Monday, June 16, 2008

Fly me to the moon...

I’m not sure how I manage to do it, but once again I found myself pulling out of my airport parking with tears rolling down my face. It was everything I could do not to lose it in front of the friendly man who handed me my bottle of water and asked for my credit card. He smiled and said, “Do you have a coupon?” I blinked back the tears and said, “I used to have one.” I’m sure he was puzzled by my response, but didn’t ask as he quoted my $50 fee. As I pulled out, I let my overly tired tears fall.

Let's take it back, shall we? - Thursday, June 12th, 2008.

  • I pulled into the parking lot ready for an exciting weekend in the Washington D.C. area. I was thrilled to get to see an old high school friend and make up for the inattentive time I spent at the Smithsonian Museums in 1995. My alarm rang at 3:45am (yes, that’s right) and I had managed to arrive relatively on schedule. I not only made it on to my desired flight (I was flying stand by), but I arrived with no travel hassles. It was so very…green. Gosh I miss grass…and leafy trees…and water. I’m sure Sarah must have tired of my remarks of the plant life and the variety of architecture over the course of our weekend. And rather than typing out the entire journey, I thought I would list the most noteworthy happenings.

    1. I stayed in the basement of a purple house in Silver Spring, Maryland. There was no air conditioning in the basement, and yet we were comfortable. Mystery to me.
    2. I was plagued by a ten year old in the Portrait Gallery. She literally found her way into my space at every portrait, no matter which direction I chose to take. She wasn’t seeking out conversation, but apparently thought I knew the way? Just a guess.
    3. Eating on the grass at the National Sculpture Garden with live jazz in the background is a great way to spend a Friday evening.
    4. The film "The Savages" was partially filmed in Sun City, AZ. I flew to MD only to have Snowbirds follow me.
    5. Beaches in Maryland are different than beaches in Florida. Picture large red rocks that radiate heat. No, not that big. That’s Arizona. Smaller rocks, but bigger than the sand I’m used to.
    6. My hair hates humidity. I don’t think I have one decent looking picture from the trip.
    7. I hate humidity...
    8. You can buy a small bottle of water outside the Lincoln Memorial for $1.95.
    9. If your show choir is selected to sing on a little stage outside of the Washington Monument I would suggest you work on your enthusiasm.
    10. I kept keeping my eyes open for someone I might recognize. I don’t even mean politicians or journalists. I know of about 5 people who live in the city, but not well enough to give them a call. I was at a party in a random house in the middle of the city on Saturday night, and one of them walked through the door. You would have thought we were sisters by the way we greeted each other. (At least like the sisters in the movies.)
    11. Lots of good food to be found in the D.C. area. (Lebanese, Italian, Seafood, Cuban, you name it.)
    12. My friend and her co-workers and everyone living in D.C. are trying to save the world. It was all very interesting. I asked myself these very questions: How many reports have you had published in journals lately? Are you working with a conflict resolution NGO or at a think tank?
  • 13. Flying stand by is stressful.
    14. Having your suitcase as a carry-on item torn from you and put under the plane can be worrisome…
    15. Especially if you are the only passenger to remain on the Baltimore to Indianapolis flight. You wonder, “Will my luggage be getting off to stay in Indianapolis for the day?” You almost call out to the flight crew to keep an eye out for your little bag that was not packed to be checked.
    16. If you had packed your bag to be checked you would have removed your new running shoes, makeup, library books, small camera, glasses, medicine, favorite Bible, and keys. Alas, you had no time to respond – you were the last to board the plane and therefore holding everyone up.
    17. When I landed in Phoenix I silently pleading, “Please let my luggage be here. Please let my luggage be here.”
    18. I arrived at the baggage claim area and watched for an hour. No bag. They will give me a call when they manage to locate it. (No one was overly reassuring or calming.)
    19. I finally make it onto my shuttle to the parking lot thankful for my phone, giant camera, and wallet. The keys might have been more reassuring though.
    20. Luckily, I have a spare key – and the alarm only went off for 5 minutes.
    21. As I pulled my car up to check out I realized my coupon for 10% off was in the zipper pocket of my luggage at the Indianapolis Airport. That was all it took to push me over the edge.

    The weekend really was wonderful. I had a lovely time with Sarah and am so thankful I had the opportunity to go and enjoy a weekend away. Finally, I would like to make the observation that even though 85 degrees and humid is miserable, 110 degrees is worse. Dry heat my foot. You come try it. Oh, and flip flop tans are forever.

Edit: Apparently my luggage caught a flight into Phoenix this afternoon, but would not take a cab. I returned to the airport to collect the bag at 7:30pm. Now we can all sleep soundly.


Michael said...

There are several ways in which you can park at an airport on a budget. Here are a few useable ideas.
1. Ask if the airport parking lots have different rates for long-term/short-term parking. Many airport parking lots charge more for lots closer to departure gates than for parking lots a considerable distance away.
2. Consider parking at an off-site airport lot. You will save a lot of money and be able to use a shuttle service run by the parking lot to the airport. In fact you may save energy by not having to lug heavy bags across parking lots.
3. Do a comparison of different on and off-site airport parking sites and their costs as well as pros and cons such as distance, transportation, safety, time saving and so on.
4. If you are a member of AAA you may be eligible for special rates when booking airport parking online. What is more some airport parking companies offer special privileges for AAA members like free pick up and drop
5. Use discounts offered by online airport parking web sites. Many companies that handle airport parking offer lower rates for online or e-coupon bookings.

I hope that is help full for you

J Dawg said...

Marvelously entertaining. :)