A huge thank you to all my blogging pals for the incredible welcome home I’ve received, and which still continues. I imagined I’d sneak back and slide into my old spot little noticed, but it’s been like a party around here. It’s been heartening to be back in the fold. Hi all. Muah. Glad to be back.
Our journey hadn’t started on a high note. The limo driver called. Change in plans. Sue, my traveling companion would be picked up first. Call her please?
“Why the heck is he coming here first? I’m not ready.” I heard her pawing the carpet like a bull offered the crimson cape.
“Stop wasting time. Get dressed.” I slammed down the phone. Already I was a little high strung because I’d been up since 7:00 a.m. Thursday and it was 3:00 on Friday morning. Afraid to nap in case I slept through and missed my ride, I held off. I’d sleep after Chicago I thought.
The limo driver turned out to be a handsome, hunky older gent with abundant silver hair not unlike Jeff Chandler’s and he had a thick and attractive accent. There was one teeny-tiny problem. His driving almost gave us heart failure. Rain obscured the road and he didn’t put on the windshield wipers often enough. When we came to a crossroad he asked which way to turn. Sue and I almost jumped out of the car, but we had a plane to catch. We gripped and clutched the leather upholstery instead. The GPS came on and Mr. Handsome made a decision, which turned out to be the appropriate one. It put us on the highway to the airport.
The driver wanted to chat. We preferred he put on the wipers and watch his driving. We watched for him to be sure we made it in one piece. At one point, a transport truck passed and drowned our Towne Car with its spray and impeded visibility to zero. I closed my eyes and figured we’re going to China by way of heaven.
By some miracle we made it to the airport. Mr. Hubba-Hubba couldn’t find the United Airlines exit. Sue pointed it out to him with a long-nailed finger and an assertive voice. Twice. The limo company had already been paid by credit card so we rushed into the airport with our luggage as soon as the driver lifted our bags from the trunk.
What a melee. The sane side of my brain knew all these people hadn’t turned up to bid us farewell but my brain wasn’t firing on all pistons. The easy answer was I don’t know that many people; Sue doesn’t either.
Tickets. Done. Luggage weighed, tagged and ready to drop off. U.S. Custom card filled out. Carrots and celery confiscated. Oops. I forgot two apples in my bag as well. Sue had grapes. Snack preparation all for naught. What had we been thinking? The customs guys rolled their eyes. Glad to be of service fellas. We know your job is boring. X-rayed, scanned and processed, we trudged miles and miles to gate F90. Toronto is an unsympathetic and sprawling airport. No walkalators anywhere.
We were relieved to board finally, but the rain still drizzled and no entry bridge had been setup. This was a toy plane for only about 60 passengers. It was frigid inside and then too hot. Sue asked the steward might he turn down the heat a smidge. He turned it off. No-one complained. They must have been frozen or asleep. Maybe both.
We taxied, and taxied some more. Was the pilot lost or couldn’t he make up his mind? Then, surprise. The plane sped up, and like the Road Runner, took a long running leap into the air. Flight time: one hour and 40 minutes and a noisy, bumpy and chilly ride. Touchdown was a blessing. More rain awaited in the windy city.
One wrinkle of our journey ironed out.
Five hours and 25 minutes to fritter away.
~ * ~
Next time: 25 ways to kill five hours and 45 minutes at Chicago airport.
May 2, 2014 at 6:13 pm
“I closed my eyes and figured we’re going to China by way of heaven.”—Haha, loved that line. That and “Mr. Hubba-Hubba.” I’ve been eagerly waiting to hear about your adventures. I look forward to reading more!
May 2, 2014 at 6:58 pm
Thanks, Carrie. It was a somewhat shaky start. Had to find a laugh in all the right place or go home.
I hope I keep up the right pace. I hadn’t planned how to present my adventures. This is what I looked like that night. ~~(*_*)~
May 2, 2014 at 7:12 pm
May 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm
Thanks about the emoticon. Tried to come up with something that ‘felt’ like me. Some people come up with such good ones.
May 2, 2014 at 6:36 pm
Tess, isn’t it great that such adventures provide so much fresh material? Can’t wait to hear the rest.
