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 “” 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. photos

Photos from 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












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.


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

  • Perched high on a hill in Tuscany is the medieval village of Montepulciano. In the center of town is the piazza grande paved with bricks laid in a herringbone pattern in the 14th century. ⁣
Standing in the piazza, looking at the bricks, we were filled with a sense of awe at the history these bricks have seen. They've been there for 700 years so have seen times of war and peace, celebration and sorrow. Generation after generation of townsfolk were born, lived and died, and all have walked on these bricks. ⁣
This is one of the things we love most about traveling. It gives us an authentic feel for history, one we wouldn't have if we just stayed at home.
  • We were so tickled when @thechefandthedish reached out and asked us if we'd like to take a complimentary cooking class with them. They offer private cooking classes with chefs from all over the world that you can take right in your own kitchen. ⁣
For this class, we Skyped with chef Paola who taught us to make strawberry risotto, traditional bruschetta, and a delicious poached pear dessert that blew our minds. ⁣
Risotto always seemed like a difficult dish to make, but Chef Paola explained it so well that it wound up being pretty easy. We spent a great afternoon with friends, learned something new, and enjoyed a great meal after. A class with The Chef & The Dish is a great gift idea, as well. Follow the link in our bio, and you can read more about our class on our blog.
  • The world is a big place, and there's so much to discover. Go places, and see things. It doesn't matter if you don't have a detailed itinerary, either. Sometimes, it's more about the journey and what you see and experience along the way, than it is about the destination.
  • During our trip in Tuscany with @italyunfiltered, we stopped at a small family winery. After learning about the organic methods they use to produce high quality Chianti Clasico wines, we had a tasting. ⁣
Wine tastings in Italy are nothing like those in the US. They are glorious affairs complete with delicious foods paired with the incredible wines. This particular winery brought us samples of homemade, organic jams made from fruits grown in the family's garden. We dabbed these on locally produced pecorino cheese. Yum!⁣
We're so glad that we had a local driver and guide. Stopping here was a highlight of our Italian adventure, and we never would have found it on our own.
  • The village of Marsaxlokk, Malta, is famous for these brightly painted fishing boats. The design is rather ancient, possibly dating back to Phoenician times, though it's still used today because it is very strong and holds up well in rough weather. One feature of each boat's decorations, are eyes painted on the bow of the boat. These eyes are said to protect the people fishing while they are at sea.
  • The blue cobblestones of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, are actually part of a recycling project which started 500 years ago. Iron foundries in Spain produced huge piles of waste, called slag. Rather than throw these piles away, the slag was made into blocks which was placed into ships as ballast. The ballast was offloaded in Puerto Rico when they loaded products bound for Spain. The blocks were then used to pave the streets. ⁣
Pretty good idea, and 500 years later, they are holding up well!
  • The Overseas Highway connects Key West and the Florida Keys to the mainland U.S. While the entire road is a marvel of engineering, the centerpiece is the Seven Mile Bridge, which runs over water for, well, seven miles.⁣
The next time you're driving, reset your trip odometer and wait until it gets to seven miles. You'll see that's a pretty long distance. And then think about the fact that people built a bridge over water with no land to support them for that distance. Pretty incredible-especially since the first one was built in 1912.
  • We'd never heard of cannonball rocks before we drove past them at North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and asked each other, "did you see that?" We'd never seen anything quite like these natural "concretions" created when water leaked into pockets of minerals in the ground. Now, as a hill erodes, these formations are exposed.⁣
Seeing these rocks was such a cool experience because it reminded us of why we travel. We never know when we'll find something new, something that we never knew existed. We got along fine not knowing about cannonball rocks, yet now that we've seen them, our lives are a little richer. ⁣
The world is a pretty cool place. Check it out.⁣

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