Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Travel Day

     Tuesday was a travel day.  The amount of time it takes to get across the country plus the time change means the whole day is shot.  There is no reason to try to plan to do anything else.  You will be eating your meals in airports or on airplanes and sitting very uncomfortably for hours and hours. 
     In general, the travel on Tuesday went as planned.  I booked too late to get a non-stop flight.  Also, I did something else wrong and was given a universal middle finger- the middle seat.  The first flight left on time; I was concerned about making it because of the inexplicably long check in line.  I suppose it was explicable: discount airlines hire discount gate agents who don't give a fuck if you miss your flight and don't really listen all that well.  But it worked out and I made it to the gate just as they were boarding the plane.  I didn't have any trouble at security (this time), because I've done this before!
     The one benefit of the layover in Atlanta was the Moe's Southwest Grill in the terminal.  At least it seemed like the benefit at the time.  Several hours later it was clearly not the benefit.  I never ever learn my lesson about burritos.  A few days prior I had declared that the best thing about sleeping in the airport was a Moe's breakfast burrito.  This proved false by lunch.  Also, the worst part about sleeping in an airport is SLEEPING IN AN AIRPORT. 
     Let me explain: I was to depart on Friday evening after work.  I was quite excited about it, and had been doing a countdown.  I made the trek to Dulles National Airport (BTW, calling a DC airport is bullshit.  It's in Virginia.  Western Virginia.) and was plenty early.  I checked in to my flight but the times were all floopy.  The lovely gate agent person informed me that the flight was currently delayed by half an hour.  They anticipated it would be delayed more.  She offered me several options, including giving up all together and going home.  It was due to weather so there was only so much she could do.  She did kindly tell me I shouldn't check my bag because there would be pretty much no chance I'd ever see it again. 
     It was around 6:30pm when I checked in and the skies were clear and blue.  About an hour later, the delay seemed obvious.  A huge black cloud engulfed the airport as they delayed the flight even longer.  Eventually they announced it would leave at 11:14pm and nobody would make their connections.  Dulles is mostly large glass windows; people can see the terrible storm happening five feet from them, yet still, they were angry.  Of course, I wasn't happy, but this was clearly one of those "things I can't change" moments. 
     The storm cleared, the flight took off, and we landed in Atlanta at about 1am.  I wandered around for a while looking for just the right spot.  My flight from Atlanta to LA was scheduled to depart at 8:45am.  There is not a lot going on in an airport at 1am and even the tram shuts down, so when you go from terminal to terminal, you just might get stuck in one of them.  I found a row of seats that didn't have arm rests on them that was pushed against a wall with an outlet.  I plugged in my phone to charge and used my carry-on as a pillow.  I would find out a few hours later someone else apparently pushed this bench against the wall.  So I (unknowingly) shared a bench with a weary traveler in a similar situation.  I think we're married now. 
     I couldn't figure out how to turn the lights off in the terminal, but I swear, sometimes they were off and sometimes they weren't.  The cleaning crew was kind enough to not wake me even though they probably wanted to vacuum under me.  Eventually the hustle and bustle of travelers catching that first flight out woke me up.  I sauntered over the Moe's for a breakfast burrito.  I considered a regular burrito but I didn't want to confuse my body any more than it already was. 
    From Atlanta to LA went off without a hitch and I got in a few more zzzzs.  I arrived at LAX, cleaned myself up in the bathroom (like all classy people do), had some Reese's pieces for my time-change-adjustment meal, and was whisked away in a sweet sweet ride.  The rest of the trip was fantastical.
     This brings us back to the poor dinner decision made, yet again, at the Moe's in the Atlanta airport.  I love burritos. I can't help it.  I scarfed down the Homewrecker in just enough time to board the plane back to DC.  I had cleverly made my flight plans to arrive in DCA, aka Reagan National Airport, because it's much more convenient.  Except apparently there is a part of DCA that they don't really like to talk about.  I've been to DCA many times and I had never been in that part.  There were shuttles involved.  What?  But really, it was fine.  It was just weird and late, although time had lost all meaning.  I arrived back to my place at around 11:30, which was about the temperature and humidity of the 3rd circle of hell. 
      Already, I miss LA.   

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