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.
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Next time: 25 ways to kill five hours and 45 minutes at Chicago airport.