Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Leaving Las Vegas

Well, I had to name the post *something*.

My leaving Las Vegas wasn't quite as depressing as the movie.

That Thursday morning -- Feb. 2nd, to be exact -- I leapt up and said goodbye to Amy and Paul as they left for work. Then I spent the remainder of the morning putting my things in order, finishing packing, putting together a box of press kits to check in with my luggage, and trying to clean up after myself. I am a messy houseguest.

I began carting my things out to the car, much to the consternation of Amy's birds and Leon the bulldog. Animals are *so* sensitive. They can tell when a person is leaving. Although the birds always said hello and goodbye to me when I was going back and forth to the trade show, they were really a lot more frantic as I carried out suitcases and boxes and such.

Leon threatened to go into a decline, the poor thing. I stopped and reassured all the animals, scritching Noah through the cage bars and giving Leon extra pats and praise.

One of the last things I did was to re-write my directions to the airport so that I could read them easily from the driver's seat of the rental car, and to put that with my airline ticket info.

As I was leaving the house, Kathi called, thinking that I was already at the airport. At this point, I realized I was running late, and I had to make a concerted effort not to panic and do something stupid.

Still, as the garage door closed, I looked at the passenger seat and realized that I had Amy's house key and garage door opener. Argh! I had to remember the passcode to get back into the garage, where I hid the stuff in our agreed-upon spot. I could just *see* me getting back to Tennessee with Amy's things! It was bad enough that I opted to bring her backpack home with me, for heaven's sake, but I needed the additional luggage!

I finally drove away from Sapphire Blue Court, waving back at the windows. Sniffle.

The day was gorgeous. Warm, sunny, fair blue skies and all perfection. It was very hard to leave Las Vegas when it looked and felt so marvelous.

On the way to the airport, Amy called, and she talked me through the part from Tropicana, through the gas station (where I filled up the rental car with gas), and on to the rental car return place. Sniffle! It was getting all too real that I was leaving!

The shuttle from the rental car place to the airport was quick and easy, and soon I was inside. I originally tried to use the self-check-in option, but the computer asked for a credit card. Since Amy had booked my flight, I thought it meant *her* credit card, and I very dolefully set off for the long, human-attended check-in line.

After I had been standing there for an age or two, sweating the whole time that I was missing Kathi, an attendant came along and started pulling people out of line to use the self-check-in. I told her my dilemma, and she said I only needed *my* credit card. Oh! That's a horse of a different color! I got out of the long line and got through self-check-in very quickly.

I was a bit worried about my luggage exceeding the weight limit (50 pounds), and was quite delighted to discover upon weigh-in that my big suitcase was merely 49.5 pounds. Whew!

Then I went through security (very speedy, always move left, because the lines on the left are shortest for some reason), and rode the little tram to the concourses.

Then -- *then* -- I began my mad dash for Kathi's gate, hoping against hope that I would find her in time.

At this point in time, I should point out that I was wearing my flimsiest and most improper shoes. I had chosen them because with all my blisters, I really wanted to be able to slip them off easily and air out my poor little feet. Unfortunately, as I ran inelegantly for Kathi's gate, they kept trying to fall off. I made use of the moving sidewalks, and was much pleased to discover that for once, everyone on the moving sidewalks was properly walking along at a good clip. I only passed four or five people.

Finally, as I approached Kathi's gate, I spied her sitting at the near end of the chairs, and I called out or something, because she jumped up and, oh! The lovely smile that lit up her face!!!!!! We hugged and said hello and goodbye simultaneously, and then we started comparing notes about blisters.

(I noticed almost immediately that I had lost a Band-Aid brand Blister Band-Aid off the newest blister on a heel, but I paid no attention because I knew I had no time to waste with Kathi.)

I started to fill Kathi in on my lost cell phone escapade, and she laughed merrily. Unfortunately, her flight was boarding the entire time that I was with her, and all too soon, we stood in her line for a minute, saying our goodbyes, and then we parted.

She made it home to New Jersey before I ever got to Tennessee. I hope her feet didn't bother her too much!

Once I left Kathi's company, I made my way to my gate -- in the other terminal -- at a more sedate pace, knowing that I had some time to kill. I didn't fly out of my shoes.

I stopped in an airport gift shop and bought some shotglasses and tiny-dice-corked-inside-tiny-bottles for souvenirs. While I was in there, I began sneezing violently. I called Amy to tell her that I am allergic to airports while passersby sidled away from me and my sneezing. They knew better than I did. I thought I was just allergic, but it turns out that those sneezes were the first of a *really* icky cold. Hmph! At least I didn't have the cold for the entirety of my Las Vegas visit!

My first leg -- the longest part -- was from Las Vegas to Cincinnati, Ohio. Wesley and Amy both thought I had already been to the Cincinnati airport, but I couldn't remember such a time. The first flight was much shorter than the trip *to* Las Vegas had been. You fly in some sort of wind stream when you travel from west to east, so that part of the trip was shorter. The movie on the plane this time was "Yours, Mine, and Ours," starring Renee Russo and, I think, Dennis Quaid.

(A quick check at says yes, Dennis Quaid.)

It was just OK, though, compared to the movie I had seen on the way out. I'm glad I had the earbuds so I could listen, though. The man next to me was laughing at the same points that I was, and he seemed to be a nice guy. When we landed in Cincinnati, he called his wife and said he was home. Awwwwwwwwwww. Then he said he loved her, and loud enough for everyone nearby to hear. Awwwwwwwww, again!

When I got to the concourse that was mine for the Knoxville leg of the trip, I knew immediately that I had never been in the Cincinnati airport. It was a great concourse!!! There were a number of interesting places to eat, shop, or hang out, and I did all three while I waited for my second flight. What a lovely airport!!!!!!

The worst part of the trip home was walking out to our little plane for that last leg -- we walked out into freezing rain. Ugh! My little beaded Chinese flats complained, as did the bottoms of my jeans. I was wet and a little cold for the whole flight home!

When I got to the good old Knoxville airport, I found no one waiting for me. I called Amy and pulled my luggage off the carousel, and went outside to wait for Wesley. I opened a suitcase and retrieved a fluffy sweater to fend off the cold, but I was so glad for fresh air that I waited outside. Wesley came along in about fifteen minutes, and before I knew it, I was on my way home for real.

All in all, it was a really nice way to end the trip. Neither plane tried to crash, and everyone I encountered was pleasant.


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