after a tearful departure, complete with ugly-cry face (on my part - RR remained sunny cheerful and his usual encouraging badass self) I headed for the luggage counter thanking the stars that RR wisely avoided my "I only need to be there an hour early" confidence. Not every trip is for 9 consecutive weeks and accompanied by the world's largest suitcase.
boarding pass - check! Long line for luggage drop-off - check! Ignoring back and hip pain and managing to get the world's largest suitcase on the scale with no assistance from kindly lady or gent - check!! Luggage 8 pounds overweight - but of course!!
"You're going to have to lose 8 pounds or pay $100!" The lady says to me. $100! I'm incredulous and it's clearly been a long time since I checked in overweight luggage - whatever, this is tour, there are going to be 1000 challenges over the next 9 weeks. I was certainly up for this one. Moving aside, I started to shift between my four bags. Cute squishy fox (aka Pancake Fox for being flat and fluffy) that also serves as back warmer and lavender infused relaxer (thank you Jennifer Crooks) weighs 2 pounds! He is squishy so into the bag of toiletries he goes! Binoculars for all that hiking and bird watching I'm going to do goes into the carry on back back. Jewelry bag (which I'm hoping doesn't contain some sort of sharp object that gets taken by TSA) into the carry on purse. Other toiletries - sunscreen, moisturizer, mouthwash - moved from the world's largest suitcase (from here on out it's WLS) into the toiletries bag. I check. I weigh WLS again. I still need to lose 2 pounds - I'm a bit sweaty by now and wishing it was this easy to drop 8 pounds myself. Digging around my suitcase for something, anything. Scavenging like a trash panda for that perfect item that will somehow slide easily into my already bursting carry-ons, the solution comes!! WLS now weighs 49 pounds. With pride, I stride back up to the bag check, put WLS on the scale one last time, look confidently at the airline lady and quip - "you know sometimes you just gotta wear your cowboy boots on the plane." Not wasting a beat she replies, "For $100, I certainly would." Indeed my friend. Indeed. Here I come Memphis!! Me and my boots are ready for your BBQ.