May 2, 2014 at 7:03 pm
Thanks, Laurie. This is a new ride for me. I can’t make this stuff up. Of course, this is the condensed version. +(*_*)+
May 2, 2014 at 6:37 pm
Tess you are hilarious. So sad I was not the first to comment on the awesome line of getting to China via heaven. Loved this post and we haven’t even arrived in China yet!
May 2, 2014 at 7:03 pm
Ha ha. I hope the rest is entertaining as well. 😛
May 2, 2014 at 7:04 pm
Oh absolutely I just particularly liked that line.
May 3, 2014 at 12:09 pm
*BIG smile* Thanks.
May 2, 2014 at 6:45 pm
You were off to a rollicking start! I do know you made it home safe, but it’s fun to know all the in between.
May 2, 2014 at 7:11 pm
I hope to keep it entertaining but we’ll see. Thanks for coming by sk.
May 2, 2014 at 6:46 pm
I’m loving it so far! I can feel your anxiety in the limo, and your exhaustion from it all before even starting, but there is still the sense of excitement and adventure. Looking forward to the next instalment…
May 2, 2014 at 7:13 pm
Thank YOU, Vanessa. Nice to have ready material. I can’t make this stuff up. 🙂
May 2, 2014 at 6:51 pm
Now I know why I always used to be extremely drunk when I flew. There is a movie with Peter O’Toole, My Favorite Year. There is a scene of him with his chauffer and a TV producer walking with him through the NY airport, his head rotating back and forth between the two men. Camera pans away and he is strapped to a handcart being wheeled through the airport because he is that drunk. when I first saw the movie, my roomie said…now you know how you used to look and get about airports. I’ve only flown once since I got sober and again, after listening to this, now I know why. Thank goodness though you made it safe and sound to and from. Did you also have to take off your shoes when going through security? I flew for the first time in years this past November. When asked to remove my shoes. I had to giggle because I had on my hot pink Ed hardy rhinestone socks… Again, I am so glad you are back. You were definitely missed. And bless his departed self, Peter O’Toole is still one of my favorite actors and I like those tall skinny wild types – Irish, Japanese, American…and Jeff Chandler – now that’s a blast from the past! My aunt had the biggest crush on him. Date: Fri, 2 May 2014 22:06:12 +0000 To: email@example.com
May 2, 2014 at 7:16 pm
I remember that scene.
I used to have a little alcoholic support but not this time. Too afraid of swelling on such a long flight. I wore compression socks and leggings. My friend, Sue, did not and her ankle swelled up something terrible and still haven’t gone down.
May 2, 2014 at 8:59 pm
I hope she is getting that checked out. This has been a spell for her leg to be swollen. Hey, I was so blotto, I could have turned into the Hindenberg and not noticed!
May 3, 2014 at 12:25 pm
Yes, she saw her doctor when we came back but I was afraid something terrible would happen when we were away because her legs and ankles were so swollen.
May 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm
Actually, Drs. are aware of and especially for folks over 50, of something they call Non-Business Class Syndrome, or something like that. Comes from having to sit in tight spaces for hours at a time, the stress of making flights, and then the stress of getting settled at home or hotel. they have identified occurances of stroke, thrombosis, etc. Which is why usually, if an MD is on the ball and knowing the person will be sitting for long times (driving, flying), unusual stress, they advise the patient to stand as often as possible to keep the thrombosis, swelling, from occurring. Keep an eye on your friend and your own dear self for the next week.
May 2, 2014 at 7:15 pm
I can use those 25 ways advice. As a latecomer, I missed the part about why you had a limo driver. Mr. Hubba Hubba (ha ha!)
May 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm
Ha ha. Mr. Hubba Hubba was such a disappointment.
May 2, 2014 at 7:18 pm
Yep, sounds like an auspicious beginning! Mr. Hubba-Hubba, eye candy for a driver! Awesome.
May 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm
I don’t mind eye candy. Doesn’t hut and easy on the eyes. 😉
May 2, 2014 at 8:24 pm
goodness…it is a miracle you made it to the airport
May 3, 2014 at 12:16 pm
I know. I thought that ride was a bad omen but I had to go. How could I hide?
