The light dusting of snow falling this morning is a telltale sign.
A pretty pre-dawn surprise, but a jolt of reality, nonetheless.
We’ve been back home for almost a week now.
In fact a week ago today we were sitting in the Cabo airport, munching on a Subway sandwich, reluctantly waiting for our plane to be called to begin the first leg of our 8 hour, 2 flight, journey home.
13 hours if you count car services and security clearances.
And I have to tell you, if you you've never tried to order a Subway sandwich with all its various accouterment in Mexico, and your Spanish barely allows you to locate the bathroom, you haven’t lived.
Well, yeah…you probably have lived, but you haven’t eaten a sandwich with three different varieties of hot chili peppers, that all look oddly similar to parsley.
Is there actually a word for provolone in Spanish?
But I already have us coming home and I haven’t even talked about going yet.
Happily, despite my past hyperbole, all our neurotic pre-travel preparation planning paid off. The driver arrived right on time, we didn’t forget our passports and we arrived at Newark airport with more than enough time to check our bags and get through security…all with a minimum of adrenaline induced seizures, which you want to try and avoid since it tends to raise a red flag with the TSA.
Also, just as a helpful travel note…volunteered full body strip searches are not encouraged and total disrobement is not acceptable outside the enclosed inspection facility.
Just so you know….
Once we cleared security and filled out the FBI incident report, we were free to roam the departure terminal until our flight was called. However, the fact that I was now somehow wearing someone else’s shoes made it a bit uncomfortable to walk very far, so for the most part we sat by our gate and stared intently at the customer service rep hoping to psychically instill the suggestion to upgrade our seats to business class from coach.
That’s not entirely true. They didn’t have a business class on this flight or coach section, ether, for that matter. Instead, there was something called Economy and Economy Plus…the plus being about 5 more inches of leg room…plus an additionally 100 buckos for said 5 inches, which I think might have been worth it since it might have allowed me to actually open my laptop all the way, or at least keep my sweater on…that is until the guy in front of me reclined his seat back.
Anyway, while my psychic maneuverings were mostly for naught—a strange name for an airline gate rep, don’t you think—Z, who actually managed to find her own pair of shoes on the conveyor belt, happily strolled along the promenade and checked out some of the stores, most of which you find in your average, everyday suburban mall.
Airports have come a long way, retail wise, since the days of only being able to buy a newspaper and a bad paperback in a corner newsstand along with, if you were lucky, a bag of stale potato chips and 12 hour old coffee.
6 if you bought your own.
Not so today. Today, in addition to all the upgraded retail space you can find everything from McDonald's to Duncan Donuts, plus so much more.
But why would anyone need more than that?
Finally, our flight was called, which surprised me since I’d been looking out the window for the BIG jumbo jet that was going to carry us comfortably across the country.
But it was nowhere to be found…until I stood up and looked down to see a Boeing 737, being carried to the gate on the back of a small man with a long white beard.
Okay…maybe I’m exaggerating. The man wasn’t all that small and his beard was average at best.
Of course we couldn’t board our toy plane immediately since we had to wait for our “Group” number to be called.
I guess I understand the purpose of the “Group” seating. If you’re paying for first class, you should be able to board first, if only to get to the champagne while it’s still chilled.
And while I didn’t really mind being in the last group called, I did kind of resent the group name that was assigned to us, rather than a number like everyone else.
What kind of name is “Le Miserable” for a group anyway?
But odd name or not, we soon found ourselves buckled in our seats. Luckily, my seat booking strategy paid off, which was to book Z by the window and myself on the aisle, thereby somewhat assuring that no one would want the single seat in the middle, giving us the whole row to ourselves. That and the note I left saying that plague is almost never really contagious anymore.
Once we were up and on our way, the time passed pretty quickly. The flight was fairly smooth, and it really is pretty easy to work those drop down oxygen masks, once you figure out how get them out of the ceiling.
The flotation devices under the seat, however, are another matter entirely.
Of course we also had the benefit of passing the time watching an eight dollar—each—Richard Gere movie on a 3 x 3 inch screen, while munching on half of an eight dollar cheeseburger, which may or may not also serve as a replacement gasket should a problem develop with the landing gear.
But I guess that’s how it is with air travel these days…everything’s a profit center.
The good news is, after several naps, we soon found ourselves slowly descending over the dusty shores of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula and inviting azure seas.
Yeah…I know. It took me a while to get here…but flying cross country takes time.
You don’t want me to leave anything out, do you?
Besides I didn’t even mentioned the people with the dogs in the plane.
In the plane…in the passenger compartment, not the luggage compartment.
Not that I minded. The dogs were pretty well behaved and played with their iPads for the most part.
I just wish they didn’t leave the bathrooms such a mess.
Dogs…they never wipe down the sink when they’re done….
Next stop Cabo….