Rivers & Roads

“A year from now we’ll all be gone
All our friends will move away
And they’re goin’ to better places
But our friends will be gone away

Nothin’ is as it has been
And I miss your face like hell
And I guess it’s just as well
But I miss your face like hell

Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh

Been talkin’ ’bout the way things change
And my family lives in a different state
If you don’t know what to make of this
Then we will not relate
So if you don’t know what to make of this
Then we will not relate”

This past weekend, I was in a wedding in my home state of Kentucky. I was actually the Maid of Honor which really WAS an honor! I never expected to be asked to do that. Truthfully I had no idea what a Maid of Honor does and I didn’t even find out that’s what the plan was until 3 months til the wedding but I tried my best! Anyways though, it truly was a beautiful time. The whole shebang. The couple (but the bride! My friend Kaylee *heart eyes, chef’s kiss*), the venue, the cake, the food, the bridal party! Every detail was just beautiful. It made my heart happy & I’ve been weirdly emotional anyways (could be because Mercury has been in gaterade or maybe I’m menstrual, I don’t even know) but I just felt like I need to get on the blog and talk about my feelings as if this blog is my proverbial therapist’s couch.

Why so emotional? Well. I’m old. Just kidding. But I do think that time has something to do with this. Back in March, I had a 28 hour layover in Charlotte, which is a city I used to live in. I have not been back to Charlotte for a visit since 2011. I went to where I had worked when I lived there – Southpark mall. I knew very well that everyone I was friends with had moved into to bigger things but I walked all around anyways revisiting the stores I had worked in almost hoping to see a familiar face. So many things had changed there! I used to think that place was so glam because it had luxury stores and a Cheesecake Factory (please remember I’m from the middle of nowhere) and now seeing it from my 33 year old set of eyes…well, time is playing tricks on my mind. I went back to my hotel room that day feeling a little blue. It was definitely a case of “I should have lowered my expectations” and it truly was a fine day, like nothing bad happened or anything but it was just a weird reminder that I didn’t really need about how much time had passed. Maybe I felt a bit old. I’m not great at recognizing the exact emotions I’m feeling so I’ll just go back to “blue”. That rainy day shade of gray-blue.

So back to the wedding. Actually let’s take it back again, sorry. I won’t derail too bad, especially to talk about an asshole, but in 2010 I got married. It was not a success. We basically ran off and got married and a couple months later we had our wedding reception back “home”. I invited everyone I knew. All of my family and the few friends I had made while living in Kentucky for the couple years I did. I truly thought they’d show up. One was supposed to be my photographer & he even volunteered to make a grooms cake. He didn’t come. I received no explanation from anyone why they didn’t come. One of my ex’s relatives approached me at one point as I was straightening items on the little table that had our guest book ready to sign and asked me “are you here for the bride or the groom?” – I was so shocked. My photos were literally scattered all about the room. There was a whole BOOK of our wedding photos on a display table to look through! I looked at her and responded a bit dry and said “I AM the bride” and simply walked off. I should have just asked for a divorce right then. But wait, I can promise you there’s more. In the crowded room of the UMWA hall where it was held, I had 10 people there for me. Yes, quality over quantity, I get it. But let me elaborate…

My mom and Gary were late. I have no photos with them from this day. I had hurt my mom’s feelings because I was a little bitch who let my ex dictate everything. She wanted a memorial table with a photo of my grandma and cousin – he told me a wedding reception is not the place to have something “so depressing” on display. She had mentioned having disposable cameras available so people could take candids…he said his family wasn’t the candid photo type. Although, his uncle snagged my digital camera and took loads of candids. Every idea she had, I shot down even though they were great ideas. I don’t blame her for being late. My MawMaw Rose was late which didn’t bother me as she was older and whatnot. My mom’s friend Linda came, whom we love. One of my aunts came…to ask me for a favor. She brought my younger cousin who I distinctly remember insulting the dress I was wearing, grabbing a cupcake, & sitting at a table rubbing her tummy and alluding to the fact she thought she was pregnant because that’s all she did, literally, anytime I seen her. Oh, and she brought a friend, who is just whatever. They stayed about 30 minutes and left. And then there was Tonya, Kelly, and Kaylee.

I’ve already jabbered enough so quickly – I met Kelly in ‘06 after moving to Kentucky. We met at Bath & Body Works. 2 years later, Tonya was my boss lady. Kelly joined us at the shoe and clothing store we worked at about 6 months ish later (that’s a guesstimate, I have no clue). Kaylee is her daughter & we became natural friends over time. This day. This wedding reception from hell to an actual demon, made them my family. I always make sure to state that when we have pictures together or I write about them. Those 3 are my family. They showed up for me. They did not like my ex, they had no reason to (he actually tried to have Kelly fired at one point but I didn’t learn about this until we got divorced) but they loved me. They brought no drama. They asked no favors. They simply showed up & gave me the support I needed at that time. One shouldn’t need the amount of support I needed that day.

So after talking about all this depressing shit from my life (I swear I’m quite happy in reality) I was more than happy to show up for Kaylee. I was the world’s most useless MOH. I was working for all the important shit like the bridal shower and dress shopping. I had no idea I was supposed to fluff the dress when she did, well, stuff. Kelly kept miming to me from the front row to fix the dress and I had no idea what the hell she was doing so I just stood there hoping she’d stop until one of the other bridesmaids came up and smoothed it out and I was just thinking to myself “Ooooh okay THAT!!!”. We sat together at the reception, I didn’t know anyone but those 3. I didn’t sit with the bridal party, I sat with Tonya & Kelly (& Clinton). I watched both of them happily dance with Clinton. Here comes the tears again, but how sweet it is to see the ones you love, loving the ones you love. He even had “The Only Exception” by Paramore played for his dance with Kelly, a song she loves. Well, actually Tonya requested it. Time has not been cruel to me really. It’s crazy that so much has passed since the days of working at the shoe store with them but it’s been very, very good to me.

My reception was 11 years ago & as I wrote this, tears still trickled down my face. Next year, I plan to marry the love of my life, but I won’t lie – I’m terrified of having a repeat of that day. Not seeing my friends or family show up for me. Things are different now though but I truly do believe one thing for sure, I believe those 3 will be there for me once again.

– Autumn

Learn to Fly

I’m lookin’ to the sky to save me
Lookin’ for a sign of life

– Foo Fighters

I love my job. Let me repeat – I LOVE my job! Growing up I had no real idea of what I wanted to do with my life but I had images in my head – I wanted to write and I wanted to travel. Both are the true loves of my life! If I could do both then excellent! I grew up in a rinky dink town in North Carolina & didn’t have much so I vowed to myself that one day when I’m able – I WILL travel this beautiful world! I always thought I’d go to college because I truly value education and think everyone should have some kind of additional education under their belt, however, it never happened for me. In turn, I always had mediocre jobs that required little to no skill set and rewarded little pay. I worked at a shoe store for 3 years as the third key manager and tapped out at $7.25 in pay. I understand that was years ago and it was also in Kentucky where living is far cheaper but wow, seeing that number is shocking to me! When I got married, my ex-husband’s job was the main focus of our lives so I kept little part time jobs to make myself feel like I was doing something with my time and my life while also being able to run our home but in reality I was mortified when we’d meet new people and they’d ask what I do for a living and I’d have to admit I was a cashier at Dick’s Sporting Goods. No shade to my retail hustlers out there but I just wanted to be doing something bigger! Or at least cooler sounding!

When I moved to Florida, the Kohls I worked at in Alabama set up a transfer for me to one in Port Orange. I worked there for about a month – doing whatever shift they could give me because I was spoiled in Birmingham & worked very select hours weekly. That month I probably worked a total of 8 times. Usually night shifts where I’d be getting home around midnight. During that time I interviewed everywhere I could & hoped for better things. I had my eye set on a job at a bank out by Daytona International Speedway but sadly (at the time), did not get it. I can’t even picture myself working at a bank because my God, how DULL. Instead I went to Bealls. Yet another department store. I took a Monday-Friday position with ,like, 7 AM -3 PM hours helping do their visuals and sale sets and stuff like that. I no longer had to sell so I thought “okay fine, I can do this. This’ll be fun…creative even!”. I worked exclusively with one other woman. She had a reputation for not being a pleasant person (nor does she have to be, her prerogative) but we got along beautifully…at first. It took 2 weeks before she yelled at me for the first time & my whole idea of that job instantly went south. The absolute disrespect of it being allowed for your co-worker to berate you in public in front of others was too much for me! I quickly disliked being there.

