All good things eventually come to an end. So we packed up and wondered where all that food came from. There was half of a club sandwich left over from a predawn foray to one of the hotel's restaurants; we dined there a lot in the wee hours--calling it breakfast or dinner. There was half of the full meal from The Chart House, right down to the bread. And the snacks, of course.
Laughed about how we were self-conscious taking bags of snacks up to the room and then encountering people who, unabashedly, lugged coolers (never saw such a thing) and cases of water through the lobby. Speaking of water, the Fiji water in our room cost $7.00 a bottle. Went untouched. Had to duck into a store for pain killers and there was the same size bottle of Fiji water, on sale,two for $3.00.
Back to the airport. Oh, my. AirTran's counter space is no more than 3x3. Okay, I'll give it 4x4. Jammed into a corner with a line a mile long--2/3rds of which are chi'ren. Lord, please don't let them be on my flight. My companion noted that they might not fly all the way to Memphis but would surely be on the flight to Atlanta. So true. Chi'ren of all sizes. Infants, toddlers, youth, tweenies, and more. In strollers. Two in strollers; one in hand. In carriers strapped to the front or back. Lawd, Lawd. Do children fly free?
My seatmate had been behind me at the ticket counter and experienced the same problem with generating a boarding pass as I had. Hitting the buttons and WHAM, $49 dollars for a seat? Canceled that quickly. Turns out that, at that time, the attendant had to assign seats from her computer so there would be no charge. I know...you can check in online but I figured that it could be done at the airport.
As we congregated in the lounge area, Miss AKA walked in to board. Girlfriend must have just gone over because she was AKA-down. Everything had AKA insignia. AKA up the leg of the sweatpants; AKA on the sweatsuit jacket; pink rolling bag with AKA; backpack with AKA. I sashayed over and told her that I liked her style. Threw her for a loop--what does this old woman know about AKA? Love the pink and green, girlfriend.
Anyway, my seatmate was a Maryland native, now living in Atlanta, and works for FEDEX. Obviously, we love to talk because we chatted, over the wails of the chi'ren, the entire way. A young, teen couple, not seated together, co-opted adjoining seats; standbys were ushered on at the last minute (one was seated and then taken off); and there was Ant Hagar's child (two years old) who jumped in his seat as though it were a trampoline and, I'm sure, annoyed the hell out the people in front and back of him as he dangled over the seats. Now, let me say it once more. You make think he's cute but everybody doesn't. I don't care how old he is. Train a child....
What's this...a harmonica? Who is playing a harmonica? The captain, "Mad Dog" Watson, was playing Bad to the Bone over the intercom. Say what??? "Now that I have your attention." He went on to say that he and the copilot had a combined record of 98 years flying. Great! Just hoping that you can land this thing like Captain Sully, if necessary. Boys and girls, let me tell you, after we taxied to the nether regions of the Philly airport (AirTran gets no respect, obviously), "Mad Dog" took off like a bat out of hell. Enough with the slow roll; he put the pedal to the metal and had us airborne before my ears could even think about the change in air pressure. Had us in Atlanta on time, even though we were ten to fifteen minutes late in pulling away from the terminal.
I might not like the idea of a layover but I am loving the Atlanta airport. A smoking room! Hot damn! Right beside the gate from which I board the flight to Memphis. The kiss of death! Geez! The air is gray; a virtual fog. Everyone is smoking, texting, or on the cell. I inhaled my cig and the smoke from everyone else and beat a retreat.
Mo' chi'ren. Waiting for the next flight (which was late), I sat across from a woman and her four chi'ren. Stairsteps, Lawd, Lawd. I'm in for a wonderful surprise. Well-behaved...no running around like heathens. Three boys and a girl. Props to the Sistah. And, like mothers everywhere, she whipped out her comb and started doing the girl's hair. In that hour and a half, she cornrowed that girl's head like a pro. Dove back into her oversized bag and pulled out a container of bands to complete her design which was beautiful and perfectly done.
My seatmates on the return trip observed the "my space" rule of flying. No chatting, this time. Great! The woman who didn't want to be beside Blacks (or probably anyone else) pulled out her Kindle; the Asian girl pulled out her IPad; and I pulled out my book.
Finally finished The Help. I was on pins and needles while reading this, expecting horrible things to happen to the characters and prepared to cry my eyes out. Horrible things did happen but not the violence which I had steeled myself for. I don't understand the hoopla from my sisters--the events detailed were real. They were recited in one form or another by our mothers, aunts, neighbors who were employed as domestics. You can't wish it away or deny it. Further, if these women were degraded in the North, then you know damned well how they lived in the South.
Touch down in Memphis. Off to find the car. I only have a general idea of where it is parked; I was in such a hurry. When I got in the presumed area, I hit the alarm button. Yep, Abby's right where I left her. Home again, home again, jiggety jog.
Be safe. Be Blessed.