Sunday, March 7, 2021

It's was QE2's 1992

As Queen Elizabeth once said of 1992, it was her "annus horribilis."  I think we can easily apply that phrase to 2020.  

Our year started off great.  Seriously.  It was great.  We spent New Year's Day with 85,626 of our closest friends at the Cotton Bowl watching the Dallas Stars play the Nashville Predators in the Winter Classic.  Hockey?  In Texas?  Weird, huh?  It was amazing.  Low 50's, kind of overcast (which is perfect so as not to melt the ice) and we had incredible seats.  Oh!  And most importantly, the Stars won 4-2!  

A couple of weeks later I left my job as a Catering Sales Manager at a small-ish hotel to start a new job at a larger hotel which was more in line with my current goals and past experience.  I had been at the new hotel for approximately 3 weeks when Coach and I went to the Florida Keys for a week on a combined business and pleasure trip (trip had been on the books for months and the new property was aware of this trip during the interview process).  While we were in FL there were starting to be more serious conversations on the news about Covid 19 (or Corona virus as it was first widely referred to).  We came back from Florida and 3 weeks later the shit basically hit the fan.  

We had already bought T a plane ticket and tickets for the Saturday, March 7 Stars game.  She flew back to Denver on Monday, March 9.  KJ flew to Orlando for Spring Break later that day and Coach drove to San Antonio and Austin for the week.  

The hotel industry started to take a hit in mid-February.  Groups were cancelling large meetings/conventions left and right.  Business travelers stopped traveling.  Thursday, March 12President Trump canceled travel from 26 European countries to the US for the next 30 days, beginning Friday at midnight.  Then, on Friday, March 13, I was pulled into the GM's office to be told that I, along with many others, were being let go.   I had been telling Coach for a few days, "I think they are going to start letting people go.  I"m the last one hired in the Sales office.  I'm going to be the first to go."  Sure enough, I had been there exactly 7 weeks. KJ had been in Disney World on Spring Break with my sister-in-law and nieces so I left the office and picked her up from her return flight and called Coach on the way.  I went back to the hotel Saturday to pick up my meager personal items.  

And you know what?  It was actually OK that I was let go from my job.  While the students were on Spring Break, Ole Miss classes went virtual so KJ didn't go back until August 2020.  Coach started working from home (vs. being on the road 3-4 nights a week).  We all adjusted and it was OK.  Easter was kind of quiet.  T and Dew were supposed to come in but we told them to stay put.  May and June were quiet as well but we were thankful we were able to sit outside, enjoy some sunshine on our faces and take advantage of the pool.

T's b-day is July 1 so she and Dew came in to celebrate.  Coach rented a pontoon boat for the day and a couple of their friends from Austin and Houston came for the weekend and one of her sorority sisters living in Dallas joined us.  We had a blast but noticed Trixie wasn't really herself.  We thought it was because Maria (T and Dew's dog) and their friend's Portuguese Water dog were in the house.  Trixie's never really been a very social dog so we didn't think much of it.  After everyone left, I noticed Trixie would sometimes fall over when she walked.  And her eyes were really, really red in the corners.  And then she spit up blood.  And we ended up having to put her down and I'm not going to say much more about it because it was the second most horrible day of my life.  My dad's heart attack being number one.

August we moved KJ into the Kappa house.  She was glad to be back on campus even if some of her classes were hybrid and they had to wear masks.  The house had been completely renovated and she was so excited to be the first class in the "new" house.  Holy sh*t.  That place is absolutely gorgeous.  She kind of lucked out because she was in a triple.  In May, one of the roommates decided to transfer.  And then, the night before official move-in, the other roomie texted and said her parents don't want her on campus because of Covid.  So KJ now has a huge corner triple room all to herself!  In true KJ style, she made the best of it!  She pushed the two empty beds together, bought two twin fitted sheets, a king size quilted coverlet, extra pillows and made a mega bed.  The girls come in and chill when they need to get away from their roommates for a while or just to chill.  She also pushed the two extra dressers together and made an entertainment center.  

My birthday is September 25 and Coach bought me a plane ticket to visit T in Denver for a mother/daughter weekend.  I flew out on Saturday morning.  Kind of weird flying during a pandemic but there was maybe 10 other people on the plane.  The weather was absolutely perfect all weekend and I couldn't have asked for a better trip!  You can read more about our adventure's on T's blog:  https://www.thetravelingtacos.com/trips/leadville-colorado-hot-spring-train-ride-and-fall-foliage-road-trip

We celebrated KJ's 21st birthday in true Cos style with a blowout party!  We rented an AirBnB for the weekend and threw a great shindig.  T and Dew flew in, our friends the Martins came in from Cincinnati and we hit Square so she could "officially" be ID'd.  

T and Dew had airline credits that were expiring so they decided to go to Puerto Rico for a few days in early November.  They were supposed to have Thanksgiving with the Dews and then we would all meet in Oxford for the Egg Bowl.  They had Covid tests done in Denver prior to leaving and T's came back positive but John's was negative.  I don't think she actually had Covid at all.  She never had a single symptom and a couple of days after taking the test at one of those drive-by county places, she ended up having a horrible head cold.  So, Coach, KJ and I and one of KJ's sorority sisters who didn't fly home all had Thanksgiving dinner at Cracker Barrel.  It was hysterical and something I never in a million years thought I would do.  The rest of the semester was virtual for KJ and she didn't go back to campus until mid-January.  

Coach and I were supposed to go on a 14-day European river cruise in July 2021.  We made the decision to cancel the trip before we lost our deposit.  We wanted to do something different for Christmas and tossed around the idea of renting a cabin somewhere and going skiing or something like that.  None of that sounded appealing to T (who can blame her?  She lives in in Colorado and just wanted to be somewhere warm!).  So, we looked on line, found some great airline tickets to Hawaii, found an awesome AirBnb and flew to Kona for 7 days!   Total Christmas with the Kranks kind of move!  The flight was basically empty (so empty we each had our own row and were able to lift the armrests and lay down).  We were a little nervous about the strict Covid policies Hawaii had in place and all four of us testing negative but it was relatively easy with the Walgreens drive-up testing, the QR code, testing again upon arrival, etc. 

The weather was fantastic, snorkeling was amazing and T's Christmas present to us was night swimming with the Manta rays.  As an added bonus, an eruption occurred at the Halemaʻumaʻu crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano.  It happened around 9:30 PM Hawaiian time on the night of December 20.  There was a 4.4 earthquake about an hour after the volcano began to erupt.  We had no clue any of this had gone on and woke up that morning to many calls and texts asking if we were OK.  We had been at the National Park just two days before and were excited to go back and see the "glow" at dark.  Holy cow!  It was like an end of the world party or something!  It was bananas!  People were tailgating (no lie!  An SUV had a charcuterie board!), people had their kids, their dogs, the news was there.  It was a huge, exciting event!  Read more about our trip on T's blog:  https://www.thetravelingtacos.com/trips/our-hawaiian-christmas-vacation-in-kailua-kona-hawaii

All in all, I know 2020 was a weird year.  A year that will go down in the record books.  But I tried to find the good in each month and know I am blessed to have a happy, healthy family!  

 
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