Since we were flying to Phoenix on Christmas day, we had Christmas with our families on the 23rd and 24th. Having Christmas on those dates is traditional, it didn't really change anything, except that Christmas Eve was a rush. We bought a catered pre-made meal, which was fabulous, that we ate with my parents around 2pm. Then we exchanged gifts, and then a few of us rushed over to the church to save seats an hour before the service was to begin, and got the last seats available in the back row of the choir loft. A few more of us joined them at mass, but Daryl stayed home with the young children who can't tolerate 2+hours in church. Santa came while we were at church. He came while Daryl was showering, but the 2 year old saw him, and told us all about it. We opened the gifts from Santa on Christmas Eve so that in the morning all we needed to do was get dressed and out the door.
I'd been warned ahead of time that we would all have to take our shoes off. Daryl parked the car and dropped the rest of us curbside, where I checked the luggage. I had been able to check in and print boarding passes online, so I was prepared. All we had to do was get to the gate and wait for boarding to begin. When we reached the security checkpoint, there was a man distributing ziploc bags and telling us to put any liquids, gels, lotions, etc. in them. I had some hand lotion, hand sanitizer, Desitin and blistex that I put in a bag. I forgot about the bottle of liquid Benadryl in the diaper bag. Once the items were in the ziploc bag, I put it back in the diaper bag, since we were given no further instructions. Later I learned that we were supposed to show the ziploc bag to the security person. Although the ziploc bag and the bottle of Benadryl must have been visible when the diaper bag went through the xray machine, no one mentioned it. We all took off our jackets and shoes, putting them on conveyor belt along with our backpacks, stuffed animals and blankies. Between us we had 3 laptops and 2 cell phones, all of which had to be taken out of their bags. A. became very upset about having to remove her shoes and coat, and when I laid her blankie on the conveyor belt she began to shriek. Meanwhile, having shown my ID and boarding pass 4 times already, I stowed them in my purse and laid it on conveyor belt. When we finallly approached the metal detector, I was asked for the boarding passes AGAIN. When I told them that they were in my purse which had already emerged on the other side of the xray, the security agent was visibly annoyed. He sent me to retrieve them, and after I showed them AGAIN we were all allowed to walk through the metal detector. After we reassembled and repacked all of our gear, we headed to the gate. The rest of the trip was uneventful. We arrived in Phoenix, picked up the 12 passenger van we had rented, and headed to our friends' home. We had a relaxing Christmas evening with them.
The next week was filled with wine, friends and laughter--good for the soul. My cell phone rang constantly with old friends wanting to get together, and it warmed my heart. We attended a great New Year's Eve party. The next morning Daryl flew to Pasadena with D. and L. to attend the Rose Bowl. I drove up to Sedona, and checked into a resort where we spent the next 3 days. It was so beautiful and restful. While there we hiked, biked, took jeep rides, etc.
Not Having Fun
3 months ago