very interesting. You can get get up to $50k for rates as low as 5.99 percent (borrow for vacations, weddings, to pay your taxes, elective surgery)
My close reading of Southwest The Magazine, a few games of Sudoku, and some writing saved my brain from Kathy, and I could not wait to get off the plane.
The NU Foundation event was held at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix. The Biltmore first opened in 1929, and is known for its Frank Lloyd Wright exterior look, even though the architect of record is Albert Chase McArthur. Wright was involved in the project for four months as a consultant. McArthur had been a draftsman for Wright, so it is not surprising that the complex mimics some of Wright’s other designs in Arizona and elsewhere. In addition, as the resort was expanded over the years, Frank Lloyd Wright – influenced elements have been used. It should be noted that Wright distanced himself from the design, disagreeing with McArthur over the block system that is very visible throughout the site.
When we travel, it is sometimes the case that we do something really stupid, although it might turn out to be funny. So, here is my Phoenix stupid (me) story. Upon arrival, we boarded a rental car shuttle to take us to the very large complex where cars are picked up and dropped off. Upon boarding what is essentially a bus, I placed my carry-on size suitcase wheels down in the area designed for short-term baggage storage. The bus left the complex, and as it took the first turn, I watched my medium blue bag roll out into the aisle and continue onto the other side of the bus, only to be stopped by the rear exit door. The bus turned again, in the opposite direction, and sure enough, the bag rolled back to its original position. I was seated a fair distance from my bag. Others were closer. But, no one moved. We just watched my bag go back and forth, and for a mile or so. I was in a state of controlled laughter as I watched others observe, seeming to be mesmerized by the back and forth movement of my bag. Finally, we stopped at a traffic light and I walked down the aisle to place my luggage on its side. The entertainment had ended.
There is almost always an image that you just cannot delete during the trips we make. Besides my moving bag, I have another from this trip. For the most part, we are always happy to be returning our rental cars, safe from a last minute car accident, which would result in a missed flight. As we were returning the car in Phoenix, we entered the winding ascent to the return area in the complex. A turn here, a turn there, and signage appears to indicate that you are close to the final resting place. The route is bordered by a concrete wall preventing crazy drivers from straying from the path and causing havoc for others. On the way, there are a few signs of mishaps, crash marks on the wall. How embarrassing! At the end of the path, there is a hard left turn, and beyond that only a few more feet remain before you can de-car. As we approached the last turn, and after driving past a long section of unmarked wall, we saw it – evidence of a crash in the wall no more than 100 feet from where you say happy trails to your ride. Now that had to by psychologically painful, so close yet… Missed flight, yes. Car damage, significant. How do you explain that? You don’t.