for many many years - more than I would care to count I flew 125,000 miles or more - that is actual mileage (your results may vary) crow flies airport to airport. And as a result of that I became quite adept at working the systems of "AirportLand" as we call it in our household. It is its own separate country- no matter where you are coming from or going to - once you are in AirportLand all bets are off. They do it the way they want to and there is likely no rhyme and certainly no reason or reasoning behind the decision making processes in AirportLand. The one driver is MONEY and nothing else. No matter how much blah blah blah they say about customers - the customer always comes last... unless....
yes, there are a few "unless" things to note these days-
1. despite being premier gold for life on United (and Phil getting that status as a gift of my flying 1.5 million miles with United) my number one airline of choice these days is Southwest. Southwest lets you change your reservations and even cancel for a full refund (and today I learned, so does Alaska Airlines)
2. if you don't have status to leverage your experiences in AirportLand then you need money. And even on Southwest money can buy you a better experience- you can pay for early boarding and even beyond that you can pay even more to get in the 1-15 numbers that are the very first to board - think of it as Global Services (the super secret highest level for United flyers) on an as needed -per diem basis... LOL
and now- I can add to the list of the "problems you can solve if you throw money at them" parking at the airport when you find yourself in a crunch for time unexpectedly (due to the massive 30 minute traffic jam on the I-275 bridge right outside the TPA airport entrance ramp for instance). While in the jam I googled valet parking TPA and learned we could throw the car at the guy and run into the airport and go upstairs and airside to our plane and still make it with 3-5 minutes to spare!
and back when I lived in airports and was the George Clooney character from that movie where he plays the road warrior (and I still have the hotel rewards cards to prove it LOL) I would have been there in plenty of time but now I am (we are) rusty and we only fly on average once every six weeks - not six times a month... so we found ourselves learning about valet parking at the airport for the "extremely late" LOL... next time we will be prepared- and yes right this minute there will be a next time soon... we are back in the mode of going going going- soon we will be down to one home and that means a fair amount of back and forth to accomplish both the task of selling and the task of buying and the various moving to and from etc...
meanwhile - before we get to the airport shuffle of March and April and May and now early June- we had a chance to visit Angela & Lee in their new home in Durham NC... and to spend time with Brad & Susan while there.-
So here is a rundown of all we have done since I last signed on to post- starting with missing my second 1890s class (despite having my homework done) because it is a 9AM class (what was I thinking?) and I am a 10 AM gal...LOL -
We rushed off to the baseball game to meet up with CBGB but we had horrible seats in the direct sun and it was nearly 90* - by inning five I was overcome by heat and went downstairs to find a place in the shade - no luck everyone else had the same idea and there were NO SEATS anywhere... luckily a nice medic came and gave me an icepack which felt terrific on my head which melted it right away LOL- then we all decided we had enough of the heat and gave up on the game... Cardinals lost BTW.
we decided that night to have sushi keeping in the cool theme-
the next day we headed to the airport via the above mentioned traffic jam... valet parked and headed off to Durham- where we arrived mostly on time and got to Angela and Lee's new home and then out to dinner to a fun place called Nana's - Lee and Phil and I had the tasting menu -
the place had some very interesting art work on the walls - I especially like the shiva style bicyclist escaping the cyclone at the fair -
later we met Lee at home, spent time with Clarence and then Brad & Susan came over and we all went out for a terrific dinner at Rue Cler-
the new house!
the next morning we had lunch on our own because Angela & Lee had birthday party duty at Chuck E Cheese for Lee's nephew's birthday. We chose something nearby and found we had good luck-
some messages from the bathroom - LOL
then we met up Angela & Lee and had a coffee and went to the 21C gallery and hotel in downtown and did a little touring before heading back to the airport for our delayed flight (oh yeah I remember now...) and picked up our car at valet and drove to have dinner at our favorite NYC pizza place transplanted to Florida---
all the bathrooms on the mezzanine have see through glass that becomes opaque when you lock the door (if you do it correctly LOL)
there is art work in all kinds of spaces throughout the hotel- which was an old bank building-
the vault can be rented for parties - which Lee and his group did for the holidays - the google office there is small but growing -
a floor full of money -
the laundry room of the doll house of murder LOL
the artist is obviously dealing with issues of mortality- LOL
so now we are back home and planning for the next few crazy weeks in our selling selling mode and moving and storing - meanwhile we have classes until the end of April and I need to go do some of my homework reading to get caught up for my Thursdays at 9 AM! class - acccckkk what was I thinking????
so we're back in the saddle again- along with the upcoming closings and moving trips we are headed to NYC for a get away in mid May, hosting friends from Europe in early May and late June and we are both headed out on vacations (Phil to Ireland and Canada for TB and me) so we will have to become adjusted to AirportLand again after these stress free "retired" years LOL....stay tuned!