A travel day

I'm writing this from aisle 28 on a Boeing 757. These are wonderful planes, but the difference between two identical twins is amazing.

This morning, we got onto a brand new plane. The seats were comfy and reasonably sized. The monitor in the seatback had a USB port to charge my cell phone. Even the seatbelt was too big, if you can imagine such a thing.

Our plan was simple enough. We are using our daughter's benefits to fly on standby. The idea was to fly from NOLA to Atlanta, then on to SLC and Boise. We chose this route because it put us home earlier.

When we got to Atlanta, others decided to fly on standby as well, and we were about a dozen people beyond those who would get a seat. Our daughter came to the rescue, routed us to Seattle, and said from there it's a breeze to get home. We will get home later, but that's the joy of standby.

This gave us a bit of airport time. Time to observe the old man in the funny hat, one that looks like a cross between a newsboy and a baseball cap. I've never seen anything like it before. There are the women with big hair. I've written about them before, but in Atlanta the black girls win the day. Huge heads of hair that actually look pretty darned good. If these things are weaves or extensions, don't tell me – I don't want to know. I'm basking in the illusion.

There was the lady with her little dog on a leash, and a mom with her child on a leash. All of this is minutia, but even small observations can help me create a character.

It wasn't until we met the second 757 that I realized I'd forgotten to look at the NOLA phone book. This may not seem like an attraction to most of you, but I struggle to name my characters. I am completely convinced that the NOLA phone book is the holy grail of names now, simply because I missed it.

Oh, this second 757 is the evil twin of the first plane. Our morning flight was all clean and comfy, with wifi that actually seemed to work. This plane has hard seats, archaic monitors without USB ports, and short seat belts. I had five inches of seat belt to spare this morning. Now I need a come-along to ratchet down my stomach just to buckle the damned thing. It's so tight my right leg died about five-hundred miles ago, and my wallet feels like a lump in my throat.

This 757 has an old three-pronged electrical plug for my devices. It's down by the seat of the guy in front of me. This requires me to fold in half like a jackknife to recharge my phone. Also what device in the history of devices ever had a three-pronged plug? I'll give credit though, my little lightning bolt lit right up to indicate my phone was actually charging… right before gravity took over and my cord fell to the floor. The female connection is so loose it won't hold my cable in place without holding it where it needs to be. I'll leave it at that before I get too metaphoric and say something too graphic for kids to read.

I wasn't supposed to start reading again so soon, but what do you do on a five hour flight? I had a children's book all downloaded, but can't get it off the cloud and onto my Kindle app. You see, this 757 has wifi, and it connects fast, you just can't do anything with it after you connect. It seems custom designed to make the spinny thing go around, but nothing else. This is a friend's book, and a short enough read to help me make my RRBC reading goals without more added stress.

Buuuut, the wifi won't let me read it, so I started a craft book that I've held onto for “Someday.” I managed about half of it so far, but my eyes are tired. (And my right leg, and my bladder, and my attitude, etc.) Right now, I'm watching the monitor while a graphic of a 757 moves across the country at the speed of a glacier. I'm typing this by only peripherally glancing at my fingers. Since I can't do anything with the wifi, I'll load this post to my blog later.

Our daughter warned us to take an extra day when flying standby. This sounded like good counsel to us, and we are both off tomorrow. In fact, with my flex day, and a federal holiday, I only had to take one day of vacation time for this mini-vacation. Even I get lucky sometimes.

One hour and five minutes before we get to Seattle. Oh how I miss that first 757.


Update: We're home. I wound up stashing my wallet in my suitcase so I didn't have to sit on it any longer. That helped, but what really helped was our first class accommodations for the last leg of our trip. It was a Delta flight, and since our daughter is a Delta employee we were ahead of everyone else on the list. Seats one A and B. It was only an hour flight, but I appreciated it. I even got to charge my phone back up along the way.

On our last day we wound up stopping at Lafitte's, and I had a drink there. There isn't much made of the place beyond the historical registry stuff. I kind of expected more of a pirate theme to everything, or even a blacksmith's theme. I suppose hammers on the walls isn't a good idea where alcohol is served.

We walked to Cafe Du Monde and had more beignets. These are the most famous ones, but weren't our favorites. We both preferred the Royal place where we started, and I even preferred the ones at the Hotel Monteleone, because of the praline sauce.

Old What's Her Face and I have been married for twenty four years, and lived together for two years prior to that. This trip is the first time we've flown out together anywhere. I hope we don't have to wait that long to do it again.

If you spot me a hundred miles or so, I was on three coasts today. NOLA to Atlanta to Seattle before we got home.

I'm going to catch my breath, then I need to get to work. I have a couple of critique group things to work up for our meeting on the 31st. I'm out of ink too, so I wonder if I can trick my printer into spitting out a couple of pages in navy blue.


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26 responses to “A travel day

  1. Navy blue sounds rather attractive πŸ™‚
    I’m glad you had safe flights and wonderful travel. The Mister and I have never flown together either. It’s a bit strange, since I’ve flown to see him and he’s flown to see me since we were wed… I don’t imagine we’ll fly together any time soon.
    I feel a bit sad I haven’t had beignets with praline sauce, but I also have no plans to return to NOLA, so unless my friend who makes them will add some praline sauce… Hmm…
    Welcome Back!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not really my idea of a fun way to holiday, but you handled it like a trooper!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t been on a plane in about 13 years, and my last flight was more like that one you were on while writing the bulk of this post. The newer planes sound much nicer. Even the part where the seatbelt isn’t trying to crush you would be enough to make me think so.

    Who was in charge of the dogs while you were away? Are you back to puppy chaos now?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like quite the adventure, Craig. LaFitte’s Blacksmith shop (bar) is one of my favorite places in NOLA. I like going there at night and have gotten some great Orb pictures around it. I like to think some part of his spirit is still hanging around. You’re right about the phone book for names. Sorry you missed that part of the trip. Glad you’re home safe and sound!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so bummed about the phone book. I just know some of those names would be awesome. I got busy doing other things. We got around Lafitte’s at night, but only wound up there in the daylight. Orbs sound like a reason to return.


  5. Welcome back! You were all over the map with those flights. The airport in Atlanta kind of intimidates me….everything so huge and so rushed.

    I’m glad you and your wife got to enjoy your anniversary and experience new sights and travels. Definitely something to do again.

    As for the phone book, maybe you can Google “surnames in New Orleans” or something similiar.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your wrap up was entertaining. Had to laugh out loud at the wallet in the throat comment. Been there.:-D

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your flying experience is what I experience every week for about 45 weeks per year. Of course, when I’m not flying for work, I’m flying the family somewhere for vacation using all of the points I’ve accumulated. As people get larger, the space on planes seems to get smaller. It sounds like you were on one of the new 737-900 jets. They are nice for those of us that work (or write) while we’re flying.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You can do some serious people-watching in airports – always some interesting people. Glad you made it back and have a day to rest, Craig!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Turn the 747 into a roc or dragon, and you’ll have plenty of torments in store for the next time you send a character on a journey.

    Liked by 1 person

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