Sunday, December 9, 2012

Destination Charleston: Departure & Arrival

taken from my travel journal - oct. 8th 2012
The day began at 5:30am, cold and dark. I said my last good byes to my (disgruntled at being woken to early) dogs, then loaded the bags into the car and shoved off.
 Apprehension, snow, excitement, and the overpowering smell of instant (bleck) coffee hung in the air.
 Litte Brother promptly fell asleep on his mountain of travel pillows and blankets while Mum and Da chatted like being conscious at a quarter to six is no big deal.
 I spent the majority of the long drive to the airport praying that flying would not make ill. A reasonable petition that was (praise be!!) answered, I'm very happy to say.
This really is a trip of firsts for LB and I:

  • First time on a plane
  • First time out of the Midwest
  • Our first real vacation (too name just a few of the things)
We only had to go through airport security once the entree journey, I was glad to learn, and it wasn't half as trouble some as a lot of people made it out to be. Yes, you have to place your shoes, coat, and bags in bins on a conveyer belt and walk like socked zombies through a metal detector, but really that's it. My biggest crisis during the ordeal was knocking over the tower of bins, making the loudest look-at-ME! crash in history. I kept apologizing to the people behind me and restacked the beastly things as fast as I could.
 We said goodbye to Da from a distance and were then herded down a cold corridor onto our small plane.
 Our first flight from A to B was fun and exciting. The feeling of your guts and brain compressing is quite extraordinary. LB and I spent most of the time staring out the tiny window and marveling at the landscapes below and the clouds above.
 Halfway through our hour long flight, Mum ordered us all tea and biscuits from the trolly pushed by the flight attendant with red bobbed hair and an apron.
We landed in snowy, bleak Minneapolis and emerged from the gate into what can only be described as The Rat Race. A hitherto unknown amount (to we country bumpkins) of people dressed in business suits walking briskly to and fro, always on their iPhones and seemingly blind to the three of us being trampled underfoot.
 We thought we hand an hour between flights so Mum left LB and I to fend for ourselves and stake out some seats in the terminal while she dashed off to the restroom. Three minutes later I spied the screen that had our flight info listed on it, and, in appallingly bold letters: BOARDING 10 MINUTES.
 In vain LB and I looked in the direction Mum had gone in hopes that she'd reappear. Finally, when the time had ticked down to THREE MINUTES and still no mother, I told LB to sit tight and dashed off to find her, the thought briefly crossing my mind that by the time we returned LB would've a) wandered off (because that's what boys do), b)been kidnapped by the creep three seats down with the greasy hair, or c) we all would miss our flight.
I found the restroom easily enough but, to my horror, also a queue as long as the I imagine the one in Egypt was when the Hebrews grabbed their carpetbags and said 'Cheerio!' to their kohl-eyed pals.
 I felt the sinking feeling of Jonah (as long as we're using Biblical references). But all was not lost as I shoved passed the masses (many who called out to me telling me I had to wait my turn like everyone else) and luckily found Mum drying her hands. With little time for explanations I grabbed her sleeve and we legged it for the gate, grabbed LB(as yet un-kidnapped) and the bags and..... waited forever in line while the Specials got to take there sweet time boarding. It completely defies logic that they, who the the nice seats at the front of the plane get to board first. Besides working backwards, I'm sure they don't like being buffeted by the poor peoples luggage as each and every one of them files past in the too-small aisle.
 We got to buffet a lot of people since we boarded next to last and were placed in the very last row -- you know the one: next to the lavs and the flight attendants. No window, either. To make matters worse this was our longest flight. When they remembered us we got fed peanuts (that would give anyone kidney failure because of the salt content) and coke.
 In Atlanta we got our first glimpse of the South with accents and big hair galore. My word, it was just like walking into a film the way some of those gals talked! LB and I had to stuff our hankies in our mouths.
 We had quite a distance between gates and so got to ride two trains and an escalator to our last flight.
The landing in Charleston was quite rough, and for the first time I felt a little queazy. But it might also have had something to do with surviving on biscuits and peanuts all day and the in-tranzit trivia game (which I ruled!). But before the queasiness could evolve into something sinister, we arrived!
We were met by Oldest Sister outside in the balmy hour of sunset and LB and I got to see our first palmetto. Totally sacked we went 'home' to Sister's apartment and gathered round a pot of chicken soup, tea, and an episode of Mythbusters. After that I was no longer conscious.
 Thus ended Day One.


  1. What? You were in Minneapolis? My state? *gasp* If only I had been in the airport for some reason...
    And I would have to say it's easier to be awkward in an airport than anywhere else. *blush* I don't know why, maybe it's all the tension in the air. Have fun on your vacay!

  2. I like sitting at the window where I can see the wings lift up. I take Dramamine and chew gum so my eyes won't pop.