It’s odd because while I was so happy being in Florida, I also had a lot of depression during that time. You definitely couldn’t tell because I was having so much fun publicly! But newly divorced & hurting but still hearing from my ex husband about every 2 weeks, a job that I hated waking up to go to, coming home to daily complaints that my dog won’t stop barking, having to punish my sweet girl with the shock collar (see this post) for something I wasn’t totally sold on even being her, and just figuring out a new life really, REALLY weighed on me. It really was “the best of times, the worst of times”. I cried a lot back then & I knew something had to change when I started crying in the mornings. I hated waking up. Not in a way that should have concerned anyone, but yeah. It sucked.

After a couple of months at Bealls I went on a cruise with my former best friend (FBF). She had won this cruise months prior from her job & was allowed a guest to come with and she chose me. I had let all potential employers know of the trip up front that I couldn’t cancel & looked forward to it’s approaching date every moment of every day. The cruise left out of San Juan so we went down 4 days early to make a whole big trip out of it & on the flight down, my FBF told me out of the blue “you should be a flight attendant! I know someone who is a flight attendant and she makes bank! You love to travel & flying doesn’t bother you! You’d be perfect for this!” and I’m beside of her like “yeah okay…I have no skill set to work in aviation! Quit drinkin’ babe” – a day or so later, we’re at the pool of the Condado Plaza Hilton & we strike up a conversation with ,you guessed it, a flight attendant. My FBF slaps my arm and says “I’ve been telling her *points to me* that she should become a flight attendant!!” to which I respond “dude you mentioned it once ,like, 2 days ago when you were 2 double Jack & Cokes deep. I didn’t take it seriously!”…..but the seed had been planted. Right here, right now. I believe she actually put this out into the universe for me because I wasn’t there yet.

Fast forward a few weeks and I have had a shit-tastic day at Bealls. My FBF used to call me every single day either at lunch time or immediately after work & she asked me that day during my bitching about my job if I’d given anymore thought to the flight attendant thing…I hadn’t because I still didn’t believe it’d ever be a possibility for me. However, I skipped lunch anyways in favor of sitting outside the plaza on a bench and looked up airlines hiring. Not a lot were & now I understand that most airlines only open their hiring process for a few days then close it quickly due to the influx of applications. I applied to one airline that day. Just one…one I had never flown nor heard of. But that one is all it took.

I was hired a couple months later at their hiring event. I was one of about 60 that got chosen out of about 500+ candidates. The hiring event was an all day process – I got in line at 5 AM and did not leave until 6:30 PM. It was so intimidating to see so many beautiful and *mostly* qualified people…but they chose me. My first interview, first airline, first try. It’s an honor. Do you know how difficult it is to get hired with an airline doing this? Here. I. Am.

I have never loved anything like flying. Even the worst day in the sky could not make me want to do anything else! It can be very hard sometimes (ahem, COVID) but it has made everything so very worth it. Doing this has brought every great thing in my life to me – my friends, the love of my life, my experiences. I can fly anywhere in the world and so can the 3 most important people in my life – my parents & Clinton. I’ve drank beer at Oktoberfest & rode in a gondola in the canals of Venice. I’ve been home for 5 minutes before saying to Clinton “let’s go to Vegas tonight!” and leave for the airport all over again! I have flown to cities on my off days just to eat lunch & fly back because ,oh, I don’t know…”gumbo & beignets from New Orleans sounds so good right now!” – It’s just been a really, really fucking good time. I’m certainly never bored or complacent. Most importantly, I’m doing something absolutely badass that I’m so proud of.

I never wake up crying anymore. Not even on days where I’m flying to Newark or Atlanta!

– Autumn

Good Life

To my friends in New York, I say hello
My friends in L.A. they don’t know
Where I’ve been for the past few years or so
Paris to China to Colorado

Sometimes there’s airplanes I can’t jump out
Sometimes there’s bullshit that don’t work now
We all got our stories but please, tell me
What there’s to complain about

When you’re happy like a fool
Let it take you over
When everything is out
You gotta take it in
Oh, this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life

– One Republic

We are at the one month mark of being in our new home. Actually it’s in 4 days but since I start a work trip tomorrow morning & won’t be around my laptop to publish this, I’m rounding up & saying it’s today.

I love being home nowadays! I haven’t really ever felt this way! Especially the last 4 years of constant running around. I absolutely freakin’ love coming home! I’ve caught myself pulling into our drive way and just gawking at how cute this damn house is. Sometimes when we’re doing little touches of improvement around the house (considering this house was a flip it doesn’t need “improvement” so I mean like when Clinton put one of the guest beds together) I get weirdly emotional & start in with the “Babe this is so awesome! This will be the room for when the kids (his niece and nephew) come visit! They’re going to love it!”. We’ve grilled. We’ve made s’mores around a fire like 2 kids. We’ve sat on our back patio, tiki torches lit, music playing, & smoked hookah while watching the sunset. We took Emma to the local dog beach yesterday. We even went to Bingo night at a local bar with Karren!

It’s perfect. It is absolutely perfect. I mean…there’s been some struggles! Such as every time I walk outside I get eaten alive by bugs! Florida life baby! Bingo night? We sat outside at a picnic table & I ended up with around 100 no-see-um bites on me. I was miserable for a week! I wish I was exaggerating but no – I had a smattering of 20+ welts on one arm alone. It disgusted me to touch my skin, it was so bumpy. Our yard wasn’t much better but my man treated me by purchasing a year’s worth of yard treatments from a bug & pest company! They fog the yard to ward off mosquitos, they spray the perimeters of our house, they spray certain spots indoors, and they spray and sprinkle our yard! It’s definitely gotten better and we’ve only had one treatment so far! Also, a few nights ago I woke up at 1 AM to a screaming noise. I laid in bed for just a moment thinking maybe I dreamt it because Clinton & Emma never even budged. Then I heard it again & even Emma flinched. I was half asleep & not really sure what it could be so I went investigating & suddenly it did it again…9 fucking times in a row. It woke me up enough to realize what it was – it’s the fire alarm in bedroom #4! I run to the room & see no fire (again, I was half asleep so excuse my logic) & decided it’s best to go wake up Clinton for help. The battery was dying so it decided to scream at us at 1 AM to let us know. He took it off the ceiling & popped the battery out & to humor me, crawled into the attic (located in #4) to check for any possible fires or fires in training. Let us not forget the night I was back up at 1 AM looking for an intruder when it was just our robot vacuum in the kitchen doing a demolition derby up against Emma’s food bowls! That stupid thing was just repeatedly ramming itself into the dog bowls! I literally grabbed my flashlight & walked into the kitchen and yelled “WHO’S IN HERE?!” to the VACUUM! And last but not least, we also have a stray cat hanging around that I was totally cool with at first. I love cats. Emma and Clinton do not. So I see this cat in the back yard and I’m like “oh how charming! We’ll have an outdoor cat to keep pests at bay!” – until this cat brought us a dead mole and left it on the porch! This morning I walked outside and there was puke on the porch! This cat is disgusting! I wish it could understand that it doesn’t have to try so hard to win us over with porch gifts – we don’t want them!

But it’s still absolutely freakin’ perfect.

– Autumn

Home {part 2}

Let’s take it back a few months…

We’re in our apartment and hear thumping from downstairs. Nothing new or shocking here, we’ve grown used to it at this point. I’ve had to go knock on these assholes’ door 3 different times since we’ve lived in the apartment – the first time I fully expected & mentally prepared myself to fight. I was gonna start swingin’ – and then this nerdy little guy answered the door & was super chill about things so I felt bad. THEN about a month later, some blonde came a’knockin’ on OUR door & asked if we were down doing anything in the floor because all they can hear is a thumping sound & they believe it’s coming from us. “Nope honey not us! Maybe try the people directly underneath us because they’re super loud! Where do you live?” and she answers me “Directly underneath you”…woops! Well, take that as your sign dear. You’re loud. So now it’s like February and the thumping continues! I look at Clinton & blurt out “I can’t take this shit anymore!” and I stomp out the door & down to the 2nd floor to ask them -nicely as always- to please turn it down, our floors are vibrating. I’m always the one to go ask, Clinton’s way of handling this is to stomp on the floors, beat on the walls, and scream “SHUT THE FUCK UP” until I’m pretty sure someone is going to call the cops. My way is more effective.

