Travel Woes

BWI.Image via Wikipedia

I have always loved to travel.  Being able to put out a couple hundred dollars and travel across the country is awesome to me, and I’ve done it more than many people my age.  I have been flying since I was a little child from my yearly voyage to California, to trips to Europe, the Caribbean and Hawaii, to more continental trips to Missouri, Texas, Washington DC, Florida, Massachusetts, Georgia, Arizona, Tennessee…

I’ve been to pretty much every state, take the Dakotas, Montana, Alaska and Maine.

Today was the first time I’ve really been a prissy little bitch while traveling.

The plan was that I would take the MoExpress shuttle to St. Louis, fly to Baltimore/Washington International, have dinner with my best friend of all time Landon during my four hour layover and then finish my flight to Raleigh North Carolina where I would meet my grandmother and then head to our hotel to prepare for our presentation tomorrow night.

Well, I did take MoExpress.  I sat next to a guy stuffing his face full of McDonalds and taking up a good portion of my seat doing it.  Behind me there was a guy eating a ten piece fried chicken bucket with biscuits and gravy.  Oh, don’t forget the woman who some how managed to get actual movie theater popcorn at 10:30 in the morning.  Not a small bag, we are talking the refillable plastic bucket.  Finally there was the kid who had two trays of Chinese food, which he ate solo.

Missouri is  sloppy state.

We arrive at the airport as scheduled at 12:30pm, I went through security without any trouble and declared sanctuary.

Too soon.

My flight is delayed 30 minutes.  I decided to take this extra time and explore the airport terminal.  To my surprise, the E terminal now connected to the D terminal, and so on all the way to A.  This is a new thing.  Southwest’s terminal has always sat as it’s own with no connection to the other terminals beyond using a shuttle.

I walk, and walk, and walk.  There are half mile markers through the terminal.  I guess the city of Saint Louis is trying to remove the negative health stigma attached to the state?

I walk all the way to terminal A, find nothing too exciting and head back to terminal E.

At The Great American Bagel and Bakery I order a veggie sandwich on an asiago bagel.

“That’ll be an extra $0.99 you know”

“Yes I understand that”

“What do you want again?  Turkey?”

“Veggie on asiago”

“Oh, yeah.  The asiago is an extra $0.99”

“Yes, that’s what I hear”

“What would you like on it?”

“Well, what veggies do you have?” (they don’t show the makings of the sandwich which makes me a bit nervous)

Pointing to her right, “Look at “Condiments”

I look to her left, where I see “Condiments”.  Is lettuce a condiment?  Ok, I bite, “Lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumber, peppers and light mayo”.

“Want cheese?”

“Yes, provolone”

“Alright, do you want any cheese?”

“Yes… provolone”

“Oh, yeah.”

It’s over $9.00 for this sandwich.  I hand her my debit card as a man walks up and says, “I need a large coffee”.

The register attendant cancels the transaction to process his coffee order.  Mind you, there is a line about ten deep behind me and this bloke walks up and cuts in front of us all, and she cancels my transaction for a $2.50 cup of coffee.

Then she picks up the phone, apparently “Char-ease” has called in sick, again.

“Oh no!  You tell Char-ease she can’t be calling in again.  She called in yesterday, no way, nuh uh.”

This continues, my transaction is processed.  I leave, unwrap my bagel and am met with one piece of lettuce, two anemic tomato slices and vinegar.  So that’s how the sandwich got so greasy, the oil and vinegar she poured all over it.  Did I order that?  No.

So I took apart the sandwich and treated it as a half side salad with stale asiago bread on the side.

Needless to say it wasn’t very good and it definitely wasn’t worth $9.00+.  I would have been better off getting the caesar salad from Wolfgang Puck for $8.99 in the other terminal.  Lesson learned.

I get to the gate, flight delayed another ten minutes.

Flight delayed another 30 minutes.

Flight has arrived… ?  Huh?  It was at least forty minutes away and now, magically, it is here. We board the flight.

We sit on the the runway 20 minutes.  We start to take off, we stop.  We sit on the runway 30 minutes.  We return to the gate where we deplane and I plug in my laptop to charge a bit more.

The air traffic controllers in Baltimore are saying there is at least another hour before we can take off so I get myself comfortable, cancel my plans with Landon and hop onto the internet.
Ten minutes later they are calling us back onto the plane.  So much for an hour, but I won’t complain.

We get back on the plane.  We sit on the runway.  We sit some more.  We finally take off.

During the entire thing, everyone kept a positive attitude, thank the lord.  I mean, I was pessimistic and bitchy and pissy but I made sure to keep that to myself.  The flight attendants were so nice, the pilot kept us up to date as best he could and gate workers did their best to keep us comfortable with the entire situation.

That is why I love Southwest Airlines.  They put customer service as a top priority and had this been another airline, I am certain there would have been some pretty vocal people on the plane.