May 2, 2014 at 9:22 pm
love it!! sorry for the bumpy start but at least your sense of humor is intact 😉 can’t wait to read the next installment!
May 3, 2014 at 12:29 pm
I thought that ride might be an omen and almost considered turning back. Glad I didn’t–scary Hubba Hubba driver or not. ~(*_*)~~
May 2, 2014 at 9:34 pm
Gal darn, this is exciting, Tess. I can’t wait for the next post!
May 3, 2014 at 12:30 pm
Thank you, Jacqui. I sure hope I remember some more good entertaining parts. ~(*_*)~~
May 2, 2014 at 9:35 pm
What a ride to start the trip. At least the driver was good looking. This is going to be an interesting tale of a trip.
May 3, 2014 at 12:31 pm
I guess one should always try to find the silver lining. Ha ha.
May 2, 2014 at 10:18 pm
I can’t wait to find out what happens next!
May 3, 2014 at 12:31 pm
Ha ha. If you think I’m going to give clue, my lips are sealed. Nice to see you grannyK. 🙂
May 2, 2014 at 11:35 pm
Ha, what a great account, Ms. Tess! I love this! Glad to know I’m not the only one who took a bloggy break. Welcome back!
May 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm
Ha ha. I’m already planning next late winter… Talk about a huge turnaround to my NOT being interested in travel. 😀
May 3, 2014 at 12:16 am
The tale begins 🙂 sorry I’m late checking in..pardon the pun. Your limo driver sounds like our taxi drivers, they don’t know the roads, we have to advise where they must turn, what roads to take. Many don’t speak English. Sounds like a hairy drive in. Your celery and carrots confiscated?? Ok if you peel away madly at a carrot, I could see that being a potential weapon lol but celery?
Sits back and waits for Part 2 ❤
May 3, 2014 at 12:35 pm
Yes, confiscated my snacks. Didn’t t.h.i.n.k. that we can’t bring fruit, vegetables or plants into the United States (landing in Chicago).
May 3, 2014 at 12:20 am
Great story, I am going to enjoy this trip!
May 3, 2014 at 12:36 pm
My tales won’t be as in depth as yours but I hope they will be fun to read.
Thanks for joining in. I appreciate it, Andrew. 🙂
May 3, 2014 at 1:06 pm
I like your writing style – very witty and observant!
May 3, 2014 at 1:20 pm
You warm the cockles of my heart, Andrew. Thank you. Please you enjoy my style.
May 3, 2014 at 12:39 am
AH! The journey now starts for us. 🙂 I am ready to go. At least hunky driver man was hunky. At least there’s that. 😉
May 3, 2014 at 12:36 pm
Small mercies, small mercies. 🙂
May 3, 2014 at 8:15 pm
😉 This is going to be a great trip. I can tell already. 🙂
May 3, 2014 at 2:57 am
Great to have you back.
Can’t wait to hear more.
May 3, 2014 at 12:39 pm
Nice to see YOU again. Welcome back. 🙂
May 3, 2014 at 3:18 am
Tess this is great fun, I absolutely love your writing 🙂 I also love every but of travelling including the delays, hanging around at airports and all the minutiae that I hope you continue sharing. Thank you, it feels like I’ve just got off the 501 (the coach from home to Heathrow) after a four hour journey that is the beginning of something wonderful.
May 3, 2014 at 12:42 pm
That’s me. I AM about the minutiae. Politics and stuff isn’t my cup of tea. ~(*_*)~~
I’m tickled you enjoy the writing. Thank you, Gilly.
May 3, 2014 at 4:04 am
Hi Tess, I may be at the very bottom of the comments but it is like the icing on the cake. Firstly, Thank you for beginning your adventure for us. I knew it would be written in such a wonderful travel story way. Hubba Bubba sounds like he only had his looks to save him, not much happening inside the that hubba of his!
Secondly. Being last on the comments have given me total entertainment reading everyone else’s take on your post. They too are an entertaining lot.
Looking forward to instalment number two.
