Sunday, August 03, 2008

A Kick Out Of The Nest

I love traveling but I hate airports. Who likes airports? No one, that's who. What's even more difficult is trying to instill my travel philosophies in my nine-year-old as I prepare to put him on a plane. By himself.

"I'm going to buy you this magazine, but DON'T LOOK AT IT UNTIL YOU GET ON THE PLANE!" I said. I almost bought him The Economist, because that's what I always buy when take a plane trip. And then I don't look at it until I get on the plane. I got him at Kids' National Geographic, but he still couldn't look at it until he got on the plane. Otherwise, why buy it? You can't read it all up just sitting at the gate. That totally defeats the purpose of buying something fun like that.

Meh. The only thing more boring and soul-crushing than an airport is writing about an airport, so I'll go through this day in alternative storytelling form.

I. LONG TIME GONE: Stream-of-consciousness
I know it's been a few years but I can't remember which terminal to go to. Humphrey? Lindbergh? Humphrey: Progressive senator, vice president, civil rights, big forehead. Lindbergh: American First, first flight across the Atlantic, author wife. I need to stop saying "crap" out loud in front of the kids. It must be Humphrey. It better be Humphrey, it's too late to go back. I don't remember this road at all, but I know there's been a lot of construction, so this must be the right way. Wow, this parking garage is almost totally empty. This is great. There's almost nobody here. Where are the rest of the check in gates? Why isn't Northwest even an option here? Oh....shit.

Brad Radke is right
there. Our eyes meet; he knows I
know. Damn, is he tall.

III. LUNCH: Photos with captions
"I love eating at French Meadow Bakery! Where else could I get a grilled cheese, roasted pepper and Dijon mustard sandwich on man bread? Let's eat here all the time."

"HOW much did that sandwich cost?"

The traveler:

Left behind:

V. INTERLUDE: Smellovision
We had to stay until the plane left the ground, which was a real drag for Maia, especially because John was one of the first to board. We hung around the gate for another half hour. As we were waiting, a well-dressed woman of a certain age who had been sitting across from us sipping a Caribou Coffee drink rose, walked a few feet away into the corner, and let fly with a lavish and terribly audible fart. I don't like noting such things on this blog, but her effort rose beyond a mere annoyance. We're all in this hateful place together -- was she paid by the Metropolitan Airport Commission to make everyone's experience that much worse? If so, she succeeded. If she was doing it out of pure meanness...well, I hope she had to sit next to the crying baby.

VI. EPILOGUE: Cliff Notes Version
John took his first solo plane ride today.


  1. Clarification: Those are not actual quotes from my kids. It's more of an artistic capture of the moment coupled with their expressions.

  2. Anonymous9:54 PM

    Saw J. tonight. In the brief ride from the airport to dropping me off, he told me about the day, how he had "one turbulence," and then lost himself in a book of Garfield cartoons. Will have another report tomorrow evening after a dinner of Val's at Mom and Dad's.

  3. French Meadow is awesome! In June, I went to the Uptown(?) location and savored every bite of the chicken curry croissant sammich. I had a non-airport lunch before going to the airport to fly home, so I didn't have another one. But I really want it right now.

  4. I hate myself for laughing the most at the fart joke.

  5. Anon: Hee! "One turbulence."

    Orange: An airport is clearly not the best place to sample French Meadow Bank Loan's charms; I'll have to find one in real life sometime.

    Beverly: I know. I'm the same way.

  6. My daughter got me started on reading your blog last year. What a great gift that was. I love it when I laugh out loud and then quickly look around to see who heard me.

    Thanks for the humorous view of life.

  7. Sharikov12:22 PM

  8. This is why I love you (part 1,234): You described a fart as "audible"!

    I did that once, about 8 years ago, and was mercilessly teased by the witnessing neighbors for the next 5 years, for using a "big word" about a fart, I guess. I was like, "What? It was!"

    (And it wasn't mine.)

  9. First, what is man bread?

    Second, John looks almost old enough to drive. (!!!) Love the glasses.

    Third, Maia is simply stunningly beautiful.

    Fourth, I got it wrong: I was thinking that the woman was (relatively) thoughtful for walking into a corner.

    Fifth, my first response to SBFH's comment was to try to figure out what the "big word" was. Hah!