Sunday, November 20, 2011

Travel Travails

What an arduous day of traveling from Houston to Portland. I'd forgotten, somehow, that it is never in my best interest change planes in Phoenix or Denver, even though the flight may be less expensive. The corridors in both airports are interminably long and I am always weighed down with at least twenty pounds of carry on, plus that divine felted wool coat that looks good and feels warm after I arrive at my destination, but which is a lug to carry through airports.
And lately, I am always selected for X-ray inspection. I hate to think what those X-rays are doing to my body. I think they choose me because I wear big full pants - either my silk pants - or in colder weather that moss green voluminous pair. Homeland Security personnel do not like fullness of any sort. When I wear this stuff, I always get a pat down too.
Yesterday, I went through this process twice. Little did I know, and I am sure my travel agent didn't know, that Continental and United may be merging, but United flights out of Phoenix fly from the U.S. Airways terminal. That meant not just walking very quickly from one long corridor to another to change planes. Oh no, this time it meant leaving Terminal 2 entirely, getting on an airport bus and riding to Terminal 4. And getting a second boarding pass - thank heaven, no long lines at check-in. And then walking very quickly to join a leisurely line of travelers preparing to go through airport security. With apparently no wish to 'move right along.' Two other travelers asked me if I was in a hurry, so I must have shown my impatience.
For the second time, I was X-rayed and patted down. My vintage bracelets were examined even though they are not metal. They must have looked peculiar on my body scan. Or maybe the security guard was simply curious?
For the second time, I was free to go carrying my 20 pounds of carry on bags and that lug of a felted coat. Very long corridor AGAIN. Each gate from which I departed was the farthest one away from lobbies lined with shops and food. Heavy laden long walks. Got to the end and found that my flight was delayed for an hour. Snow in Minneapolis.
I got out my container of healthy sauteed kale and Chinese cabbage with slices of Chapell Hill sausage. It was all very good and should have sustained me, but I bought an Italian Quizmo's and ate every bite of the eight inch long wheat sandwich. blew me up like an uncomfortable balloon for the remainder of the trip. I will not eat another Quizmo's. Not a good idea.
My seat for the second leg of this very long journey was in the last row near the galley, so I was one of the last ones off the plane in Portland. And I suffered from aching ears as the plane lost altitude on the way down.
In the end, a trip that can be just over four hours - if I'd flown non-stop - took an uncomfortable eleven hours. I will not do this again.
However, there are always good things about lengthy trips. The good news is that I read entire issues of the New Yorker and Rolling Stone and then finished Jody Seay's 'Dead in the Ditch' biography.
And I have to remember that the end result of either a four hour or an eleven hour trip is the same. I am in Portland OR for a week with Mary B and Queta. I am already loving it.
And the sun is shining. Miracle.

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