Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Travel Inspired Fiction by Krista Davis

Jenn McKinlay: It is with great delight that I welcome one of my very favorite cozy mystery authors, Krista Davis. Seriously, if you haven't read her series (plural) yet, you should! 

Krista DavisWhy it is that travel so often inspires books? This time, I wasn’t even the one traveling. Two of my friends went on a fabulous tour of Spain and Portugal. They had a wonderful trip. And one of them bought special Iberian ham to bring home as gifts. On arrival at customs in New York, she declared the ham and was promptly pulled aside for inspection. 

Her heart broke as she watched her prized ham being thrown into the trash bin. She had a plane to catch and kept checking the time. She was asked to hand over her shoes for examination and watched as they rummaged through her luggage, tossing all her carefully packed items into messy heaps. The clock in her head ticked louder and louder while she watched, wondering if she would make her connecting flight. 

The customs inspectors finally moved on to the next person, but all she could think was that her ham was in the garbage and she had to catch the flight home. She had no time to carefully fold and pack her clothes. She stuffed and zipped and repeated, jamming everything in willy-nilly. With an eye on the time, she grabbed her bags and ran through JFK to her connecting flight. She made it with only minutes to spare. That was when she realized that her shoes were still in customs. She no longer remembers whether she was barefooted or wearing socks. It presents an appalling situation either way. 

And that is how the story begins in The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit. Sophie Winston picks up her best friend at the airport and the friend walks out of the terminal with bare feet. What if your best friend went on a tour and when she came back, someone who was also on the tour was murdered? And then another? Could she be next? 

My books usually release several months apart from one another, but this spring, it’s raining books for me. Big Little Spies comes out on April 6th, the trade paperback of The Diva Spices It Up releases April 27th, and The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit will be here on May 25th. 

CLICK TO ORDER


What oddball things have happened to you when you were traveling? Oh, by the way, you can try that exact same cherished Iberian ham in the US. They sell it at World Market.

 

   
New York Times Bestselling author Krista Davis writes the Paws and Claws Mysteries set on fictional Wagtail Mountain, a resort where people vacation with their pets. Her 7th Paws and Claws Mystery is BIG LITTLE SPIES, which releases on April 6th. Krista also writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries and the Pen & Ink Mysteries. Look for THE DIVA SERVES FORBIDDEN FRUIT on May 25th. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and sweets. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with two dogs, two cats, and a stash of hidden chocolate.


111 comments:

  1. Oh, dear, my heart hurts for the poor girl having her special gift thrown away like that . . . it does seem a bit heartless. Don’t they tell you what you can [and cannot] bring through customs???
    And now I’m trying to imagine being so caught up in making a connection that you don’t realize you don’t have your shoes.
    [As you’ve probably guessed, I've managed to miss all the oddball travel happenings and so have no stories to share.]

    Congratulations, Krista, on your new books . . . as far as Sophie's best friend arriving with bare feet, I’m definitely looking forward to reading the rest of that story . . . .

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    1. Thanks, Joan. Consider yourself lucky if you haven't had strange experiences while traveling!

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  2. KRISTA: Congratulations on your upcoming releases. I love the DOMESIIC DIVA series, and am looking forward to seeing what happens to Sophie and her barefooted friend.

    I do have plenty of weird travel stories but I will choose one that involves food and mysteries.

    I was flying back after attending Left Coast Crime Seattle in 2007. The airport was socked in by low level fog. Large planes were able to depart but my first flight to Vancouver on a tiny 30-seater commuter plane was cancelled. As the airline staff were working to rebook us onto later flights, my name was called on the PA system. I had Elite (Gold) status that year with Air Canada and they decided to put me on another flight leaving immediately to Dulles airport. They rushed me to the gate in one of those electric carts, and confirmed at the gate that they had my checked-in suitcase. So I took that flight to Dulles, and the final one to Toronto.

    Guess what? My checked-in luggage, which included some special microbrewed beer, did not arrive. I submitted a claim but it took the airline/Toronto Pearson airport staff over 6 weeks to find it and ship it back to me. I figured the beer was ruined by then, and used it for cooking instead of drinking as originally planned.

