Yesterday I left my humble abode and pointed my car Atlanta-ward, on the first step of my journey to New York City. I felt confident—nay, positively smug—that my trip would bring me enough material for a blog post or three, because something wacky always happens when I travel. I would just wait for the magic to unfold.
Maybe there’d be a giant accident on the highway. Possibly I’d get stuck in Security or have to argue with the TSA about my hair products. Maybe my flight would be canceled! Alas, none of these things happened. I had an uneventful drive to the airport, parking was easy and the shuttle was waiting for me, I somehow got whisked into the “priority” security line (which took a record five minutes, tops), and my flight was on time.
So then I thought, “Man. What the heck am I going to blog about NOW?”
Well, I do have just a few things to mention, but none of them are as good as a crazy travel disaster story, I’m afraid. (I’m… so sorry that my day wasn’t all that traumatic.)
First: They started boarding the plane and did the pre-boarding, then first class, then Super Special Elite Medallion Mucketymucks or whatever it is on Delta, and then… the gate agent left. Just, like, wandered off. And I don’t mean for a minute, I mean there was a ten or fifteen minute gap inbetween when she left her little stand and someone else finally came along and finished letting us common folks board the plane. It was very odd.
Second: So I’m finally on the plane, seated at the window of a 3-seat row with a nice older woman sitting on the aisle. “Are you from New York?” she asked, just making conversation. I laughed at the thought of being from NYC. “Nope, I’m from here,” I said. And then she nodded and began rifling through her purse for something and I realized, DUH, I AM FROM NEW YORK. I grew up in New York! (Not the city, but still.) And I’ve only lived in Georgia for four years. Since when am I from here? So I had one of those WHAT DO I DO NOW moments where I really wanted to correct my answer, but dude, she doesn’t care, she was just being friendly. And yet, I spent the first half of the flight completely anxiety-ridden about the fact that I apparently don’t know where I grew up and I like to lie to strangers. Whoops.
Third: They are renovating the bathrooms at LaGuardia. That means that there was only one (small, not-so-good-smelling) bathroom available, aaaaaaall the way down in baggage claim. Because I managed to consume three cups of coffee on my way to the Big Apple, I waited in line there with the rest of the poor planners. Once I was finally ready to leave the airport, I was concerned I was going to miss my designated shuttle, so I basically ran outside and accosted a driver and made him agree to take me. He took my suitcase, I hopped inside, and away we went. I immediately remembered that I require heavy sedation to ride in traffic in the city, but because I didn’t have any, I instead turned to fiddling with my phone and NOT LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW at all the people we were narrowly avoiding collision with. Eventually I flipped over to Twitter, where I saw that a fellow blogger at this event had tweeted, “I think I’m sitting behind @wantnot on the shuttle, but I feel a little too chicken to ask and be wrong!” Up to that point the shuttle had been oddly silent, but I laughed out loud, turned around, and said, “HI! Through the miracle of Twitter I just learned you are sitting behind me!”
Fourth: Our hosts took us out for barbecue last night for dinner. It was delicious. And our very solicitous waiter came over to discuss the wheat situation with me. “We’ll just make you a separate plate with no sauce on it.” I expressed dismay that their sauce had wheat in it, because IT’S BARBECUE and I like sauce. Well, there was a jar of sauce on the table, so I read the label, and it didn’t say anything about wheat. So the next time he came back, I told him I thought the sauce was fine for me, and he said no, I couldn’t have it, but hang on, he’d get the official allergy menu to check. He returned and pointed to the line that said “SAUCE CONTAINS SOY” and triumphantly said, “See, you can’t have it.” And I said, “Um, I can’t have GLUTEN. Soy is fine.” And he said, “Oh, okay!” and left. Another person at our table leaned in and said to me, “I… don’t think he knows what gluten is.”
Fifth: After a day of travel and a big noisy dinner, a bunch of folks decided to go out for karaoke. There was a time when I would’ve done that for fear of missing something, where I would’ve gone and hated the whole outing, but last night I merely wished them well and came back to my hotel room and got into my jammies and enjoyed the silence. Ahhhhhh.
So it’s no Major Travel Disaster story, but there you go.