Are you dying to find out how my trip to Arkansas went? Well, it was great! But, as usual, I’ve got so much to tell you. Like Julie Andrews sings, “Let’s Start at the Very Beginning”…. Please. Go put the kettle or coffee maker on, grab a cup of warmth, snuggle up and come along with me…
I’m no mountain girl nor am I a singer, but let’s start at the beginning because I have a “Do Re Mi” of a story to tell youse!
After transferring everything from my Longchamp weekender into the carry on suitcase that Bonaparte insisted on buying for me, I started having concerns about it being over packed. I did NOT want my suitcase taken away from me because we all know how territorial I am with my luggage! We will visit this later.
I AM like a territorial pitbull when it comes to my luggage!
True to my personal travel form, the weather sucked as I left for Philadelphia Int’l. The local meteorologists predicted rain, but it wasn’t to start until noon. My flight was at 11:35 AM to Charlotte and from Charlotte, I had a layover until I caught another flight to Arkansas. The meteorologists lied. They are weather challenged because it was raining when I woke up at 6:00AM—OK? It was raining pouring as Bonaparte drove me to the airport and he was thoroughly fascinated by the occurrence of bad weather whenever I travel. Fascinated!
I didn’t tell you that I have this “thing” about arriving at the airport early. It’s an idiosyncrasy of mine. I need time to relax before a flight. A lot of time. I’m always stressed out and anxious and I always expect the worst possible scenarios. We arrived at the airport at 8:30 AM—giving me three hours of angst-ridden bliss before take-off.
Natalie Dee knows me too well. I AM the epitome of her Anxiety Girl!
Bonaparte dropped me off, and wished me a great time as Chippy barked from the back seat of the car. With printed boarding pass in hand, and my little “Silly-Putty” colored carry on suitcase, I made my way up the escalator to the TSA. The boarding pass that I printed on our computer did not “scan” properly. I had to make my way back down the escalator to the check-in kiosk to print additional boarding passes. Luckily I didn’t have to wait.
I waited for hours on end for the “notification” from American Airlines that I could print my boarding pass. Unfortunately, my computer thought otherwise. This was an unscannable pass!
I don’t understand why the kiosk has to ask whether or not I want to upgrade, change my seat or purchase food. All I freakin’ want to do is print my damn boarding pass. So after about five minutes of questioning from a machine, not only did I receive my boarding passes, but I also received two additional boarding passes. One to send me to Arizona and one to send me out to LA.
I guess the kiosk was just lonely and was glad I was there so it could ask me a million questions. I’m so anti-machineable.
I’ll tell you this much—American Airlines hires staff with exceptional hearing. After my initial “What the fuck is this??” spoken at a rather loud caliber, an agent rushed over to see what the issue was. I explained that her airline company was graciously gifting me with two additional boarding passes. She thanked me profusely as she grabbed the wrong boarding passes from my hands I kindly handed the incorrect passes over to her and I said “Aren’t you glad I have a loud mouth?” She did not answer me.
Back up to TSA and this time I was allowed to cut the line to the front! I love that because it pisses other people standing in line off so much! Its winter and this process took forever. Coat. Blazer. Scarf. Boots. Purse. Suitcase. Phone. Watch. I explained that if my cheap J. Crew jewelry beeped, one of the TSA people would have to undo the clasp because my fake nails would make it impossible for me to do so. Nothing beeped. I’m sure the beeper was purposely turned off after I made that comment .
Anyway, as I walked toward the gate I was getting a bit hungry. I looked around me at the choices and none of the food was Paleo-friendly. I had to opt for the next best thing. I spotted a little stand and in that stand was a variety of dried fruits and nuts. Dried fruit has a ton of added sugar. Nuts have a ton of fat—but the fat is really healthy. I felt like a complete moron as I “shelled” over ten bucks for a 4 ounce bag of candied pecans. Yeah. Not only a ton of fat, but also added sugar. Not to mention that the small bag held 4 one-ounce servings at 175 calories per. This is not helping me on my weight loss journey.
Note to self: Form hereonin, make little snack packs of nuts to bring to the airport.
Did you know that Philadelphia International has a minimal amount of chargers for your phone? I’m OCD about my phone’s battery life. Even if I don’t use the phone. I need the comfort of knowing that I’m next to an outlet. Besides, I’m addicted to Candy Crush. I ended up writing as I waited for boarding. I’m working on a book—another one of my delusions.
I wanted to write on the plane too–but the ride was so bumpy that it was impossible!
The rain was still coming down at a steady stream, but the stream was now becoming aggressive.
It would help if Philadelphia Int’l. hired an electrician to install outlets to plug your phone or tablet into. I’m very self-important and need to be able to plug my phone in–what if that ONE friend I have tries to call me?