I knock & the nerdy guy answers again. If all else fails & I need to beat somebody’s ass, I can beat his so I’m not worried. I say calmly but directly “hi guys I’m sorry to bother you but ya gotta keep it down! It’s constant! Our floors are literally vibrating” to which he decides his method of warfare will be humiliation of the enemy, so he goes on the attack. He tells me -this is the short version- that he can hear EVERYTHING we do…yeah. Use your imagination. He says a few other things but it really only took the one thing to get me goin’ & so his method worked. I’m pissed. I choose maturity though, so I yell at him to “quieten down you twerpy little bastard” – ah yes, maturity. At this point I’m nicely fueled on adrenaline and pure rage so I run the steps back up to our apartment and yell out to Clinton as I burst through the door “THAT’S IT WE ARE MOVING! I’M MESSAGING TARA”

Tara is our realtor. I messaged her right then and there to get us started on the home buying process. And so it began! My friend & buddy bidder Karren is her mom so we had already been talking about potential areas to live while on our flights because she knew our lease was up in April & she thought we’d probably be able to find something in the area she lives in, which was perfectly okay by me because I like her neighborhood a lot! We got our pre-approval and started looking…and I started getting discouraged. Florida is expensive. Which I know, I’m not an idiot…but still. For people who look good on paper with our credit and down payment, we still didn’t have tons of options. Also, I’m not willing to budge on homes that need work so that made our options slimmer too. Paint? I can work with. Anything more than paint? It’s a no from me. I work too much to come home from a 4 day trip, staying in hotels, & not be able to relax because of projects around the house. I don’t want projects! I’m not a projects or crafts kinda girl. Besides, I can’t calm down or relax being surrounded by construction and work. I want turn-key, move-in ready. Judge me, I really don’t care.

We had just about started looking in a neighboring town instead of where we’re at when one night I just clicked onto Zillow to see what was available & found one that looked okay. I sent it to Tara & she sent me 2 others back and wanted my opinion. One had only been listed online for 55 minutes and it was cute! The pictures were kinda bad but they got the point across. We went ahead and put an offer in just simply because you HAVE to! Everything is going so fast right now that if you’re interested in something you need to act fast & get your name thrown into the proverbial pot! If you don’t like it once you see it? You can back out. We drove up from Orlando the next morning and walked the house & it was perfect. Small garage but 4 bedrooms, 2 bath, lots of space. Completely remodeled & everything is new and we love the style they chose to remodel it in. We have a fireplace and a sky light, both of which are nice touches that we thought were very cool! We were called about an hour later to say they’d accepted our offer. We were under contract! We decided to keep it secret aside from parents and we did pretty good with that for a while then slowly we started letting a few more people know – I don’t give a shit what people know about me AFTER it’s happened but until it’s happened, I don’t want anyone knowing what’s going on in my/our life. Why? Because not everyone is happy for you. I don’t want their negative vibes anywhere near me. No one was going to mess this up for us!

However, it was overall a simple & very pain free process buying this house! I feel like we were blessed with the best team to help us and they took such good care of us the whole way through. We closed April 30th and moved in the next day on the 1st.

A good friend asked me the day we closed how this compares to my other homes & their buying processes – I technically owned 3 with my ex-husband but we’re not revisiting those. The cliffs’ notes version is I have lived a lot of places in my life & owned houses in Indiana (Dyer, not too far from Chicago), Missouri (Kansas City), and Alabama (Moody, right outside of Birmingham). I’ll tell you here and now why this one is different – this one is mine. Every other home I helped purchase (let’s be real, I was just along for the ride playing the role of doting railroad wife) was not mine – they were purchased under the terms of that we would be moving again. I knew from the very beginning that they were not permanent. They were not meant to be roots. They were “don’t get attached” (I did cry like a baby when I left the Indiana home though…I really loved that one). They were “don’t hang anything up because we don’t want to hurt the resale value by putting holes in the walls”. They were “landscaping is a pain to keep up with so we just won’t have any”. I had no connection with the realtors or the people who helped with the mortgages from those homes – but not this time. I consider Tara a friend & at this point, her family is practically my family. One of the days I was feeling particularly discouraged over not finding anything, we went to Karren’s parent’s home after looking at 3 homes to just sit and decompress with everyone and I was telling them about this one that we loved the pool and backyard but we didn’t love the actual house but that we don’t even care about having a pool. Karren’s mom (MeMaw) spoke up and said “well honey you don’t need a pool anyways! Your MeMaw has a pool!” and that just warmed my heart. All 3 of them (Karren and parents) even came over and did a walk through on the house with us! The ladies who work at the mortgage company have sent us “congratulations” emails & texts as well. We have trees & plants! It’s not cold & boring! Clinton has already started hanging things up on the walls! It just feels like home…the others just felt like places to live temporarily because that’s all they were.

I guess if you really think about it, it doesn’t compare at all.

And that’s that! We cannot wait for our first visitors!

– Autumn (& Clinton, Emma, & Nagini)

*This is a link to an Amazon registry we put together – I’m not very savvy with stuff like that. We expect nothing & wasn’t going to even do something like this at all but a couple of people have asked if we had anything like this set up so I thought “maybe”…anything is appreciated but not at all necessary or expected! If you click the link & decide to help us out please know how thankful we are for you!

Home {part 1}

Oh, home, let me come home
Home is wherever I’m with you

– Edward Sharpe

The day of our big news has came & passed – we bought a home! Not that there was ever a question about this but we are permanent Florida residents! As a refresher, we’ve both lived in Florida since 2017 and we both have wondered a time or two if we’d stay (mostly during crisis times) but Florida is most definitely home for us. I wonder all the time how anyone can live anywhere else! I personally couldn’t do it & luckily for me, I don’t have to. I thought before I properly tell the story of purchasing our home, I’d like to take a trip down memory lane & revisit my former homes in Florida.

I moved here on Valentine’s Day 2017. Very fitting for someone running from divorce & unhappiness. Emma and I stayed with my aunt and uncle for about a week although I got the keys to my little beachside condo on Daytona Beach the very next day. I saw the “Welcome to Ormond Beach” sign right off the i-95 exit on the way to my aunt’s and I looked over at Emma & told her “We’re home babygirl! We made it!” and ,yes, in that exact moment I knew I made the right decision coming here. It already felt like home. In fact, it felt like I should have been here YEARS before I actually pulled the trigger and came! I loved my little musty scented condo on the beach! I loved being able to take the elevator down & walk outside to the beautiful pool and the ocean being right there. I loved my evening walks on the beach, picking up shells & catching the gorgeous sunsets. I loved how buttery brown & sexy I was because I was outside all the freakin’ time! I loved how many people I had that would come visit, although now I see it’s because it was also convenient for them to have someone on the beach to stay with (I never cared, I was just happy to have company). I loved my neighbors – Patty and Janey. I loved going upstairs to have dinner & drink wine with them on their balcony (I was on the 1st floor, they were on the 4th and their view was so much better than mine!) I loved walking Emma down A1A – during Bike Week, the bikers would pull up to us & rev their engines – not sure if they were working to impress me or Emma but Em loved it! She’d get all giddy and excited and do these little hops like “mom! Did ya hear that?!” It was nice for the time. However, I did NOT like the fact that Emma was not allowed to touch the flooring of the building – she had to be carried in and out or I had to use a pet stroller, which she was terrified of. I did NOT like the fact that you can DRIVE on the beach but can’t take your dogs. I did NOT like the fact that this bitter old bitch that worked the front desk would call me multiple times while I was out or at work just to tell me she was barking. One day I was grocery shopping and she called me 3 times to tell me Emma was barking. I responded with “I don’t really know what you expect me to do from Walmart” but I had to bite my tongue from saying “dogs bark bitch, get over it!” Obviously I couldn’t say that & it got to the point that we were going to be asked to leave if she didn’t stop so I had to do the unthinkable and buy my baby a shock collar. I was horrified the first time she barked and I saw it shock her – actually I laughed first because she jumped damn near 2 feet in the air & it just completely dumbstruck me but then I was horrified because that’s not something I believe in. My baby should not be punished for barking (if it was really even her, Patty and Janey would visit my condo while I worked and stand by the door and listen and they never heard her barking!) but alas, I had to do something. Once it shocked her and MY initial shock had worn off, I took the collar off her and cried. Emma is my main girl…the very best girl, and she deserved a real home. This was not going to be it.

