Here is the actual text for part two & I love how much you can tell about a person by the restaurants they choose. These series of texts are why Rosanne and I are friends … but more than that later …
Maestro … https://www.youtube.com/embed/-xKM3mGt2pE?wmode=opaque
<editorsnote> 1. If you haven’t heard this song, do yourself a favor cause this version is incredible. 2. 9/10 there is hidden sub text in the songs that are posted within each blog. 1/10 times I just like the beat. Anytime I write though, I listen to the same song over and over on repeat to set the mood. Listen if you so desire! xx </editorsnote>
Wow that was fast, Rosanne said upon arrival. (When people who aren’t in the hills say you’re heading back to the hills they just assume it will take forever. I’m good at finding shortcuts.)
“I get really overwhelmed by the menu here. Like legit anxiety over having so many choices,” I admitted.
“Yeah but their menu is their money maker. They rank in 25K each month strictly from ad revenue,” she said.
“Wow, just wow. I mean good for them … but …”
Wow is right. Ads are so expensive! lol (She typed the lol in text when I confirmed the ad revenue. Even in a flashback, I’m still shocked at how much they make.)
So, what happened to your parents?
Oh! Yes, let me continue the story.
Cue flashback sequence …
I got the news that my test was “unremarkable” (which is the MRI term for you’re all good in the hood) on a Friday. I chose to work from home since I had absolutely no idea which was the pendulum was going to swing.
Out of all of the theoretical outcomes, the “you’re good” made it worse in my mind. I recognized that I had allowed stressors to overwhelm me to such a point that it had finally (as predicted) affected my health.
I wasn’t okay with that, and knew I had to immediately make life changes.
It started with closing my laptop and taking a nap that afternoon.
Somewhere in between what is normal sleeping hours, and the late afternoon I got a call from El Boy-o.
“What do you want to do this weekend?” he asked. (It was Labor Day weekend.)
“I want to not think. I want to stay home, and not be responsible for anything or anyone (other than Buster, my dog).”
“I had a feeling you were going to say that. What if you took an actual vacation and come over to the island?:
(My previous version of “Vacation Jen” wasn’t Vacation Jen. I really believe in Chalkin’ Social aka the chalkboard hats, and was running around all weekend handing them out to people. They’re also not a sponsor or anything, I don’t do that anymore.)
“I don’t think I’d get a ticket on the boat,” I said knowing that the previous weekends (during season) were absolutely packed.
Even though the boat doesn’t look at full capacity, it is. They go by weight and I’ve had to talk my way onboard (on more than one occasion) justifying that I am a small person with a small bag. (I never carry more than a laptop backpack.)
“Then, what if I put you on the helicopter?”
“I’ve never been in one before.”
“WHAT?! Don’t your business partners own multiple helicopters?!”
He is right, I do hang out in a helicopter hanger while kicking it with Rooster, Butch and Gil – but I’ve never been there when they were taking them out …
“Well then let’s change that. I’ll get you a ticket.”
At this point, I wasn’t about to refuse a ticket specifically one based on the ONE SENTENCE I HAVE LONGED TO SAY(with proper reference) FOR TWENTY FOUR YEARS!
The next morning I woke up, packed a bag, and called Uber. (I’m lucky that Buster has people that come in our home to take care of him.) As I got in the car, the arrival time was doubled (plus 10 minutes). I had (luckily) allowed myself enough time, but somewhere past the point of no return, I looked down and noticed I didn’t have my wallet.
Stress head and me do not get along. Anytime I am stressed I will forget very very simple things. I have walked out of the house without shoes not once but TWICE.
It takes so much more energy to focus that I become oblivious to my good friend Captain Obvious.
I texted El Boy-o …
I knew once I was on the island I was fine (between El Boy-o and the fact that people around town knew I wasn’t a douche meant that if I needed an I.O.U I would more likely than not get it). The getting on the chopper was the variable. I had no idea what kind of identification they required and what was mandated in “helicopter land.”
In that moment, I had two choices – one, go back and miss the flight.
Two, pray that I can be quick witted enough to talk my way onto the chopper.
Given previous history, I was willing to take the calculated risk.
I arrived on time, and immediately approached the counter, taking a deep breath.
It’s a guy! I thought looking down at my outfit thinking out of all of the days to dress like an actual girl, I was glad I picked today!!
I didn’t have to say much. He was just REALLY happy to see me.
One weigh in, 30 seconds, and one apology for using my IMDB page as my form of identification later, I got clearance to fly.
There were approximately nine people in the small waiting room for the flight. We placed our life vest (of sorts) on as we watched the information video detailing the dos and don’ts of helicopter safety. I was pumped to say the least, but most excited for my own moment of truth (24 years in the making).
While standing in line, my arm is grabbed.
Fuckkkkkk, I thought. This is it, I’ve failed, and couldn’t talk my way on.
“You can ride up front with the pilot,” said the attendant.
