Here’s the story.

After one month; two countries; three flights; four days in a hospital; five time changes; six states; and 5,000+ miles, we were beyond ready to board our final flight and begin our journey home last week.

Miami, Florida, airport view

We spent the last night of our trip at a hotel in Miami with a great view of airplanes landing at the airport.

We were finishing up a wonderful month-long trip that included a national track and field meet in Kansas, apartment hunting in Tulsa for our daughter, breakfast at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile (yes, again) and a cruise to Mexico.

Vision of the Seas in Cozumel, Mexico

Steve and Ann pose for a photo on the pier in Cozumel in front of their ship, Vision of the Seas.

Leaving our car in Houston after the cruise, we boarded a plane to Key West with plans to spend a few days with Steve’s parents who live part of the year in the Florida Keys. Unfortunately, Steve’s dad was quite ill when we arrived and was hospitalized with pneumonia, so we canceled our return flight and stayed a couple more weeks until he was feeling better and we had a chance to really enjoy our time together. (He’s doing much better now, thanks for asking).

Marathon, Florida, sunset

We loved watching beautiful sunsets while in Marathon, Florida.

Needless to say, after being away for nearly a month, we were sooooo ready to come home. We booked a return flight from Miami to Houston (because that’s where we left our car) and were so excited when we checked in at the airport and learned that we’d been upgraded to first class! A complimentary upgrade had never happened to us before and we were starting to feel like the long trip home was going to be pretty relaxing after all.

Arial view of Miami on departure

The view of Miami as we departed.

We got into our extra wide, comfy first-class seats and within seconds, the cheerful flight attendant asked if we’d like something to drink before takeoff. It was noon almost noon, so we each ordered a glass of red wine. After all, it was our fourth blogiversary and we were headed home!

We toasted our 4th blogiversary and were ready to relax.

We toasted our 4th blogiversary and were ready to relax.

Still a bit shocked to find ourselves in first class, we settled into our seats and began perusing the TV menu and would you believe it, my favorite Food Network show, The Pioneer Woman, was on!

So excited that one of our favorite TV shows, The Pioneer Woman, was available to first-class passengers.

So excited that one of our favorite TV shows, The Pioneer Woman, was available to first-class passengers.

There  we were in complimentary first-class seats, sipping wine while watching Ree Drummond prepare Knock You Naked Brownies. Could this flight get any better?

Then, it happened.

I felt something brush up against the back on my arm and when I turned to look behind me, there was a sweaty foot resting in the space between Steve’s and my seats.

The lady behind us put her dirty sock covered foot right between our seats!

The lady behind us put her dirty sock covered foot right between our seats!

I was shocked (and just slightly horrified)! Who in their right mind thinks it’s OK to take off your shoe and place your stinky foot between the seats in front of you? We’d seen some crazy things on a “PassengerShaming.com” Facebook page before. A lady curling her hair. A family spreading its laundry out to dry. And even a woman eating corn on the cob.

PassengerShaming.com photos

Photos from PassengerShaming.com show people behaving badly on airplanes. L to R: a woman curls her hair, a family hangs its laundry out to dry, a person eats corn on the cob.

But we never expected something like this to happen to us. Neither one of us was quite sure what to do, so Steve got up and nicely asked the woman if she would mind removing her foot from the console in our row. She rolled her eyes at him, and eventually moved her foot. When the fasten seat belts sign went off, Steve and I both got up to stretch our legs and use the bathroom and when we returned, her foot was right back where it was before and she appeared to be sleeping! So yes, I took another picture.

Foot between seats in first class.

We were aghast that a foot rested on the console between our seats.

We asked the flight attendant if she could gently wake the woman and ask her to remove her foot (again).  The flight attendant told us that the woman was a frequent business traveler (in fact, something like a triple-diamond VIP — whatever that is) and appeared very stressed out when she boarded. She had apparently told the flight attendant that she didn’t want to be disturbed during the flight for any reason. The flight attendant told us that we’d just have to “deal with it” and be thankful that we got an upgrade and weren’t back in coach.

Seriously?? I thought Steve was about to explode. Trying to calm ourselves, we ordered another glass of wine, leaned to the outsides of our seats, and tried to focus on Ree mixing brownies.

Then, the sock snapped off!!

Foot without sock between first class seats

This might be one of the grossest things we’ve ever experienced.

That must have jostled the woman and she awoke, moved her foot back to her own row, but then had the nerve to tap Steve on the shoulder and ask him to hand her sock to her. Then, as if that weren’t bad enough, the unthinkable happened.

We began to hear the click, click, click sound of a toe nail clipper in the row behind us. Was this woman seriously trimming her toe nails on the plane??

Then, the even more unthinkable happened. Just as I was about to take a sip of my second glass of wine in an attempt to slow my ever-increasing heart rate, I lifted my glass just as a small nail clipping landed in my wine!

One of the grossest things I've ever experienced. A toe nail in my wine!

One of the grossest things I’ve ever experienced. A toe nail in my wine!

