Sunday, February 04, 2007

Travels with Dummy
It was 8:00AM on Friday, and my girlfriend and I had just gotten out of a cab at Reagan, and were giving our bags to a curbside attendant, in plenty of time for our 10:00AM flight. I noticed the attendant gave me a funny look when I told him our ultimate destination was San Diego. He looked at my Expedia print-out, circled something, gave it back to me and pronounced that our flight left from Dulles. Oops.

We hustled to the lower level, and got in the cab line, always a mystery to me. We told the attendant our destination, then about 10 cabs later a cab was waved over that was considered worthy of driving us to Dulles. I told the driver our plight, and I admitted to being stupid. He said we'd make it, no problem. He zoomed down the parkway, to the exit to the beltway. And we hit a standstill. At this point, the driver was as agitated as I was, as I mentally considered our options, and the price of each, if we miss the flight. Then the much anticipated "wintry mix" started. Great. Fortunately, it amounted to about five minutes of freezing rain. (Another nice job, weather folks!) About the time the rain stopped, the traffic broke up, and we soon zoomed past an Acura that looked like it had caught fire. And I thought I was having a bad morning.

By the time we got to the toll road, we were cruising along, the cabbie was up to about 80. At 9:00AM, I saw a sign that said we were eight miles from the airport, and I figured we were OK. Unless something else dumb occurred. We made it the eight miles pretty fast, thanked and tipped our cabbie profusely, and went through cubside checkout, this time without a hitch. The security lines were reasonable, and neither of us got selected for special attention. We shuttled to our gate. It was 9:30AM. We had time to grab some pretzels, and then boarded, wedging ourselves into our seats on the crowded plane. I remember when I used to travel, pretty often I'd be on a plane that was less than half-full. That doesn't happen anymore.

So we made it. I mentally calculated the money I had saved by not missing the plane, and tried to take a nap. Six hours later and a quick stop in Chicago, we were in San Diego. Another crisis averted.

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