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Flying South for Easter

Posted Apr 06 2012 2:11am

This morning was unfortunately an early one, and I was unfortunately in the mood to stay in bed.  I’ve decided that the worst part of getting up early is that period of time when your alarm goes off and you are still lying in bed all snuggled up.  Once my feet hit the floor on the way to the bathroom, I’m pretty much awake.  Until then, getting up seems like the worst thing in the world.

Today I had two early classes then went to a tutoring session.  After that it was down to business trying to get everything done in my apartment that was on my “to-do” list before traveling this weekend.  I had a 9:30 pm flight to Orlando to spend the holiday weekend with my family.  Before heading to the airport, my agenda had me packing, straightening up, going to the gym, getting back and showering, eating dinner, and then rushing to the airport.  As you can see, a lot to do, not a lot of time. 

I was really pleased that I found the time to schedule in a workout.  Today I did 35 minutes on the elliptical and Body Pump.  I went to a new (to me) instructor this time and she was really nice.  This week a new Body Pump release came out, release 81 I believe, and she said that in today’s class we were going to do over 800 reps.  Gulp, that seemed like a lot, but it wasn’t so bad.  I’m sure I will certainly be feeling it tomorrow though.

After the gym, I ran home to shower and grab my bags, and on the way to the airport Joe and I grabbed some dinner at my favorite restaurant, Ruby Tuesdays.  I had only intended on getting the salad bar and the Asian dumpling appetizer, my usual, but I was starving since I hadn’t eaten much today with all the hustling around. In a moment of weakness we got Queso dip, but it was worth it.  Delish.  I also had a coupon for a free “birthday burger” so Joe’s meal was free!  Gotta love a good coupon!

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My travelling experience today went incredibly smooth which I was thankful for.  I arrived at the airport at 8:30 pm for my 9:30 flight.  There was no one in line at security and there was actually no one even checking your ID’s before you got in line to go through the detectors.  Probably because flights around this time are some of the last ones of the night to go out, but I had never seen it that dead before.  I think I actually saw a tumbleweed roll across the room.  I made a pit stop at the bathroom and then got to my gate with a few minutes to spare before boarding. 

While boarding, some kids in front of me were asking what “unaccompanied minors” were to their parents.  The kids, about ages 8 and 5, were shocked and appalled to find out that kids could fly alone.  I told the 8 year old that I flew alone for the first time at the age of 6, and he looked at my like I had two heads.  Their parents asked them if they would ever want to fly alone, their answers were no.  Silly kids, you don’t know what you’re missing.  I must have been much more cosmopolitan at the age of 6 than they are because I think I preferred it.  I didn’t have to fight anyone for the window seat or sit in a middle seat between my parents.  This was before the game boy/iPod era, but I still found way to have a good time.  I remember going on the plane and I would bring my Polly Pocket toys.  Anyone else remember those?  It was like a tiny plastic doll that fit into a case the size of a makeup compact.  ‘Twas a simpler time back then now that I think about it.  I may have gotten scoliosis today from lugging my carry-on rolling bag and tote over-filled with my huge binder, laptop, iPad, DSLR camera, cords, planner, wallet, etc.   I’m a travel hoarder, and it didn’t help that the Southwest flights to Orlando are always the furthest gate at the end of the terminal.  Feel the burn.

After frightening those small children, I waltzed onto the plane and snagged the Southwest airlines exit row like a champ.  I even got the window seat…I guess some preferences never change :-)   I was A-46 too (out of A, B, and C which each had 60 seats) so there was a good amount of people that got on the plane ahead of me did not know the proper Southwest airlines strategy.  Taking the exit row that has extra leg room is always the first strategy if above the age of 15.  If those seats are taken and you are carrying on your luggage, you get a seat closer to the front to get off the plane faster.  Beware of small children, pets in bags, and don’t sit directly in front of the exit row, because those seats don’t recline.  Also you probably don’t want to sit in the front row because there is not place to put a bag at your feet if you want to get anything out of it.  I’m no novice to the Southwest airline song and dance. 

The flight was made even better, because after flying Southwest many times each year for the past decade, I realized for the first time that they serve Diet Dr. Pepper (which the flight attendant was cute enough to call a “Skinny Doctor”…I love it).  I’ve been getting Diet Coke’s like a chump all these years!  Nothing is better than enjoying a nice Diet Dr. Pepper in an exit row after a long week…I’ll tell you that much.  I was almost regretting not snagging some drink tickets for free cocktails from my parents before flying down, but the Diet Dr. Pepper was better than any wine or cocktail could have been.  I was a happy camper.  The plane even had Wifi which was the first time I had been on a Southwest plane that offered it.  I didn’t partake because I would have just been surfing around on twitter and didn’t need to pay the $5 to do unimportant things.  I guess looking back I could have watched some lecture…but I enjoyed the peace and quiet during the flight.

Like everyone else on the plane, I skimmed through the Sky Mall catalog.  I didn’t really come across any hidden jewels, but I did find some things that are a bit disturbing.

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This “bed bug cocoon” would make the perfect gift…for a germ-a-phobe or unhygienic friend.

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A guy who is obviously picking up a lot of ladies on the boardwalk with these contraptions…

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Jinxy cat’s weird, shaven, scary looking cousin…learning how to use the toilet…

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This doesn’t look very relaxing to me…but then again, this is how the ladies on Two Broke Girls “vacation” so maybe they’re onto something?

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Giraffe tea kettle…obviously a necessity

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Elliptical/bike hybrid things called Street Striders.  They look interesting and I just read about them on SkinnyRunner’s blog, but $2000?  Seriously Sky Mall? 

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‘”Hey Tex, can you pass me my lone star beer?”  But really, if you don’t have an Armadillo beverage holder we can’t be friends.

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Who wouldn’t want a “squirrel thinker”?  Jackie, if you are reading this I’m getting you this as a wedding gift (inside joke, but she is afraid of squirrels). 

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That’s all for now!  Don’t forget to enter my Larabar giveaway this weekend!  A winner will be picked on Monday!

Have you guys ever ordered anything from Sky Mall?  Spill the details now!

I used to always think the coffee tables fish tanks were really cool until I woke up and thought of all the upkeep it would require and how impractical it was. 

Any specific strategies when going to the airport? 

In addition to my seating strategy I try to be quick as a ninja in the security line.  Shoes easy to slip off, jackets with zippers, laptop towards the front of my bag to be quickly pulled out.  Avoid lines with strollers, go to the lines with people in suits…business people know how to get through fast.

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