May 3, 2014 at 12:43 pm
Sigh. Rose you are a dear, sweet friend. I’m tickled I have met you. You make my days brighter. Thank you and I shall try to stay interesting.
May 3, 2014 at 8:06 am
Love how you described your drive to the airport,Tess. Looking forward to the next post 🙂
May 3, 2014 at 12:52 pm
Thank you. Glad you found it a good read. 🙂
May 3, 2014 at 8:06 am
Great first instalment. Aren’t limo drivers, even handsome ones meant to know the way to the airport?
May 3, 2014 at 12:53 pm
Duh. That’s what I thought and then after asking he added something about being on this very road several time in the past week… What was he ON?
May 3, 2014 at 11:55 am
I’ve been to O’Hara several times. As Heston said in Planet of the Apes, “It’s a mad house!” Have you noticed yet that no matter how organized and sensible your plans are, they always, and I do mean always, get screwed up?
May 3, 2014 at 1:10 pm
Yep. That’s why I don’t write anything in stone as far as plans go. Ha ha. Except I did when I was younger and the stress of things going wrong. ~(*_*)~~
May 3, 2014 at 12:26 pm
Jeff Chandler! Wow, that’s a handsome blast from the past. I wanna hear more about your reactions to that guy and did you get his number? lol Great first post ’bout your trip. ❤
May 3, 2014 at 1:17 pm
No number. No thanks. I’m lucky I still have my teeth with all the shaking going on in the back seat with my girlfriend. ~(*_*)~~
May 3, 2014 at 3:11 pm
Tess – I positively had to read about your trip and everything. I couldn’t wait a minute more. I let Tom’s little Shih Tzu out (mine’s being a traitor and is still sleeping all curled up next to Tom but she’s taken over as Dr. dog so I can forgive her for not hanging out in my office). Tom’s dog is serving as the message carrier, I understand from him when Tom needs something.
Anyway, back to your trip. I love your description of your experience in the Town Car – they can be harrowing, can’t they.
I’ve had some interesting experiences in the Chicago airport. I’m looking forward to reading about yours. You have this magical way of telling stories that make everything sound like ‘a piece of cake,’ as my granny would say. Oh, did I say how glad I am that you made the decision to go and I’m even more delighted you are home and reunited with Lady Gaga. I’ve missed you, my blogging friend. Sheri
May 3, 2014 at 10:31 pm
Random Rose thought she would be the last one to comment. Maybe I will be, who knows? Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed your wonderful, interesting limo ride and Mr. Hubba hubba or whatever his name was. Driving through that heavy rain I could imagine not being able to see!! It reminds me of the time when my husband (now deceased) were returning from visiting his son who lived in Crawfordville FL at the time, and driving east on route 100 or 110 (I’m not sure about the number) in the panhandle. The sky turned pitch black and the rain was thundering down on my car. Absolutely could not see!! The only way to go was to follow the rear red lights of the car in front, and prayed we wouldn’t follow that car off the road into a ditch or canal somewhere and we crawled at 15 MPH. No kidding. It was the scariest drive I ever experienced. When we finally got past that, I realized I was holding my breath for at least 100 minutes. It felt like it, anyway.
Am looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip.
May 4, 2014 at 1:11 am
Thank YOU for reading. It’s hard when you’re not the one behind the wheel during a bad rain, but at least YOU put on your windshield wipers, right?
Driving in bad weather anytime is nerve wracking and heart stopping. See you soon? Glad you survived that bad one too. ~(*_*)~~
May 4, 2014 at 1:09 am
There’s nothing like getting off to a running start! I am so glad you made it! And now I can hardly wait to hear more!
May 4, 2014 at 10:37 am
What, Mr. Hubba-Hubba didn’t give you his phone number?
May 4, 2014 at 4:10 pm
Ha ha. He didn’t do it for me.
May 4, 2014 at 8:41 pm
I love your funny way of writing and telling a story. Bring it on more please!! 🙂
Ohh and good idea to include images… it helps to picture the whole adventure better.
