Saturday, August 2, 2008

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

TUESDAY - July 22, 2008

I woke early in anxious anticipation of a full day of travel. Bags all packed, passport secured and itinerary in place. Lauren drove me to the airport and as we passed under the signage for DEPARTURES, she exclaimed that she was excited for me.

Airport traffic was very light at this hour. The ticket agent at American Airlines was pleasant and helped me when the computer failed to recognize my e-ticket. Seems there’s a glitch with connections to Delta. She consulted another agent and I was on my way.

Sitting at the gate waiting to board, I enjoyed people watching as the seats slowly filled with passengers. Several young men arrived with a woman who had the role of team chaperone. One fellow walked passed me to throw away some trash. As he pulled something from his pocket, several coins scattered on the floor. The chaperone alerted him that he’d dropped something. He gave a disinterested glance and picked up one quarter. She pointed out that there was one more. He shrugged, ignoring the other coin and sat down. I sat looking at the quarter, so that when I got up to throw out my coffee cup, I picked it up. I walked over to the young man and handed it to him. He grinned and said something like “I didn’t have to do that..” and I said that someday he may need a quarter and sat back down. The chaperone quipped about kids these days and we shared a chuckle. Shortly after, we boarded the plane and I took my assigned window seat. As the plane filled up, I saw the quarter kid looking at me and laughing: he was assigned to the seat next to me. We laughed and joked and had a pleasant trip to Dallas/Fort Worth.

Arrive Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) 10:35 AM

Dallas airport was quite colorful. I mused at the snake skin cowboy boots and hats and belt buckles and the shops with Dallas Cowboys memorabilia. I passed a woman in a pink cowboy hat and thought it amusing, until I saw another woman dressed in pink cowboy boots, a pink full skirt cinched tightly at the waist with a big wide belt, a white blouse with pink embroidery and a pink cowboy hat. Wow - quite a number.

Arrive Salt Lake City (SLC) 2:25 PM

I had less than thirty minutes to connect with my flight to Spokane. Barely enough time to use the washroom and get to the gate as boarding was underway.

Depart SLC 2:53 PM

I had the absolute last seat on the plane. All the way in the back next to the toilet. In the seat next to me was a young woman I’d guess to be in her early twenties. She struck me as an athlete - built like a softball player. She was in gym shorts and a rumpled T-shirt, and was all over the place. First she pulled out a book and reading glasses, put the glasses down, pulled out some Tylenol, chewed them down, pulled out an ipod fiddled with that, put away the book pulled out a notebook and began writing, put that away and pulled out another book… and so on. She cast an air of contempt, like she had some chip on her shoulder. She was rude to the flight attendant and wasn’t at all interested in sharing the armrest.

Arrive @ 3:36 pm in Spokane,

Skies were overcast and a brief blast of cool air hit me as I exited the plane. Having been the absolute last passenger to exit, my sister was ready to call me to see if I’d been delayed. We hugged and chatted as we exited the airport. Her house was a short drive away.

Debbie had said that her house was “like a doll house”. It was small, one bedroom, one bath a den, kitchen and living room. Small for Debbie, as she’s always had big houses. Her home was very well decorated, as always - Debbie has very good taste. Her garden was most impressive!


Her son (my nephew) Aaron came over with his wife and daughter and we had a wonderful dinner and visit. It was 9:30 at night (12:30 “my time”) and I was tired. I couldn’t believe that it was still light out!! Aaron and family left, we chatted a little more, then turned in for the night.






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