Friday, December 30, 2016

When Delta doesn’t totally suck

This is one for the record books. 

Historically, I have a terrible flying record.  One can pretty much guarantee that when I travel by plane the flight will be delayed, cancelled or confront luggage issues. I have been diverted to locations due to some inclement weather system more times than I can remember. It has become a running joke amongst the Frans, to the point where I think they get nervous to travel with me because of the jinx that I carry. Not believing in superstitions, I continue to subjugate myself to the torture over and over again. Somehow my love for traveling has blinded me for years from the pain I submit myself to when I make that venture in a Uber to Laguardia or JFK. 

The Frans have tried to determine why it is that I always have such bad luck with flying; everyone has their own hypothesis; 

1. Time of day: My travel time is usually in the evening after work, so flights are backed up from the day and I suffer. 

2. Airport Choice: It is Laguardia's fault..."Laguardia is the worst, they are the first to cancel".

3. Delta: Wrong airline preference. I just can't kick the Delta habit; Skymiles, AMEX points, one loyal flier here. 

I do have to say that through my horrible travel experiences, Delta has always come through in some way. Kind support with rebooking my cancelled flights, reimbursement of miles and fees for Ubers back and forth from the airport, vouchers for the occasional hotel in a random city and of course the occasional first class upgrade for my “inconvenience”. 

Let’s now focus on my Christmas travel history. 

The last two years my post-work, pre-Christmas eve flight has been cancelled. So after two years of let down, emotion and torture, I chose this year to not subject myself. Since I had to work until December 23, I made the choice to fly out early December 24. I found a flight out at 6:30am, getting me to Savannah by 8:30am and for only $200. Wow, Delta, you were on a roll! I was going to miss the headache of pre-Christmas NYC travel, simply having to roll out of bed, hop in another trusty pre-booked Uber, drop my bag, saunter through TSA-Pre Check and onto my flight. This was going to be the year that I broke my travel curse, Delta was not going to fail me. 

And in the end, Delta did not fail me this year. 

I failed myself.

Back to the trusty Uber. He arrived at the perfect minute to maximize sleep and get me to the airport on time. To Laguardia airport Adbul (that was actually his name, lovely man). “What terminal Miss?”... "let me check that". As I pulled up my flight info on the Delta app, I was having trouble locating the terminal. Looking closer, something looked out of place. It was showing me departing from Savannah arriving at Laguardia. Quickly I thought, this must be my return flight information. Clicking the departure tab on the app, nothing seemed to be changing. Having yet again another look, I located the date…Flight DL5169, SAV-LGA, December 24, 2016.  


(sorry people, I do occasionally curse)

I had booked the wrong flight. 

Deep breaths.

Immediately, I went into survival mode dialing Delta's customer service number. 

Sharing my predicament with Abdul, he laughed a little and continued to ask me what terminal. “I don’t know Abdul, I don’t currently have a flight out of Laguardia today”. At this point I think our language barrier subsided and he got the point. “Just drive to the airport, Delta terminal”. 

Thankfully I got a representative right away (enter David from Delta - I don’t remember his name but he sounded like a David). I explained my situation to him, it took two tries, but when he responded with “ahhhhh I see”, I think he got the picture. David went to work figuring out what was available. He came back and said “we can get you out today at 9:30am, returning December 30 on a 6:25pm flight”. Not ideal timing, I would sadly miss most of Hillsong’s end of the year services, but it was getting me home. “Great David, what’s the price?" he replied, "that will be $580”. 


My once steal of a flight was becoming very expensive. David provided a few other flight options, but the cost was going to be significantly more or about the same. When I paused to weigh my choices, David kindly offered to speak to his manager about what they could do to decrease the cost… "it is Christmas Eve after all”, he stated. While David put me on hold, I prayed out loud in the Uber, poor Abdul for sure thought I was a crazy person by this point or a straight idiot. After the longest 90 seconds of my life, David came on and announced that they could waive the change fee bringing my cost to $380. My original $200 flight had now come to a grand total of $580… but I was getting home for Christmas and in the end that is what it is all about. 

I cried for joy a little and thanked David repeatedly. He stated, “Merry Christmas, we couldn’t leave you stranded on the holiday”. I thought to myself, well especially not since I was paying an extra $380. They also threw in an exit row seat, way to go Delta. 

Through this experience I have learned yet another lesson in the art of failing miserably and having to roll with the punches. I also learned that when things seem like they are too good to be true, they usually are, so triple check every detail. My journey of self-improvement continues one failure at a time, realizing that it’s all not that big of a deal and money does not mater when it comes to important things like your family.

In the end, Delta actually did not fail me this year. My originally booked flight from SAV-LGA departed and arrived on time. I will most likely have trauma amnesia and continue to regularly travel, probably on Delta. It was my own human error that brought me here; eating an overcooked frittata and $5 drip coffee in the Delta terminal at Laguardia airport, filling the 3 hour flight time difference half awake after only 4 hours of sleep.

