I don't know anyone who can spew on for pages about a flight to Seattle -- except me!

When I started writing this journal about my 5-day vacation to Seattle I didn't intend for it to be anything more than the usual travel diary I always keep on vacation.

    Thursday -- Drove to Kansas City, caught the flight to Seattle, had a nice dinner. Hotel is great. Karyn and Craig are as entertaining as I remember! Can't wait for tomorrow!

This time it was different. For some inexplicable reason, once I started writing words tumbled out all over the place. I had pages and pages of handwritten memories scribbled on the backs of hotel, airline and transit confirmations. If there was a blank sheet of paper, I was writing on it. The more I wrote, the more there was to say! It became a beast!

Then suddenly I was home, the vacation was over, I had all these notes and not a clue what to do with them. Stash them? Store them? Preserve them? Sure, why not! Here they are in their unedited glory! I've added some cheesy photos to break up the text, some of which are my own, some of which have been snagged from Google Images. It's my fondest hope that as you read, you'll find a laugh somewhere along the way. I know I did.

Getting There

OK, so, this was my first flight since 911. I left home filled with apprehension about flying but that has long since dissipated as I wait for the flight at Kansas City International Airport.

We left home about 7:45 and arrived at the airport around 10:45. As I was dropped off at the Northwest Airlines entrance in Terminal C, I didn’t notice any difference insecurity. The only noticeable difference was the extended long-term parking that now stretches completely to the Interstate. The Skycab checked my bag after a quick glance at my driver’s license. It took all of 30 seconds. I went inside the terminal to the Northwest counter that was nearly deserted and looking dismal with very few lights on. An employee told me I needed to self-check and directed me to a computer terminal. Huh? She told me to enter a credit card for identification and follow the steps on the screen. I slid my credit card into the slot and suddenly the screen flashed my name, welcomed me, and wished me a happy flight to Seattle. Well I’ll be! What will they think of next!? It inquired as to whether or not I liked my seat assignments, although it didn’t show me a photo of the plane. What does 23D mean to me?! I opted to accept the seat assignments on both flights and seconds later my boarding pass was printing. I was good to go for my 12:22 flight to Minneapolis, Minnesota.

With time to kill and having skipped breakfast, I took a walk through the terminal looking for something to eat. The choices were, well, barely there. No-name pizza in a bar, bagel sandwiches and a nice-looking BBQ joint called Arthur Bryant’s that looked more suitable for dinner than lunch. I walked back to the bagel place, amused at the irony of paying for a bagel at the airport!

Determined to eat healthy and return home minus a few pounds, after all, this trip will net a lot of exercise in the form of walking, I chose a bowl of fresh fruit instead of chips to complement a turkey bagel sandwich. I took a bar seat overlooking the terminal drop-off point where minutes earlier I’d checked in. It was cloudy and overcast with very little traffic. Perhaps on a beautiful day it would have been a lovely view…uh, never mind. There was absolutely nothing worth seeing even on the best of days. Kansas or Missouri, take your pick, is flat for miles around the airport.

The gentleman to my left was a robust man wearing overalls and a bright orange t-shirt. Ah, a familiar sight seeing as how I have worked for a construction company for 20+ years. I thought I might strike up a conversation with the man, but not once did he look up from his meal. Not even when I got into a fight with my sandwich wrappings! Unable to wrestle the sandwich free from the thick plastic in which it was wrapped, I began to stab at it with my plastic fork!

Thwack! Thwack! Thwack!


I reared back the fork and took a flying stab! KA WOP! The Kevlar sandwich wrap refused to budge; neither did the man in the orange shirt, despite my exaggerated movements. I gave up and opened the container that held my healthy fruit. Mmmm…watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, grapes and pineapple. I took a bite. Ut-oh. The honeydew didn’t taste fresh. I took another bite, this time of watermelon. It was suspect, too. Great. Just great. I turned back to my sandwich, determined to break into the wrapping. Grabbing both ends of the wrap and pulling with all my might, aware of the distinct possibility that if the wrap suddenly snapped, my sandwich would be a trajectory that would, with my luck, grant me a conversation with the orange-shirted man that I didn’t want to have! Thankfully we’ll never know, as the cellophane never snapped. It did, however, give enough that I could remove the sandwich.

Once again I laughed at the irony of buying a bagel and the airport. Haven’t bagels always been the brunt of bad airline food jokes? Remembering my desire to come home a few pounds lighter – and contemplating the rock solid properties of my bagel – I made the conscious decision to eat an open-faced turkey bagel sandwich. One bite told me I’d made the right decision. The bagel was rolled in minced onions, salt and some sort of poppy-looking seed. It was a terrible combination of flavors!

I switched back to the fruit, somehow convincing myself that it had to be better than the bagel. It wasn’t. I thought about the consequences of eating bad fruit before a long flight and decided it wasn’t a risk I was willing to take! I took my healthy, open-faced turnkey bagel sandwich and smothered it with mayonnaise! I ate in silence next to the speechless man in the orange shirt, looking at the non-scenic view from my window bar seat, chuckling at what fun this trip has already been!

More! More! I want more!

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