I’m home! Suitcase *mostly* unpacked. Mail tended.
We’re headed off to a Turkey Supper at the Skanee Church in a couple of hours. (Barry will probably appreciate this after his week alone. Although he made a mean tuna salad all by himself, and I can guarantee he didn’t starve.)
Want to hear some fun travel stories, just because I’ve got an hour to unwind?
Story #1 When I arrived at the Marquette Airport last week, the first two people I see lounging at 6:30 a.m. are my doctor and his wife. We’re on the same plane, it turns out. They’re headed toward the Virgin Islands (or maybe Puerto Rico, shame on this faulty memory) because their daughter is maid of honor in her friend’s wedding.
We fly together to Chicago and say goodbye, after exchanging dozens of stories. I vault across the airport, eat breakfast, find my gate about a mile away and settle down to read. Turn my head and there–sitting directly behind me in the crowded terminal–is my doctor and his wife. How synchronistic is that?
Yesterday, flew from Fort Myers to Chicago, drank a glass of fine red wine along with crusty bread dipped in olive oil at Macaroni Grill. Ordered a plate of spaghetti, chicken breast (forget the vegan thing when you’re traveling, right?) and arugula salad and waddled toward the departing gate.
Guess who’s sitting at the gate? My doctor and his wife!!!
“Quit stalking us!” laughed one of them.
“Hey, you’re stalking ME!” I replied.
It’s a small world, folks. It’s a tiny, tiny world.
Story #2 Before gaining 10 pounds at Macaroni Grill in the Chicago airport yesterday afternoon, I called our son, Chris. “Check the national news, will you?” I begged. Outside the airport window a half-dozen flashing red lights blinked wildly. Fire trucks and ambulances abounded. What the heck? Terrorists? A dead passenger? An incoming injured plane?
A secret service agent–you could tell him by his furtive look–leaned against the window.
“What’s happening?” I inquired. He shrugged his shoulder and refused to confess, shame on him.
Later, someone confidentially revealed it was an incoming soldier from Afghanistan.
The soldier probably shuddered in his seat, thinking the terrorists beat him to Chicago. Luckily, it proved to be airport officials welcoming him!
Story #3 After gaining 10 pounds at the Macaroni Grill, I hid away in a half-deserted gate. Three others hid, as well. Up against the wall, a young woman took out her hula hoop and proceeded to boogie. She hooped around her neck, and her hips, and her feet, and then shivered that hoop back up to her arms. She danced, she slithered, she grew ecstatic. Her audience of three grew ecstatic. She performed for ten minutes.
I watched her in utter awe. Who hula hoops in an airport with such artistic grace? It was a miracle, darn it, a hula hoop miracle. In an airport, nonetheless!
Story #4 Sorry for telling stories backwards, but I’m saving the best for last. This involves my taxi driver and his wife. They transported me to the Fort Myers airport yesterday.
We chatted about This and That. They pointed out green tomatoes lying in the road’s median and shared tales about tomato trucks and how the farmers pick green tomatoes from southern Florida and send them to the factory. The plants gas them to turn bright red before shipping them across the country.
The taxi driver’s wife told an amazing story of something that happened maybe 15 years ago. She was driving down the road, chattin’ into her cell phone, about how much she needed limes. She needed at least a dozen limes, she confided to her friend. Where the heck would she find really good, really fresh limes?
At that moment a lime truck sped by. At least a hundred limes careened off the truck, onto the roadway. The taxi driver’s wife stopped her car, picked up her dozen limes and continued on.
“You wouldn’t believe what just happened,” she breathed into the phone to her friend. “You simply wouldn’t believe it!”