Sunday, March 04, 2007

Boston: Day One

Subtitled, Oh How I Hate Flying.

Hubs took me to the Indy airport this morning at 5:45 AM, and we thought I'd have plenty of time for checking in for my flight at 6:45 AM. We stood outside in the freezing cold with my 70 pounds of luggage (yeah, I'm only gone for 6 days, never know what I'll need!) waiting for the "convenient" curbside baggage check. The desk said "US Airways", the little luggage tags said "US Airways", but the attendant informed me when we got to the front of the line that this check in was only for US West flights. We go into the terminal only to see a HUGE line of folks checking in baggage and getting boarding passes. So, I do what any unseasoned, newbie traveler does - my eyes filled with tears and I started to nervously shake. Kris kept a calm head and spoke with an airline employee who informed me that I'd all ready missed the flight. Great. I was able to get on a flight to DC and make a connection to Boston from there. No problem!

I said good-bye to Hubs at the security point then had to unceremoniously remove my shoes for scanning. Apparently, something looked "funny" in my carry-on laptop case because the x-ray machine attendant ran my bag through twice and laughed and pointed the second time. Maybe it was the massive jumbles of cables and chargers, Hubs socks on the needles, or my in-flight book selection of "Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers"? My purse was also ransacked; I'm surprised that my forgotten black velvet, skull emblazoned dicebag wasn't questioned.

The flight to Washington was on the smallest plane I've ever rode; my mom informed me that it was a DC-7. It had 3 seats per row - one seat on the left side, an aisle, and two seats on the right side. To say that the flight was shaky and turbulent is an understatement. I had a deathgrip on the armrests on the descent. I made my connecting flight with no problems, and I was finally feeling a bit of relief.

The flight to Boston was pretty uneventful - much bigger plane so it was a much smoother ride. However, I realized that I made the WORST choice of in-flight book reading ever. Chapter 4 is entitled "Beyond the Black Box" which goes into detail about the gruesome details of what happens when planes crash. As I'm reading about the likelihood of surviving a drop from 35,000 feet into a body of water, I looked out to see we were circling above the Atlantic Ocean. Even worse, I read the comforting fact that most crashes occur during descent, take-off, or on the ground. Just as the plane made a big dip into the descent. I closed the book following that...

The flight on the puddle-jumper was only a precursor to how bad riding in a taxi (my first taxi ride!) turned out to be. I rode in a shuttle van with several other travelers from the airport to downtown Boston. I counted four times that I thought we were going to crash into other drivers including one spectacularly close near rear-ending, two ran stop lights, and crossed over two lanes of traffic to turn right on a red light. I will never complain about Hubs' driving again, and I will never drive in Boston. :)

To say I was relieved to get to the hotel for check-in is the understatement of the year. I have a beautiful view of the Charles River from my window.

View right after check-in

View after evening conference session

Dinner was wonderful; I went with friends from work to Charlie's. Their chicken marsala was very tasty and the chocolate cake was faboo!

I'm pretty much running on empty now, so time for me to head to bed!


Phollower said...

It's way purdier at night when you can only see the lights. Have fun and (assuming you live through the traffic) we'll see you soon!

ZantiMissKnit said...

Yay!!! You're here!! Hopefully you'll be on the knittyboard soon!

Oh, and I've been flying, mostly alone, since around 1989 and I'm still a nervous flyer. If you don't have to drive at your destination, I suggest having your doc prescribe Adavan. Just don't have a glass of wine that night like I did on my honeymoon, or you'll be looped!

I've only seen taxi drivers that are crazier in two places -- New York and Las Vegas. I think Vegas taxi drivers top all.

The Dwarf said...

One time I got on a flight and opened my chosen book shortly before take-off. Said book begins with an airline official visiting a woman's home to let her know that her pilot husband has died in an air crash. The rest of the book is about figuring out why the plane crashed. I had nothing else to read for the entire flight. I now NEVER fly with an unstarted book or with no other entertainment. It was the worst. I have been dying to read the book you mentioned however. Can I borrow it when you are done? A bit of advice from someone who has been through Boston: get to the Boston airport 2 hours before your flight. Have a safe trip tomorrow!