Travelog

air travel

I just returned from a cross country trip to see my grandson. Remember when travel was an adventure? Fun? You don’t? Either do I, really. Because all of those fond memories of my childhood: getting to the airport a few minutes before takeoff, going straight to the gate, having tons of legroom, free delicious food and “stewardesses” garbed in high fashion—those have been overridden by horridness.

Yes. The crowded seats. No legroom. Screaming babies. Expensive sandwiches that are completely tasteless. And that is just in the terminal…badaboom.

So I got on the plane. Seven hours and some turbulence later, I got off the plane in Los Angeles. The cab to my daughter’s house was a hundred dollars, but the driver was very nice. Did I mention that it was over a hundred degrees in LA and the driver didn’t turn on any AC? Good times.

Once in the big city, I really lucked out. I had lunch in an upscale eatery with my dear friend Lisa www.smacksy.com. Lisa is a raw vegan. Actually, she herself is well done. But we had a delicious lunch anyway. Here is the thing, though. The bistro was so upscale and zen that all of the items on the menu have meaningful titles. For instance, the large house salad is called “Fulfilled.” Not that it is filling. But apparently you will feel so very potentialized after eating it. Oh, and they have a protocol for ordering. I just said to the (skinny, probably gluten free and very tattooed) waitress, “I will have the Caesar Salad, please.” To which she replied, “Oh, you mean you are Dazzled?” To which I replied, “Huh?”

Lisa set me straight. “You have to make the order into a complete sentence using the title of the item.” She then proceeded to tell the waitress (who also had a shaved head and pierced cartilages all over) “I am Gracious. And I also am Luscious.” I thought she was way bragging, but then I realized she had just ordered rice noodles and a coffee smoothie. Awkward.

But it was a fun time. We shared life experiences. Noshed. And then, at the end, we felt Sublime. And actually, that key lime pie was kind of out of this world.

My grandson is adorable. He is gigantic. But this is due to the splendid breast milk he gets from his mom, my stupendous daughter. But this part of the trip is boring.

I had to go home. That was very sad. But I got an Uber cab instead of a regular one. You don’t tip these drivers, the cars are nice, they come within five minutes of your phone call, and they are half the price of regular cabs. Yes. My driver was very chatty, and he came from Iran. Fascinating.

But the whole thing came apart after my flight out of LA. On the way to Chicago O’Hare (do NOT fly out of that hellhole) the captain casually mentioned turbulence. Oh, boy. The man in front of me clutched his barf bag for dear life. I always try to pretend during turbulence that I am on a rollercoaster. Why, I don’t know, because I am deathly afraid of rollercoasters. We did finally land in Chicago, and I heaved a premature sigh of relief, because as soon as I turned my cell back on, there were multiple messages from the Accordionist informing me that my flight home was cancelled, all Chicago hotels were full, and I was screwed.

The inside of the terminal resembled what it must have been like in that stadium after Katrina. People were barking into their phones, screaming at airline employees, rushing around like crazy people, and one lady cried. Well, that was me. Anyway, it turned out that the city of Chicago (not the airlines), is prepared for this eventuality (see do NOT fly out of O’Hare, above) and they set up cots all over the airport for hapless travelers. Hundreds of us. So we settled down with one tiny pillow each, one blanket, blaring overhead lights, and air conditioning that kept any perishables we might have brought with us very nice and unperished. Just as I fell asleep in my clothes and shoes, the airport security man came around with a bull horn telling us all we had to “GET UP. GET UP. THE AIRPORT IS NOW OPEN FOR MORNING FLIGHTS. You have to CLEAR THE GATES.” It was four a.m.

They did hand out little baggies with toothpaste and deodorant. I guess they learned from Katrina just how stinky stranded travelers can get.

I am home. It is a good thing that the baby out there in LA is so darned adorable. If he looked like Alfred Hitchcock, I might just wait for his marriage to go back. And if he looked like Hitchcock, it might not be necessary to do that even…

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