I finished packing on Monday night so that I could get up and see what the world looked like Tuesday at 6:30 am without having to make serious decisions. By the way, its dark at 6:30 am. Very dark.
Southwest allows one bag of 50lbs to check for free. That bag contained 40 hardcover books, a pair of high heels, a couple of articles of clothing - oh and a flask of vodka. When they weighed it at the check-in (after the skycap almost threw out his back tossing it on the belt) it was about 46 lbs. I had room for a couple of extra books!
My carry-on bag was just as heavy (altho no vodka) with the rest of my clothes and 40 more books. Lets just say that getting that into the overhead bins was a challenge and leave it at that.
I also was allowed a computer bag - stuffed with my computer, my colourful sharpie collection and about 20 more books. Thankfully, I have a very strong shoulder strap.
Oh and i just remembered that I need to send some serious evil juju to the guy that selected my seat on the first leg because I was in the very last row - you know the only one that will not recline? - and the airblower above me had no off position.
We land in Atlanta and thankfully, I have almost 2 hours to get from my terminal to the next one. Of course the next one is NOT on the same concourse and here I am schlepping about 60lbs of books/luggage around, lost in the airport, wondering if Concourse C is a made up place like Narnia. I finally see a sign for C and am so glad that it looks like I can just jump on the Plane Train to get there. I almost wipe out a guy in a wheelchair when my shoulder bag slips off, throws me off balance, and almost topples me and my carryon bag to the floor.
At this point, I have used up almost an hour of my layover time. All I want is to get to my gate so that I can sit down, find the closest Starbux and also pee - not necessarily in that order.
The travel gods finally smile down on me and I find that my gate is directly across from both the Starbux and the restroom so I can almost do all 3 things on my list simultaneously. Armed with a giant mocha frappasomething, I find a spot to sit and wait out my now 45 minutes. I'm starting to regret putting the vodka in the checked bag.
I end up in a chat with 2 very nice older ladies. Im feeling all kinds of special and important because it has come up in conversation that I am an author. As I pull a copy of the book out of my computer bag, I hear a commotion behind me and see a bunch of big guys in football jerseys surrounded by men with large cameras. I didn't know who they were until I saw a giant bird marching around with them. He looked kind of like a brown chicken but he was suppose to be a falcon and I was in Atlanta. Im a baseball & hockey fan but even I finally put it together and realized that all of this hoopla was for the Atlanta Falcons. My little fan club of the two grannies were blinded by the bling and ran off to take camera phone picks of football players for their grandchildren.
On a serious note, I was sitting next to a military guy who was a little disgusted with the attention that these guys were getting for playing a game vs him offering to die for their country. I was about to thank him for his service as he suddenly ran off to get some pics too. Apparently a brush with greatness is not to be missed even if it disgusts you.
The football players are there as a poorly thought out publicity stunt. They are announcing flights over the PA system. Not mine of course because they are mucking up the works in getting my flight boarded. When the football star finally calls our flight and we begin to board, I look over my shoulder and see that I am being followed by the giant bird. Sweet.
I have a better seat this time and try that "bat the eyelashes" thing to get someone to put my 50lbs carryon in the overhead bin. Im sure that the gentleman who helped me just thought I had something stuck in my eye and maybe felt a little sorry for me. What ever. The bag ended up where it was suppose to be.
I look towards the front of the cabin & the giant chicken/falcon is still there and I realize that the second page of my book has just happened. A bird is flying in a jumbo jet. I wonder if its a sign....