As fall turned into winter, I was several months into my new life. I stayed busy, traveling. I planned my days around the man in the Stetson hat. He would provide me his business travel schedule on the first of the month. I met him wherever his business dictated. I did not bother to unpack my suitcase. I simply switched out clothing and was off on the next trip.
My son was away at college. The days when I wasn’t traveling were filled with shopping. I lost my house, my car, and my job in the divorce. I leased a new home, bought a new car, and was picking out furniture to stay busy. I was often lonely, but I had finally closed the lucrative deal.
The traveling provided some of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I was often able to bring my best friend along. On one such trip, we attended the Keeneland Horse Auction. It was beyond my wildest imagination. I was fascinated with horse racing, and to be a part of the Keeneland Auction was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
We met and lunched with several world-renowned thoroughbred horse trainers. The Sheikhs of Dubai attended the auction, as well. Across the highway from the auction, the Sheikhs of Dubai parked each of their 747 airplanes. Rumor had it that they were both fined $10,000 since the runway was not equipped for such large aircrafts. We passed the Sheikhs and their entourage several times throughout the day.
This afternoon, Vanity Fair was taking pictures near us. I was concerned a photograph would end up being published. However, he didn’t seem to be the slightest bit apprehensive. It wasn’t too many months later that we were photographed, and it was indeed published.
When we were together, I had the time of my life. One of the disadvantages of dating a married man is they spend the holidays with their family. I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with my son. Since he had plans for New Year’s Eve, I decided to meet my best friend in Las Vegas to celebrate. We would ring in the New Year on a blackjack table.
My best friend flew out to Las Vegas one day early. I was very excited to get there and begin our girls’ week. I arrived at the airport in the Midwest. Since I was early, I checked in at the gate and was informed the plane would be late. So I ventured to the bar for some pre-game drinks. I watched the time closely. I walked back to the gate at the time the airline employee told me the plane would board.
Upon arrival at the gate, the jetway door was closing. I was shocked. This had never happened to me before. I just assumed they would open the door and allow me on the plane. However, that was not the case. The door was closed and would stay closed. There was no way I was going to give up going to Vegas.
I decided then and there that I would do whatever it took to get there. When I asked what to do, they sent me to the ticket counter. I was informed there were no available flights to Las Vegas or anywhere near Las Vegas until after New Year’s.
I was in panic mode. I had to get to Las Vegas. I could not fathom spending New Year’s alone in the Midwest. I called my best friend. Of course, she was already gambling. I pulled her off the table, and we put our heads together. We decided I would charter a plane. She called everywhere to find one. There were no available charter aircrafts. She finally found a medical aircraft out of Dallas. She persuaded them to fly me to Las Vegas.
The aircraft arrived within an hour or so. I boarded the plane and giggled. No one would believe this story. The plane had one long seat in the back. It had space for a gurney and built-in intravenous (IV) poles. It wasn’t your average private jet. It was everything but luxurious. However, it would get the job done.
Since I was paying a small fortune, they attempted to make my flight comfortable. The crew brought along an icebox full of drinks. I didn’t drink anything. The hospital smell made me sick to my stomach. Thankfully, it was a short ride to Las Vegas.
The commercial aircraft I was scheduled to fly in on had one stop. I arrived before my luggage! Upon landing, we were met by airport personnel. They asked me if I needed an ambulance. My reply was, “No, but I need a limo!” I am sure the airport employee was shocked to see that I was very healthy and asking for a limo. My nearly $16,000 one-way flight to Las Vegas had been worth every dollar. It was the beginning of another great girls’ week. Thank goodness, I had closed that lucrative deal with the man in the Stetson hat.