I only wish they had Midwest Airline’s cookies.  Never ending supply of warm cookies would keep any Missourian happy, especially the ones I met today.  Holy shit.
UPDATE:

We have

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How I Celebrated my Independence

A Fourth of July fireworks display at the Wash...Image via Wikipedia

So yesterday was the fourth of July.  Or rather, it was the Fourth of July.  The day we celebrate our independence, here in America. Last year I was in Washington DC for the Fourth of July with best friend Landon.  We had a nearly missed the show, and in the capitol city, but it was a wonderful time.  This year was different, being in Missouri and not anywhere all that exciting.

We celebrate this by cooking out with friends and family, grilling some burgers and brats, enjoying the outdoor weather, drinking and setting off fireworks followed by watching a professional fireworks show later in the evening.

I accidentally didn’t do any of those things.  I had the intention of grilling out with Ryan at his work.  I had this idea that I’d hang out with my friend Beau and his guests for a Bar-B-Que.  I thought I’d pick up some sparklers for a photo I wanted to take.  I thought later I would go to Jefferson City or to Faruot Field and watch the fireworks show.

What happened was totally different but still a lot of fun.  I went to Harpo’s where I hung out with Colin, Kevin, Brittany, Ashley and a couple of other friendly people.  We had the idea of being on a roof equaling a great view of the fireworks.  Not so much.  The trees around the building blocked any site of the show.  But that was ok, we had our drinks and our conversation.  I had not seen Kevin in about a year so it was wonderful catching up with him. Plus, we totally matched.

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Later we went to the trainwreck of a gay bar out here called, Arches and Columns.  I hear it used to be a real deal pub, and then it was a leather daddy bar and now it’s just a dive.  But always fun.

Bumped into more people I hadn’t seen in quite some time, had a drink, had a good time.  We hung out a bit more at Kevin’s before I went home and crashed.

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Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?

Golden Gate Bridge by Kelly HobbThis is the first time for me to come back to Houston and not hang out with high school friends.  It seems that I have reached the point in my life where old friends have become forgotten friends.  I spend my time with my family and alone doing work instead of prowling the town into the late wee hours of the morning.

I was just here in March for Spring Break and my Lasik surgery and even then I had friends with whom I got to enjoy my time here.  It is amazing to me how quickly our lives change and how few of my former high school classmates have decided to stay in Houston, or even Texas altogether. 

It isn’t just my high school friends either.  My friends from Mizzou seem to be moving to the coasts, primarily San Francisco and New York City/Washington DC.

And coincidently, or perhaps not, right now Ryan and I are planning our escape and what are the two top places on our list?  San Francisco (the bay area) and Washington DC.

What is that draws us all so far from the Midwest?  What is so undesirable?  The east and west coasts are significantly more expensive and the job market is much more competitive, especially for college graduates.  Housing is up to ten times more expensive on average and crime is up.

We sacrifice security, cheap housing and our set of wheels for these destinations and what’s more?  We stay there!  This isn’t a vacation.  On top of that, we recruit.  I can’t count the number of people that moved to San Francisco after I did.

Alas, until Ryan and I pack our things and move to the coasts of California or the Capitol City, we will be rehearsing our goodbyes as our dwindling number of friends continue to venture out of Middle America for the cities with the power to make, or crush dreams.

Sk8 P@rks R Gr8!

So, while we waited for the fireworks, drank some water and sat waiting for Landon’s friend Paul’s friend Kate to show up, we watched the skateboarders.  Afterwards, about thirty minutes later, we would all be evacuated from the American Mall because of tornado warnings.

Luckily, we had already left for the bars before that happened haha.

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This guy was so graceful on the board, just swept through all of the chaos.  He was definitely cooler than me.  LoL

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I just love that tattoo.  Always nice to find a punk-rock-skateboarder who loves his gays and… well is gay himself.  I find that incredibly, uncontrollably hot.  Call me a punk-rock lover!

Really though, I have found myself, since California, being just infatuated with punk-rock, emo, skateboarding, hipsters.

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Nota bene… he didn’t wipe out, somehow, either through amazing physics bending or magic, he landed and rolled away.  Kinda reminded me of Fat Albert, no offense… 😉

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This guy (above and below) could get some serious air.  It amazed me every time because it seemed to defy gravity how he could jump up from either a standing or moving position, flip his board over a few times while soaring a few feet into the air.  Yes, soaring feet… haha

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This one was like four feet tall.  He was pretty awesome though :)  Probably that lower center of gravity thing… Hmm, I don’t know.

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Night Shots

These were all done candidly, as in I can do didly about the quality since I didn’t have a tripod or much time. I was just walking, riding or sitting and took a quick snap shot. Some of these pictures would be stunning, IMHO, with a tripod and some patience. Perhaps I can make it around with both of those next time.

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