Airplanes & Automobiles

Today was fun. We fiddled away most of it by Diane getting her upper and lower digits sanded and painted while I labored away in the yard fixing a broken pipe for the very last sprinkler on the line that feeds all the flower beds around the front of the house. Yes, I did that. But, I must admit that had Jewel not reminded me it was broken, I wouldn’t have done it. So, it’s really her fault that I had to do that. She did, however, save me a load of grief by reminding me about it. For that I’m thankful. I got it done, and I’m not in trouble.

After Diane returned from the paint shop, she finished packing her suitcase in preparation for her trip today. That was my clue that I better start wadding up stuff to put in my suitcase because I was going with her. She said I could.

Having traveled a lot during my life I consider myself a very accomplished packer. So accomplished, I might add, that I even helped Diane pack hers. I rolled up all her underwear so they would take up less space allowing her to include more shoes for the trip. I also rolled up all my underwear, and socks, so she could get more shoes in my suitcase, too. Regarding underwear, since we’re only going to be gone for about a month, I was going to use the old rule that one pair of underwear is good for four days. You know … wear them right the first day, turn them around for the second day, turn them inside out the third day, turn them around the fourth day. Then throw them away. That way, I could get by with only 4 pair. Diane overruled me on that so I packed 20 pair. That means the last 10 days of this trip I’ll be going commando. I’m toying with the idea of slipping a commando day in various places during the trip to ensure I have a pair to wear home in case I get strip searched at the airport. That wouldn’t go over well, I’m sure.

Anyway, we finally got everything together, took our bags down to the Walters’ home and loaded them into Lydia’s Envoy for the trip to the airport. We did that because we got a room at Embassy Suites next to the airport so we wouldn’t have to fight early morning traffic. That, and the Envoy would give the Walters family something to drive home in on their return flight from Illinois. Here we are getting the Envoy from Lydia. I’m not in the picture because I took it. In case you were wondering.img_0512

We arrived at Embassy Suites at 6:30 or so, checked in, had a great supper and scored a free cheese plate and a pony bottle of champagne, for Diane, because my linguine was cold. Yes, it was that simple.

After supper we sat in the room waiting for Jennie to let us know their plane was on the ground. Then we waited about 15 minutes and headed for the terminal which is just a hop and a skip from Embassy Suites. Sadly, everyone in Portland chose that exact time to make a run past the arrival area of the airport which made a normal 5 minutes trip last about 20. But, we made it, got them, and made it back to Embassy Suites in time for Dancing With The Stars and the kids headed home. It worked out very nicely, time wise.

That brings us to this morning.

First, Diane made an observation that the garlic in my linguine the night before was apparently seeping from my skin in a potentially offensive manner. This was caused, no doubt, because I found an entire clove of garlic under all that linguine, and really large shrimp, and ate it. I like garlic, but apparently eating an entire semi-cooked clove isn’t a good idea. She said that when I took my shower this morning all she could smell was garlic. All I could smell was soap. When I was done she could only smell garlic when I talked so she started feeding me Altoids. Lots of Altoids. And she did all the talking.

Our flight wasn’t until 10:45 am so we went down about 8:30 to get a ride from the shuttle van guy. We had two bags to check and two for carry on. My bag to check turned out to weigh 54 lbs which means it would cost $50 above the normal free bag check. Diane’s only weighed 40 so we dropped to the floor and moved things from one case to the other hoping to get below the weight restriction. When I put it back on the scale it came up 51 lbs which was apparently within the acceptable maximum and let the lady let it go on through.

Then we trundled our remaining two bags down to gate C2 to wait for our flight. Diane signed us up the the TSA pre boarding line some time ago which allows us to bypass the long lines because TSA has already done a background search on us and knows we’re not scary people. It’s pretty handy.

Finally they called our flight and we boarded the plane for Chicago. That’s where we had to change planes for the final leg to Bradley Field in Connecticut. Getting to Chicago required us to orbit the earth about three times in our Alaska Airlines 737 before they let us land. I must say, though, the seats were comfortable and we had plenty of leg room so it was quite comfortable. Then we switched to an American Airlines 737 that apparently had 20 more rows of seats than the Alaska leg. We were jammed into a row where my knees were almost touching the seat in front of me and it was not comfortable at all.

Enough said about that. American Airlines is off our bucket list.

While in Chicago I called Cedric, who is still lingering at Great Lakes RTC until October 1st. RTC isn’t very far from O’Hare International Airport, but getting up there wasn’t practical for the short layover we had. So, we talked. He’s done well and is on his way. We’re pretty proud of him.

The flight from O’Hare to Bradley was less than 2 hours but it felt much longer than the Portland to O’Hare leg simply because it was so uncomfortable. This is Chicago in our rear view mirror.img_0513

Now it’s past midnight here in Connecticut and I really should be sleeping, but it’s really only a little after 9 pm in my head. Tomorrow we’re going back to the airport to pick up our rental car that we will use for the rest of the trip here on the east coast and turn it in at the airport in Norfolk, VA next month. If the car rental is like those we normally have, I won’t be allowed to drive it because Diane won’t let me. She only puts herself down as the driver. That actually suits me just fine. More time to sleep.

Now I must quit.

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