Next Stop: Somewhere Near Baltimore

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A reminder of why we don’t want to stay in Chicago

We didn’t take a big trip this summer for many life reasons. Don’t you hate it when reality gets in the way of travel? We’re dreaming of Vietnam and Cambodia, but our next jaunt is to the Baltimore area to see Steven’s son and daughter-in-law (and my stepson and stepdaughter-in-law). While we’re there, we’re going to look around and think about permanence. This whole time of life is a little bit travel, a little bit leap into the unknown. One thing I know for sure, though, Steven does not want to live through another Chicago winter and if Farmer’s Almanac is right, it’s going to be a bad one.

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Desert beats snowstorm any day

That’s why the trip to Utah; it was a fact-finding mission. Do we want to temporarily live in St. George? Would it be possible? Do we like it? Is the the right semi-long-term trip for us? The jury is out. For sure the winter would be easy. Plus, it is a wonderful vacation spot: Beautiful, warm, sunny, plenty of hiking and we did get in a beautiful hike, so no complaints there. But….vacation! travel! Someplace new and crazy. Not happening.

I wish at least we had time to drive East. The shorter the flight, the less I see the need to get on a plane, but, again, reality. Plane=quicker, at least if there’s a pilot, no weather, no random delays, no mechanical problems, no luggage that doesn’t match a passenger. I love to travel and see planes as a necessary evil. If I am flying over an ocean I can’t think about how I would rather be driving and then I get a free checked bag and maybe some food.

 

 

 

Holiday travels

I was all geared up for the usual drama of air travel on the day before Thanksgiving. I had checked the weather forecast–no snow (except it was snowing, just a bit). I checked the news for anything related to traffic snarls or huge waits at security–I saw nothing out of the ordinary.  So, of course, I assumed it was going to be horrible and the news just had not started to report on it.

My flight was scheduled to leave at 4:30pm. I like to arrive about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes before the flight.  But given the expected travpocolypse (this is going to be the busiest Thanksgiving travel season EVER!)…I figured that security would take an extra 30 minutes. I calculated that I should arrive 1:30-1:45 hours before takeoff. (That’s my math whiz at work.) It takes anywhere from 35-60 minutes to get to the airport, so I figured that I would give it 60–just in case. That means rather than leaving at around 2:45pm, I would need to leave about 1:45pm.

My Lyft arrived at 2:00pm and I was on my way. There was no traffic, we sailed right to the airport in 30 minutes. There was a small delay in the airport, but all the traffic was going to arrivals and my driver did a neat little swing into the taxi lane and scooted right up to departures. I thanked her for the great driving, wished her a happy Thanksgiving, and hopped out. She dropped me right outside the door that leads to the TSA-Pre check security. I was stunned: There were only 4 people in line. I joined the “line” and  barely got my ID out before the TSA agent waved me forward. BOOM! Through security in under 5 minutes.

I had 2 hours before my flight….oh well, better safe than sorry. I found a spot to sit, pulled out my laptop, and did a bit of work. We boarded right on time. I put my bag into the overhead and settled into my seat to watch Narcos on Netflix.

Once everyone had boarded the doors did not close, always a bad thing. Then, about 5 minutes after everyone was seated, one more person got on. OK. I figured, they were waiting for her.

The doors still did not close….

Then the dreaded pilot announcement. We have a maintenance issue. If you don’t recall the drama from my last flight (also on American), here it is.  Luckily (luckily?) the maintenance issue only delayed us about 1:15 hours–on a 2-hour flight–and we took off at about 5:45.

The flight was uneventful and I managed to get through three episodes of season 3 of Narcos. I would highly recommend the series if you haven’t watched it. The only unusual thing that happened on the flight was that my seatmate (it was a small plane, just 4 across) just sat in his seat the entire time.  He did not read anything, he looked out the window for a bit, but other than that he just sat and stared straight ahead. He didn’t seem to be a nervous flyer, he just seemed like he shut down for the flight–I wonder which brand of cyborg he is.

I am flying home on Saturday morning, so stay tuned to see how that flight plays out.