From Texas, With Love

6:05 a.m.: At this moment, I am sitting in class at Le Cordon Bleu for the very last time.  All of the practical assessments and labs have been completed.  All that’s now left is a final written exam and my time at the school will end.  I’m greeting today with almost equal parts relief, happiness, trepidation and sadness.  I will miss the new friends I made here.  I will miss the instructors.  I will not miss the cravat and 4:00 a.m. alarm but they were a small price to pay for such an enjoyable year.  I’ve spent five days a week for nine months with this group of 17 people and to think that I could leave without being a bit sad is crazy.

At this point, I’m sitting with a 97 average in this class.  This, for the most part, assures that I will graduate with honors in September.  I’m proud of myself.  Proud that I started and more proud that I finished and finished strong.  After school, I will go to breakfast with my class and officially close a major chapter in my life – a chapter I will remember and treasure forever.

And then, a new chapter begins.

1:29 p.m.: Sitting at Love Field, Gate 14.  My flight into San Antonio has been delayed by (so far) 25 minutes.  This throws a ratchet into my connecting flight to Orlando but I’ve been assured that the plane is going to wait for me.  This will make me very popular with those on board and assure me the last (and worst) seat on the plane.  Given that my plane was originally supposed to leave at 1:40, it seems as if it’s going to be a very empty flight.  There are only about 60 people in the waiting area.  I’m sitting at a docking station and the older gentleman next to me is playing smooth jazz on his computer at a crazy loud level.  Odd.

After class today, we ceremoniously burned my cravat in the parking lot of the school.  Then we all went to Whataburger for my last meal in Texas.  It was a great time and I will miss all of my classmates dearly.  Between that and needing to be here, Ty and I ran around picking up last minute things.  I had forgotten to pack an umbrella!  It’s Florida.  In summer.  It literally rains at 3:00 every day.  Once I made it to the airport, I checked in and was completely relieved to see that my bags were under the 50# limit.  Barely.  Well my plane just arrived so I should move over to the gate and get ready to board.

One more thing…. Goodbyes suck.

9:53 p.m. (Eastern Time).  I finally made it to the hotel.  After a smooth and easy flight to San Antonio, I immediately boarded a flight to Orlando (as in, they-were-holding-the plane-so-no-time-to even-pee immediately.)  That flight was much more like a thrill ride than a flight.  Lots of dips, drops and moments of weightlessness.  We finally landed in Orlando and made it into the gate.  And then the lightening started.  We luckily made it off of the plane but our bags weren’t so lucky.  For two hours, we sat at the baggage claim waiting for them.  When they finally rolled up, only one of my checked bags was there.  The other (the one with the Keurig) is still missing.  Hoping and praying it’s shown up by the time I go back to the airport tomorrow morning.  Eventually, I hopped a shuttle to the hotel.  It’s nice and clean enough but there is no food.  I’m eating a granola bar and headed to bed.

Tomorrow is the big day.  I’ll head to the Disney apartments sometime around 7:30 a.m.  I’ll find out where I’m working tomorrow.  It’s kind of like a big reveal.  I’m sure there will be much more to talk about tomorrow.

And for the record… 7 seconds after landing I saw my first set of neon green crocs.  2 minutes and 34 seconds I saw my first set of Mickey Mouse ears and 12 minutes and 2 seconds I saw my first Disney nerd trying to impress old people with her extensive knowledge of Disney trivia.  Please, if I ever become that person, shoot me.  And for the record, she WAS wearing a fanny pack.

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