In fact, I only kept it for 7 months because I got hired on with my airline to be a flight attendant! My daddy took Emma for me during my training and while I worked where she has lived a very spoiled and pampered life! She still goes for visits. He and my uncle Jim went over to the condo while I was in training and loaded up all of my stuff for me & stored it in his sunroom. Some of it is still there, mostly my skinny girl clothes (haha) where they have resided for almost 4 years! Insane. Anyways, after graduating flight attendant training I stayed in a crashpad in Fort Lauderdale with 9 other girls – all flight attendants & one female pilot. I knew most of them from my training (we all kinda piled in on this lady who had just recently started her crashpad) and we all got along beautifully. We had a lot of fun – beach days, going to Miami for New Year’s, Rocco’s Tacos, Las Olas, shopping, drinking, getting our nails done, etc. It wasn’t a bad deal really, $300/month to crash close to the airport but at 30 I was one of the oldest ones there & sometimes the owner of the crashpad was batshit crazy. So, in December of ’17 I met this super hot guy who lived in Boca & he started taking up A LOT of my free time (ya’ll pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down? It was Clinton) – one night Clinton informed me that a friend of his from Indiana was moving down & they would be moving into a new place together and I am welcome to come join them if I’d like. It was soon & typically I don’t rush into things BUT please remember, I’m not always home! So I thought that would be a great idea. I thought we would both still have a decent amount of personal space with my being gone away for work. I gave my notice at the crashpad but it didn’t matter because the owner asked a bunch of us to leave (a kind way of saying…she kicked us out!) so that was that. I moved to Boca Raton.

The Boca days could have been so much better. I love that show “New Girl” with cutesy little Zooey Deschanel and her 3 guy roommates – when I was married I envied that life. Zooey and her guys had so much fun being in their 20s and early 30s, they were all hot, and all their quirks were funny. It just looked like so much fun & a life that I never got to experience because I chose to get married at 22 to someone with the personality of a cardboard box. When I actually started LIVING the “New Girl” life (I started with 2 guys then a 3rd moved in a few months down the road – we were out of room at this point so he slept on the couch) – I realized that shit is for the birds. Life is not a sitcom! Quirks are only funny for so long, the luxury apartment that we needed 3 paychecks to pay for stayed dirty & disorganized no matter how much I tried (and eventually gave up on), my stuff was scattered all over the place, I missed Emma something fierce & did not want to inconvenience anyone in the apartment to watch her while I worked so she mostly started with my dad, I never cooked there because the dishes were usually dirty & I didn’t want to double down on the work (I’d have to do dishes to cook then do them again afterwards!) so I stayed eating out, and I gained even more weight there which put me in a nasty insecure headspace. Oh, let us not forget, Clinton and I bickered all the time. Like, he got on my damn nerves constantly and we just simply could not stop arguing. We loved each other so much though so we just kept pushing no matter how toxic we were being. Honestly, it was pretty bad. We had some fun there with being so close to the beach & I loved when we’d take his motorcycle out but simply put – that was not the environment for me. So I left – I transferred to Orlando from Fort Lauderdale & rode the rest of my time being based in Fort Lauderdale out in a cheap hotel by the employee parking lot called the Red Carpet Inn. The Red Carpet era was fun – I was heartbroken not being with Clinton, but staying at the hotel with my girl Karren was nice! The Red Carpet offered a crew discount of $55/night and when we’d be in town at the same time on reserve (on call) for work, we’d split a room. The hotel left much to be desired but the staff were awesome to us, the pool was nice, and the little attached bar & restaurant was pretty good! Clinton and I would still see each other somewhat regularly and start making plans to start fresh in Orlando. To this day when I go to south Florida or have a layover in Fort Lauderdale I get very anxious and can’t wait to leave. South Florida really ran me through the ringer emotionally. Some of my most stressful & trying times happened there & I don’t like it.

Once it was time for my transfer to take place, I found a townhome in Daytona. Please reference post “Mickey’s Corporate Office” for more on what happened with that. Basically, Clinton got hurt & I didn’t want to deal with it so I backed out. It was for the best. We figured our shit out & became better than ever. I’m so proud of us! I can honestly say now that we have the healthiest relationships of anyone I know. All 2019, I stayed with my dad or with Clinton’s family. Eventually his dad & step mom would move to Texas and take him with them for a few months. I would begin flying out to Texas on my off days and after about 4 months we couldn’t do it anymore. It was time for him to be back in Florida. This was for his well being mostly – Florida had his doctors, insurance, therapies, etc from his accident. So then we landed in Orlando – it was nice. We chose Orlando (I actually would’ve preferred a suburb of Orlando) so I would be close to the airport and be able to be home more. After 3 years of bouncing around & constantly moving, we settled down in our little apartment & overall enjoyed it! We didn’t like our neighbors very much & sometimes even the apartment itself sucked but we actually enjoyed Orlando. The thing with apartments though is that it never really feels like you’re settled because deep down you know it’s not a forever home. No one stays in an apartment forever.

So here we are. New Smyrna Beach. This is it for us, we have put down our roots. Getting Clinton to this point has been a journey – not so much recently but before (circa 2018) he never really thought he’d buy something again because he never saw himself staying in one place. Good thing for him though, he is engaged to a flight attendant & honey I don’t stay nowhere for very long! But I’ve had to work with him on getting him to understand that having a constant place to return to is a beautiful thing. This spot is OURS – to be loud in, to have fun with, to do whatever we want in! I am so excited to be a homeowner with this man!

– Autumn, Clinton, & Emma (and hell, Nagini too)

*I’d like to note that a few weeks ago, I actually found Emma’s shock collar from all those years ago and threw it in the garbage where it belongs! We do whatever the fuck we want in these parts!

Been A Long Time…

I quit writing again. Shocker, I know.

Life happens. I’ll cover everything from the time gap one day – but today? Well, I have some news I’d like to share…

Clinton & I are engaged!

YES, two people who claimed they’d never get married again are ,indeed, getting married! When we first met (2017), there were 2 things put out there immediately – we’re not in this thing for another marriage & kids are a no-go. Kids are still a no-go with us, but after he got hurt in 2019 & we worked on our relationship, he had brought up the idea of marriage to me and I had begun getting onboard with that idea. However, we were in no real shape for a wedding or marriage while he was still recovering. Life needed to be much more stable before we could fully consider it & we truly did enjoy our relationship just the way it was. I have never felt the need to rush things or be the nagging girlfriend who always has to hint at getting a ring on her finger.

So…with that being said, I’ve returned to the blog to address some questions –

1) Do you have a date picked yet?
The answer to this is a big ol’ nope. Sorry. I just got engaged 3 days ago & it baffles me that ANYONE could make such choices about their wedding in 3 days! Insanity! I am not the girl to talk to if you’re looking for some starry eyed chick who’s knee deep in invitations and cake samples. Okay, actually the cake sample thing could definitely be me.

2) How’d he propose?
We went to Savannah, GA this weekend! I’m on vacation & because we have other news in the making right now (will announce second round of news at the end of the month) we didn’t want to stray too far from home. Savannah is about 4 hours from us so we decided on just going there. On day 2 of our trip, we went to the gorgeous Forsyth Park – you know, all the beautiful trees with the drapey air moss? With the gorgeous fountain in the middle of the park? Yeah. There. Iconic Savannah. We strolled the park and then when we made it to the fountain, I approached a couple & asked if they wouldn’t mind taking our photo – when the girl took my phone, Clinton told her to take a video because he’s “about to ask this beautiful woman to marry him” and then he knelt down and proposed with the most beautiful ring. She did take a video! And I’ll NEVER share it because I’m truly embarrassing because I said “yes!” and then grabbed the ring and put it on my own finger. Congrats to me, I’m marrying myself apparently. After I realized what I had done though – we went off to a private spot in the park & I had him slip the ring on my finger properly. I should clarify – I was nervous because I don’t like attention or people looking at me so I think it was a knee jerk reaction but it was still perfect. The most beautiful setting I could imagine! A man playing the trumpet in the park even let out a burst of “Here Comes the Bride” but alas, it wasn’t for me! There was a bridal photoshoot happening in the park & he did it for the bride. I got a kick out of it though!

