Guest Post, by Won’t Run For Miles.
I always knew this day would eventually come for me. For I, the infamous Won’t Run for Miles, was going on my first trip by my lonesome. The task you ask? Simply put, was to meet Will Run For Miles – Kathy for her 100th marathon. My goal: to meet her in Baton Rouge. (She went a day ahead of me, and bought me a ticket me…. I mean, used her skypeso miles to get me a ticket, so I could meet her there). The question is, “Will I get there without her help?” Please read on to find out!
Like always, I waited until the very last minute to get anything together for the trip. The day before the trip, I came home from work and immediately started to do what I always do. That being; my weekly wash. After the wash, I started to do the thing I loath most which is packing my carry-on. One thing that I have learned over the years is to make a list of things to bring with me. One by one, I start putting my clothes, computer wires and anything else that will sustain me for two days while I am away on my trip.
Oh wait! Something is missing, Something is missing! Yes, it is my boarding pass! I called Will Run for Miles and ask her what the story was on that. Once again, I got the mantra, “I sent this information to you already. Get off of Facebook and check your email.” I checked my email and did find some emails about the trip; but nothing about a boarding pass. I called her back and she says, “Ok, I”ll send them again.” I opened the email and clicked the link, but it didn’t look like any boarding pass Will Run For Miles ever handed me at an airport. I started to panic a little. In my delirium, I noticed a button on the page asking me if I want to send it to the Passbook app on my iPhone. Now, I have seen the app before but in all honesty, I’ve completely ignored it. I said, “What the heck” and clicked yes. I received the digital boarding passes but of course I wasn’t convinced that they were indeed boarding passes. I called back Will Run and told her what happened. She said that it should be fine and that I was checked in. “OK,” I said to myself, still not 100% confident that it would work.
Actually, I thought that it was kind of exciting using this Passbook app for the first time. I mean, I am a pretty digital guy and ridding myself of paper is all the better. In fact, earlier in the day, when i was doing my laundry, I saw a neighbor in the elevator who informed me that the new washing machines in the building were connected to the internet. He went on to say; that if I went on this website and signed up, I could find out before going down to the laundry room if any washing machines were available. So, having done two geeky things in one day naturally raised my bi polar level up a notch.
After finally packing my bag, I now had to figure out the transportation situation. Kathy told me about a bus that goes Express from Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Avenue subway to LGA, but that bus doesn’t start running until after I had to be at the airport. I found another bus route that was more local, but should work, so I decided to go that route. The question was; what time? I figured that since this is the first time that I was going solo, it would be a good idea to set the alarm clock for earlier rather than later. My flight was 8 a.m. and boarding was at 7:20 a.m. Therefore, I decided I would take the 5:30 a.m. bus just to be on the safe side. Will Run has taught me that it is better to get to the terminal early and hang out in the sky lounge rather than rushing to get to a flight. I made the last-minute sound check (as they say in the musician world) and then went to bed.
My trusty iPhone alarm woke me up, I made a cup of coffee and showered, all the while thinking about missing the bus or the plane. I walked to the bus stop and saw the bus with the lights off and motor not running. When I approached, the driver turned on the lights and let me in. I was the only one on the bus. I said to myself, “Wow, this will be like my own personal taxi.” Well, it wasn’t exactly a that. People were getting on the bus as we rode. It seemed as though many of the passengers worked at the airport. Once there, I asked the bus driver where the Delta Terminal was. He told me, “The next stop.” We approached the terminal and I got out of the bus. So far, everything was going smoothly. Maybe this grasshopper has learned from the master after all.
I’ve been to the Delta terminal before so I knew where to go to do the pre TSA line. However, I still had to ask the woman if the thing I had in my iPhone was OK for me to get through TSA. She said, “Yes” so I proceeded to through.
The Passbook app worked great. I felt really high-tech and confident at this point. I usually put my iPhone and case in my man bag. However, I put only the phone in my bag. The TSA agent asked me if I had my phone on my belt. I told him that it was only the case. He told me to take it off and I did. Note to self; put the case in the bag the next time. Since I am a musician, I usually carry a travel guitar with me on trips (in the event that I feel that I need to practice). I told the TSA agent who was scanning my bag that I had a travel guitar in the carry-on. Well, maybe I shouldn’t have said anything because she took my bag off the line and inspected it . After digging it up from the bottom of the bag and opening the case, I looked at her and gave her the see, I told you so look. She asked me if any TSA agent had ever taken the guitar out of the bag before? I told her that it happened once, but it was a TSA agent who was on his first day. I mentioned to her that after he took it out, a supervisor came over to him and scolded him for doing that. The TSA agent then offered to repack my bag. I told her that it was OK, I would do it myself.
I proceeded to the Sky Club. I showed my Amex Platinum card to the lady and she let me right in. She asked me for my ticket and I whipped out my iPhone. She said, “Oh, you’re going to Baton Rouge. Nice!” I asked her if she was charging me and she said, “No” (had to make sure ;-). I told her that I was going to see my girl Will Run for MIles do her 100th marathon. In the process, I told her the whole story about the TSA thing and she laughed.
I went into the lounge and had some of the things that they had to offer. I went up to the bar and asked for a Bloody Mary, but learned that they don’t serve until 8:00 a.m. I settled for a tomato juice. I then got my stuff together and went to my gate. Of course, I was lost for a bit because I read the information wrong. However, I eventually got to the right gate. I didn’t have business class like my counterpart so I had to wait to board. My zone was finally called and I proceeded to go to the plane. When I boarded, for some reason (probably due to my nervousness) I told the flight attendants that this was my first time without my Will Run for MIles. They were very friendly and said to me, “Welcome” and proceeded to give me a complimentary water. Then, the other flight attendant gave me a little bottle of vodka. Apparently, they could feel my pain in not having “my” pilot at the helm.
Once I got settled in my seat, I saw a woman a couple of seat up struggling with her carry-on bag. I knew that Will Run for Miles would want me to help. I went over and offered to help. I could see right away that the bag was way too bulky. I used my college education and told her to take out whatever was in the outer compartment. Low and behold, the carry-on fit in the overhead and all was good.
The Lord must have answered my prayers. The guy next to me decided to go over to the empty exit row and sit there. Whoa, I had the two seats to myself and we were off to Atlanta! The ride was pretty good for the most part. I ordered a tomato juice for the vodka and I was set. With complimentary peanuts, I was good to go.
We arrived in Atlanta. I called Will Run for Miles and said that I was going to look for the Delta Sky Club there. I went into an elevator and realized after the door was closed that you needed a key of some sorts to get the elevator to work. Therefore, here I was in the elevator and couldn’t get out. Will Run called me and I told her what happened. She was about to call 911, when luckily for me, a ground worker needed the elevator and got me out of there.
I found the right elevator and went to the lounge. I found out that the terminal had more than one lounge and that I wasn’t at the one closest to my next gate. I walked around the airport and got to the right terminal. I stayed in the F terminal until it was boarding time.
Now, I was finally on my way to Baton Rogue. I was proud of myself that I was able to get from one place to another without a major problem. I was looking forward to exploring Baton Rouge and celebrating Will Run for Miles’ 100th marathon!