I'm a cheap person. Okay...not usually. But when it comes to flights, I get the cheapest flight hands-down. No thought to it. I've never paid attention to what airline my cheapo ticket is booked through, and never had an issue with any flight I've been on. But I don't think I can handle an international US Airways flight again (despite the fact that I have another opportunity to fly US Airways again in less than a week). The second I stepped on the plane, I noticed the screens in the aisle. No personal screen. I don't think I've ever been on an overseas flight where I didn't get to choose my movie entertainment. What do they expect me to do for the 8 hours and 5 minutes they've predicted it will take to be on dry land?? Savor the 12 peanuts they give me in tiny bag filled mostly with air? I'd rather pop the bag and scare the people around me.

In the past, stepping on the aircraft has resulted in a flight attendant asking me what my seat number is and directing me down the appropriate aisle. But she doesn't. She just smiles and cheerfully welcomes me aboard US Airways. I guess I'll have to play eenine-meenie-minie-moe this time. Oh. One aisle. Can't go wrong here! 6 seats across instead of 11? Tight! I find my way to my seat and politely ask the 2 people already sitting in my row to get up, cram into the already full aisle as I trample their belongings on the floor. I apologize for my large hips as my body rubs against them in an unavoidable manner. My bad.

I scrunch down in my seat, attempting to get my stuff out of the way as my seat buddies resettle themselves. I initiate chit-chat to get their mind off our unexpected intimate moment. It seems to work. However, it doesn't take long for me to get bored of their answers. I pull out the flight guide from the seat in front of me. Which is when I feel knees settling in my back. No worries, I was planning on staying awake all night anyway! I check the magazine for movie listings and music channels. Approved. I begin looking around my seat and in the pocket where the magazine was for headphones. Were there headphones in the seat when you sat down? No? Maybe they hand them out after we get going in the air. I can be patient.

*20 minute interval*

"Ladies and gentleman (Dames en heren), we have headphones available for those who would like to purchase a set. The cost is $5 or 4 euro. Please feel free to keep these for future flights with US Airways."

What? Did I hear that right? We get to keep the headphones we purchase? This is just too good to be true! *Standing ovation* US Airways has done it again, folks!

No, I didn't have $5. Or 4 euro. Silence. At least I have a pillow and blanket. Or sheet, rather. Or a piece of paper with fluff. I wonder if we could have kept that, as well. I forgot to grab it in the midst of my excitement to get off. The refrigerated "petite roll" and "white cream pasta" wasn't as fulfilling as I had hoped.

And I didn't get any peanuts, either.
Chris and I scheduled our engagement photos for this past weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee (where are photographers live). It was the last time we would be in town to make wedding plans in person, so I made sure the day was fully booked!

From Day 1, I've been surprised at the ease in which we have been able to make appointments/reservations. All we keep hearing about is how crazy busy Pigeon Forge is during the month of October. I had planned on having to work harder at finding a venue, stylist, florist, for our day, but we've truly been blessed! Everything has gone so smoothly, and has thankfully been within our budget. Everything except the restaurant.

We initially wanted to reserve a post-wedding dinner for our family at a nice restaurant in Gatlinburg. Then we attempted to drive there. With the insane traffic and construction zones, it would take 1-2 hours to make a typical 15 minute drive. So that was out. I began calling restaurants in Pigeon Forge, but they either did not offer a private room, or were booked. So our main goal of the day was to secure an eating location (otherwise, asking our guests to drive up to 7 hours for our wedding would result in a 30 minute sitting in hard, white chairs in the unpredictable weather) I'd like to think we're more considerate than that. :)

We asked for advice before heading there for the day, and were told to visit a Southern restaurant (whose name will be withheld for reputation's sake!). Arriving at the restaurant resulted in the front desk hostess showing us 2 possible rooms to hold our dinner reception at. We were even allowed to bring our own tablecloths and cake with us! The back room can sit 60 people, and we are planning for that would be perfect! We were seated for lunch, so that we could try the food before making a final decision. At that point, we asked to speak to the manager to discuss details.

Which is where this wonderful day went downhill.

When the manager arrives - as wonderful and polite as he is - he bursts our wedding bubble by informing us that October is their busiest month of the year, and allowing us to book a room for 40 people, when they could sit 60...was going to be a loss of profit for them. He would be happy to let us reserve the room! As long as we understand that 20 additional strangers would be joining us for our celebration. thanks. But then he tells us that they have another restaurant, just down the road, with smaller rooms. If we visit there, we might be able to reserve a room that is more suitable for the number of people we are having. Yay...a ray of hope!

Arriving at the second location, we are greeted with another wonderful hostess who shows us several of which holds 43 people. Perfect!! We'll take it!

The manager then comes up and introduces himself, and pretends to listen while we explain our wishes. Stop. His facial expression is not encouraging me to continue on. He informs us that he wants to work with us and accomodate in anyway possible. Stop. But. I hate that word. But we can't guarantee that everyone in your party will be sitting together.

Huh? I'm sorry? You did hear me say that we're having a wedding reception, right?? That in order for it to be a successful wedding reception, we have to interact with our guests?! that you mention it, I'd much rather parade around the restaurant in my wedding gown, surfing the crowd for the 42 people we invited, avoiding servers balancing trays of brown gravy and creamed corn on top of their hands. What fun our photographers will have, as well!!

Sarcasm intended.

We left. I called the number on the front of the restaurant business card to the group sales office to complain and see if anything could be done to accomodate us. After the gentleman answers the phone, I explain the poor response we received from the 2 managers at the restaurant. Which is when I find out that the person on the other end of the line is the manager at the first restaurant we talked to. Oopsy-daisy!

Flowers are ordered. Chairs are reserved. Different restaurant booked. And engagement pictures successfully completed. 47 days and counting...
Okay....I'll be the first to admit I was wrong. I try not to let this happen too often, so I'll document it for you to have something to refer back to.

He's not near as bad as I predicted him to be. I have made it 4 whole days without throwing a sarcastic comment his way. I mean...the man knows how to use a phone! AND had me show him how to use the copier. AND walked himself across campus to get his parking permit. That's 3 things my last boss didn't know how to do! Uh-mazing!

However, I can't resist throwing in there - the desire to laugh out loud and curl up crying at the same time - when discussing money with the man. After finding out he owns 3 apartments (excuse in 3 different states (and 1 in Spain, I believe??!!) and "x" number of cars - it completely threw me for a loop when we had the following conversation today.

Me: Hey - just wanted to let you know that I'm still having issues getting access to the budget. So you might want to consider ordering your book for class off of Amazon, so it gets here on time.

Him: Sure - how much is it?

Me: Less than $10 - shipping included.

Him: Oh, okay. Good. Will I be able to get reimbursed for that?

Me: should be able to. Normally I would order it myself through the budget, but given the time crunch, it might be best to go ahead and order it yourself. Unless you want to take a chance and wait for the budget approval to go through.

Him: No, no...I'll go ahead and order it. But you're sure I'll be able to get reimbursed, right?

Me: Riiiiight.

Now I know he's got 3 (4?) mortgage and 3 (guessing!) car payments to make a month. But it's just my gut feeling that that $10 spent on his textbook isn't going to leave him hungry at the end of this month.

Regardless, I will make sure the reimbursement check is available for pick up, and not mailed to him. That way he can run to the bank and cash it ASAP.

PS. I just saw my debut in his welcoming ceremony video here at FSU. In case you don't want to watch the whole thing - I come in at 00:51. No judgement - there's not as much food on the plate as it looks!