Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Runnin' Through the Airport....

This weekend, I was at the RWA Board meeting in Austin, Texas. Now, this isn't the topic of my blog and if you're interested in what we did, grab a look at the RWA Hot Sheet on the website.

No, what I want to talk about is travel. Yes. Travel. We're all thinking about it, I know.....Going to conferences, RWA National included, or thinking longingly of Easter/Passover visiting, Spring Break or summer vacations ahead.

Are you flying?

Now don't wince. This isn't a diatribe about flying either.

I love to fly. Really. I do.

I do NOT love to go through security, but I'm fairly tolerant of all the nutso rules and regs. I've mailed my beloved Swiss Army Knife home to myself at least three times, thrown away perfectly good bottles of water, Diet Coke, Milk, etc. right at the gate of security, let them confiscate my nail polish (a gorgeous OPI color too!) when the no-liquids rule first went into effect, and all that insane stuff.

I love that instant when the wheels lift off the ground and you can feel the almost weightlessness of the airplane. *shiver* It's fabulous. Or the solid bump-soft-shudder-bump-shhhhhh of a great landing. Excellent.

What I'm not fond of? All alcohol and caffeinated drinks on a five-hour flight and no food. (Can you say "belligerent passengers"?) Running through Atlanta's airport. That is one airport you just CANNOT run through. The floors are too slick, the train too slow. Impossible.

Memphis ain't real fun either, as I can attest from this weekend!

However, airline employees, the REAL ones on the front lines, are great. Lorry W, with Delta, made sure that I would have a second connection already ready and waiting if my connection missed in Memphis, so I could get home. Brenda, Mary and Barb, all Delta flight attendants, were cordial, good humored, and sincerely helpful, even to the guy who insisted on taking off his shoes (no socks on, folks. Ugh!) and who gestured at them and demanded yet one more gin and tonic, with his unlit and quite chewed-upon cigar. Double-ugh.

My cousin is a flight attendant. Some of the stories she can tell would curly your hair if it were straight and straighten it to board straight if it were curly. She also tells wonderful stories of meeting Phyllis Dillar (the life of the show, even on board an aircraft), and other celebrities, most of whom behaved beautifully. Grins. It's a hard job, being a service person on an airline, who really is there to protect you. They serve as "staff" but their real job is to be there, be on the front line, when there's a problem. To handle it, to keep people safe, to make sure everyone gets off alive.

Daunting thought, especially when faced with a whole planeful of drunk or over-caffienated, over-salted, tired, cranky, "I'm-sitting-next-to-a-screaming-toddler-who's-mother-is-sleeping one-row-up" people. They pat and soothe and get stern, and issue alerts and warning and somehow balance that frickin' heavy cart in high winds down the center of the aisle and still manage to pour coffee without spilling it.

Hurrah, for flight attendants! Grins.

Then there's the weird shops in airports, like the Braves Shop in Atlanta - hey ya'll, the Season opens in 3 weeks! Go BRAVES!!!

And the weird souvenirs that come with travel. I'm always fascinated with the stuffed armadillos in Texas, the giant guitars in Memphis, the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls, and Blackhawks mania in O'Hare, and New York's Rolex clocks.

So tell me your travel stories, good and bad.

What do you HAVE to have with you when you travel? Pillow? Eye mask? Magazines?
What's the weirdest thing you've ever seen in an airport? (For me, it's a chiropracter adjusting his girlfriend on the floor of the waiting area)

What's the strangest thing you've carried home on an airplane?

Ever gotten through security with your Swiss Army knife?

Strangest thing you ever brought home for the family as a souvenier.

OH!! And if you're traveling - or even if you're not! - pick up a copy of this month's Cosmopolitan Magazine! An excerpt from my Deadly Little Secrets is featured as the RED HOT READ for April!

85 comments:

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, it's me!

Anna Campbell said...

Well, chook, no Tim Tams for you! You cleaned me out last time you visited and I haven't been grocery shopping since. You'll have to have an apple instead. (Rooster looks distinctly sulky at the prospect!).

Jeanne, what a fun post. The last few times I've travelled overseas, the planes have been packed and full of screaming kids and complaining people. Not fun. I'm really sorry I won't see my Bandita darlings at RWA this year but I must say part of me is relieved that I don't have that AWFUL trek to deal with. Anaheim, in comparison to New York, is almost in my backyard.

Hey, way to go on Cosmo! How cool are you, Duchesse?

Nancy said...

Anna, congrats on the bird! Is it just you me, here in the wee hours of the morning for me and the mid-afternoon for you?

You know, if you're passing out Tim Tams, I deserve more than that dern bird. Just sayin'.

Slush said...

Congrats Anna on the chook!

Travel stories, eh? I haven't travelled on an airplane since 2004. Long time, I know. I do share a similar, strange fascination of the Atlanta airport. It amazes me how they expect people to nab connecting flights with that train.

I like plane travel well enough. The best trip was when I flew with only my little brother years ago. We were coming from Minnesota to Kansas City. I was only 10 and my brother was 5. We got to meet the captain, get a set of wings and everything. I also got a lil' big for my britches watching over my sibling.

