Won A Free Ticket to Italy with Wine, Willpower, Faith and A Bit of Magic

Peach Chardonnay Wine, willpower, the universe working in my favor, perseverance and a touch of magic won me a FREE TICKET TO ITALY! Sometimes the most amazing things happen when you least expect them to. No way I could have made up this story - too many twists and turns, ups and downs.

It all began with a bottle of Peach Chardonnay... Not just any bottle, Hometown Heroes Peach Chardonnay is an award winning bottle of wine from the CLE Urban Winery in Cleveland, OH. Normally, I'm a Reisling/Moscato gal, Chardonnay has never been my go-to for anything. A nice surprise from a poet friend, John Burroughs, I was enamored after the first sip. We were scheduled to perform poetry that evening, my first featured poetry event on my first book tour in March, 2019.

Peachy reminded me of so many fond memories of sharing poetry, meeting new Cleveland poet friends, connection, laughter and the beginning of many poetry tour adventures. So much so, I returned to perform again in May, 2019. Excited to share Peachy with loved ones, I purchased a bottle to share with family back home in KC.


Alas, my dreams of enjoying Peachy back home were not to be... I forgot that bottles of wine actually need to be checked. It's been 25 years since I brought home wine on a plane! Enticed by the idea I could have it all, and with airport security assuring me I had plenty of time to check my bag and go back through security

Overcome with the idea I could have it all and with encouragement and validation from security, I thought I could check my bag, go back through security and make my flight. Well, I was wrong. Sometimes, very unfortunate things happen when we don't leave enough time for the unexpected... or when we forget to read airline rules regarding wine. LOL! Though, it has been 25 years since I tried to bring wine home on a plane.

Hurried over to the check-in counter, stuffed Peachy in my suitcase wrapped her in soft clothes and waited in line. Anxiety started to consume me and I realized I would have to abandon the wine as the plane was boarding soon. Raced through security, or at least tried to. It appears my "Naked Toes" books, shampoo and facial wash were now a matter of airport security! Missed my flight by 2 minutes! I'm not going to lie - I was devastated. My cousin's graduation party was later that day and I had hoped to be there.

Refusing to spend the night in the airport (no Spirit flights until morning), I put on my "big girl shoes" and started making some calls. Thirty minutes later I was booked on a United Airlines flight with a connection in D.C.

Sounds easy-peasy right? Not so fast... My seat was double-booked (luckily there was an extra seat on the plane. Landed in D.C. on time, quickly made my way up the escalator, down the escalator, to the train, then up another escalator to Concourse A, only to be told my flight's gate had moved back to Concourse C.

Arrived at the gate with time to spare, intent on receiving a seat assignment. A full flight intended for Kansas City, right in the heart of horrendous thunderstorms and high winds. Due to the plane's weight limit, 14 passengers were asked to take a different flight in exchange for a $500 travel voucher. Since I was already arriving home much later that expected, I figured, "why no?" Turns out the voucher was upgraded to $1000 while they were trying to change my ticket. Italia, here I come!!!

Lessons Learned

1. Attitude Is Everything. Before giving up and accepting your fate, try some creative problem solving.

2. Give Yourself Extra Time When Traveling.

3. Wine Must Be Checked. Always remember this.

4. Imperfection and Mistakes Sometimes Make The Best Stories.

5. Be Kind to Yourself. Always. Even when you miss your flight.

6. Visualize Success! Shout it from the trees! Or at least let the Universe know what you want and believe it will happen.

7. Enjoy the Ride

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