How the Cookie Crumbles

Life in the fast and slow lanes after SIXTY-FIVE

Day 1: Getting to the Airport

92 Comments


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.

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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.

Wiki commons. Credit Alex Proimos

Wiki commons. Credit Alex Proimos

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.

United_787_800_RR

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.

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Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

92 thoughts on “Day 1: Getting to the Airport

  1. “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!

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  2. Tess, isn’t it great that such adventures provide so much fresh material? Can’t wait to hear the rest.

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  3. 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!

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  4. 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.

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  5. 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…

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  6. 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: thspencer51@hotmail.com

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    • 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.

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      • 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!

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      • 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.

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      • 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.

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  7. 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!)

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  8. Yep, sounds like an auspicious beginning! Mr. Hubba-Hubba, eye candy for a driver! Awesome.

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  9. goodness…it is a miracle you made it to the airport

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  10. love it!! sorry for the bumpy start but at least your sense of humor is intact 😉 can’t wait to read the next installment!

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  11. Gal darn, this is exciting, Tess. I can’t wait for the next post!

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  12. 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.

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  13. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

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  14. 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!

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  15. 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 ❤

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  16. Great story, I am going to enjoy this trip!

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  17. AH! The journey now starts for us. 🙂 I am ready to go. At least hunky driver man was hunky. At least there’s that. 😉

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  18. Great to have you back.
    Can’t wait to hear more.

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  19. 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.

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  20. 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.

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  21. Love how you described your drive to the airport,Tess. Looking forward to the next post 🙂

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  22. Great first instalment. Aren’t limo drivers, even handsome ones meant to know the way to the airport?

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  23. 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?

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  24. 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. ❤

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  25. 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

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  26. 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.

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    • 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. ~(*_*)~~

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  27. Dear Tess,
    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!

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  28. What, Mr. Hubba-Hubba didn’t give you his phone number?

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  29. 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.

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  30. Ill be looking forward to hearing more about your globe trotting adventures Tess. Sounds like an intriguing start….

    Happy Week, G

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  31. 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.

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    • 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. 😉

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  32. 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… 🙂 ~(* – *) ~ 😉

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  33. 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?

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  34. Pingback: Day 2: Are We There Yet? | How the Cookie Crumbles

  35. 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

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  36. ps yes i do realise i have read it all backwards but i figured it will all sort itself out in my head ^_^ xx

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  37. Take off! It’s so exciting isn’t it? Love how you ended this first post with it … Zoom! 🙂

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  38. Pingback: Beijing at Last! | How the Cookie Crumbles

  39. Pingback: Bejing at Last (Part 2) | How the Cookie Crumbles

  40. 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!

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  41. 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. 🙂

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