Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hopes for Bringing Home a Bounty of Benjamins Blown to Bits

Hi, everyone.  Hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving!  We followed our usual traditions--Mom cooked a full-blown  turkey day feast, we watched a little football,  and we kicked off the holiday season by viewing  "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation"!  We just love this film, depicting the All American dysfunctional family!  I think we all must have one Cousin Eddie or Aunt Bethany in our family closets!

Amazon's peak season is in full swing, so we are told.  But considering it was Black Friday and Cyber Monday, my parents felt things were not that busy compared to last season.  In fact, there is an inordinate amount of VTO (voluntary time off) offered and taken by both full-timers and work-campers.  Mom and Dad came back to Haslet with the expectations of having significant overtime opportunities, whether mandatory or voluntary, like last year.  But, alas, this is not the case.  The fact that all Haslet work-campers are assigned to ICQA precludes work-campers from getting mandatory overtime.  And because my parents have been relegated to water spidering for weeks on end and were never given the opportunity to cross-train for stow or pick (which was done by random selection), they are not eligible for any voluntary overtime.   Heck, they don't even get to participate in the "power hour" competitions or earn "SWAG" (Stuff We All Get) bucks.  So looks like my Christmas stocking won't be stuffed with as much Swiss cheese as I was hoping for!  Rats!

On a brighter note, we have had more time to relax and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow RVers.  We have regular Tuesday night fire side chats with our neighbors at Texas Star RV Park.   And we recently visited Chimera Brewing Company with fellow Amazonians.  The Brewery is located in the Fairmount section of Fort Worth,  a quaint historic neighborhood comprised of houses dating from the late 1800s to the early 1920s.  It is also the home of the annual "Festivus" Christmas Celebration, which sounds like a lot of fun (trying to talk my folks into taking me there on December 12).     For a little corner pub, Chimera has a nice selection of beer and the food was darn good, especially their pizza!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here.  Yes, the rig is all decked out for the holidays, from the lighted garland with vintage ornaments, to our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, to the very first Christmas decoration Mom bought for our first home 30 years ago, to my Grandma's nativity scene.   If you look closely, you'll see even Stewey and Dewey got in the act, hanging a Santa hat on their fish tank!  And our trailer trash decor would not be complete without a couple of lighted blowups outside!

Thursday we were in Grapevine for its holiday parade.  We went in early so Mom could get new glasses at America's Best.  They advertise that you can get two pair of glasses for $69.95 when you get an eye exam performed on site.  Mom phoned them the day prior to ask their hours for Thursday.  She asked if an appointment was needed for the eye exam and was told walk ins were welcome.  The receptionist offered to make an appointment for Mom, but Mom said she didn't know what time on Thursday she would be in the area, so she would take a chance at just walking in, which she did.  That's when we learned there is no doctor on duty on Thursdays!  WHAT!!!!  Why wasn't that mentioned in the phone call and why did the receptionist offer to make an appointment if the doctor wasn't in today?  OK, a little snafu, but the receptionist on duty came up with a quick fix.  There is another America's Best location just 15 minutes away in Hurst.  The receptionist on duty checked their on-line schedule and made an appointment for 12:50, just 40 minutes from our time of arrival at Grapevine.  OK, a little bubble in our plan, but still workable.  So we haul ourselves down to Hurst to learn they don't have an appointment for Mom for that day.  How is that possible?  Apparently the receptionist hit the wrong date on the calendar and made the appointment for this past Monday!  And the Hurst location was booked with appointments for the next 2.5 hours, so they could not squeeze Mom in.  WHAT the heck!  Mom was ballistic.  Is everyone a moron!  As comedian Ron White always says, "you can't fix stupid"!  Mom did appreciate the fact that both the manager and receptionist at Grapevine called her to apologize profusely.  But needless to say, she didn't get her eye exam/glasses done that day.

Dad knew a good remedy to calm Mom down (and satisfy my appetite as well):  Margherita pizza and antipasto at Grimaldi's Brick Oven.  Delicioso!

Visiting "The Christmas Capital of Texas" was lots of fun.  Arriving in Grapevine during daylight offered us better opportunities for pictures and less rambunctious kids running around!  I actually got to take some selfies for a change!

The parade was even better than last year, featuring some really fun floats, two with a "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" theme!  And this year they had lots of cute, cuddly canines in the parade, with animal rescue groups showcasing German Shepherds, Whippets, Huskies, and Basset Hounds.

As I'm writing this, Mom and Dad just got their release date from Amazon:  December 23.  Work-campers were offered to extend a few days, but my parents didn't want to ruin our holiday plans by working on Christmas Eve and Canada's Boxing Day.  Anyway, we are set to leave on December 28 to head home to Livingston and need time to repack all the Christmas decorations!

A cold front is coming in tonight, with temperatures expecting to dip as low as 19F degrees!  Time to put on my thermal underwear!

Talk to you again soon! 

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