Saturday morning’s flu tangoed with Sunday afternoon’s wedding reception as the weekend closed it’s doors on my east coast trip’s preparation. Two neatly packed suitcases loitered in my bedroom and the belly of the refrigerator bulged while I patted myself on the back for not procrastinating until the very last day to prepare for my journey to the “crossroad of the world” with my father. While waiting for my ride to Boise, I enjoyed a little Miss America watch party with my youngest daughter only to leave after Miss New York preformed her Bollywood Fusion piece. Little did I know The Big Apple’s title holder would be crowned the new Miss America just 24 hours before I would touch down in her home state.
After a quick slumber party at my dear friends’ home provided an early rise for my pre-flight journey through the jungle gym of security;I had a new appreciation for the cattle on the hill at home in Idaho. Like a herd of Herefords we were ushered into the security terminal. Among the scrum filed an elegantly clad traveler in his romantic Oscar Wilde knits and quality weekend bag with his lovely companion dressed in an oversized jumper and thigh high boots. These two did not appear to have originated in Boise, but instead I imagined they just stepped off the catwalks of the Big Apple to which I was headed. Just in front of me, was a crusty hunched-over man who limped with a cane and sour attitude about having to remove his loafers as he approached the conveyor belt. While I was equally as sour about having to remove my boots, I approached the check point like a good heifer and removed my laptop from her bag and deposited my 3 oz toiletries in the white bin for all to see my “not-so Secret” deodorant.
After rearranging the contents of my carry-on to adequately fit in the baggage compartment, I settled into my window seat aboard United Airlines #1560 to Denver. A network of screens connected my fellow passengers, and I, to the world wide web and their families and the (CBS affiliates.) Eight inch screens rested in the seats in front of all of us with Direct TV enticing us to swipe for an inflight movie or the continuation of the Today Show. IPads were shutting down to my left and right while regular airline travel chatter was swallowed up by tittering texting fingers. The thick plush carpet of white clouds covering the Colorado Rockies obstructed my view of the Denver Airport as I descended to my first lay over destination. The clouds gave way to sloppy marsh lands, flooded roadways and swelling canals outlining the suburbs of the city. The flooding here was remarkable on the big screen at home as the journalists “rolodexed” clips during our nightly news, but the rest of the story was visible now that I had an eye witness account of the devastation. My travel neighbor informed me that had I been able to see the airport better ,prior to landing in Denver, I might have wondered why the airport was lifted high above ground in such a way that doesn’t “seem” necessary. He proceeded to inform me about the conspiracy theory that is connected to the “government’s shenanigans” that go on beneath the international airport. I politely put his story in my mental pocket to research later, and quickly exited the aircraft.
After two failed FaceTime attempts to the kids and a quick picture message to my man, I was boarding my second plane and headed for Houston. I was so pleased that my hospitable hostess from the evening before gave me a few complimentary granola bars so I wasn’t tempted to purchase one for $2.99 from the flight attendant as she passed by with her cart of no-so-complimentary snacks and drinks. Denver quickly gave way to Houston in the amount of time it took to watch Great Gatsby as my inflight movie and make conversation with the traveling public speaker in the aisle seat.
I am journaling the journey from my portable office, in Texas, as a new set of doors await opening on just the other side of the country, in New York City. As I write this, I am savoring a glass of merlot in the Houston Airport somewhere outside of gate 36C, because my borrowed iPhone whispered to me that it is 5:00 somewhere.