3) Did you suspect he was going to ask?
YES! I even knew there was a ring in our apartment for weeks! Why you may ask? My mom & step dad came for a visit and he took them separately into our room to show them something I was not allowed to see. One day he was going through some of his stuff & had to actually stop himself from blurting out to me “wanna see it?” and then he TOLD me about almost blurting that out. OH, and let’s not forget him insisting that I get my nails done before our Savannah trip and “make them do them perfect! I’m serious Autumn if they’re not perfect for you then make them re-do them. They have to be everything you want!” as well as “on the day we go Forsyth Park…dress up. You know, in case we take pictures or something” Soooo…I’d have to be a total idiot not to have seen that coming!!

Other notables –
– He got my dad AND my mom’s blessings which I loved! He actually called my dad (who had a mild Covid scare at the time & wasn’t taking visitors) and since he’s literally never done that before, my dad panicked and assumed he was calling him to tell him horrible news. His exact words (or so I’ve heard) were “Clinton dammit, you scared the shit out of me” which is just so incredibly Barry (my dad)

– As thrilled as we are & how much we love each other, I debated not sharing our news. Why? Because we’ve both been married before & I was afraid it would be tacky. Because I KNOW how people think…”maybe this one will stick!” or something along those lines. Instead we got a lot of “it’s about time!”‘s which also baffles me! We’ve been together just a touch over 3 years & ya’ll, I don’t rush into anything! As I stated before – we loved our relationship as it was & I don’t think it would’ve bothered either of us to keep on truckin’ in that manner! Ya’ll really out here marrying people up that fast?! Wow. That explains a lot! But seriously, the wave of love and support has been amazing! I feel less self conscious. I tend to not really get self conscious about my life choices because I know how I enter into things & I have faith in myself that I know what I am doing in this life and this self consciousness I was feeling had nothing to do with myself or Clinton but that some jealous or bitter asshole would crash our happiness.

– It shall be noted here that I don’t know shit about planning a wedding. So I’m gonna need some help. Please and thank you.

Alright folks! That’s it for now. We have been so excited and living an absolute dream this month! We can’t wait to share our next round of news with everyone – be on the lookout for that!

– Autumn

{Throwback Thursday} Germany

With all this shit goin’ on (that’s the proper Florida way of saying Covid-19) I haven’t got to travel at all this year. Okay well that’s a lie sorta, I’ve been on my layovers for work as well as mini trips to Puerto Rico, Nashville, and Kentucky to see my mom all of which were included on a note I keep on my phone of trips I want to budget for and schedule in.

This was my list this year :
“Minis” to –
*San Juan, Puerto Rico (Done)
*Kentucky (Done)
*New Orleans (layover but EVERYTHING was shut down & I really wanted to take Clinton so I’m not counting it)
*Las Vegas (layover but not what I was going for)
*New York
*Nashville (Done)

“Midsize” –
*London & Paris for 5 days for my birthday

“The Big One” –

So needless to say, my 2020 travel plans were a total bust. First world problems huh? But really, truly, all I could picture was my beautiful birthday in Paris with my boyfriend – the Louvre, having a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower, putting our lock on the “love lock” bridge, and eating macarons from Laduree. For the London portion of that trip I planned a whole wonderfully nerdy Harry Potter experience. It’s okay, all of these places will still exist after Covid fucks off (remember, I write exactly how I speak & if this offends you, pay for my blog domain & I’ll tone it down) so hopefully after we get ourselves together as a country & get healthy then maybe the rest of the world will welcome us back again one day.

In the meantime – let’s take a virtual trip to Germany shall we? My trip to Germany was the brain child of my good friend Lindsey. She planned it, she found the flights we listed ourselves on, and she did all the research. What did I do? Book our hotels & Air BnBs. I also attempted figuring out public transportation but since I am an Uber girl and most certainly don’t speak German, I failed spectacularly. I don’t like wasting time figuring out buses or trains, I’d much rather just go from point A to point B unbothered so I try not to mess with public transportation too much. However, much of Germany was Uber-less so I was lost.

Okay. Our trip was October 1-5 of 2018. The original plan was to go to Oktoberfest for the entire visit but then things started to shift when Lindsey mentioned Berlin and then again when she said another flight attendant told her about Frankfurt & a small town called Mainz. So here’s the itinerary we went with –

September 30th – MIA (Miami) to FRA (Frankfurt)
October 1st – explore Frankfurt & Mainz
October 2nd – FRA to TXL (Berlin) – explore Berlin
October 3rd – TXL to MUC – explore Munich & go to Oktoberfest
October 4th – explore Dachau & train into Munich for day 2
October 5th – MUC to CPH (Copenhagen) then onto MIA

We did this trip while we were still on reserve but we managed it! We bid for the exact same reserve line for October and got it so we could make sure both of us could make the trip. We were on reserve until 10 AM on September 30th & as soon as the clock struck 10, we both jumped onto MyIDTravel (crew travel website) and listed ourselves for the flight that afternoon to Frankfurt! It was so crazy because who even gets to do stuff like that?! People don’t get to just wake up and be like “yo, if I don’t gotta work today let’s head to Germany” – Clinton drove me from Boca Raton down to Fort Lauderdale to Lindsey’s crashpad where one of her crashpad roommates then drove us on down to Miami.

We flew Lufthansa & took the crew a bag of goodies hoping we would get an upgrade but ,alas, we did not. *I would like to note – it’s in good taste to bring your flight crew treats ANYtime you non-rev travel. They did ,however, gift us a Business Class gift with some toiletries, socks, & an eye mask. We already knew we would be getting a seat on the flight to Frankfurt & wasn’t even worried because Lufthansa had already updated and emailed us our seat assignment. I’m not sure if we were just excited or what but neither of us slept a wink during that 9 hour flight! Walking through the Frankfurt airport at ,like, 8 AM with our eye masks up on our foreheads & taking Snapchat videos of how damn tired but READY we were, I started messaging our first Air BnB host to let him know we’ve arrived so he can tell us how to get to his place in Mainz. It was not easy, HOWEVER, we did it! And from then on, it really wasn’t that bad finding our way around Mainz!

This is the Air BnB we stayed at in Mainz. The host was awesome, the house was spotless & stylish, and it was in a super cute neighborhood. Oh, and it was affordable! Most Air BnBs and hotels that we found in Germany were pretty affordable. Our host, Torsten, explained how to get around in Mainz & where we could find the “old” German villages. We dropped our bags off in our room & set off to explore – Germany is so lovely! We didn’t get to see a lot of countryside but I loved all the little villages.

We learned a few things real quick –
1) ALWAYS purchase & validate your train/bus tickets. We noticed that no one was checking our tickets on the train so we decided to re-use one for later assuming it was good for an all day ride. I mean obviously right? NO. NOT RIGHT AT ALL. On our last train of the evening, the ticket taker notices our tickets are not correct for the train ride we are currently on and started demanding we pay 60 euro for a new/legal ticket (mind you, tickets are only a couple euro when purchased at the station) – we had been out to eat and shopping so neither of us even had 60 euro on us anymore! They caved when I started to panic & waved a 20 euro bill at them saying “this is all I have!” and let us pay ,I think, like, 10 euro but it was still a little scary to be in trouble in a foreign country over a damn train ticket. (Please note – you’d think I would have learned my lesson since I’m being all preachy, oh no, fast forward to 2019 in Italy – my aunt and I got $50 tickets issued to us by police for not validating a $1.50 bus ticket. This folks. This shit right here is why I don’t do public transportation)
2) Sparkling water is the norm. I don’t like sparkling water. It tastes like TV static.
3) Tipping is not expected. Service is not a big thing like in the USA…our servers were never overly accommodating and one in Munich literally sighed out loud and was visibly annoyed with our requests.
4) You usually have to pay to use a public restroom. I think it was a quarter.

