Tally Me Banana

OK mon, me and I made it safely to the Caribbean, but still no peanuts.

Guess I’ll have to struggle along with coconuts.

And pineapple. And Bacardi…

Looked like a busy bloggerday yesterday from my quick glance through the links last night, but I didn’t feel like posting anything. There’s plenty for today, though.

First of all, my air travel horror story. Well, actually, it turned out to be less than horrible. It was more inconvenient than the last time I came down here (just before 911), but for all of my complaining about the policies, it was actually not that big a deal. (This should not imply that I have changed my mind on the subject, however–I think I was just lucky).

Deciding to live dangerously, I left for LAX at my normal time–about an hour and a quarter before flight time. My longest line was in the taxi waiting to get into LAX. Once past Checkpoint Charlie at the 96th Street entrance, there was the least traffic inside the airport itself that I’ve ever seen at that time of the morning.

Check in was no big deal, but then, I’m Aadvantage Gold on American, and used the line for business class. Looking over at the regular line, which looked horrendously long, I shuddered. Of course, if I’d thought that I would have had to use that line, I would have arrived an hour earlier…

Security was more of a pain (though again, nowhere near as much as it could have been, based on reports from other people). I had to remove my laptop from my briefcase and put it through in its own basket, as well as my cell phone and other sundries, which I used to just pass around the sensor.

I had to show my passport (or DL, but I was using passport for photo ID) to actually get on the plane (“yes, your papers seem to be in order…). The rest of the trip was pre-911 normal, except that when I switched planes in Dallas, they were randomly wanding people boarding to San Juan. However, I got the luck of the draw, and wasn’t detained.

On the plane, I got my favorite (coach) seat in a 757–10F. It’s kind of a lounge chair, because it’s in the exit row, and the door only allows two seats in Row 9, so there’s nobody in front of the window seat, and you can stretch your legs. I sat next to a retired couple returning from Colorado Springs who live on St. Thomas. They also had homes in tidewater Virginia (north of Yorktown) and in Charlotte, and are apparently avid divers, so we swapped stories about diving various islands.

I mention them because when the flight attendant came by to make sure we knew our exit-row responsibilities they (and I) said yes. After I left, I said to my seatmate, “Our job is to be sure we’re the first ones out…, or actually to be sure that the hijacker is the first one out–while the plane is still airborne.” This slight, but bellicose retired woman said, in a soft southern accent, with no other prompting, “They’re never going to get away with that again. We don’t need these silly new security rules, but they sure should be checking bags for bombs–that’s the real problem now.” For what it’s worth, her husband spent the entire flight reading a Guns & Ammo mag. When I asked if they could get a CCW in St. Thomas, they said yes, though it took several months. They were well into the process…

And as I type this, I know I’m in the tropics–a sudden storm has just blown up with both wind and rain. Have to go shut the windows.