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    1. Six weeks, wow! We had a similar thing happen leaving Hawaii many years ago--never did get our bags back. And they contained all our pretty new travel clothes wahhhhh

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    2. Delayed luggage is bad, but lost luggage is appalling. How can that happen? Where do the suitcases end up? A mystery, indeed. And more than annoying!

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    3. AMANDA: Yes, it was a mystery since the crews used walkie-talkies to confirm they had my suitcase before I could board that flight to Dulles. But after that, what route did that errant suitcase take before finally making it to Toronto Pearson airport?

      Key lesson learned: that was the first and last time I brought back alcohol that needed to stay refrigerator temperature, lol.

      ROBERTA: oh no, losing all your newly bought travel clothes is horrible!

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    4. Amanda, oddly enough, the airlines end up selling lost articles. I wish I could remember where it is, but there's an enormous warehouse somewhere in the Southern US that sells lots travel items, including suitcases.

      Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

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    5. KAREN: Yes, I figured that United Airlines has a large warehouse hub that houses lost luggage. Switching to a flight at the very last minute with another airline (although they are code-shared with Air Canada) probably contributed to the luggage snafu. But unlike Roberta, I got all my travel clothes back, and the warm beer, eventually.

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    6. Grace, I always wonder how it's possible for the airlines to tag items and then lose them. I guess baggage handlers can tear tags off, but it just seems fishy at times.

      We always put a business card into an inside pocket, plus add a card with name and phone number (not our address, for safety reasons) on the outside--most suitcases have pockets for that. I can't imagine not doing it, but I guess some don't.

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    7. KAREN: Like you, I always placed my Environment Canada business card on the outside pocket of my checked-in luggage. It had both my work email and phone number. Plus, that suitcase sported a distinctive shiny gold luggage Air Canada Elite luggage tag with my name. In the end, a curious Air Canada employee spied that gold tag amongst a mountain of bags at Toronto Pearson, fished it out and phoned me.

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    8. One time in a major airport, I was gazing out at the tarmac while waiting for our connecting flight, when I saw a suitcase fall off of a cart. The driver had no idea and continued to drive. I reported it but the suitcase was still there, lying alone on the tarmac, when we boarded our plane an hour later.

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    9. Thank you, Grace! How disappointing to lose your beer. I guess we have all seen the lone bag circling on the luggage carousel. Your beer probably did that somewhere. Six weeks is ridiculous!

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  3. Krista, congratulations on all of your new books this Spring. I have some catching up to do in your series. Sophie picking up her barefoot friend at the airport is a great beginning scene. No matter how stressed out and angry she may be at that time, it is hard to miss the humor. So many travel mishaps turn into hilarious tales with a little time and distance.

    I always travel with a backpack full of emergency clothes and shoes. Learning from the misadventures of others, and depending where I am headed and for what purpose, I carry underwear, sandals, a shirt or two, socks, a knit cocktail dress..you get my drift. One of my dearest friend's suitcase got lost on the way to an African safari. She had to try to find appropriate clothes in one day in Africa before heading into the bush. She found her suitcase at JFK 4 months later. 'Nuff said!

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    1. 4 months? Mercy. Backpacks are definitely key.

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    2. Losing your luggage and having to buy new clothes in a hurry is such a problem. I hope that trip was wonderful and made up for the luggage problems!

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  4. Wow, it is raining books for you this spring, Krista! That's an amazing story - I kept wanting your friend to fish the ham out of the trash before she took off running, probably an inadvisable thing to do these days.

    This isn't oddball, but it was remarkable: I was traveling home from West Africa with only a big sleepy three-year old son as companion, boarding at 10 pm. At the bottom of the jetway (you board outside in Mali...), a French Air France woman said, "Madame Hutchison?" I never changed my name when I married, but I said, "Yes?" She told me to follow her, and seated us both in first class. OMG. My boy slept all the way to Paris. I had champagne and a delicious dinner and lots of room to stretch out and catch some sleep myself. What a gift. My then-husband had helped her Malian husband with some books and this was their thanks.

