Thursday, November 25, 2010

Holiday Travel

Work has been so busy the past several weeks, I never even had time to get excited about going home for Thanksgiving. The expense of airfare, plus work deadlines, directed my travel to happen on the holiday, which was almost a relief. The thought of flying on the day before Thanksgiving, the busiest travel day of the year, plus having to pay twice as much to do so, was harrowing.I wish I could afford convenience, but my wallet mandates inconvenience.

The ride down I-24 was a breeze with light traffic and a friend behind the wheel. The easy ride was preceded, however, by a spastic tear through the house in search of my cell phone a full 20 minutes after the planned departure time. In a frustrating, panic-stricken search, things were wrenched out of my purse, some of which never made it back in. Like my reading glasses. And my sunglasses. The cell was finally found after a frantic request to my friend to "call my cell!" It could be heard ringing (faintly) from the suitcase in the back of the car, accidentally packed in toiletries bag when the charging cable was added to the mix. I fighting tears and the raccoon eyes that would have accompanied them for a solid five minutes by this time.

I did a really poor job of packing for this trip. I left the "real" camera (i.e. heavy Nikon with changeable lenses) behind with the failure to invest the time exploring my several carry on bags and then packing one of them. Instead, I took my purse, which carries my netbook, and has my crappy Kodak Easy Shot camera from the pawn shop tucked into the pocket in which a calculator was nestled at purchase. And on Southwest, I would have been able to take my wheeled camera bag AND my purse, a fact I tortured myself with the whole journey. Note to self: Remove head from butt before packing.

The airport was blissfully quiet. The flightto Baltimore was less so, with an infant screaming in the row in front of me. My ears were uncomfotable in spite of chewing gum like a cow with cud, so I could sympathize with the wee baby. Spent most of the flight chatting with the lady in the seat next to mine, who halfway through the flight, apologized for sitting there, saying that if she and her husband weren't there, maybe my Mr. Right could have sat there. No big deal, my Mr. Right was probably on a flight to Los Angeles or Bangladesh anyway.

Baltimore featured nearly three hours in which to entertainmyself before the flight to Providence. Three long hours in which to curse Southwest and its recent elimination of nonstop flights to Manchester and Providence. Three hours in which to forage for some semblance of thanksgiving lunch. Three hours to pace in my new boots in search of a manicure salon, massage spa or gel insoles.

Having neglected to eat breakfast, lunch was definitely in order. The Food Court featured Arby's, a pizza place, Charlie Chiang's, Quizno's, and a couple other spots. Charlir Chiang's advertised a rice/noodle bowl for $5.50, which the serving lady informed me, in broken English, was $10. Really? Quizno's menu board offered cheesesteak, but when I ordered it, was informed there was no steak, so it was back to the chinese place for a sushi box. They had no chopsticks, but the wasabi was beautifully strong and brought tears to my eyes as it cleared my sinuses.

Post sushi sans chopsticks,it was off to the gate to wait and the Detroit / New England game. The Pats were behind, then the score was tied when I headed to the boarding line. By the time we got on the plane, they were ahead 31 to 24. I was going to be a long and agonizing wait for those who wereinstructed to powere off electronic devices. The flight was 1 hour 15 minutes and there was only 13 minutes left in the game when we took off. In NFL time, maybe we'd end up even.

There didn't seem to be anyone interesting on this flight. Some beautiful Asian women, a couple dark-skinned adults who were speaking a language other than English and seemed to be on their first airplane flight. I guess when I say there were no interesting people aboard, what I mean is there were no attractive or interesting men. And that is what matters. To qualify a bit further -- there were no attractive, interesting men who wanted to interact with me. Just another day.

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