Sunday, May 11, 2008

Up, Up and Away!

This past week I took my first plane ride. Let me tell you I was sweating it…but not because of being cooped up in that sardine can high up in the sky. Security had me quaking in my sneakers. I read all the facts, watched the videos and prayed I wouldn’t get pulled aside for my undergarments. Why? The list prohibits wearing almost any clothing, so there is merit to that TV ad where the woman walks through the scanner in her birthday suit. But I made it through unscathed, though a little flustered.

Then came the lolling for hours at the airport. Who knew people would fight over rocking chairs in the sun? And wouldn’t you know I never got the pleasure since there were never two together? Though I did get to people watch. A businessman wondered by with a medical boot, which made me wonder if he’d packed his other shoe. A little boy wandered by his red, Cars suitcase propped on top of his dad’s. And a barking dog broke through the chatter. Hmm…who knew lapdogs could be considered carry-on?

In the air things were peachy until we hit turbulence and bobbed around like a cork in choppy water. There was the scant serving of complimentary sodas and water with a bit of ice (though on the way back we got our own can!) Let me tell you, getting in and out of that bathroom was a hoot! The first thing I told my bf was, “I don’t see how people have sex in there.” Though I guess if you’re hot and bothered enough you could do it anywhere. Except for all those people watching you go up and down the aisle, while there judging whether they need to make the exodus too.

It’s hot in Arizona. Not like everyone didn’t know that, but I can now give first had experience from trudging in the heat in search of food. And I will say seeing the barren landscape took a little bit of getting used to since I’m used to green grass. I’m just glad all I got to see in the way of wildlife was a bunny, a pair of prairie dogs, a few lizards, and NO snakes! But it did make me think about world-building because of the variation.

Seeing what my peers wore to the Friday session of the insurance conference also reminded me to write that article on how to dress at such an event. Here I was stressing over a pair of dress capris, sandals and a collared women’s polo when half the field showed up in jeans! (Trust me, if I’d known that this Carolina girl would’ve dressed to that code, instead of switching up for the flight home.) But I was there to work, not to play…but it seems part of the 20 and 30 somethings had other plans.

I can’t count the number of time I told my bf this is nothing like a romance conference. But in one way I was glad. I’d finally gotten to experience that think called jet-lag I’d read about in umpteen Harlequin Presents. When I was supposed to be awake, I wanted to sleep and when I wanted to call home I had to could out the hours. And of course, just when I’d gotten about done with the change to MDT, it was time to head back to EST. So if you’re headed to the west coast for Nationals, take this advice:

Get there a day ahead if you can afford it. (Two if you’re usually semi-comatose from travel.)

Drink plenty of water! (The heat will sap it out of you faster that a mosquito zapper.)

Get rest before you go (Your body clock and the craziness of conference won’t offer much.)

Do know the time difference back home. (And call your mom even if you wake her up. Trust me, it’ll save you a tongue-lashing.)

Chew gum like it’s going out of style on the plane (Just remember not to smack it like Oprah hates.)

Check-in ahead of time if you can. (This will save you a long wait, especially if you don’t have to check your luggage.)

Check your bag if it’s huge! (Everyone will like you for not hitting them when you try to stuff it in to the overhead compartment, and for not holding up the boarding process.)

Never leave your bag unattended or who-knows-what could end up inside. (Thank you for that repetitive reminder Charlotte-Douglas and SkyHarbor!)

Never try to hoodwink security. (Especially when you’re running through the gate and don’t have ID or a boarding pass. Hmm…I wonder what happened to that girl?)

If you have an option other than black luggage use it. (Though having aqua can attract the TSA, but it saves time sorting through a turnstile full of matching suitcases!)

Remember where you parked your car. (Walking around the airport lots at night can be creepy. Thanks to Jenna’s vamps and Kelley’s spirits for giving me that shiver as I pondered the possibilities of attack. Thankfully I had a big, strong man to protect me.)

_________________________________

A late Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there on the net! I know my grandmother and mom’s best gift was getting me home safe and sound. Their hugs told me so.

-- Skylar

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4 comments:

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

Glad you got home in one piece. I've long believed there's nothing quite so harrowing as a plane ride.

Skylar Masey said...

Thanks for the well wishes :)

I will admit it wasn't a claming sight to see the plane rattling on the take off from Charlotte. And eventhough we detoured through TX, we still hit enough turbulence to shimmy us up and down and left and right. Thankfully I'm not prone to motion sickness. It was so bad the in-flight movie kept stalling.

I would fly again, but it wouldn't be my first choice. I'm looking forward to taking the train to Washington, DC next year.

Lynda K. Scott said...

I love to fly (with or without my broom as my dh likes to tease me, lol) My first flight was for business too. I unapologetically took my boss's window seat and when we took off, I grinned like an idiot.

I'll have to admit, I'm not fond of all the waiting and the huge walking distances inside the airport (my terminal is always the farthest one from the point of entry or exit) and my back and legs hurt when I'm on longer flights (I have a problem with being seated for longer than an hour and a half) but I do like to fly.

Savanna Kougar said...

I wish I did have a good way to fly, other than commercial, which has degraded a long down since I last flew. I've flown in a Cessna before and a small business jet, and smaller planes, which actually, I like better.
One thing to remember is that flying is very dehydrating. So drink that water afterwards. And if you drink only caffeinated beverages, also dehydrating, before hand, you could be seriously dehydrated.