January was essentially a continuation of December near the Gulf Coast of Alabama. I had got a new PlayStation IV for Christmas, so a lot of the time was spent playing new games and watching old TV and movies on it. We also spent time on a number of continuing maintenance tasks around the RV, taking the truck in for servicing, and getting our bikes fixed. Adding in a new pair of glasses and a set of 4 tires for the truck, we ended up spending a lot of money during the month of January. There was next to nothing left to send to our investments, which was not a bad thing as everything we did needed to be done.
The only break we got during the month was taking a plane trip to Wichita, Kansas for Kal’s Aunt Wanda’s 90th birthday. We flew out of Pensacola on Friday with plans to arrive ahead of their snow storm and meet up with an old high school friend for dinner. Unfortunately, fog in Atlanta delayed our plane getting into Pensacola, so we were nearly 40 minutes late taking off. After circling Atlanta at least once, we would just barely make our connecting flight assuming the departure gate was close. As it turned out, our departure gate was right there when we disembarked and we still had three minutes before the scheduled departure of the plane. However, the departure time is a totally meaningless number since the close the doors some 10 minutes before that time and we had missed the flight!! After telling the gate attendant that as a passenger I am not interested in when the plane is leaving the gate, I need to know the time when the door would be closed and therefore when I had to be at the gate. Knowing when the plane is leaving is totally useless to me. I apologized and we went off to wait 5 hours before the next flight to Wichita. This did give us a chance to eat dinner, as we would be too late to meet up with my old friend, Floyce. Instead of arriving at 4:30, it was nearly 11:00 before we got there. In addition, the snow storm was in full force with blowing snow and well below freezing temperatures. Quite the shock stepping out at the terminal after leaving the 60 degree temperatures in Florida. Our first task was to pick up our rental only to find out they were out of the compact sizes. Thankfully this meant we were upgraded to a full size truck and we choose one with 4 wheel drive due to the weather. In turned out we didn’t need it, although the snow tires certainly helped on the icy roads the next morning. Thankfully, our hotel was next to the airport so it was a short drive in the blowing snow driving an unfamiliar vehicle in weather we were certainly not used to.
We did meet with Floyce for a late breakfast on Saturday and then went to her house for a couple of hours before the birthday party. I had asked Floyce to get a birthday cake as it was also Kal’s birthday. So we had cake and ice cream for lunch BEFORE going to Aunt Wanda’s 90th birthday party. Her birthday party was held at the Assisted Living Apartments where she lives and they put on quite a spread. I guess Kal’s cousin, Clint, did not let anyone else know we were coming as we made quite a surprise for Wanda and the rest of her family. Mark and Pam also drove up from Dallas for the party, so we had a good time catching up with her cousins. We did not get much of a chance to talk with Wanda as she was surrounded by all her friends and extended family all afternoon. They also invited us to join them for dinner where we got a chance to talk with Wanda as well. It was a very good time and we were both glad we made the trip. Many thanks to Deb Tittsworth for the pictures of Wanda’s party in this blog.
On Sunday, we had tentative plans to meet up with my brother, Robin, for breakfast, however, he is devilishly difficult to contact. We tried multiple time on Saturday to contact him with no luck. So at 10 we just drove over to his house and timed it perfectly as he was standing out on the porch smoking a cigarette when we pulled up. We took his to his favorite place for breakfast where all the waitresses knew him well! After we ate we went back to his house which he shares with a Jess and Brian’s family that we had gotten to know by playing WOW years ago. We spent most of the day with all of them before heading back to airport to fly back to Florida. Thankfully, this time there were no issues and we arrived late back to our RV around midnight. This was certainly a birthday Kal will remember for a long time as she finally got her birthday wish of seeing snow on her birthday!! Happy Birthday Darling.