Vernon Volumes text

Vernon Volumes text

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Christmas in Atlanta Airport (Thanks Southwest Airlines!)


We had a Christmas to remember for 2022. We had originally planned a trip to Peru with Adventures by Disney, but unfortunately their president tried to dissolve the government so he could take over. He was arrested and riots have been spreading through Peru, shutting down airports and rail stations. There were tourists trapped at Machu Picchu with no way to get home and shortly before our trip we received a communication from Disney that our trip was canceled. 

We were obviously super disappointed, but decided we'd make the best of it and would go to KC along with the Gobles to celebrate Christmas with family. We decided we'd book a flight for Christmas day and it seemed like it had been a good idea to wait until then because shortly before Christmas there was an intense winter storm that blanketed the country with frigid temperatures and snow. It actually got in to the 20's in Florida for the first time since we've lived here and it was obviously way colder throughout the rest of the US. I'd heard of some travel delays earlier in the week, but I expected that it would all be sorted by the time we got going.

We booked our flight to Kansas City from Jacksonville originally through Nashville. The morning of our flight, we saw that our flight was delayed and that we would not be able to make the connecting flight in Nashville to Kansas City. We booked a different flight to Kansas City through Atlanta instead. Our flight to Atlanta was delayed due to problems with the airplane and we had to leave the original plane to board a different plane, however it did take off and we arrived in Atlanta. The flight from Atlanta was delayed for hours because they couldn't find the flight attendants. The staff for hours to find the originally scheduled flight attendants, however couldn't get in touch with them. They eventually did find enough flight attendants to work on the flight, however they were unable to get through to scheduling to make the staff changes in the system and the flight was eventually canceled. 

I felt particularly bad for the friendly lady working our gate. She had collected snacks and drinks for everyone form the plane and tried to keep up our spirits with Christmas music. It was extremely upsetting for everyone, and we ended up waiting in multiple long lines trying to get our luggage and trying to book another flight. We found out that our luggage was tied up in the system and regardless of what we did, it would be sent on to Kansas City. Eventually we booked another flight to Kansas City, but that flight was delayed and canceled as well. We gave up going to Kansas City at that point and were desperate to get home. 

We tried to get a rental car, but none were available. There were long lines and although we were able to make reservations online, the staff informed us that they weren't honoring same day reservations and there were no cars anywhere. We tried to get a hotel, and considered staying the night, but we were hopeful that we could make it home. We eventually saw a flight from Atlanta to Jacksonville become available in the system and we booked the flight. We had lost all confidence in Southwest at that point, but I was hopeful that the flight would work out as it was clearly a new addition. When the plane arrived at the gate, I talked to one of the crew members and was excited to hear that they were all fresh and that it was indeed a brand new flight that someone had set up. The pilots and plane were ready to go, but I was instantly let down when he told me that they had everything they needed except for flight attendants. That was the problem of the day in Atlanta and sure enough the flight was delayed, delayed again, delayed again, and finally canceled around 11pm.

Southwest was dead to us, so we paid $1800+ for tickets on a Delta flight that left early on the 26th. I'd been in touch with Grandpa Rick and he was willing to be our hero and drive to Atlanta to get us if the Delta flight fell through as well. Thankfully the Delta flight went as scheduled and we were thrilled to get home after over 30 hours of travel. We'd been up at 4am on Christmas day, barely got any sleep in the airport, had walked over 10 miles around the airport, and were all wearing the same clothes the entire time. We all took long hot showers when we got home and took naps to catch up on sleep.

It was a heartbreaking conclusion to our travel adventure and there were tears as we realized that we'd miss out on family time and holiday celebrations with everyone. The Gobles flew out on the 26th and although their flight was delayed multiple times, they managed to make it to Kansas City.

Christmas Card 2022

Vernon Christmas Celebration and Family Game

As we were planning to go to Kansas City on Christmas Day, Santa came to our house a little early and we opened our gifts in Florida together on December 23rd. Millie Mae dressed up in her Christmas sweater and we put on some Christmas music as we exchanged our gifts. Connor got two NFL jerseys, sweatpants, a set of wireless headphones, and a new tennis bag. Paige got some new Nike Jordan shoes, some Lululemon clothes, and a bunch of fun girly gifts. Andrea got a new yoga mat, chocolates, a PVIC mug, some clothes, and some new updated family picture notepads. I got a new sweater, new workout shirts, and my favorite gift was a new Christmas ornament that Andrea had made for me with a painted Jeep and Millie riding with me.

We enjoyed our gift exchange, then we had a few snacks while we played our family game Jenga. We'd enjoyed it over Thanksgiving at the rental house, so I thought it would be fun to have the game for our family as well.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Goble Christmas Celebration


The Gobles came over today to celebrate Christmas with us, watch the World Cup final (Argentina beat France) and to watch the Chiefs play the Texans. We exchanged gifts, then ate chili that I made with the kids' help, and then we watched the Chiefs game. It was a bit cool out, but a beautiful sunny day, so we threw the football around and Andrea went on a walk with Amanda and Griffin.

Christmas Celebration with Grandpa Rick and Grandma Alice


Saturday morning, Grandpa Rick and Grandma Alice came over to watch the World Cup Final game with us. It turned out I'd mixed up the days and the final game was actually Sunday, but we watched Croatia beat Morocco for the 3rd place spot. After the game we went to Anejo for lunch and Grandpa treated as it was technically my slightly late birthday lunch.

After lunch we went back to the house and exchanged gifts and opened presents. Grandpa and Grandma are always fun to buy for as they tend to enjoy lots of tasty goodies and fun odds and ends. 

Liz's Christmas Party

Our friend Liz had a Christmas party this Friday and Andrea and I went over in the evening to celebrate Christmas with everyone. 

Monday, December 12, 2022

Physics with Connor and Andrea


Connor's taking honors level Physics online and he's been doing well for the most part on his own. The material is definitely complex and more difficult than any classes that Andrea and I took when we were in high school. While we did get Connor some official tutoring, Andrea and I have tried to work through some of his lessons with him, with varying success. Andrea buckled down with him this last week and she actually spent hours on her own learning the material so she could explain it to him and understand it herself. It was an impressive feat and she was able to help Connor out a lot on his assignments and some of the work that needed remediation. 

Connor's done well on his first semester of Physics and he's taking his final exam for the first semester later this week. I'm proud of Connor for all his hard work and I'm proud of Andrea for being such an awesome and supportive mother.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Sykes Family Farm with Gobles and Raquel

Friday evening we went to the Sykes Family farm to enjoy some Christmas fun. Connor had a function with friends in the evening so we had an extra ticket and Paige decided to invite her friend Raquel. Raquel's mother dropped her off and I snapped a pic of the girls after they put on some Christmas pajamas and some holiday headgear that Raquel brought over. 

The traffic was awful on a Friday night, driving down I-95 in the dark, but after an hour we arrived and met up with the Gobles. They had been waiting for us to arrive and Griffin could hardly wait to see Santa, so that's what we did first. Griffin loves Santa and was so excited to say hi. It was a quiet night at the farm and not busy at all, so Griffin ended up visiting with Santa many times throughout the night.

The rest of the evening we checked out all the different activities on the property. It was a beautiful night for it and was nice and cool out. We rode the hay ride, played on the teetertotter, threw footballs and basketballs at targets, jumped on a bouncy inflatable trampoline, looked at cows, goats, and turkeys, and the girls ate a tasty funnel cake.