Thursday, January 20, 2011

Heart Warming Story

This Southern Sophisticate has been very busy. I've spent the last few weeks moving, unpacking, organizing and working long hours. Apologies for my lameness in not updating. While this post is not one of my best, I think you will enjoy hearing this heart-warming story.

I stumbled across this a few days ago: 


The most important trips aren't about getting somewhere. They're about getting to someone. (via
But in an age of mounting airline fees, reduced in-flight services, uncomfortable security pat-downs and multi-day delays caused by erupting volcanoes, it's easy to forget that.
Amid the cries of "I've already paid for my hotel!" and "You need to get me to Atlanta!" anger and inconvenience frequently blind us to the fact that travel is ultimately about people. We also forget that airline employees - bound by big company rules and regulations - get frustrated, too.
Enter Nancy, whose travel triumph, tempered by a great deal of sadness, has turned an unnamed Southwest Airlines pilot into an online hero. 
Nancy reads a blog by Christopher Elliott, a consumer advocate and journalist, and wrote to him about her husband's recent ordeal traveling on flights from Los Angeles to Tucson to Denver. Their situation makes complaints about leg room look downright petty.
"Last night, my husband and I got the tragic news that our three-year-old grandson in Denver had been murdered by our daughter's live-in boyfriend," she wrote. "He is being taken off life support tonight at 9 o'clock and his parents have opted for organ donation, which will take place immediately. Over 25 people will receive his gift tonight and many lives will be saved."
So early in the morning, after what must have been a torturous night's sleep, Nancy and her husband arranged for him to fly from Los Angeles, where he was traveling for work, to Tuscon, where he would step off one plane and immediately onto another one headed to Denver. "The ticketing agent was holding back tears throughout the call," Nancy wrote. "I'm actually her step-mother and it's much more important for my husband to be there than for me to be there."
Mourning the loss of his child's child, and no doubt worrying about his grieving daughter, he was likely in no state to travel. Airport stress only compounded his despair. He arrived at LAX two hours before his scheduled flight time, but quickly realized that delays at baggage check and security would keep him from making the flight.
According to Nancy, he struggled to hold back tears as he pleaded with TSA and Southwest Airlines staff to fast-track him through the lines that were moving like molasses. Even though missing his flight could mean missing a final chance to see his grandson, no one seemed to care.
Too much was at stake to simply roll over and cry. When he finally cleared security - several minutes after his flight's planned departure - he grabbed his computer bag, shoes and belt, and ran to his terminal wearing only his socks. The pilot and the gate agent were waiting for him.
"Are you Mark? We held the plane for you and we're so sorry about the loss of your grandson," the pilot reportedly said. "They can't go anywhere without me and I wasn't going anywhere without you. Now relax. We'll get you there. And again, I'm so sorry."
It's hard to underestimate the courage of the pilot's decision. The flight, which ultimately departed 12 minutes late, likely had hundreds of passengers rolling their eyes in contempt. And given that any delay has knock-on effects for passengers at the destination airport, his decision placed Southwest at risk of facing the wrath of travelers, and more than a few demands for compensation.
Elliott, who brought the story to the blogosphere's attention, approached Southwest about the story, half expecting the airline to be outraged by a pilot's refusal to push the on-time departure.
Instead, they told him they were "proud" of their pilot, a man who clearly understands that taking a child off life support has consequences that run deeper than a flight taking off late. As Nancy wrote: "My husband was able to take his first deep breath of the day." Hopefully, over time, his daughter can do the same. 

Hope this keeps y'all warm through ANOTHER snow storm!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Post Office Project

If any of you love sending mail as much as me or my dear friend Suzy, you will LOVE her post office project.

Suzy loves post offices. Her goal is to get a picture of as many post offices in the United States in hopes that she can one day create a book. (Anyone remember Kramer's coffee table, table book idea)? The project is relatively simple. Pull out your camera and snap a picture of your local (or vacation town) post office. Make sure to get a picture of the building where the city and zip code is displayed. The last thing you have to do is simply pass the pictures and city information along to Suzy. 

 I recently took a picture of the post office on Sullivans Island in South Carolina.

When you send her your post office pictures make sure to check out her Post Office Project Facebook Page!

Until next time, may your weekend be filled with magnolias, bourbon and lots of relaxation!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

P90x Pains

I sure hope P90x keeps its promise to me. After two days, the pain I'm experiencing is too much! It better be a guarantee for a trim, toned sexier me. The Plyometrics DVD is a major pain in my fannie, not to mention my quads, hamstrings and abdomen. I hope arms and back aren't nearly as bad. I don't think I can function this weekend if it is.

Does anyone have any tips for speedy muscle recovery? If so, PLEASE send them my way!

Are y'all taking part in any fitness challenges? How are you whipping yourself into shape for the new year?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

CHARLESTON, S.C. and New Year Resolutons

Here I am, up late again. Of all the nights I would like to be in dreamland at a decent time, I find myself catching up on way too many blog posts and contemplating what lies ahead of me in the new year.

I returned from the Land of Mango Sunsets and sweet salty breezes mid-day, only to be stopped in my tracks by the reality of an afternoon spent at the office....running entirely on fumes. I was nearly lured by temptation as I sat in the Atlanta airport to change my destination from a return flight to Music City and back track my little fannie straight to where I had come from  (and my heart remains)-Charleston. I've come to the conclusion that regardless of where you might be, even if every condition is identical, there is something pure and sweet about being in a city so rich in history, etiquette and culinary style, that it just beats itself  right into your skin.

As I begin my new year, I am faced with an ever-revolving thought in my mind, do I make the move? I am, after all, only young once, and the years only seem to keep increasing. As I search my soul for the direction I will soon see, I ask myself, "What is best for me?" With all the factors of life whispering in my ear, it is a very difficult question to answer. There, of course, is the tiny detail of first finding a job in my beloved city. But before that, I continuously ponder if my actions will result in a great loss of love. Distance can be worked through, but am I willing to do so? Would I give up something so amazing for the fulfillment of a low country tide and sweet southern history? I don't know. This question is one I hope to find the answer to very soon.

While my fork is stuck in the road and I have no direction in sight, I do have a clear definition of certain things I EXPECT to see myself do in 2011.

A.) Regain fitness.
    Today was the beginning of P90x....89 more days to go.

B.) ACTUALLY run a half marathon
    My goal is the Country Music Half Marathon...a new band every mile!

C.) Finish the rest of Dorothea Benton Frank's Books
    Only three more to go!

D.) Expand Southern Sophisticate
    Overall, I would like to increase my number of readers, diversify my posting topics, and create a unique      persona for the site itself.

I believe that sums up what's in store for my 2011. While I might not see it all clearly defined, I realize the plan that will unfold is one that is greater than I could ever imagine.

Until next time, may your evening be filled with sweet dreams of magnolias, bourbon and the intoxicating scent of a sunny day in the lowcounrty.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year, Y'all!

Happy New Year Y'all! Wishing all of you a great start to 2011. Don't forget to eat your corn beef and black eyed peas!