Posts Tagged "flying"

Part 3 of a Travel Series You Didn’t Know Was a Series

Dear Kid,

This is Part 3 of my Traveling From Las Vegas Saga. If you want to review, you can see Part 1 and Part 2 (which I published out of order, but that’s life in the fast lane).

Ridiculous that it takes three blogs to capture the full story, but—believe me—it seemed much longer IRL.

After having been denied travel ability on Saturday (and nevertheless having a grand old evening Saturday night), we ventured off again on Sunday to Mccarran Airport.

This time we left SUPER early so that we wouldn’t be at all bothered by long waits in line.

There were therefore—of course—no lines.

This did not distress us at all.

We got coffee, went to the gate, and waited for our flight.

All of which went without the slightest possible hitch. In fact, we landed at Reagan National Airport early for our connection to Cincinnati.

And as soon as we deplaned, we learned that our connection had been cancelled.

Just so we’re clear, let me set the stage.

It was 9:00ish in the evening. It was flippin’ cold. The airport people were tired and cranky and had been putting up with distressed travelers all day.

And none of us had had dinner.

The airline peoples’ first suggestion was that we hang around for 27 hours to get a flight to Cincinnati. We countered with a polite rendition of “let’s keep looking for other options, shall we?”

The airline people countered with suggesting we hang around long enough to develop teleportation.

Fortunately, we split into 2 groups (there were five of us traveling together at that point) and the fantastic (and reasonably cheerful) Keisha was helping us. She did not suggest teleportation, which was points in her favor.

After much keyboard tapping (and a long monologue by me), Keisha was able to get us on a flight to Indianapolis.

The monologue (which was hilarious) was in response to the way her coworker Malcolm had been treated earlier that day by a Distress Traveler. Malcolm seemed to be of the opinion that it wasn’t his fault that the weather had messed up travel. Being the kind of Mom I am, I cleared that right up for him, explaining that of course it was his fault and he should stop playing with ice-delivering technology. Yeah, in print it’s not that funny, but IRL it was and I managed to improve everyone’s mood.

After Keisha had us rebooked, she had to reroute our luggage. Spoiler alert: the luggage rerouting worked better for some of us than for others of us.

Then we had the great joy of walking down icy steps to the shuttle bus which sat on the tarmac (doors open) waiting for other passengers to show up. None did, but we almost froze to death.

Then the shuttle bus drove us 6 feet to the next terminal. Where there was no food. To be accurate, there was plenty of food but by that time it was Shut Down for The Day Time and so there was no food to be had.

We flew to Indy. Making great time, I might add. One passenger suggested that the pilot had a hot date he needed to get to. I was not able to verify that.

We went directly to baggage claim to claim our bags. As I said, some of us had more luck with that than others. So those of us who needed to filled out claim forms.

We rented a car and began driving to Cincinnati.

Did I mention that people hadn’t been fed? This was a group that travels better when nourished on a regular basis.

So we stopped at Waffle House.

Waffle House Hash Browns

Waffle House Hash Browns

I don’t think I’ve been to a Waffle House in the last 15 years. Did you know they have a whole variety of ways to serve hash browns? You can have them smothered (with onions), covered (with cheese), capped (mushrooms), chunked (ham), diced (grilled tomatoes), peppered (jalapenos not on a steek), topped (chili), or country (sausage gravy). I was impressed and overwhelmed.

Eventually we made it to the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky airport where we dropped the rental, reclaimed parked cars, had a moment of panic when we thought we might not be able to leave the parking garage because there were no attendants, and drove home.

I arrived home (and promptly woke the puppy for a quick reunion) at 4am.

Note: Just in case you weren’t 100% clear, this was not the original travel plan.

Note: And just to be doubly clear, I am delighted to be home.

Love you kiddo,

Love, Mom

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Flying High | December 17th

Dear Kid,

Imagine it is 1903. The century is barely begun, but the year is almost over. It is December 17th. On the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two brothers from Dayton are about to make history.

What? No in-flight beverage service?? DearKidLoveMom.comYes, Orville and Wilbur make the world’s first successful flight in a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft on 12/17/03 wow–can’t really write it that way, can I? Orville was the pilot. Wilbur was the ground crew, the in-flight attendant (albeit not in the plane), and the control tower. He was all those things very, very quickly because the plan only stayed aloft 12 seconds.

In honor of this we are driving to Florida for vacation.

No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris. Orville Wright

Note to burglars: The vicious attack dog is staying home to guard the house and its contents. He will be hungry. Intruder is his favorite snack. We are also leaving venomous snakes to guard the valuables. Of which we don’t have any.

If God had really intended men to fly, he’d make it easier to get to the airport. ~George Winters

Fast forward a few years to 1911 when we get commercial passenger flights. At this point, air travel was less than comfortable. It was less than a lot of things, actually, and in some respects it’s amazing that We The People even bothered continuing to invent the industry.

An airplane? I’ll stick with my broom, thank you very much. Glinda

But Uncle Sam stepped in in 1925 and encouraged airmail delivery and passenger delivery. The first was by passing the Kelly Air Mail Act and the second was by subsidizing the price of passengers’ tickets. Neither of which seem particularly relevant in today’s day and age.

In 1930, United Airlines hired graduate nurses to tend to passengers’ comfort and needs. They were called stewardesses (after the similar position on cruise ships). Stewardesses (in those days) were responsible for all sorts of things like refueling airplanes and loading luggage. Then everyone got specialized and stewardesses were responsible for refueling passengers and watching them struggle with carry-on luggage.

These days, flight attendants are not even responsible for the safety announcements (all recorded) and if you want food on a plane you’d best bring your own (or marry a zillionaire).

Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. Douglas Adams

Speaking of which, if you haven’t read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, you really should. You may borrow my copy as long as you return it at some point. Bring your own laughter, you’ll need it.

Love, Mom

Defying Gravity (which is pretty much what flying is) for your viewing enjoyment

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