We went to the cutest little village and drank fancy lattes and bowls of pretzels. We explored cathedrals and old buildings and gardens. We hopped back on the train and went into the city of Frankfurt – very, very metropolitan in some areas but had dinner in Frankfurt’s “Old Town” – schnitzel, apple strudel, and delicious German beer! I drank more beer on this trip than I ever have cared to in my life! But hey, when in Germany, do as the Germans do! Somehow, somewhere we ended up in a street fair and drank mugs of hot mulled wine. This may have been the night that as we were getting on our train, we just about missed it so I hurried up and literally JUMPED through the train doors only for them to close on me anyways & trapped my backpack purse in the doors. The doors also do not open once they are closed (which the system believed they were) and so I was stuck. Literally, LODGED in between these mother freaking train doors and trying to wiggle free like a turtle rolled over on it’s shell *remember, this purse is being worn as a backpack* – well, fun fact – the train can’t move until all doors are ACTUALLY fully closed. So. Here my dumbass is, stuck between 2 doors via purse, having 2 men try to pry the stuck doors open enough for my purse break free so the doors can properly close all the way! I was mortified but couldn’t stop laughing and Lindsey couldn’t stop laughing so everyone moved away from us on the train. Not even my most embarrassing moment on this trip! Keep reading…

The next day we decided to head to Berlin for the day – the train ride was too expensive so we hopped a plane instead. I booked a budget hotel/motel that was somewhat walking distance to most things & very popular. Berlin is not walker friendly because everything is so spread out – you definitely need transportation or get a bike, however, I don’t remember seeing bike rentals anywhere although people were biking all around us. We walked most of our journey but also took a bus at one point and because we were out til 3 AM, we took an Uber back to our hotel. Berlin was freezing! And raining! Definitely our coldest stop. I pulled up directions to the Berlin Wall & we took off – nearly a 3 mile walk. As Apple maps is saying we are reaching our destination, I’m looking around for the Berlin Wall. I don’t see it. Where is this graffitied wall?! Well, there’s a visitor’s center…we walk inside to ask where the Berlin Wall is and they look at us like we’re stupid and point outside – that gray wall we’ve been walking alongside? THAT is the Berlin Wall. Us silly Americans. They explain to us if we’re looking for the graffitied sections, we need to head about 6 miles (I don’t believe they use miles but I’m using what I saw on my phone) away to the East Side Gallery & walk us through the bus we need & what stop to get off on. We spend a little time at the memorial center/visitor’s center because this is the ACTUAL thing we came to look at but heeded their instructions to get to the East Side Gallery. Once we got there, we were both freezing and soaking wet as the rain had picked up. We spent about 2 minutes looking at the art on the wall & went to go find a place to warm up at. We found a dark, beat up little cafe’/bar. I say dark & beat up in the most loving of ways because it was TOTALLY my style! Exposed brick, candle light, beaten furniture, peeling wallpaper. It was the perfect setting for a cold, gloomy afternoon! It was called Tante Emma (“Aunt Emma”) which is even more fitting as ,well, Emma! Lindsey had an Irish coffee & I had a hot chocolate with rum & cream. It was the most perfect little cafe’ to me. I loved it. One of my favorite stops.

Once warmed up, we walked through Berlin some more before deciding on dinner at a place recommended to us by her cousin – it was as “Old German” (I do hope this is not offensive in any way) as you could get which is what we were looking for! It did have TVs with sports playing which modernized it a bit though. Everyone spoke German & we couldn’t quite figure out what to order so we spoke to the bartender who spoke enough English to understand us (note – please out of respect, learn enough conversational phrases in the language of whatever country you’re going to) & we told him “we want sausages and sour kraut!” and hoped for the best. It was damn good. We had more German beer, whatever one they recommended to us at the bar and because they enjoyed us they comped us rounds of different shots! We stayed out pretty late that night because Berlin doesn’t really sleep! We hit different bars & wondered the city streets til about 2 AM – Berlin was so cool. It looks exactly how I imagined it – art & paint everywhere! And not to be terribly American but I kind of thought maybe a touch dangerous – but I ended up feeling so safe! If you can walk around a city at 2 AM and no one bother you at all then that’s saying something. We even made it all the way back to the East Side Gallery to where we could really look at the wall this time. We got an Uber to our hotel & he was really cool – there were some places we still hadn’t got to see so he drove us to them before dropping us off – free of charge. He drove us by the Bellevue Palace and the “tall, pointy tower” (the Berlin TV tower) – after a glass of wine at the hotel bar that was shockingly still open, we went to bed.

The next day was my most favorite – we hopped another short plane ride to Munich. We stayed in Dachau because one of our stops on this trip was the somber and sobering Dachau Concentration Camp. However, night 1 was going to be spent in Munich at Oktoberfest. We got to our hotel & put on our dinrdls that we purchased for Oktoberfest. I was so excited for this part even though at first I thought I looked ridiculous – however, given that I’m curvy & my tits were pushed all the way up to my chin, I was feeling pretty confident and ready to go drink! Famous last words. Anyways, we take the train into Munich and got off at our stop. Oktoberfest was so fun! I have never experienced anything like it in my life! The beer tents were packed to the brim with people! Men were grabbing us to dance & I got pulled out on the dance floor with a total stranger. All the men were extremely handsy and trying to flirt and holla and it was just too much!! I am a hit in Europe ya’ll. We went to every one of them but only drank at Hofbrauhaus. After pounding our first stein of beer (well hers was beer mixed with lemonade), we ventured back out for food & rides…yes…rides. After drinking that much beer. We were the only 2 on the ride (you know the fair ride that ,literally, only spins you around really fast? Most fairs call it the “Scrambler”? well, we rode that) anyways, being the only 2 on there, the ride operators decided to give us our money’s worth and gave us an EXTRA long ride! We had a blast…until I wasn’t anymore. I could feel the beer sloshing around in my stomach and we went faster and faster around in circles. Lindsey took a video and you can literally see the exact moment I was no longer enjoying myself on that ride. My maniacal laughter stopped and my face fell & I blurted out “Lindsey I wanna get off!” while HER crazy laughter continued as her ridiculous friend *me* was concerned about keeping a liter of beer inside of her. I survived. And so did our dresses.

We walked around and saw what we needed to see before Lindsey asked me “you ready to have another one?” I am very cocky. “Yeah!” I blurt out and we head back into the Hofbrauhaus tent and get our 2nd steins. I drink the 2nd stein and am vibing out and enjoying the music and fending off strangers when it hits me fo’ real fo’real this time – I am shit faced. This was not how this is supposed to go. I had read in travel blogs to pace yourself & I thought I did! Oh no…I am white girl wasted. In a different country. Where men have been grabbing at us all night. What if I pass out somewhere? Lindsey is tiny! She can’t protect us! What if I die? Is this what dying feels like? I think I’m dying. It’s so cold outside. I’m definitely going to die. Ya’ll I only had 2 damn steins! So I do what is clearly the logical thing to do – I text Clinton that I am very drunk and I’m very afraid for my safety. He loses his shit. He calls me immediately and I believe this is our conversation from what I can remember :

“Why are you afraid?! Are you okay?! What is happening?!” – him
“I’m fine! I’m just drunk! Whyyyyyy do you always stress out like this? Clinton this is ridiculous I am fine. Lindsey talk to him & tell him I’m fine! *Lindsey hands me my phone back saying “GIRL TALK TO HIM HE’S YELLING AT ME”* God Clinton I’m fine. You’re being dramatic. I’m fine. Okay whatever track my location we’re leaving anyways” – me

Somewhere in between this I know we stopped for more food – bought a pretzel that I thought could soak up some alcohol and help me get normal again. I dropped it. Last thing I really remember is Lindsey trying to order a sausage and some older man kidding with her & telling her what she ordered was “cow peepee” and she handed it back to the lady working the cart & asked for bratwurst.

So, anyways, my sweet, darling boyfriend tracked my little blue dot from location services from Oktoberfest all the way to Dachau, walking me through each individual step. I’m fine. I’m drunk and have to pee but I’m texting him so clearly I am fine. “I’m fine” – what this blog post should actually be called. “That time I was fine in Germany” My mother must be so proud. After begging Lindsey to please find me a bathroom (there were none) when we got off the train, we -very shockingly- made it to the hotel without me having a wet dress. I passed out in bed. Yes folks, that is the summary of my time at Oktoberfest. Food. Beer. Handsy men. Wasted. Argument with my boyfriend in America. Pass out.

