One of the Disney Magical Express (and as you know by now, I use the terms loosely) stipulations is that you get picked up three hours prior to your flight time. Our 8:50 flight is what determined the 5:40 pick-up time.
Needless to say we were at the airport, and actually at our gate, way ahead of time—at 7:00 to be exact. As it turned out there was a 7:11 flight leaving for Atlanta (which was our layover destination) on which there were open seats, so we hopped on it.
This put us in Atlanta at 9:00 for our 1:10 flight to Raleigh-Durham, and unfortunately, there was no flight before that one that we might have been able to hop on.
We went to our gate, C19, for the 1:10 flight, where I worked on my blog entries until both Robert and I were frozen to the core. We then moved down to gate C13, where there were some seats in front of huge windows with sun pouring in on them. We promptly parked ourselves on those.
There was a lady lying down on the seats directly across from us. She didn't look well. She had on a mask, which really looked more like a neck collar that had slipped up over her mouth, and something sticking out of her mouth that I thought was a pen and Robert thought was a thermometer. For posterity: There's a Swine Flu outbreak going on right now.
I called my mom for Mother's Day, and talked to both mom and dad. Dad sounded great, which is always a relief. They'd received my photograph, but they didn't seem as excited about it that I'd hoped they'd be, but hey, it's not all about me. I can't believe I just typed that.
Casey, a friend of mine from IBM, is coming to stay with me for two weeks, and his flight from Denver was scheduled to arrive at around 11 or 11:30, after which he'd join us on the 1:10 flight from Atlanta to Raleigh-Durham. I left him a voicemail telling him we were down at C13 instead of C19.
I met Casey back in October of 2002, when we were both on an extended business trip in Irvine, California. Two things of memory make me smile about that time, one being my day-trip to Tijuana with my friend Steve who came out and spent a few days with me while I was there. It was a calamity-filled day, OMG, one of its results being this cheesy picture:
You can read all about the antics of that day in my November 9, 2002 blog entry, including when the border guard suddenly put his face in mine and said very sternly to me, "Look at my hand! You see those doors over there? The bathroom is right inside them. Don't go outside those doors."
The second memory about that trip was how I found out that Casey was gay, too. Just re-reading about that day made me smile all over again.
Okay, back to today. Casey arrived at about 11:30 and after a big ole hug, the three of us had lunch at Charley's Subs, right across from gate C13.
Robert and I sat across from each other on the ATL-RDU flight, and Casey was in the seat directly in front of me. The lady to my right was with the lady in the middle seat behind her. It seemed like nobody was sitting directly next to the person they were traveling with. Crazy AirTran seating process.
Robert's seatmate was a very attractive blond whose first words as she took the window seat was, "I'm a nervous flyer."
To which I said, "A nervous as in 'throw-up' flyer?"
"Oh no," she said. And her nervousness manifested itself as a Chatty Kathy for the next 15 minutes or so. Turns out she'd flown before, several times in fact, this was just her first flight alone. (The girl looked to be in her mid-twenties to me.) And, technically, this was her second flight alone, as she'd already traveled one leg of her trip—alone.
Back at my house, Robert took a few minutes to finish Dewey, the book I'd loaned him at the beginning of the trip, and which I must read in the next two weeks. Then he headed back to Durberville.
Casey and I spent the next couple of hours online, of which I mostly spent catching up on my email—not having had access for three days—and did some work on my blog entries.
Later, we made a grocery run, at the end of which Casey stepped to the credit card reader saying, "I've got this!" Sweet.
We were going to have tacos when we got home, but realized we'd forgotten to get sour cream, and then we thought of a tomato, too.
We decided to make those tomorrow instead, and settled on Shrimp Cocktail and tortilla chips and salsa for a "light" dinner. When I went to get the cocktail sauce out, I discovered that I didn't have the extra jar I thought I had, and didn't have enough in the existing jar.
I ran back to Food Lion, where I got Heinz Cocktail Sauce (on sale, so got two!), a tomato, sour cream, and butter, which I'd also forgotten during the earlier visit.
We met Joe and his friend Brian at Flex, and they had picked up a few people on the way, while at dinner at The Borough: Anders (a gay guy) and a straight girl and guy who had just met, themselves, at The Borough, Chris and Cathy. I hope Chris ended up getting laid, because he sure did work "hard for the honey" all night long.
It was karaoke night, so we enjoyed (or not) some sing-along music. I drank an inordinate amount of alcohol, one of the reasons being that Casey doesn't drink at all, so was the designated driver. We weren't out too late, leaving there at around 11:00.