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    1. EDITH: Isn't flying in first class fabulous? Despite my Elite (Gold) status, I flew economy 98% of the time. A few surprise upgrades happened occasionally but never on a long-haul flight when I would really appreciate the legroom and level of service.

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    2. I've only flown first class once, when a friend used her miles for us both to travel to Denver. It's a whole different travel world, isn't it? How lovely that you and your son got to make such a long flight in comfort.

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    3. That is a wonderful thank you!

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    4. LOL, Edith! I think she wanted to grab it and run. I love the story about your first class flight. You must have felt totally pampered!

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  5. Congratulations on the book-raining spring you're having, Krista. I need to catch up on your series.

    I'll share an annoying boarding story: It was peak charter-flight season out of Winnipeg, with what seemed to be most of the city heading off to warmer climes. I was heading only to Edmonton to see my mum. The line-up through security was looooong; I had arrived with enough time, in theory, but in practice I began to run late as that line moved at only a snail's pace. When I was close enough to the front to connect with an agent, I asked to be moved ahead as my plane was due to leave in minutes and I was getting desperate. No can do, said the heartless agent; however, two people in front of me let me go ahead. I pushed my items onto the X-ray belt and roared my way through the checkpoint and to my departure gate. It was empty with a closed door. I begged the attendant to let me on...and she did, holding the plane and having them re-open the door. Phew. Ever since, I have been insanely early for departure flights.

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    1. AMANDA: Been there, done that many times. I am also arrive extremely early for my flights but I can't control what happens after the initial flight. Since moving to Ottawa, I can hardly fly anywhere direct, so there have been waaay too many close calls in barely making my 2nd or 3rd connecting flight.

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    2. I arrive early so I can people watch - this is an excellent cautionary tale, however.

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    3. Thank you, Amanda. You would think they would ask for people to step forward if their flights are about to leave. Isn't it more work for them to have to re-book us on another flight? I think that's why my friend was in such a panic to make her connecting flight. It's very stressful.

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  6. Oh my goodness, how wonderful! And so funny, as a reporter, I actually did a story about why you can’t bring meat and produce from other countries into the United States. so when I read about the ham, I thought… Oh no… They are very very serious about this ! They showed us a big room of things people had tried to bring in from out of the country – – they even have fruit sniffing Beagles! They can’t allow any foreign or dangerous bugs to cross the border. Mad cow disease, and the Mediterranean fruit flies, Remember?

    But yes, it makes fine material for a story! I am such a fan… Welcome welcome welcome !

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    1. HANK: Have the produce/meat restrictions changed since you did the story?
      Canada also uses dogs to detect undeclared items at the large Canadian airports, but not in Ottawa.

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    2. I had no idea about the Beagles!

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    3. Thank you, Hank! I remember them spraying flights in Miami that had come from South America. I have a terrible reaction to pesticides and I was a mess when I got to my destination.

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  7. Krista so happy to see you and your books here this morning!! Our story (one of many): we were entering a small airport in Cuba. The asked something unintelligible about other travel and I managed to mumble and pass through. John never appeared. I had to get the tour leader to help. Turns out they'd asked him if he'd traveled through countries suffering from Ebola. He didn't understand, so just said yes. Wrong answer! Eventually he emerged, but it was a little scary.

    Congrats K! Can't wait for the new books. xox

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    1. ROBERTA: Yikes, poor John (and you)! Language barriers can be a challenge for sure when travelling.

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    2. Yikes. They need a lost and found for husbands.

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    3. Hi Lucy! That is so scary. It's so easy to say the wrong thing when you don't understand what they're asking. Yikes!

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  8. Congratulations on your new releases!

    The sniffer beagle at the Philadelphia airport! We crawled off a flight from Rome and everybody had packaged food of some kind in their carry-ons or purses. Granola bars, string cheese, more exotic cheeses. I had cookies and luscious duty-free chocolate bars for the kids' Christmas stockings.