I wake up at 5:30 AM on our last full day & shower & get ready. Never underestimate me – Lindsey woke up a little later & looks at me & says “I didn’t expect you to be up so early” to which I respond “Girl I am hydrated and showered and ready to go! I’ve already looked at the map! Dachau is walking distance from here! Let’s go!” – I was back in the game. I also sent a very lengthy apology text to Clinton. The rest of our trip was much tamer. I drank tons of water, for one. We walked to Dachau and had a very eye opening experience. Obviously unlike anything I have ever experienced. We stayed for hours. Original plans were to take a train to the Neuchwanstein Castle but we no longer had time so we just took a train into the city of Munich and explored. More churches and cathedrals and museums. We had a late lunch at Ratskeller, bought all of our souvenirs, and decided with this being our last night in Germany, that we weren’t going to sleep. We were going to stay up all night in Munich, take the train to get our bags, then take the train right back to Munich to catch our flight home! It was a great plan in theory but we were exhausted. We ended our trip in Munich at a hookah lounge splitting a cold cheese sandwich when Lindsey said “I can’t let my last German meal be this sandwich!” so we found a restaurant that was still open to have one more delicious meal at ,like, midnight.

It was the perfect trip! Even if you include me getting stuck between train doors or getting trashed at Oktoberfest or almost being charged 60 euro for a 10 euro ticket! It was a blast & my absolute favorite trip I’ve ever taken! I came home with the worst swollen feet and ankles I have ever experienced from all the alcohol and walking with little rest but I wouldn’t trade a single thing about this trip.

The things you read here are true and accurate & I will never water down an experience, even if it makes me look like a dick. I’m sure you can appreciate this.

So that was my experience with Germany! I hope that inspires you to book your trip out to Oktoberfest & to always drink responsibly!

– Autumn

I Like Big Tubs & I Cannot Lie

Let me set the scene –

It’s January 2019, I am in Daytona at my dad’s house because this starts my first month of being based in Orlando – I have broken up with Clinton (although we still talk daily & have planned for him to visit me for a date in Orlando), I am buying a home in Ormond Beach (that I ended up not buying), and it is my LAST month on reserve before having my very first line at work (redeye turns to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico).

My phone vibrates with a photo and video from Clinton of the project he’s working on after hours for/at work – see, he was working for a company that does bathroom renovations & they wanted a promotional piece for home shows, booths, etc – they’ve finished it. It hasn’t been painted yet but it’s running – the bathtub go-kart. Yes. BATHTUB. GO-KART. It is literally the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen in my life. I mean, it’s cool & quirky & weird but it is totally ridiculous. I have actually had people ask me if he makes these for a living and can they buy one? Anyways, I shoot off a text back to him that says “Nice! Ride it!” and wait for a response. I never got one. Since we weren’t really dating anymore, the lack of response didn’t surprise me. I figured he WAS test driving it then I knew he planned to go to a car show that night with our friend Miguel so I just assumed that explained the silence.

A few hours later I am about to lay down & my phone lights up with a Facebook message – this is weird because I had deactivated my Facebook about 5 months ago at this point, so I grab it & see that it’s from Julie, his step mom, whom I haven’t talked to in months –

“Call me ASAP. Clint got hurt” 

My stomach lurched & I click the number she sent to call her immediately. She tells me that he’s crashed the bathtub go-kart, he is unconscious/unresponsive, and that she doesn’t know everything but will call me back when she does. She tells me he is in St. Mary’s Trauma Center in West Palm & to get there ASAP.

Ya’ll I have so much anxiety as I type this stuff out right now – my hands are cold, my stomach hurts. I hate this time period of my/our life. 

Anyways, I scramble around throwing on my dirty clothes from that day & run out into the living room telling my dad “I gotta go! Clint crashed the go-kart! I gotta go to West Palm Beach!” – my dad is as dumbstruck as I was for a minute then starts saying he’ll go with me but I truly have no idea how long I’ll be there because I don’t really know everything that is wrong so I tell him to stay & I’ll be fine. In my mind he probably only knocked himself out & maybe broke a rib or something.

On my way to West Palm I’m doing a lot of praying & my phone rings, it’s Julie with an update – “honey he has swelling in his brain so they had to cut a piece of skull out to relieve it…he has multiple breaks in his face…bruised lungs…broken ribs…broke his femur in multiple pieces…” and suddenly, shit just got very real. All this from a go-kart? He loves those things! He loves speed & adrenaline & building things…he is GOOD at stuff like that. 

Eventually I reach the hospital and I pull into some familiar faces & some not so familiar faces & my stomach lurches more. I park & get out & am waiting on one of these faces to approach me but they don’t…instead Brandy comes up to me & I’m so thankful it’s her and not one of these other people. I know Brandy & I like Brandy so seeing her is comforting. She engulfs me in a long hug & tells me she’s happy I’m here & we walk in together. Once I’m inside my head is spinning & my stomach is so upset & I’m hearing & seeing so much that I don’t want to hear & see. Brandy, Ash, Miguel, & I go into his room to see him & there he is – naked & covered by a gown, bloody, swollen, purple, head wrapped in gauze, tubes everywhere. It’s really something & I’ve never seen a person after a severe accident aside from in the movies. For a split second my dramatic ass believes I may pass out because it was just too much all at once. Miguel grabbed me a chair and slid it under me…I didn’t pass out. Finally, someone told me that Boyde had been asking about me so I went outside to sit with him for a bit. Everyone started deciding where they were going to go for the night – Miguel offered his house & Brandy & Ash said I could go home with them. I decided on Brandy & Ash, then Miguel changed it up & said he thought I should stay at the hospital. That was both shocking and flattering to me – Boyde said it was okay if I did. At that point, it felt like I had a weird new responsibility. I WOULD stay at that hospital & I WOULD be the best hospital stayer there ever was! I would NOT let Boyde down! So. Everyone scattered and I went back into the trauma center and sat in his room. At this point it’s about 2 AM. If we’re being totally transparent here, I had taken a melatonin back in Daytona when I thought I was going to bed although that feels like forever ago at this point & the adrenaline had fought most of that off, but I was officially exhausted and was going to be needing some sleep soon. Sometime closer to 3 AM, I told his nurse I’m going to bed & I’ll be out in my car – she lets me know that the hospital is in a bad neighborhood and to definitely NOT sleep in my car. She goes and gets me a stack of sheets and a pillow so I can sleep in the lobby of the trauma center. She also informs me that at 3:30 she’s reducing his sedation medicine in an attempt to wake him up if I’d like to stick around for a little bit! It didn’t seem like him waking up at that time would be possible but it was an exciting idea at the same time so I stuck around & we waited a bit…I watch as the levels of the sedation medicine drop on the monitors & she begins to call his name a few minutes later. Nothing. She pokes, prods, & eventually asks me to try calling his name…nothing. We have nothing. And we would continue to have nothing for 13 days.

Over the next 13+ days, it would be just the biggest shit show of just…everything. There was the possibility he was having seizures but ended up being a reaction to his meds. Brandy messaged me one day while I was at work saying he needed blood. They put a rod in his leg. He received a pick line, a GI tube, and was put on a ventilator. The emotions ran wild man, the fuckin’ emotions. Not even just mine but his family’s and his friends. Some needed to know how rent would be paid. His family moved him out of our old apartment while I was at work one weekend. We stayed in hotels I booked using my airline discounts & eventually Boyde would rent a spot on a campground & bring his camper. I kinda went back and forth between the camper & our friend Kristen’s ,whom I made amends with that sadly, I was a horrible friend to at times but luckily for me, she is clearly much better at friendship & stayed kind to me when it was truly appreciated. It was a weird time during those days – one time I messed up the hotel reservation & wasn’t even supposed to be staying there & ended up having to share a bed with Boyde. It was definitely awkward but honestly we were so exhausted from everything we retired to our individual sides & didn’t dare budge. I love Boyde, he’s my extra dad at this point, but that was the most uncomfortable I think I’ve ever been. Oh, Brandy & I shared a freakin’ tent once. A TENT. We sat outside & drank Jameson out of coffee mugs around a campfire & making fun of the oddball campground neighbor who’d come try to holla (“Look sir. Her husband is a pilot. My man is unconscious. Please don’t make me go get Boyde!”). Kristen and I had Galentine’s Day that resulted in 2 bottles of wine & both of us crying until she finally was just like “we need to just go to bed” – a few days later Brandy & I attempted a Galentine’s Day ourselves (I adore Valentine’s Day…it’s one of my favorites) & the same damn thing happened. There I was sitting outside around a campfire, giant glass of wine, and a face mask on…crying. I cried a lot…over everything…to anyone…at least once a day. I truly could not control my emotions. Piled on top of this was when February came around, so did those red eye turns to Puerto Rico. The actual flights were easy peasy – Puerto Ricans are wonderful people & red eyes mean that everyone is sleeping – except us flight attendants. The lack of sleep from working red eyes really ran it’s toll on me & so that didn’t help at all. I could barely make the drive to WPB without stopping at a rest area or a parking lot and just nap. Hell, I couldn’t even make it back to Daytona without stopping at the lone rest area on I-4 and sleeping in my car some mornings. I would talk to his friend Dustin every single morning like clockwork to help me stay awake on the drive home & if anyone knows the struggle, it’s that man. He helped ease me into participating in life many times. It was just fucking hard. And that was just on me – I at least still worked & was able to have breaks. His family certainly didn’t have that luxury.

