Tales from the road

When you live in a rural area, flying general involves a connector flight to a larger airport. Connector flights are the type of flights where they rearrange people for proper weight distribution and balance.

I’ve never been asked to move. I imagine my size isn’t something that would have much impact on the balance of the plane.

The connector flight I’m on now is piloted by a soldier who returned to work just last week after a year deployment to Iraq. He was flying Black Hawk helicopters there so I feel secure in the event we come under enemy fire near say, Yonkers, NY.

My first flight ever was on a plane like this. I was a teenager traveling overseas and my Dad flew with me to NYC on the ‘puddle jumper’ (he called it), gave me a kiss on the cheek and turned around and flew back home. I didn’t understand why he wanted to do that at the time but, of course, do now thinking of my own teenagers.

Anyway, I went to Atlanta for the CLO Summit (marcus evans event). Wandering through Atlanta’s airport always feels futuristic to me. There are a lot of soldiers coming and going (returning soldiers getting cheers from the USO…very emotional) along with the calm recording of the Homeland Security threat level (orange). For such a busy airport, it’s pretty quiet. It’s modern and easy to get around.

Newark New Jersey’s airport, on the other hand, has people sprawled all over the place, someone playing guitar, and a people mover (golf cart type) driver yelling ‘beep’ (in Russian) instead of actually honking the horn.

A shuttle bus ride is needed to get to my flight. We board on the tarmac…going up the stairs. No sky ramp.

It’s as stark a contrast as my hotel/motel experience on this first leg of my travels. The day before I left I realized (ok, my husband realized) that I’d need to get up at 2:30 AM Sunday to catch my plane. He suggested I get a room the night before near the airport so I could get a few hours sleep. Apparently he didn’t want to get up at 2:30.

I jumped on priceline.com and just picked something cheap without giving it any thought. The motel was in the middle of nowhere (and I know this because I also live in the middle of nowhere). It really was straight out of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. I toughed it out. It’d only be a few hours and I didn’t want to go look for something else.

I don’t usually check the windows but felt I should. Not locked. Creepy. The bathroom window didn’t lock at all so I hung a coat hanger on it so I could be awake when the serial killer showed up. Got into bed and noted there was a plastic bed liner. Yes, it’s the place where adulterous lovers meet for a couple of hours. I have no experience with those shenanigans. I just heard about it.

When getting my bag out of the car all I could hear were crickets and all I could smell was burning wood. It felt like camp. Camp with plastic liners on the beds.

Fell off to sleep at 1 AM and had to get up at 4:30. Of course, someone had lost their dog and was shouting for it at around 2:15. Right outside my door. Clearly, leaving my own house at 2:30 would have been a much better situation.

Anyway, I arrived at the Chateau Élan, the location of the conference and found a luxury room. No plastic in site. No need for coat hangers to masquerade as serial killer alarms. The biggest decision was deciding which of the eight pillows might be the most comfortable for me.

I’ve jotted down some notes on the conference and have links to various things but I’ll have to post tomorrow because it’s late and there’s another one-night layover hotel in my future. Hopefully I made a better choice.

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