Thursday, May 26, 2011

Traveling Blues

I just got home from a business trip to attend a trade show in Chicago.  I guess you could say that I am an antsy traveler.  It isn't so much the actual flying that gets me so much as the anticipation of the flight.  You see, I am one of those who actually gets too the airport at least two hours before the flight.  I am absolutely paranoid about being late and missing my flight.  I think it stems from nearly missing a connecting flight in Denver. That day I did my best impersonation of O.J.Simpson running through an airport in a Hertz Rent-a-Car commercial.

Since I always get to the airport early, I usually have a couple hours to kill before I board my airplane.  For most of my travels, this hasn't been too much of a hardship because I have rarely had a flight delay or cancellation.  I usually spend that time reading and making frequent trips to the rest room.  As I said, I get a little antsy while waiting to board the plane and that, combined with BPH, leads to the trips to the toilet.

My trip was scheduled to begin on Monday evening with a 5pm flight out of BWI.  When I arrived at the airport shortly after 3pm, I discovered that my flight was to be delayed by a little more than two hours.  So, instead of my usual two hours of waiting in the airport, I now had a little more than four hours to kill.  In addition to my Kindle, I have recently gotten a new Samsung Galaxy tablet to help keep me occupied.  Still, four hours is an awful lot of reading, playing on the tablet, and trips to the bathroom.

Eventually, I made it to Chicago Monday night in time to attend my trade show on Tuesday.  I had two coworkers that I was going to meet at O'Hare on Monday night.  They both flew from different airports in the DC area and their flights were also delayed at least two hours.  We attended our show on Tuesday, and got an awful lot done that day.  We headed back to our hotel to unwind for a bit before dinner.  The hotel had a free happy hour with free beer and buffalo wings, so I had a couple drafts and some wings before we headed to dinner at Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse.

Originally, we were scheduled to attend the show on both Tuesday and Wednesday.  Since we were able to get everything done on Tuesday, we decided to head to the airport early to try to get an earlier flight home.   I arrived at the airport shortly after 10am.  My original flight was scheduled to leave O'Hare around 7:30pm.  When I checked in for my flight at the hotel, I booked a standby flight scheduled for 2pm.  Thankfully, I was able to get onto the 2pm flight and get home early enough to say goodnight to my son who came home yesterday for the weekend.  One of my coworkers not only could not get on an earlier flight, but had their flight cancelled and had to stay one more night.

With four hours to kill in BWI on Monday night, and another four hours to kill in O'Hare yesterday, I got to do a little bit of people watching in addition to my reading.  Now, I would not exactly consider myself to be a fashion expert, but I do know what colors go together.  In BWI, I saw one guy wearing a bright orange polo shirt with a pair of bright purple track pants.  You might expect that it was a young guy, but no, it was a middle aged guy around my age.  It was not a pretty combination.  Then in O'Hare, I was walking from one terminal to another to see if there was any way possible to get on an 11:30 flight when I saw a lady sitting on a bench just strumming away on her ukelele. 

Recently, I saw an article somewhere that said that some folks were calling for a ban on children on some flights.  At first I thought this to be a preposterous idea, until I had a baby sitting behind me on the first leg of my trip who did nothing but cry until the flight took off.  Fortunately, the child calmed down, or the plane was loud enough to drown out the cries as we flew to Chicago.  I think, however, that besides terrorists, there is one group of people that should definitely be banned from enclosed aircraft; those with terrible body odor like the slob that I happened to be sitting behind on my flight from Chicago.
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  1. Sheesh I got awfully tired and thirsty reading this post.

    Soooo, btw how was the Steak?


  2. Flying will never be on my list of favorite modes of transportation. There's not much about it to like

  3. Don, the steak was excellent and I had a couple of cold ales to wash it down.

    Shark, flying can be a bit of a hassle for sure. At least I didn't get one of those TSA patdowns



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