Flying from Florida

And that was that.

I’m back at home now. I’m sitting on my bed, which dips in the middle. The hotel bed didn’t do that. The hotel bed supported me very nicely. And the sheets were clean. Every night. I can’t remember the last time I changed the sheets on my bed.

I’m kidding. I don’t have sheets on my bed.

Anyway, today’s trip home was basically uneventful. That’s how you want a plane ride to be, right?

Well, actually, it wasn’t uneventful. I built it up as more of an event in my head as the day went on. But what I built up turned out to be a non-event.

The conference didn’t technically end until about 11:30 this morning. But I got my certificate of completion last night. I’m not saying that excused me from attending the last three hours of sessions this morning. What did excuse me was my flight schedule. And the extreme busyness of the Orlando airport.

My flight from Orlando was scheduled to depart at 12:01 p.m. Initially, I figured I could attend part of this morning’s session and leave around 10:00. This morning, I decided to sleep a little late before packing and checking out. So I skipped the session and headed to the airport at 9:00 instead. I’m glad I did.

I got to the airport and that joint was nuts. I’m not a frequent flier. I’m certain there are busier airports in this country. But this is the busiest I’ve seen any airport when I’m the one in charge of my itinerary. I’m getting ahead of myself.

I had a rental car this week. Not that I needed one. It stayed parked in the hotel lot for the vast majority of the trip. The only time I took it anywhere was to grab some groceries a couple times during the week. Anyway, I sort of panicked because I wasn’t sure what the procedure was for returning a car to the airport. The only other times I’ve ever rented a car in my life have been because my car has been in some kind of wreck and the insurance company got Enterprise to come pick me up. But there were signs all over the airport and those were really helpful.

When I got to the terminal, I had to go through the check in process. But it wasn’t like when I checked in last week at the small Roanoke airport. No, they want you to use the automated kiosk rather than deal with a human being. Normally, I’m all about dealing with a touch screen over a person. But this is the process of checking my bag and getting my boarding passes. If I screw this up, I could end up in Scranton and my bag could end up in Vancouver.

I managed to figure it out. But not until after the machine tricked me into upgrading my boarding pass to priority something or other. I didn’t realize it when I was selecting OK over and over again, but I paid an extra $21.00 just to be able to board the plane at the same time as the chumps that paid to sit in first class. Thankfully, I did not upgrade my tickets to first class. That would have been a fiasco. But there would have been booze, so I guess there are pros and cons.

The trek through security was not as bad as I expected it to be. At first I was afraid I actually arrived at the wrong place. Judging by all the lines of people, I began to assume I was waiting to ride Space Mountain. But there was no way I was at DisneyWorld. My priority ticket upgrade could not have included a pass to the Magic Kingdom. Say what you will about TSA, though. Those folks (at the Orlando airport, at least) are a well oiled machine.

I breathed a sigh of relief when I made it through the metal detector on the first try. This is a thing that always raises my anxiety for some reason. It’s not like I’m carrying anything on my person that will cause me to get into trouble. Even if I were to set off the metal detector, I know it would just be something innocuous that I just happened to forget was in my pocket. But I made it without incident and was not randomly selected for a pat down. Consider that a win.

Once I got all that settled I traveled 264 miles to my gate. I am convinced that the people of Florida have no desire to ever feel what it’s like to experience a cool temperature. It was in the upper 60s when I got to the airport this morning. I swear they had the heat on in that terminal. Even once I had found a seat at the gate and was able to relax for a few minutes, I was still pouring sweat. More than you need to know? Got it. Moving on…

Again, I spoke to none of the other passengers. Wait… that’s not true. I said, “bless you,” to a girl who sneezed. Seriously y’all, I would totally have a conversation with anyone who decided they wanted to start one with me. But something about me reading a book and having earbuds shoved into my ears just doesn’t invite people to say hello.

I’ll admit, it’s good to be home. I’m tired. It’s been a long week. And, though my bed isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world, it is my bed. I might not sleep very well tonight, but I’ll be in my room. Good night, kids.

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