If you really want to appreciate, no love traveling by RV, just hop a flight on an airplane. It's been a long time since I've flown commercial with the huddled masses and I was reminded how much I don't miss it.
I had a 11 am flight to get back to our South Carolina "home" so I could make the first of two appointments at the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital. The best flight we could find without exhausting my entire bank account and my first born child was a flight with one stop. Philly to Detroit (!?) to Columbia, SC. With a nice, long layover in Detroit.
Fortunately my son Ryan dropped me off early (7 am) at the Philly airport. I needed every minute of the extra time to check in. The airline (Delta) had the most interesting system to check in that I've ever seen. If you had pre printed a boarding pass, you were taken first over everybody else standing in line, including First Class passengers, at a ration of about 20 to 1. Interesting.
Finally making it to the counter after becoming life long friends with all the people I stood in line with, phone numbers and email address exchanged, I got a pretty good tongue lashing from the counter lady over not using the touch screen computer thingy in front of the counter to check in, instead of trying to have her print out my boarding pass. So much for the friendly skies.
Checked my bag in for that annoying $25 charge and then I headed for the security check point to ensure I was a safe person to fly.
After divesting myself of my wallet, keys, pocket change, coat, shoes and what was left of my dignity, I once again received a tongue lashing by a TSA lady for not removing my belt. I briefly thought about answering her back that it would be nice to have signs of some kinds like they have at other airports listing items you need to remove (like belts) but thought the better of it, she looked like she was big enough and mean enough to fight and beat most of the professional wrestlers in the WWE.
On to the full body scanner. I wondered how the TSA operators would react seeing me through my clothes. They didn't say much, but I did see them reaching in a panic for some barf bags.
Stepping out of the scanner, another new experience. A TSA guy had me remove my wrist watch and he inspected it closely before handing it back to me. Thankfully, he didn't discover where I secretly hit the M-1 Abrams Battle Tank that I normally carry in the watch.
Finally retrieving my stuff I headed off to the terminal wing to the gate where my flight was to leave from which was all the way down to the farthest gate of the farthest wing. Upon arriving at the gate, there was a notice that there was a gate change. Which gate, you ask? Why, of course the farthest gate of the farthest terminal wing in the other direction!
I should be thankful that there was no additional charge for the exercise program the airline afforded me, it helped me get my 10,000 steps in (and then some).
From there, things started to pick up. The flight left on time, even if the seat was a little tight. Why are most airline seats designed to hold Munchkins comfortably? The layover was fine and on the second flight, low and behold there was one empty seat. And it was next to me. Ye haw, better than striking gold!
The flight attendant came and asked me if I'd mind if a person from the back took that seat. Seems that person was sitting next to another passenger who was seriously airsick. I said of course and shortly a lady plopped down next to me, looking pretty green herself. It's no fun watching someone puking, especially when you're sardined in with them. I hoped her stomach didn't revolt after watching all that and thankfully her color returned to normal.
The rest of the trip was uneventful. My bag made it, my rental car was ready and I got home okay. Even though the Journey was pretty lonely with Marti still being up in PA and NJ with the granddaughters, being able to control the TV and watch the History Channel to my heart's content sort of made up for it (she'll be home next Wednesday).
It was not all in vain, it was convenient to get me home on time to make the first of my two medical appointments with the VA. But best of all, it reinforced in my mind our decision to travel by RV... and not airlines! :c)
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