    We carry a change of clothes in our carry-ons and cross-pack our checked bags (half of my clothes and half of my husband's in each bag), so if we lose a bag, we're still, quite literally covered.

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    1. That is so smart! I have to remember that when traveling with friends.

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  9. I really haven't flown all that much so I don't have any real horror stories. The worst was was when my flight was delayed and the time was getting closer and closer to my next departure. just before landing I had asked the attendant if they would hold the other plane for me but she only said you can probably make it if you run! Of course I was seated in the back of the plane; would have been nice if she had thought to let me off first but she didn't. I spent 6 hours hanging around Newark airport.

    My other story is much happier. Coming home from FL my husband and I were chosen to fly in the first class section. That was so exciting for us. What made it even more special was that we had to walk right by some other people from our town. We felt like hot stuff for sure!

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    1. I always book the longer connection - I hate the stress of catching the next plane.

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    2. It is stressful to catch a connecting flight. I missed one once in Paris. Okay, so it was only the airport, but I had such fun shopping!

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  10. Congratulations on your new books Krista. I know I already read some of your books but I’ll have to catch up too.

    Many years ago, I had got up at 2.30h AM to catch an early plane to a Cuban island where we were supposed to land a little before noon. But during the flight, we were told that we would detour and land elsewhere in Cuba to deliver a piece to repair another plane. This was supposed to postpone our arrival for only one hour.
    As it happens, while landing at this other place, something broke on our plane. We had to get in the international zone of the airport where few to none news were offered. Much later, during this same evening, I fell deeply asleep tightly curled on two seats. I could be still there if a passenger had not woken me, asking : were you not on our flight ? We are finally leaving.

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    1. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers.

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    2. OMG! What a nightmare. Thank goodness that man woke you. It sounds like something straight out of a movie. Thanks, Danielle-momo!

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  11. I haven't done a lot of traveling, but I do remember coming back from St. Croix in 1996. Back then, the duty free rules allowed for six bottles of alcohol per person. So imagine a 22-year-old me, carrying a suitcase plus a cardboard box with six bottles of light Cruzan rum. I was more concerned for the rum than my clothes!

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    1. Niiiice. I like your priorities.

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    2. Oh, I do have another. Going to Bouchercon in Raleigh, NC in...2015(?). My flight left around 10am and I was traveling with several of my friends from my local SinC chapter. I left my house at 6am, thinking this was plenty of time to arrive at the airport, clear security, find the gate, and maybe even get breakfast.

      Traffic was horrible. It took me 3 hours to go 25 miles to the airport. Then I could only find a parking spot in the long-term long in a row that was about as far away from the moving walkway as possible. Luckily, a sympathetic shuttle driver saw me and drove me straight to the building and clearing security was a breeze. I arrived at the gate as they were announcing final boarding.

      My friends were besides themselves with panic, needless to say.

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    3. LOL! I would have been protecting that rum, too!

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  12. Three books launching almost simultaneously! I am in awe. Especially since I've read two of them and know they are EXCELLENT!

    Customs story: My husband and I were coming home from our son's wedding in Ireland. You actually pass through U.S. customs in the Dublin airport (no idea why)and the lines were endless. I began to worry that we might not make our flight. I began reading through the customs statement, checking off no, no, no (firearms, flammable items, etc.) until I came to the question: "Have you been near a cow or cattle?" It's Ireland, for Pete's sake. You can't go six feet without being near a cow or cattle. Having no conscience whatsoever, I checked no. But I knew we were in for trouble, because my husband is pathologically incapable of lying. So I snatched his form away from him and helpfully offered to fill it out. Problem solved. Made our flight.

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    1. AMY: Ha ha, this is one time when a little white lie kept you out of trouble. Although it is sweet that your husband is incapable of lying!

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    2. I get this! my husband rode on a horse briefly in Slovakia. His sister told him under no circumstances to check yes!

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    3. I don't remember that question in Ireland. I'll have to pay more attention next time. Good for you. Wife for the win!

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    4. You are so kind. Thank you, Amy! Now see, I would have thought a husband who is incapable of lying would be the most wonderful thing in the world. Maybe not always . .

