Part Two Taking Flight with Peg…

Florida Fun. Diners Galore. Many Adjustments. TC discloses more from his maiden voyage with Peg. Read on! – the editor

In my previous post, I described air travel when you are a “wheelchair assist.” I was floored by the excellent service I had received on both Delta and Southwest Airlines. For a first outing for “Peggy” (AKA Peg), it was a huge learning experience, and currently, future air travel would need to be highly planned and choreographed.

Visiting family and friends was similar to my first night home after three months in hospital and rehab. It was like hitting a brick wall, but finding the door in after a few hours to re-group.

Airport Greetings & Settling in…

Brother Paul greeted me at Terminal 2 post security with a funny sign based on the John Waters’ movie “Serial Mom.” After a snafu, Delta staff brought my walker to baggage claim. Regulations did not permit the accommodation staff to wheelchair me to Paul’s SUV in the parking garage, nor could Paul borrow such chair. Paul managed a transportation chair, but at closer look, it was good for a tiny Florida retiree, and not for me and “Peg.” Alas, Paul pulled up in his SUV, in the no loading zone, and we got in. It was Peggy and mine first time traveling in the passenger seat. Thanks to my host, Peg got an assist and we were on the way.

The first day is always the hardest. I like to be independent so I can casually make my coffee and have a light breakfast. Once Paul was awake, my basics were set: Protein Shake, Yogurt, and fresh brewed coffee.

Note: Thanks to Chuck’s family, we had a coffee maker in the condo, and a small bag of Dunkin’ original in the freezer. (Yes!!)

Thrifting Saves the Visit…

Thrifting is a hobby of brother Paul. That poor guy went to five different thrift shops to look for wheelchairs, while I looked into rentals. Divine intervention met Paul at the 6th thrift shop, finding a right sized transportation chair. He got a deal, and was offered store credit if he returned it. But that was not the case. It worked so well, it went home with me to Vegas.

The chair was useful when we met my bestie at the infamous Peter Pan Diner. My “princess pass” (AKA Handicap Placard) got us a sweet parking spot. I behaved and did not get dessert. I saved that until my birthday on Friday.

An Overdue Meetup and a Birthday Treat…

I was dropped off at my bestie Billy’s house. It was my first time there since 2021, and since Billy’s partner Paul passed away in February. It was an overdue visit. It was good to see him.

On my birthday, I got a nice “treat” as Paul asked which grocery store did I want to go to on my birthday. Options were Aldi, Publix, and Winn-Dixie. As much as I wanted to go check out Aldi again, and go get my favorite rye bread at the Publix bakery, a visit to a grocery store on a Friday afternoon, Winn-Dixie was the best choice—not as busy and they gave me a free half gallon of ice cream/frozen yogurt for my birthday (which I gladly left for my hosts).

Beep, Beep, Beep…

No doubt you’ve seen them in the aisles, and this time, it was my turn (a first!) to use the store’s provided electro-cart to shop. Something I hadn’t anticipated (or trained for), so it was a learning experience.

>> Note to self: Get seated right leg first. With Peg (left) in tow.<<

I was actually riding side-saddle through the store. Did I get funny looks? Whatevs as I was focused on… my treat! Picked out a slice of rainbow cake for my birthday. That, along with the previously mentioned frozen yogurt came out to a whopping $4.00. Such a deal!!

My Visit Winds Down…

Since my brother had an early shift the Saturday of my departure, my bestie Billy took me to the airport. We did stop at the legendary Lester’s Diner, also born the same year as me, 1967. I managed the ramp with the walker and left the chair in the car. All went well. I did recruit Billy to run in to get my lottery tickets before leaving the state. No riches this trip.

Billy got me to the Southwest ticket counter to check in the medical equipment and then got me situated with the wheelchair assist team for the gate connection to fly back to Las Vegas.

That’s a Wrap…

So, that was my trip, friends. It doesn’t sound that exciting, however, I was completely satisfied and so happy to make the visit with Paul, Chuck, and Billy. Keeping it simple made this trip happen. I did not make my hosts take me all over the city. I didn’t feel like it.

Traveling with Peg is tiresome. Honestly, most of the stuff I used to do down in Florida, doesn’t interest me anymore…

Furthermore, due to the current climate, figuratively and politically, Florida is not the top of my list. But I have family there. In fact,m Paul was the first family member I have seen since Peggy’s arrival, other than my brother and his wife here at the house. I wanted to show her off. I wanted them to see ME. I wanted to see THEM. Facetime and text can only do so much. My gratitude tour continued.

Thanks for reading and hanging out with me!–TC

Bonus Video

Had to… Just felt right – the editor


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