I flew home recently to Nashville for a family health emergency and what a whirlwind it was! Without getting into the many details of the whys and hows, my mom was admitted to the ICU at a local hospital for letting her health get away from her. I flew home after quickly pulling my travel together here in the desert. I’m one for planning and analyzing each detail on my trips so this was a hectic break from that since I had about three hours to get it all planned and purchased. And in the middle of this I was working, struggling to keep my sanity and emotions in check (failed a few times), and perform with my contestant Lola La Showgirl at Queen of the Desert drag pageant the night before. My plate was full. And as an only child it was all on me. Luckily I had a few dear angels get my mother checked in and on, until I could get there the next day. So many details will be omitted for time but know that this has been hard on everyone involved. CCU is a sad place to spend any time in and I commend the nurses for the relentless selfless jobs that they perform. The ones at Southern Hills in Nashville in particular have my greatest praise.
I spent four nights at the Sheraton Music City Hotel and loved the hotel! It’s an older hotel that’s going through renovation but they’ve done a good job keeping it up. It kinda reminded me of the hotel in American Horror Story minus Lady Gaga and the killings. (insert laugh track here) It was very grand in scale and I honesty loved it and will be back. Usually on my trips home my main focus is getting mom out and about so I schedule for that. This trip concerned with staying near her and getting her through the woods, so to speak. I was able to go back to the hotel at night and sit on my balcony facing over the pool, enjoying the weather being reflective on what was happening around me. I’ve seen a lot and witnessed my mother at her weakest and most vulnerable. It’s been very sad but a slow stroll through the woods seems to be in my mom’s future. She’s on another floor for rehabilitation now and will be for the week.
And luck would have it, one morning I planned on grabbing lunch at Swetts soul food giggery in east Nashville so I stop by World Gym Music City to check out their new location downtown. And voila! It was their grand opening. As in, I walk around the corner and they are cutting the ribbon. I meet the entire staff and managers/owners who all treat me well. What a coincidence to show up on their opening day! And their gym is locked and loaded. I felt like I was at a circuit party with the bass pumping as hard as it was! Kudos to the architect and design team because they truly did that place right. I take a spin on their hydromassage bed before buying a few shirts after my workout then off to lunch. So glad I stopped by! And thanks to manager Kristen for her hospitality.
Getting to Nashville I used reward miles on American Airlines and paid about $86 for last minute one way. No biggie. I decided that I’d figure it out when I got to town how I’d return to Palm Springs, when I’d return, if I’d even be able to then. Even if I had to shell out the $4-600 for a one-way ticket back. “It was what it was.” I didn’t know what I was walking into with mom so I hoped for the best but was flexible. Luckily I ran into my good friend Andrew out and about Friday night at a benefit for Nashville Pride and he offered a buddy pass that he’d cover on Southwest, meaning I’d fly stand-by. I was thrilled, and so blessed to see him! We got confirmation while he kept up with the flights on his side checking to see how many seats were avail and when my best chances were flying out. I went about the weekend seeing good friends and of course, getting mom back together – apartment, health and life. I was just there two weeks ago!
I’m able to leave Monday after getting mom out of CCU and into a room with much hope and determination. Get to airport around 8 a.m. Monday and return my car. Check in. Head to gate. They start to board and there are two seats available. They call two other people up on the mic as I stand near the counter, ID in hand already with other flight options to get me to California just in case. I’ve been told my chances don’t look good. These two ladies have three people in their group and they hem & haw about it when they call my name. I walk one step forward and hand them my ID and say “present.” The guy says they need to make up their minds and he hands me the boarding pass. And I walk on by. I am the last one onboard by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin.
I sit between a girl reading her Kindle book and an attractive guy who actually reminded me of my dad back in his 30-40s. We strike up a conversation about everything under the sun. He’s married with two teen kids. I tell him about Jacques. The flight was about 3 1/2 hours with a layover in (wait for it) Las Vegas! I didn’t hate that. He asks me about Vegas as I share stories and things to do. I quickly figure out I have a 3-4 hour layover in Vegas before the (hopeful) flight to Ontario, California. Bing, bam, boom… I ask him how he’s getting to the Strip (he’s there for a convention.) Scott replies Uber. I ask if he wants to share a car because I’m going to the Strip for lunch on a spontaneous whim. He says “his company is paying for it” and I reply “did you check bags and if not then order that car and let’s go.”
We get off the plane, strut thru the airport and get into a car. After a quick ride with a cool driver, a handshake and selfie, they drop me off at The Cosmopolitan minutes later where I grab a copy of my Identity card for the points. I have lunch by the Boulevard Pool at Overlook Grill. Place was hopping! Luckily I had checked my bag in Nashville so I had my simple Pan Am clutch with me. Downstairs I play my Britney Spears penny slot machine winning seven dollars that I lost in a machine when I got back to the airport a couple of hours later in a Lyft! Isn’t that crazy?! I needed that spontaneous break! I’m actually very proud of myself for being that impulsive. It refueled me just that small amount of time there in Vegas. I could see it five miles from the airport as we landed. I had to go!
I got back to their airport in hopes to get on the next flight. Luckily I did. It was a quick 40 minute’r and I got to Ontario which is an hour between LA and Palm Springs. Then I waited about an hour for Jacques to pick me up but it was so great not only being home, but to have people watching out for me/us. Thrilled I didn’t have to shell out those coins for that last minute ticket. After the week I had I knew I needed to go out and live if I could. And I did. X