May 5, 2014 at 3:13 pm
Thank YOU, GLB. You have made my day. ~(*_*)~~
May 5, 2014 at 6:35 pm
You’re very welcome!!!! 🙂
May 5, 2014 at 7:03 pm
May 4, 2014 at 10:13 pm
Ill be looking forward to hearing more about your globe trotting adventures Tess. Sounds like an intriguing start….
Happy Week, G
May 5, 2014 at 3:14 pm
Thank you, Geraldine, same to you.
My adventure(s) will be posted Fridays. ~(*_*)~~
May 6, 2014 at 10:31 am
Wow! What a start to your journey. I’m always amazed by how many professional drivers really suck at driving. We had a cab ride in Malaysia and I was certain we were going to die. Sounds like this felt the same. Can’t wait to hear more about the trip.
May 7, 2014 at 7:47 am
I suppose in a foreign country, I wouldn’t be as surprised as at home. I don’t ever recall such a poor driver and I am being kind.
Postings will be up Fridays. Hope my trip continues to sound interesting. 😉
May 6, 2014 at 5:57 pm
Oh this is great stuff Tess, I can’t wait to read more of your adventures! Mr Hubba-Bubba…haha!! Oh travel is something else isn’t it? ‘Was the pilot lost or couldn’t he make up his mind?’ I’ve thought that many a time, love it!! You write so well and your descriptions are wonderful. And yes, I’ll say it again, sooooo glad to have you back… 🙂 ~(* – *) ~ 😉
May 7, 2014 at 7:55 am
You are uplifting, Sherri. Thank you. ❤ ❤
May 10, 2014 at 10:10 am
Why confiscate food? Can you make a W M D from apples and carrots? If so, I’d like the recipe 😉
Or is that taking paranoia just a tad too far?
May 10, 2014 at 12:01 pm
Ha ha. The U.S. doesn’t allow fruits and vegetables across their border.
What is a W M D?
May 10, 2014 at 12:07 pm
A weapon of mass destruction – I did not want some government agency picking up a ping and coming to my house to see how i create one using apples and carrots 😉
could get them to dig out the garden for a veggie patch though 😉
Old joke that…
May 10, 2014 at 12:11 pm
I believe it has something to do with spore or some such. I beg to differ, though. From cleaned and nicely cut carrots and celery?
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May 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm
hiya ^_^ as you can see i am doing my catch up and i am loving reading about your adventure! oh how i wish i would have been able to go with you *sigh* it does all sound so very exciting! i have always nurtured a love of travelling and of this destination in particular, thank you for sharing this with us and i am so looking forward to reading next installment have a great day love and hugs xx
May 18, 2014 at 5:00 pm
Hi Kizzy: Glad to share my adventure. Hope it continue to be interesting to you. 🙂
May 17, 2014 at 1:57 pm
ps yes i do realise i have read it all backwards but i figured it will all sort itself out in my head ^_^ xx
May 18, 2014 at 5:01 pm
Ha ha. Doesn’t matter.
May 17, 2014 at 10:25 pm
Take off! It’s so exciting isn’t it? Love how you ended this first post with it … Zoom! 🙂
May 18, 2014 at 5:21 pm
😀 😀 😀
Glad I managed a smile out of you then.
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July 12, 2014 at 5:02 pm
China by way of heaven. I do love your turn of phrase :-).
I miss walkalators: they used to be everywhere, now they just expect people to trudge for miles!
July 13, 2014 at 10:47 am
Thanks so much, K.
The Toronto airport doesn’t have ANY and you walk miles and miles and miles just to find a washroom. Ugh.
July 24, 2014 at 9:43 pm
Tess, my favorite line: “I closed my eyes and figured we’re going to China by way of heaven.” Plus, it rang a bell – Tian (“heaven”) was pre-19th century the state religion…. there ya go. 🙂
July 25, 2014 at 10:59 pm
Who knew? 😀 😀 😀 You’re ahead of your time, Huntie. ❤ ❤ ❤
July 25, 2014 at 11:06 pm
I’ve heard that before, Tess…. “You? You’re different, Hunt. You are just, umm, different.” (it wasn’t a compliment, more of a puzzlement or unease….. grin. Now, I wish it were true! I feel like homogenous milk!