Thursday, December 20, 2012
Seat Belts Required
I have been home for a bit, after my whirlwind visit with my kids. Just not in a writing mood.
The flight is only an hour and a half. That is gate to gate, so the time in the air is just a little over an hour. The longest, most annoying part of the trip is getting through security. There were new signs up. If you are under 5 or over 75, the taking off of shoes is no longer required. If you are over 75, you can leave your sweater on. I did not qualify. I knew enough to wear slip on shoes, though. So, after I filled 4 baskets with my carry on belongings, I got a free X-ray, then went to stand in a line to wait my turn to board.
I flew Southwest. No seat assignments. You get a group (A,B, or C) and a number. It depends on when you book your flight, unless you are willing to pay extra to get in that elite group of A, 1-16. They get to board first and choose all the good seats. They think. I have never been in the A group, which goes to 60. After this group boards, families with young children board, after which, they commence with the rest of us. I was next to last to board. I actually prefer this, the only downside being that you will be in the back of the plane and have to wait longer to disembark. But, instead of sitting there watching the last group board and wondering who might choose you to be their seat mate, I get to choose who I will grace with my sunny disposition!
I always look for very thin folks, I can always use the extra space. I avoid men and small children. Even thin men will be greedy with the arm rest. I was once trapped between two hefty guys on a flight. They both hogged the arm rests. One was restless, constantly bumping my shoulder and the other slept and snored. I also avoid those with phones to their ears.
While stuck in the tunnel thingy taking us to the plane there was a woman talking to someone in her office. It echoed through the tunnel. She forgot the "tickets", it seems and her husband, Randy, was bring them with him. I guess he was her husband. I never saw her, just heard her. I do know that he was picking her up and dropping her off and that he would join them after the ticket event for a late supper where gifts would be exchanged. We all just stood there listening. Talk about a captive audience. I knew I did not want to be her seat companion.
I was lucky, I got an aisle seat, with the middle empty and a young woman engrossed in a book in the window seat. I got my own book out and spent the entire flight reading. I was actually surprised to feel the plane touch down.
We actually landed ahead of schedule and the luggage was already coming out of the shoot when I reached the carousel. After arguing with an unseasoned traveler (such as myself) about the black piece of luggage with my day-glo green duct tape adorning the handle (he swore that the airlines had put that tape on his luggage, until I proved it was mine with my name on the luggage tag), I was ready to get started on my big adventure.
The air was crisp and clean as I stood waiting for my daughter. I breathed it in. It is different, this Minnesota air. Really, it is. It was in the 20's, but it felt good, not bone chilling. I had packed my heavy coat, and waited to pull it out of my luggage until I was standing outside. There was snow on the ground and a group of trees all lit with blue lights. I was happy to be there.
Even happier when I climbed into Adrienne's car next to my Gavin. Even though he did tell on me for not wearing my seat belt ...........