“Wait, WHAT?!” I thought split seconding myself out of a place of fear, and climbing into the cock pit like I owned it.
I then introduced myself to the pilot, and explained that this was my first time riding in a helicopter.
“What a coincidence, he said, this is my first time too!”
When you sit up front you get a special kind of headset that allows you to have direct communication with the pilot when you are in air. I immediately took advantage of this.
Being separated from the other passengers meant that I unfortunately couldn’t say MY ONE SENTENCE 24 YEARS IN THE MAKING, but instead of being sad about it, I seized the unpredicted special opportunity …
“I have three questions,” I said.
Go right ahead, he said with genuine enthusiasm!
Number 1. How many times a day do you say this exact sentence … https://www.youtube.com/embed/PPoYzyOn44M?wmode=opaque
That’s where this post came from …
He immediately burst into laughter thinking I was kidding.
I moved onto my follow up questions …
Number 2. Does this ever get old?
He smiled and said, “never.”
I reciprocated the gesture – that made me happy.
Number 3. Tell me everything. What do all of the buttons do?
The pilot then gave a general description of each of the control panels while I snapped away replying with wow after wow, followed by a “that’s so cool!”
Struck by the hilarity of the situation, I sent this text …
The flight lasted a very productive 15 minutes. Upon landing, I met up with El Boy-o at the local watering hole. His friend joined moments later.
“YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS!!” I said practically jumping out of my skin. I opened up my iPhone showing them the controls and explained (as best as I could) what each one did.
They paused, before saying “You flew in the front seat of the helicopter and all you did was take pictures of the control panels?”
I said still TOTALLY excited.
All in all, I had a phenomenal Labor Day weekend, which was fitting considering the intended nature of the holiday.
I thanked my friends and headed back on the boat.
THANK YOU ISLAND LIFE!!
I got back into the office on Tuesday, and saw that the intensity behind a hurricane (Irma) was increasing. I had previously texted my friends on the OG Island (located in the Florida Keys) asking if everyone was okay. They all admitted to being scared but since the “cone” prediction regarding landfall was still a few days out, there wasn’t really much anyone could do.
Wednesday morning, I got a text from my parents asking if I was okay with them giving their pet sitter my phone number.
I completely forgot that they were even traveling, let alone potentially within the path of the storm.
The Bahamian government shut down the airport two days earlier than they were “supposed to” which cancelled my parent’s flight back to Miami.
As official “Emergency Contact” for their animals (two dogs and one Bengal cat that acts like a dog), it was my call/ responsibility in terms of decision making on their behalf.
Last night while wearing emoji socks on a work call, I sat on the stoop to my parents house & this kitten made a beeline jumping onto my lap. Wow, I said to my colleague, I have to go. There is a kitten here and I need to find its home. My mom (a huge cat lover) called the neighbors to find out it is newly theirs and it lives outside. This morning however, the cat decided that she liked my parent’s yard and refuses to leave. My mom called the neighbor to apologize and she laughed saying the cat has chosen! Welcome to the Friel family Blanquita! You are going to be very loved! #adopted #cats #catsofinstagram #catlady #ilovebustermore
A post shared by Jen Friel (@talknerdytomelover) on Nov 18, 2015 at 8:20am PST
Here is Buster high pawing Luci to the face – I am an awesome dog auntie (and still can’t believe I captured this on video).
A post shared by Jen Friel (@talknerdytomelover) on Nov 3, 2014 at 2:54pm PST
Anywho, since the phones systems in the Bahamas aren’t the greatest, we continued texting throughout the day …
TAKE THAT IRMA! A few hours later, (much like the storm) the tide had begun to turn …
The storm shifting to Miami landfall meant that places of business were already beginning to shut down. The vet cancelled all boarding options, and with my parent’s pet sitter also getting the eff out of dodge – that meant the animals would be alone (fending for themselves) which puts Noelle, Luci, and Blanquito in the animal kingdom version of the Thunderdome.
My money is on the cat. When that little thing was a kitten it attacked the shit out of Buster (70 lbs). As you saw, Luci cried getting bitch slapped. All bark, little bite.
All joking aside, I’ve been the Emergency Contact for my parent’s animals for half my life. While I’ve never been called to the floor, this was WITHOUT A DOUBT a moment in need, and I would do whatever it took to keep them safe. After all, that’s my job.
I needed to get my parents off that island. If the main airport is closed, does that mean charter airports are closed as well, I wondered? Having friends in the Keys meant I had heard all about the charters into various parts of the Bahamas.
I placed two phone calls, and approximately 20 minutes later I had my answer.
Since the storm’s landfall was still on shaky ground, my parents decided to wait and not take a charter. (This is where that whole having more money thing would have come in handy. You’ll see why in a minute.)
As a family, we settled on the idea of me coming in on Monday (after the storm) instead of Wednesday (before the storm) because no one with a sane mind would want to put themselves in the middle of a CAT 5 hurricane.