It is almost impossible to accurately describe what I was feeling at that moment. I’m not sure which was more difficult, preventing myself from lunging into the seat behind me and grabbing the woman by the foot, or stopping my gag reflex.

Blood boiling, I told Steve I was going to turn around and pour the rest of wine on the woman. Steve said, “Wait for me to stand up and you can get a better angle.”

Enough was enough. With the flight attendant no where in clear sight, I decided to take matters into my own hands and

.

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

DO YOU SERIOUSLY BELIEVE THIS CRAZY STORY? IF SO, GOTCHA!

Note: Most of this article is made up. Stay tuned next week and we’ll show you the behind-the-scenes of how we did it. As always, thanks for SHARING and not adding any “spoiler” comments on social media.

APRIL FOOLS!


As always, thanks for SHARING and not adding any “spoiler” comments on social media.

  • One of our favorite stops on our hosted food tour of @visitkansascityks was the @403club. Sure, they offer a great selection of locally crafted and larger production domestic beers. But they also have pinball machines. In fact, they even have a pinball league.⁣
⁣
We spent about an hour in this fun spot, sipping, playing, and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. It will definitely be on our list of places to go again, someday. Beer and pinball are a pretty good mix.
  • On our visit to Italy, we visited the Prosecco region. While we toured a number of wineries, we actually stayed at an inn run by the Roccat winery. ⁣
⁣
Prosecco is a sparkling wine, and people often see it as intergangeable with champagne. This isn't the case at all. Champagne is made from the Chardonnay grape, while Prosecco comes from Glara. Because of this, the two wines are completely different.⁣
⁣
We enjoyed a tasting at Roccat, where they served us glasses of crisp, clear, delicious wine alongside some crunchy breadsticks that were just the right thing to enjoy with the wine.⁣
⁣
If you ever have the opportunity to go to Italy, make sure you include time to head to Valdobbiandene and try some Prosecco.
  • Located in @clearlakeiowa, the historic Surf Ballroom has hosted some of the biggest names in music. It was on this stage that Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and JP "The Big Bopper" Richardson performed their final show on February 3, 1959. After the concert, they boarded a plane for their next town on their tour. That plane crashed shortly after takeoff, and the date has been remembered ever since as "the day the music died."⁣
⁣
@traveliowa
  • Set in Millennium Park in Chicago is one of the city's most iconic art installations. It's a giant, shiny bean which reflects everything in sight. It's fun to walk around (and under) the bean and see how the shape distorts what it reflects.⁣
⁣
Folks come from all over to see this art installation and take it in. Children love running around it and gazing into it, not realizing they are learning about convex and concave shapes. ⁣
⁣
Standing here you'll hear a multitude of languages and see people from all walks of life there to enjoy the art. And that's why we love public art so much--it brings people together.
  • On our cruise from Italy to Greece, we made a stop in Mykonos. There, we had the chance to take part in a Greek cooking class in a woman's home learning from her.⁣
⁣
We spent an afternoon with lessons about Greek cuisine, and how they waste nothing, not even excess juice from a cucumber. We also saw how to make incredible dishes like this spanakopita, or spinach pie. Sitting in her dining room, enjoying the light, flaky crust and delicious filling is an experience we won't soon forget. ⁣
⁣
While traveling, we try to find opportunities to experience local culture. It's amazing how similar people in the world really are if you just take some time to see what life is like.
  • Do you remember that song from "The Music Man" about trouble? You know the one about the kids in the knickerbockers, shirt-tail young ones, peekin' in the pool hall window after school. ⁣
⁣
Well, we got to peek in a replica of that pool hall on a recent visit to The Music Man Square on our hosted to Mason City, Iowa. It's the town where "The Music Man" creator Meredith Willson was born and raised and his legacy lives on. ⁣
⁣
Before you go see @thehughjackman and @suttonlenore in this Broadway favorite, consider a visit to the real River City.⁣
⁣
Click on the link in our bio to see our latest blog post about why fans of "The Music Man" need to visit Mason City, Iowa. ⁣
⁣
@themusicmanbway
  • When we heard that there was a community garden in Clear Lake, Iowa, we figured we'd stop and check it out. We've seen small town community gardens before, and were expecting a few flower patches, some paving stones, and maybe a bench or two. After all, it was built and is maintained by volunteers in a small Iowa town. ⁣
⁣
What we found, though, was simply astounding! First, the entire garden had been designed beautifully; a small stream even meandered through the gardens, pausing in small lily-filled pools before continuing on its path. But the flowers took the cake. So many varieties, each more beautiful than the last. And the entire space had been planned out to take advantage of the spring, summer, and autumn species. ⁣
⁣
if you enjoy gardens, put the Central Gardens of North Iowa on your list of places to visit.
  • Calmar, Iowa, near Decorah, is home to Pivo Brewery and Blepta Studios. There you'll find high quality craft beers, in a relaxed, fun environment. Upstairs from the taproom are the studios, where you can try your hand at art while sipping your beer.

Second most popular blog in Pawhuska