I prayed that the plane would be on time. And it was! Poor Hipster Jesus. I need to start thanking him for constantly bugging him with prayers for shit that I want.
Now I’m not fond of flying. I’m not super-anxious about it either because I realize that flying is the fastest way to travel and my impatience trumps my anxiety. But still—my nerves do get a bit flustered as the aircraft makes the ascent. The pilot announced that it may be a bit of a bumpy ride. This ride was so bumpy that my lady parts spoke to me. What they said wasn’t exactly printable either.
That’s right. The ride was SO bumpy that I had what SHE had!
The four serving bag of nuts that I finished off before boarding the plane almost came up. I was almost looking forward to it because I figured I could get two meals out of that measly bag therefore justifying the money spent! Also—due to the turbulence, no beverages were distributed during this flight.
I will take a moment to say, though, that American Airlines does get kudos from me for their stance on hiring older people. Many of the attendants were older and quite a number were in the “over-50” category. Ageism is not a part of this airlines company. I thank American for that. I guess the rest of the country wants to keep old people out of the earthly workforce and American Airlines is complying by keeping my peer group off the earth and into the sky!
Needless to say, we landed in Charlotte on time. After landing, let’s say it could have been worse.
As beautiful and homey as Charlotte airport is, with the over sized rocking chairs to make one feel you are on granny’s front porch, the trek to my next flight—the one to Bentonville, seemed to take forever.
This was a first for me–to see rocking chairs at an airport. I would rather see outlets to plug my phone into!
First of all, after not having anything to drink on the plane, and the effect of those expensive nuts I ate, my mouth was parched. But it was that kind of parched that makes you feel slightly weak and woozy as you are walking. And walking. And walking through a large maze that literally leads from one end of the massive airport to the opposite end. I felt like I was going to get sick. But the thought of spending five bucks for a bottle of water made me feel worse. I went to the ladies room, scooped up water from the wash basin and drank it. Hey. Don’t Judge!
I glanced at the “departures” screen and noticed many “cancelled” flights. The weather really was horrific and stormy. My flight to Bentonville was nowhere on the screen. I was becoming slightly panicky.
One of the reasons I continue to despise not flying direct, but sometimes you just cannot help it!
I walked up to one of the nearest gates and asked the customer rep if she could help me in finding my flight’s gate. Another long walk of shameless exercise. I sat down next to an outlet, plugged my phone in and went to town playing Candy Crush.
More and more flights were cancelled. As I looked out the window onto the tarmac, I could see more than puddles. I could have gone swimming. My flight was going to be delayed by an hour. . Trust me; I didn’t give two shits that it was delayed because I was simply thrilled it wasn’t cancelled. An hour’s delay was almost like an early flight—the weather was that bad. I had visions of Oona being so distraught when she found out about the delay. I texted her. Her reaction was simple “Fine. I’ll be at Happy Hour with my co-workers a bit longer then”.
This–and puddles so deep and wide you could have gone swimming was what the outside of the airport looked like!
As we boarded the plane, my angst started to surface. As I entered, the flight attendant told me I needed to take my suitcase to the “valet” to have it checked in. He saw the fright in my face and he took care of this for me. I couldn’t let go of my suitcase and we had a little bit of a wrist wrestle.
If you are a friend of mine and read this blog you are well-aware of my attachment to my luggage. The thought of this suitcase being taken away from me had naughty thoughts about Bonaparte’s clever idea to purchase this little piece of luggage swimming around in my gutter-language brain. I must have come off as the biggest and most pompous bitch as I asked “You mean I have to pick my little suitcase up at baggage claim?”
Obviously this man didn’t know how truly kind and sweet and genuine and saintly I really am—and I felt awful about saying that to him!
But those thoughts were erased as I saw the size—or rather, sizeless of this aircraft! My hips were wider than the width of the aisle. I sat down and as we took off, I said THREE “Acts of Contrition” and a Rosary. This flight was even more bumpy than the first one. I swear to you for a moment there my naturally crossed eyes straightened out!
I really could feel those expensive nuts making their way back up –especially when I saw the inside of this plane! And I was going to be flying in THIS in bad weather!
But in the end—it all worked out fine. We landed safely. I got my little suitcase from baggage claim in a matter of minutes and Oona and I drove out into the barren landscape of the evening to her apartment and started a great few days.
I’ll tell ya’alls—or is it y’alls—or is it yawls- or y’all alls? I definitely know that in Arkansas it isn’t “youse guys” and I want to blend!
I would have to change “youse” to “y’alls”. I think!
Until tomorrow—here’s Steve Miller with one of my favorite travel tunes!