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  13. WOW, Krista, you are making me tired. And happy because I'm off to pick up the latest.

    Many years ago I had a job that required me to be in the Caribbean every weekend and most holidays - my usual island haunts were St. Thomas and St. Maarten. In those days you had to connect in Puerto Rico. Customs there was tough. I quickly learned the fastest way through customs was to have duty free items to declare, otherwise the agents would pull your luggage apart looking for something hidden and you usually missed your connections. Needless to say, I had a lot of happy friends who were only too willing to share my overstock liquor and fragrances!

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    1. KAIT: I remember you mentioning this job requiring trips to the Caribbean before.
      I'm definitely intrigued!

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    2. It was a fun time. I had a day job - which explains the weekend and holiday work - but a friend of mine owned a gold jewelry import/export company. The home office was in Miami, the jewelry came from Italy (alas, frequent trips to Milan and Florence we required) but the bulk of his sales were in the Caribbean. I kept his books and did his collections so I was tasked with traveling every week. Did it for ten years and loved every minute.

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    3. WOW, that's a dream job...lucky you!

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  14. I actually do have another story, but it happened to my son. He had been on an exchange program in Germany with his high school when he was 16. At 17 (this is about 15 years ago now) he traveled back alone to spend spring break with his exchange brother. My son matured very late, and he was a sweet-faced short teen even at 17 with light hair and big blue eyes. When he returned, he did NOT appear from custom for two hours after the plane landed. He wasn't answering his cell phone. We were panicking.

    Turns out they suspected him of bringing drugs in (which he didn't have) and tore apart his suitcase. They questioned him for a long time and didn't let him call. And I thought, if they do this to a little white boy, how do they treat young men whose looks are clearly in the feds' suspicious profile?

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    1. That's a very good question, Edith...

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    2. Truly a chilling thought, Edith!

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    3. Edith, when they are after drugs, they act crazy. I was on a train in Germany that was stopped for a drug search. One of the cops actually scratched my eye shadow powder out of the little container it came in. Seriously? He had to be single if he thought that was some kind of drug!

      How scary for you and your son!

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  15. Hi Krista! Looks like my reading list just exploded--new series!!!

    My stories are just the usual--getting to the gate after a series of unfortunate events and watching your plane take off without you. Or getting to your destination and finding that your luggage ran away to join the circus, never to be seen or heard from again (big ouch when you're a grad student on a budget and all your conference clothes are now MIA).

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    1. FLORA: Your MiA conference clothes story is similar to the one I shared when my luggage went MIA during a flight to Quebec City in -35C/-30F February. We were hosting an international climate change workshop in the old walled town. I had money but there are no department stores/chain stores to buy any basic clothe items in the old town. So I wore that same suit and top for 3 days straight, and handwashed the other stuff in the hotel sink each night.

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    2. Ugh. Aside from clothes abroad often being very expensive, some of us are also hard to fit. I have also been in that situation. And there's nothing like breaking a heel and having to buy new shoes in a hurry!

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  16. This series like it's so much fun - Travel does indeed inspire, in good ways and bad. I've had many encounters with TSA. They lost my husband's toiletries bag going through a checkpoint and we ended up in Mexico having to try to figure out how to replace his medications. Lost a day and a half and much anxiety. But shoes? I don't think I could leave those behind, though they do toss your bag contents about and make you so anxious you barely know which end is up. A hat I could easily leave behind.

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    1. That is soooo stressful, Hallie.

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    2. I can't believe they would take medications. That's awful! What a pain to have to spend so much time replacing them. I have left a hat behind. A favorite one that was really pretty. I always imagined that someone got a great deal on it at the unclaimed baggage sale.

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  17. Iberian ham IS sensationa! Having it taken is indeed tragic.

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    1. It's great! I would have been a recipient . . . 😢

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  18. Krista, the pandemic sure didn't slow you down! Congratulations on the new books.

