Monday, July 14, 2008

Utah Trip: To and Fro

Well, the week was practically perfect.

I started by redeeming frequent flyer miles for the trip. United charges a standard $10 processing fee and have recently instituted an additional fee that escalates the closer you book your flight to when you will be leaving. My fee was $75. And I had to use double the miles since the "cheaper free" seats weren't available when I wanted to go. So, for those of you keeping track, it was $85 plus 50,000 miles for my free trip.

From Albany to anywhere out West on United Airlines, there's always a change of planes in Chicago's O'Hare. I like the airport but I've been stuck there on many occasions due to inclement weather. Usually when I'd come home from California for Christmas.

The early morning flight went off without a hitch.

For those of you who've never been to the United Chicago terminals, they are really impressive. Light, airy, roomy. A great design that welcomes millions of people a year.


I had time to get a bite to eat during the layover. The airlines don't serve food anymore. Not even peanuts if the flight is short. So I went to my favorite little hot dog and hamburger stand: Billy Goat Tavern and Grill. This is an airport location of the famous Chicago restaurant. You may know it best from the Saturday Night Live skit in the 70's where you ordered "Cheezborger! Cheezborger!" and were admonished with "No Pepsi - COKE!" if you chose the wrong drink.


Then it was on to Salt Lake City. I had a window seat toward the back of the plane. A rather large man sat in the middle seat and apparently was a stock trader because I was treated to multiple incoming and outgoing cell calls instructing some people located somewhere to "Sell!" He was frantically checking his pager and a number of electronic doohickies.

Then I smelled it.

Shit. I was in the back near the bathroom, and if I was going to have to smell a malfunctioning toilet the whole way, it was gonna be a long journey. But the smell came and went. Hmmm. And just when stock slob turned toward me to bark another order into his phone, I nearly fainted as the green fog hit my olfactory nerves. Great. I got fat toilet breath next to me. I just turned and looked out the window until I was able to go to sleep. Problem solved.

Until...

We're starting our descent and toilet breath's leg starts rubbing up against mine. I ever so lightly moved my leg a millimeter at a time away, but his leg followed. This encouraged him to spread his legs...I wasn't sure if giving him the opportunity to make more room to sport wood was the best idea. I did a major shift in my seat and crossed my legs away from him. I looked over and his eyes were closed. Dreaming? Perhaps. Or clever ruse.

In SLC, I had rented a medium size car from Advantage through carrentals.com. They were both unknowns to me, and the price was so cheap ($110/5 days/intermediate) I figured something was fishy. No problem, though, as I drove away in a Chevy HHR minivan (like a PT Cruiser). Only catch was that it was UT law to carry liability, and since I no longer have a car and insurance, I had to buy that at $12/day. An unexpected expense but I understand why.

On my return trip, I brought my skis with me. They've been in my friends' garage for over 10 years so it was time I took care of it. I was stressed that I was going to get hit with a large supplemental charge but I wasn't. I check them curbside and paid $2 United charge and tipped the guy $3 since he also got my boarding passes.

The flight from SLC to O'Hare was without incident and there was no one in the middle seat so I slept without molestation the entire time.

One bad thing about the United Chicago terminal is that it is huge. Concourse C is a large island with about 30 gates and it is connected to Concourse B through an underground walkway equipped with moving sidewalks. It is hard to see here...there are neon lights along the ceiling that put on a show with tinkling music.


United also flies out of Concourses E and F and my connecting flight to Albany was in Concourse F...in Terminal 2. It is a long hike. Once I got there, my flight was canceled due to lightning storms in Albany. I was booked on the next flight four hours later.

The silver lining is that I discovered there is a shuttle bus that goes between gates C9 and E2. That will definitely save me time, and a sore shoulder from lugging around my carry-on dufflebag, on future trips.

Another silver lining was that I sat on an aisle, diagonally behind a DILF. Did you ever see someone and think they have the perfect life? Early 30's, total babe, stylish, cute wife, two adorable kids. Sigh. I daydreamed the whole flight.

I was supposed to be home about 7 and I walked in the door after midnight. It was a long day!
*

4 comments:

rodger said...

If I were going to molest you I'd be sure you're awake. It's more fun that way ;)

Sounds like you had a good time regardless of the flight. Looking forward to the falcon pic.

mmennonno said...

I remember that tinkly tunnel from my days in Chicago well over a decade ago. It reminded me a little of the tunnel in Willy Wonka.

Lacey said...

DILF? Translation, please.

Y | O | Y said...

Dad I'd Love to Fuck...opposite of MILF.