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Chillin’ Big

January 23, 2013

I wasn’t sure in until the last-minute whether I was going to go or not. I’ve been to Las Vegas a few times with my grad school best friend and her wife. (It is possible I even crashed the portion of their honeymoon that took place there, though I’m pretty certain I was invited.) I’d met their friend Jillian at the wedding and maybe another time, I’m not sure. Her husband had joined us for one of the Vegas weekends, before, though and I knew I’d like her in the way that I loved Nicola and Tiffany.

I know how lucky I am that I have the friends I have. Like all of us, I feel like my best self with my friends – for me that’s funny and smart and charming and a bit like I’m falling apart at all time. Its a standing joke among so many of my friends that I can’t get through the day without them. I don’t know how to cook; I fall down all the time; I forget my purse and lose my keys; and I can make anything into a song or a story about me. But somehow I do get through the days, and we all laugh about my ineptitude. With some people in my life, it feels disparaging and judgemental, but with Nicola and Tiffany, its alway good-natured teasing layered over what I know is great respect and love. Which is also what I feel for them.

Still, I wasn’t sure if I was going to join them in Las Vegas this time around or not. But within days of their departure, and following a night with a friend for  whom my charms annoyances and which left me shell-shocked and a bit I booked passage. Four days of debauchery in Vegas with Nic and Tif coming in from London, Jillian leaving her husband and kids behind in Maine, and me escaping Brooklyn.

What could go wrong?

This morning dawned and the Facebook posts hit – snow and possible delays in London;  Jillian was on the plane already; my car to the airport hadn’t shown. It was like the beginning of a movie where friends are gathering from all corners of the globe. Those movies generally end in tears or murder, but there are usually a lot of laughs along the way.

Because I’d booked so late, I was routed to Philadelphia, then Las Vegas. My layover in Philly would allow me time for a couple of work calls, some emails, and to buy tickets for a show with a  very short sales window. So when the texts from US Air started hitting about the various delays, I was worried about not just reaching my final destination, but my layover plans as well.

When the flight was cancelled, I was panicked. How would I get there?

Turns out, easily. This is a shout out to US Air who got me on a flight leaving 9 minutes later than my original flight and getting me to Vegas only 2 minutes later than I was scheduled to arrive. Well done US Air. And really, people, the poor counter folks who are trying to reschedule you had nothing to do with the mechanical problem that necessitated our change in plans. Leave them alone!

But US Air, one small quibble. You know how I hate a tiny plane. This one my Buddha Air flight to Mount Everest seem luxurious. And I could have done without the frat boys in the row ahead of me alternately talking about which bar in the French Quarter to hit (they were New Orleans bound) and their mock trial preparation.

Charlotte is a pretty good place for a layover. I love an airport – not so much flying, but I love an airport. And Airport food. Again, not eating it really, just experiencing in. Weirdly, airports are a good model for local food, if only for local fast food. There aren’t many McDonald’s, though there’s always a Starbuck’s. I ate a mediocre (and that’s generous) lunch at Carolina BBQ and was ready for the next leg.

My flight to Vegas has been friendly and fun. Rhonda, next to me has recalled me with stories of her 7 children, abusive marriages, and hope in Jesus (who is apparently traveling with us). On my other side is a quiet man who has teared up a few times. Behind me is a sweet Southern woman with over-processed blond hair and heavily mascara-ed eyes and who loves my very insensible shoes (red Tod’s with a 3 inch stacked heel. They’re fab). I really enjoy her, though I think we both know we shouldn’t talk about who we voted for last November. Next to her is a air force sergeant who has seriously attracted the attention of our trying-to-appear-younger-than-she-obviously-is flight attendant. I”m not sure of the book he’s reading, but the chapter headings all relate to “hot girls”.

Again I am reminded that I love the people you encounter as you head out there in the world as much as any other part of travel.

Ouplane is nearing descent time and I want to get a quick nap in before I go whole hog with my teammates on this adventure.

Vegas baby!

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  1. Brenda mcdermott permalink

    Glad you made it … Have a great time.

  2. esme permalink

    Awesome! Miss you! Have a blast!

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