    So many travel stories, but I'll go all the way back to the mid-1970s. My boss at the chain of stores I bought for was always, always late for flights, and we traveled to NYC together several times a year. We literally had to jump across a chasm once because the plane had already started pullback, and Freddy sweet talked the gate agent into letting us on. (It was a different time then, for sure.)

    One trip I was driving to the airport because Freddy wasn't coming back at the same time, so he offered to park my car while I checked us and our bags in. (That was another thing: we usually only went for 3-4 days, and he always packed this enormous bag. It was a big joke between us.) When I got back to Cincinnati I realized that he had not told me where he parked. There were no rolling suitcases back then, and it was a hot day, and I was starting to get upset. I was also wearing a cute outfit, a skirt and a t-shirt that said "TIME Woman of the Year" (I was 23 or 24)

    So I'm wandering the parking lot, and this guy who'd been on my flight pulls up and asks if he can help. I kind of stupidly took him up on it, got in the car with my bag, and as he pulled down the first row I spotted my little Honda hiding behind a bigger car. I shouted out for him to stop, which he did, and I jumped out of the car to get my bag. As I was about to sprint for my car, he says, "WAIT! What does the t-shirt mean?"

    I just looked at him and said, "They gave it to me at the ceremony." Then I turned and went to my car. Do you think he ever figured it out?

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    1. Such a good reply! Put it in a book!

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    2. Honestly, I couldn't believe what a dunderhead he was. It was like 1975, after all.

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  19. Welcome Krista!

    I too experience my first class seating when I took my then-six year-old nephew to Disney World. He was so excited and said "hello" to anyone who walked by him. The captain. The flight attendants. The gate people. So when we boarded, they took us aside and said our seats were changed. Yep, we sat in the first row in first class and my nephew got all the airline swags (remember when they use to give us stuff) possible for a young boy. They even took him into the cockpit. He talked about the flight more than the fun he had at Disney World. The amazing this is we flew back home in first class too.

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    1. That’s fantastic! A memory for a lifetime.

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    2. Cool! I would definitely remember that flight for the rest of my life, too.

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    3. Dru, that is the best story ever. I bet your nephew still remembers that day. How lovely that they made it so special for him!

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  20. The last two times I have flown, I have been stopped after the body security scanner, once for the wand scanner and once for a full body pat down. They kept asking me if I had any metal in my right ankle - on two separate occasions! No metal and I don't know why I got the pat down, and it was thorough ~

    I can't wait to read about Nina's dilemma in The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit ~

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    1. Isn't that the worst? When we went to Africa nine years ago I had most of our money in a waist pack, at the small of my back (they told us to bring new ones for tips--worn ones are suspicious to people in other countries). I got pulled aside and strip searched, which was so intrusive. And honestly, do either of us fit any kind of profile?

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    2. I was traveling once with a friend who'd broken her hip. She was on crutches and the TSA attendants kept insisting that she give them her crutches and walk through the body security scanner. Ooooh-kay then.

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    3. CELIA: I still have plates and pins in my left ankle, and kept thinking it would set off alarms or I would be questioned by TSA after going through the full body security scanner at US airports, but no problems at all. So it's definitely weird what they detected near your right ankle both times!

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    4. I remember being patted down while the hooligans were toddlers and running off into the terminal while I was stuck. Closest I've ever come to violence at the airport.

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    5. I have plates and pins in my ankle and although I haven't been near an airport since, I had no problems going through the metal detector at the courthouse for jury duty. I was a little disappointed.

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    6. How odd! No accidents involving your ankle as a child?

      Oh, Karen and Flora, what terrible stories! Just awful!

      Celia, I hope you enjoy the new book. Fingers crossed!

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  21. Krista, congrats on the spring shower of books! And all of your covers are just adorable!

    I have lots of lost luggage stories, but in this case it was my daughter's bag. On a trip to London, she had booked us afternoon tea at Gordon Ramsay, Claridges, the afternoon of our arrival. And then her bag didn't come off the plane. She was wearing old jeans and a sweatshirt--not exactly suitable for a very fancy hotel restaurant. Fortunately we had flown into Gatwick, where the terminal is filled with high street shops, so she was able to find a nice dress and shoes. By this time we were so late that we had to skip stopping at our hotel and go directly to Claridges, changing in the ladies room just in time for our reservation. I'm sure Claridges has seen worse!