The cherry on top…Laguardia airport does not start serving alcohol until 8am. Just in time for me to board my flight and miss that tasty morning mimosa. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone. Safe travels.

naturally ginger

Monday, December 26, 2016

A Sag Harbor Christmas

In my mind, in my dream life, I have a home in Sag Harbor. I have it all mapped out. A three bedroom, two and a half bath cottage nestled in the wooded communities outside the downtown area. There is a massive living room with a plush sectional for many to lounge and a real wood burning fireplace. The dining room has a table that seats twelve, for the frans and guests. The kitchen is spacious and has barstools for gathering while the cooking happens. We also can not forget the wine cellar for my growing collection. Outside you will find a pool for lounging and a deck with bbq for parties in the heat of the summer. Along with a fire pit, a must for those cooler nights and perfecting s'more roasting.  

Like I my mind I have a home in Sag Harbor...dream life.

Back to reality, I live in a 5th floor brownstone walkup in Manhattan and waste my hard earned money away every month in rent. But, this pattern continues because I love my life, my home and even though I make a decent living...I still work in education not finance. 

So in order to indulge my dream life, I like to take regular trips out to Sag Harbor in hopes that someday my dream will be reality. 

When asked "how do you rest", my real rest is found by getting out of the city. I don't want to leave my life in NYC, but it is hard for me to find real rest even just sitting alone in my apartment. I love coming out to the east end of Long Island to disconnect and breath the fresh air. 

After being introduced to Channing Daughters Winery a few years ago by my fran Meredith, I was hooked. I have been a wine club member since, and always look forward to the bi-monthly shipments. The wines are unique and delicious, helping to improve the rep of Long Island wines. There are a few member parties each year, so when the invitation for the Christmas Party came in the mail, the frans responded to go right away. 

After the train ride out - where Brian save the day by returning someone's lost phone to them at the Babylon stop (the "find my phone" app was going off under the seats we were sitting in) - we arrived into Bridgehampton, STARVING! 

We had decided to dine at Page at 63 Main. I had been once before the previous year and could not get their lobster roll out of my mind. The restaurant was decked out for the holidays and we enjoyed the meal laughing about life to come. 

After, we strolled around the shops of downtown Sag Harbor and of course took some family photos.

It was freezing that day so once we exhausted all that downtown Sag had to offer, we were ready for the party. We ended up arriving twenty minutes early.

Sadly, the Channing staff did not respond in the welcoming manner we were accustomed to. Flustered due to our early arrival, they found it difficult to find somewhere out of the freezing cold for us to wait. Not wanting to hold them up from getting the event ready so we could actually go inside, we conceded and offered to stay out on the back porch, blocked from the wind by tarp but still freezing. Trying not to complain and get in bad moods before the party even started, we decided to make the most of it, watching funny youtube videos and dreaming of finally getting a glass of vino. 

Once inside, our frustrations were quelled by the overflowing table of cheese and bread, along with three different specialty cocktail stations. Our love for the wine and winery also helped to dilute any uneasiness we felt, fully ready to enjoy the event. 

The evening featured their new wine releases for tasting as well as mixed in cocktails with Channing's unique VerVino Vermouths and other local NY liquors. Just in time of the New Year, I recommend trying one of their Petillant Naturels or "Pet Nats" as we fondly refer to them. These sparkling treats are dry with a light fizz. 

The "Farm to Table Toddy" was my favorite cocktail, a heated mix of Bourbon, VerVino Vermouth Variation 6, apple cider, and honey, finished with a splash of bitters and topped with cinnamon and a slice of dried apple. 

From this point on it was a lot of cheese, holiday beverages and snapchat filters...

Alas...this Cinderella eventually had to turn back into a pumpkin and head back to the city...if I had a home we would have stayed. 

Maybe next year...

naturally ginger

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Hello old friend.

Hello old friend. 

It has been one year, two months and ten days since I last posted. It has almost been three years since I first posted on Naturally Ginger. 

Where does the time go?

After I hit the year mark of my blog hiatus, I resolved that Naturally Ginger had fully been laid to rest. Life had gotten full, and any free time dedicated to the blog had been filled by some other form of responsibility or busyness. 

But, over the last few months, I have been going through what I would refer to as a sort of personal transformation. I was feeling stuck in many areas of life and sought advice, insight and support to move forward. I was encouraged to really discover what I love to do in life. In my searching, photography, writing, food, wine, travel, fashion, friends and Jesus all found themselves in the mix. I also found a resurgence in interest and encouragement about the blog from faithful readers, friends and even strangers. So, even though I had written off ever starting up the blog again, I found it was an answer to what I had been looking for. 

So welcome to the new Naturally Ginger. As we set out on this journey, I hope to not just paint a picture of perfect awesome life, but create honest and vulnerable (scary word) dialogue about it. I'm striving daily to live wholeheartedly and this journey has not been easy.

"Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection wake up in the morning and think, no matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It's going to bed at night thinking, yes I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid but that doesn't change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging." - Dr. Brené Brown; Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead

So here we go. I hope you will engage, embrace and feel encouraged by the new and improved Naturally Ginger. I won't be posting as frequently but I hope the quality of the content stirs, inspires and starts conversations for all readers.