Yes, I am a bad blogger. It has been over 2 weeks since my last post, and I have lots of blogging ideas saved up. But first I have to tell you why there has been such a lag this time.
The day after my last post, April 11, my grandmother died. She was my father's mother, and my last living grandparent. A pretty hard hit, needless to say.
On my dad's side of the family, grandparents are Mimere and Pipere, the French endearments for Grandma and Grandpa. Mim and Pip if you're really in a hurry. From here on, she will be referred to as Mimere, which I called her all my life.
It was one of those 'it's a blessing' deaths. She had not been doing so well lately. It was almost expected, but still a very sad shock.
So, first I had to figure out if I could get to Florida for Mimere's wake and funeral. Work was no problem - I can have 5 days of bereavement leave if I need. Working for the state definitely has it's perks.
Next, on to travel. At first, I was feeling lazy, so I only checked on flights from Lincoln to Orlando. As I expected, they started at about $600 round trip. While I was grumbling about this, John suggested that I check Omaha. Bah. I don't feel like driving all the way up to Omaha. But I figured, what the hell, and checked anyway. And it's a good thing I did! The cheapest flight from Omaha to Orlando? $187! Yup, you read that right - $400 cheaper than Lincoln. WOW! So, yeah, John drove me up to Omaha on Monday, the 16th.
It was a strange trip. Mimere has passed away, so there is of course all the sadness that brings. But, at the same time, I was seeing family that I hadn't seen in years. So, there were the typical big hugs and happy reunions. At first, I felt kind of guilty being so happy to see everyone. But then I realized that Mimere would have liked it that way. Everyone enjoying our time together. So, we did.
As is traditional on my dad's side of the family, we embraced our Irish heritage with lots of eating and drinking. After the wake on Tuesday, we all went to Lee & Rick's Oyster Bar. A dive, but the best kind of dive! If I didn't have to get up early the next morning for the funeral, I could have stayed there all night eating dozens and dozens of oysters. The crawfish and Killian's wasn't bad either.
There was a full Catholic mass funeral the next morning at Mimere's church, St. Andrew's. My Uncle George did a beautiful, funny, moving eulogy. My sister and I both did readings. I was first and very nervous. I think Sarah did better than I did - she sounded much more confident to me. But she said I did good, too.
After the burial, the senior ladies at Mimere's church served us a delicious potluck lunch. Of course, we brought our own beer!
Then it was back to the hotel to hang out by the pool all afternoon. Where there were babies, chips and dip, and...oh yeah...more beer. :) We had a great time just hanging out and catching up.
Eventually my sister and her husband had to catch their flight home, and my Uncle Don and Aunt Terri had to start their drive home to Cape Coral.
Some of us who were left took the hotel's free shuttle over to Universal CityWalk for dinner. After wandering around for a while, we ended up at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. I (and my Uncle George) were warned about the spicy Jambalaya that we ordered. Are you sure you want it? Sure! Bring it on! Yeah, it wasn't very spicy at all. But it was delicious. Oh, and since I was the youngest one at the table (it's about time!) everyone decided that I HAD to have a balloon hat. Awesome.
We all had early flights back the next morning, so it was an early night.
It's been a couple of weeks since this all happened. But, it took me this long to put it all together. I'm not that good at writing about stuff like this. I still get sad...I always will. I miss my Mimere. And I miss family in New York and Florida. Hopefully, I'll see them more often - not just for weddings and funerals. :)
Now I'll try to be a better blogger. I promise.
Photo Credits: You can see more pictures from Florida on my Flickr and on my sister's Flickr!