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    1. I bet the tea was totally worth it!

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    2. It was fabulous. We were so jet-lagged, and we drank a lot of champagne. But from what I remember the food was amazing:-)

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    3. I'm having the hardest time with Blogger. It won't let me leave messages. The previous one was a test. Anyway, I have wonderful cover artists! I'm glad it all worked out for you. Gordon probably doesn't yell at customers like he does on TV, but still, I wouldn't want to show up in jeans!

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  22. Frank and I vacationed on Roatan a few years back. The airport was small, cramped, disorganized, and it took forever to get through official lines. Frank bought a sea shell at the gift shop there as we were waiting around to check bags and leave. I saw a sign in the luggage area that said such and so sea shell not allowed as a carry on. I thought nothing of it as that was not the variety Frank bought. As you've guessed they confiscated the sea shell. I think they used the name as a generic name for any large shell with a pointy end. Frank was really hacked. I'm sure they returned the shell to the gift shop to be resold to the next sucker.

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  23. Can't think of any crazy stories like that one. Definitely would be hard to top for me.

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    1. Same. I feel that I've been very lucky and hope it holds.

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    2. Hi Mark! Consider yourself lucky!

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  24. Coming back from Argentina with 2 other college girls in 1972, Liz had a lemon from her Argentinian family's garden. They just ignored it. Of course, Candy was blind lugging a guitar she had bought, and we had been stuck for 5 hours in Panama so we were pretty pitiful.

    Coming back from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, the German airline had given us a lunch with an apple. I ate mine but my aunt didn't, and it was in my carryon. We also had chocolate and cheese but I think they were in the luggage. We made it through with all the food but this was the 80's. I haven't flow since before 911 so haven't had to deal with the new rules. Stay safe and well. I'm getting my first Covid shot tomorrow.

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    1. Not that I would *ever* advise this but I know other people who didn't declare food and walked right through without a problem.

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  25. So many travel stories and all involving hubby. He gets flustered going through security because he must wear a belt (no bum to hold up his pants) and always wears lace up shoes. It takes him forever to get through security. In Edinburgh, someone overturned the bins with all his belongings and he had to scramble for them. He had his boarding ticket in one hand which he promptly lost. Had to get another pass for him. I hold on to both passes now. Another time he came down with diarrhea during our flight home from a wedding. The well water at the wedding reception was bad. I told him he should have stuck to drinking alcohol like me.

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    1. Your poor husband! In Egypt I was told to be sure there's alcohol in a drink, especially if it contained ice.

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  26. Krista, all of your book covers are adorable. Paws and Claws series is among my favorites.

    Funny and sad story. I was flying home from England after Iraq had invaded Kuwait so I had an interesting experience checking in at the airport. The gate agent with a full set of teeth like that Muppet asked me if I could read lips. On my ticket, she wrote that I am a Deaf Mute because I could nor read her lips. Mind you, I was flabbergasted that people were still saying Deaf Mute in the modern times. That seemed like a term straight out of Dickensian England. And the gate agent was on the young side of 40? Luckily, they got another person to help me. I do not recall her professional title - maybe Liasion ? She helped me navigate the security stuff and everything. We were having a conversation and I mentioned that the gate agent called me a Deaf Mute and she was shocked too. I was upset too though I chose to laugh. Such an archaniosm (out of time) thing to say!

    Diana

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    1. Oof. That must have been a tough time to travel. What a peculiar thing to have happen!

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  27. My travel story is a wonderful surprise. My mother and I were waiting at LAX for a flight to join family for Christmas. The waiting area was packed. I saw an elderly gentleman approaching with a cane, looking for a seat. I asked the family next to me if they could please condense their children into one seat per person. They were very nice about it and the gentleman sat next to me. He was a Tuskegee airman! Chatting with him was the best time I've ever spent waiting at an airport.

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