One of the biggest causes of stress & worry (aside from the obvious like his health & well-being) was that I was worried that I shouldn’t even be there. Yes, PEOPLE wanted me there but what if HE didn’t? We had only dated just shy of a year but we had lived together most of that time & I think that extra layer of closeness got to me. However, I was convinced he would just look at me one day when he really came to and would be like “okay well Autumn this has been really nice of you but did I ask you for any of this?” – I was worried that I looked like a sad, crazy, clingy, and DESPERATE woman over the fact that I didn’t go home at all and I thought many times (MANY) that maybe I should just leave & stop coming around. No one could reassure me of anything different, even though everyone tried. Finally it all boiled down to this – if when he woke up & I was no longer welcome, that would hurt, yes, and I would stop visiting, but at least I did good things for someone I loved very much. Good karma/broken heart. Tough pill to swallow.

However, he DID wake up. And he DID want me there, so my fears started to be alleviated. The day he truly started to wake up, I had to go back to work. I went in the room & told him I loved him but I had to leave & go to work – he definitely didn’t understand me because he wrinkled his face up & looked confused. I had made it up to Port St Lucie & Kristen texted me saying “we think he’s asking for you” – mind you, he couldn’t really talk with all the new additions to his throat/neck. I asked how they came to that conclusion and she said that he kept mouthing something so Brandy leaned in close to see if she could understand and she caught “where” and “Autumn”. Brandy told him I had to leave for work but I’ll be back soon. I started bawling & asked if I should turn around and come back (haha)

Now fast forward over 1 year later. My boyfriend is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor. He has some gnarly head scars (“God’s tattoos” – grandma Shirley, because Clint is heavily tattooed), that pretty sweet rod in his leg complete with not-so-sweet calcium deposit on his knee, and lots of new hardware in his face. We have everything in our new place ranging from a wheelchair, walker, cane, splints, and a big assed shoe with a lift (“Where is my platform?!” is something you’ll hear in our house & it makes me giggle every time) He had months of therapies in one of the biggest & best rehabilitation hospitals in the country. We have dealt with meds, newfound anxiety, intrusive thoughts, eye problems, dental problems, and we have a freezer stuffed full of ice packs to help him deal with his “lava brain”. While not all of these (eyes/teeth) are brain injury symptoms just know one thing – brain injuries are fucking wild. I read up a lot now on TBI/ABI and brain health in general & I am in constant awe. He is doing so well though, damn near back to normal – if you meet him I guarantee you within 5 minutes he is going to start in with “On January of ’19, I crashed a go-kart going between an estimated 80-90 mph into a palm tree, face first with no helmet on…” and I kinda cringe and let him tell his story. I’ve heard that story enough that I can repeat it in the exact way he says it. More often than not I look at him & say “Now babe…did they ASK for all that? NO! They were offering us a free sample of cheese!” and he says “I know I know but it’s like word vomit I CAN’T HELP IT” – I have at least got him to STOP saying the part about where he believes he survived worse injuries than what killed Dale Earnhardt Sr. Holy shit, that used to kill me. This mofo and his bathtub was really out here trying to be more badass than DALE EARNHARDT. 

To this day, we do not know what happened with that go-kart that caused all this. No one has even seen it! It’s in impound in WPB. The guy who he was building the go-kart with was unaware that something had even happened & a total stranger was the one that found him – his name is Ryan & according to the police report, he worked at a business in the same plaza and was around the back of the complex loading his truck. He heard the engine running on the go-kart & went to look to see what he was hearing & saw Clinton sprawled out in the damn tub (I KNOW…RIDICULOUS) & choking on his own vomit. Ryan cleared his airways & called 911. Ryan also doesn’t usually work nights or weekends. Life is crazy. One day we plan to meet Ryan but sadly, his contact information was lost.

All is pretty normal nowadays though. Our relationship is better than ever & certainly not questioned anymore – as it turns out, all you need is a near death experience to make you realize what’s important and what you really want out of life. While this method apparently works, it’s definitely a 0/10 – DO NOT RECOMMEND. 

I thank you all for reading a very long post. I never wanted to write about this actually because it seriously fucks with me to have to talk about the early months of his accident ,however, he requested this piece. It was somewhat therapeutic to finally write it & I still neglected some details. I hope this post doesn’t come off as tone deaf or selfish like “my sorta/kinda boyfriend was dying & all I cared about was if he loved me!” – that wasn’t the intention at all. I was just very simply telling a story from my point of view.

Brain injury & references to his accident will come up from time to time because ,well, it’s part of our life now & I may write about something that he’s done that’s really weird & ya’ll may be like “what the fuck is wrong with her boyfriend?!” & now you know – he has a TBI bruh. 

He would also like you to know before I totally sign off here that while he definitely has some PTSD involving palm trees now (unfortunate as we live in Florida), he still loves riding go-karts.

– Autumn (& Clinton)

Well Shit, What’re Ya’ll Doin’?

Hey guys!

I’m assuming if you’re reading this then you clicked a link I shared on Facebook so you all already know me and there’s no real need to introduce myself.


On the off chance that you aren’t my mom, her friends, and maybe 2 people from my high school, I’d like to take this time to do a simple refresher.

First off, I’m Autumn. I’m 32, a flight attendant, a southern lady/Florida beach bum, happily taken, and obsessed with my dog (Emma Lou). I am also a lover of words. Writing is the only thing I am truly good at. Fun fact – I have had a blog nearly consistently since the MySpace days. They have all been terribly unsuccessful. Yet that doesn’t stop me! This domain was the last blog I had & I quit writing here in 2018. I was a reserve flight attendant who was busier than ever but did not really have the $150 to keep up the business plan I had purchased for the blog. Could I have dropped down to a cheaper plan? Of course I could have but I would have lost all of my custom features I had added on. I also just wasn’t feeling it. My content was of poor quality sometimes because I had a lot to say but not a lot of time to type out a proper post. I hope to change this all around.

Lots has changed since 2018 & I have missed having a space for my words! Quarantining especially has really brought that out in me – I have really needed a creative outlet! Turns out, Amazon is NOT that! Of course, I could have kept a nice journal or something but I usually just resort to jotting things down in the Notes app on my phone. Finally tonight, after my boyfriend & our dog went to bed, I crept into the living room with my long-neglected MacBook & clicked onto good ol’ WordPress. And ya’ll, I barely remember shit about blogging! My eyes were going crossed trying to figure things out! OH, and I should note – this time I did not purchase the business plan. Ya know…justincase.

If you’re a reader of the former “Me, You, & Emma-Lou” I’d like to say at this time – welcome back! I’m happy you are here & have taken even a mild interest or curiosity in my life & my writing! Gone are the days of posting about divorce and emotionally abusive partners or of getting my nipples pierced. Yes, first page & I’m already throwing nipples out there – I really wrote a whole page about that in 2017. It was titled “Bad Bitch” and contained lyrics from a rapper named Webbie. In my defense I was “finding myself” and embracing the “young, wild, & free” persona. I regret NOTHING. Nowadays though, you’ll find me talking more about travel, my job, my man, & our life in Orlando.

If you’re a new friend here, welcome! I’m happy to have you here as well! As a quick overview – I’m probably going to overshare things (see above), I’m definitely going to have a potty mouth (sorry not sorry), and I pretty much write exactly how I would say something to you in person. Please don’t let that scare you away.

I’m going to take this time to toot my own horn & post my first 5 star review –
“You should write again! Your blog is the only thing I have ever voluntarily read in my life from start to finish” – my boyfriend, folks. What a man.

Thanks for clicking guys! Let’s do this again sometime!

– Autumn