Nancy said...

Jeanne, the strangest thing we ever carried on a plane was a lightweight souvenir bow from Sherwood Forest. We agreed to buy it for the boy with the understanding that if it didn't fit in a suitcase (we'd left the big ones in London as we traveled), it wasn't going home.

We'd also bought a single suction-cup arrow and a green, felt Robin Hood tunic at the Sherwood Forest visitor shop. He wore that tunic all week. Literally. Everywhere. He was so in love with Robin Hood.

We knew it was going to kill him if we had to leave that bow. But it wouldn't fit, even diagonally in the biggest suitcase.

Then we had a brainstorm. His clothes were in the suitcase with his dad's. All he had was a backpack with his Gameboy and such as a carry-on, but he was entitled to two carry-ons, and the bow would definitely fit in the overhead rack (this was before 9/11).

So we decided to gamble on it, let the boy carry it up to the security scanner. The guy doing the scans at Gatwick took one look at it, with its tacky, green fake-fur grip and said, "Oh, been to Sherwood Forest, have you?" and shot it through (no pun intended). On the plane, we put my carry-on, the dh's, and the backpack overhead, with the bow resting on top of them. And there it lay when we landed.

We were in NYC when the no-fluids rule went into effect, and we went to the PO, got a medium flat-rate box, and jammed my toiletry kit into it. Then we sent it back here. Everything made it home the day after we did.

Christine Wells said...

Woot! Anna got the bird!

Jeanne, fabu post! I'm with you on the thrill of take-off. I love that feeling. I hate having to make connections in the U.S. and I always feel like death when I arrive, but it's all worth it when you get there. The European trip is horrendous. Every time I go I vow never again. But I think it's like childbirth--you forget the pain and think only of the rewards.

Can't wait to get on that plane to NY!!

Congrats on the Cosmo splash! So, so happy for you!

Tawny said...

I just saw an article mentioning a airline delay for passengers that included Cyndi Lauper. She sang to entertain the waiting people :-D Now that's good times!!!

I have to say, I hate to fly. I love the airplane part of it, but the crowds, the waiting, the hassle? Ugh!!

Oh, hey... Anna's giving out Tim Tams? May I have one, purty please :-D I'm hungry!

Tawny said...

Ooops, I forgot my have-to travel requirements.

iPod, Nook, laptop and a hand to hold :-D

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha! I am an Air Force Veteran and I do not like to fly! I give up my good seats for families to garner good karma - which I did enroute to RomCon last summer. As our plane began to descend into Devner, we hit turbulance. The men on either side of me told me it would be OK, that this is a regular occurance, but that didn't soothe me. I kept chanting "Anna Campbell, Anna Campbell" because I had arranged to have dinner with her. I figured if she flew all the way from Australia, I could make it through those few minutes of turbulence. I'm sure those men wondered who was Anna Campbell.

Unfortunately, I am 2500 miles from the nearest land mass so I have to fly. Once I leave Hawaii, I stay on the mainland as long as possible. Kids are going to Camp Grandma when I go to RWA in NYC.

Must have a book, bottle of water, and Tylenol in case I get a headache from the screaming kid (been there, done that, Dallas to Toyko to visit hubby during his unaccomanied assignment).

Helen said...

Well done Anna and an apple is very healthy for him and just starting in season yummo

Jeanne

I am one of the peopl who really hasn't flown much at all I have been on two plane trips one to Hamilton Island which was 1 hour and one to Cairns which was 3 hours and that is the limit to my travelling by plane LOL I am not sure how I would go on a long flight but am hoping to do it one day.

Congrats on the Cosmo excerpt for a read hot read I can vouch for that I loved the book

Have Fun
Helen

Dianna Love said...

Kudos Anna on snagging the GR.

Jeanne - I'm trying to cut back on so much travel and flying (Cassondra...no sarcastic comments ), but once I'm through all the hullabaloo of airport security and finally in the air I do like that moment of being alone. I open my laptop and write.

The funniest story I have about trying to take something on an airplane happened on my way home from an RWA conference (think it was Dallas). I had my 'valuables' in a carry on bag, things I just "had" to keep with me like awards I'd won during the con. Security got all wigged out when my bag went through the machine. They called each other to huddle then started asking me if I had any sharp objects, etc. I said - in all seriousness - that I was sure there was no nail clipper in there. They pulled me aside and popped open my bag. In the top part that has that zippered pouch area you could clearly see the 12" knife.

I had won the Finally A Bride contest where they give you cake knife and server with your name and book engraved. When the four of them stared at me for an explanation I said, "Do you really think I would try to get a knife onboard that has my name engraved in it?" They were actually very good about it and let me go ship it home. ;)

PJ said...

NO TIM TAMS??? Anna, say it isn't so!

Great post, Jeanne! I fell in love with flying as a kid when my uncle took me up in his plane and I still love it.

Have to have a book, bottle of water and my camera.

Strangest thing I carried was probably a giant sombrero filled with homemade tortillas. I was 14 and returning home from my time as an exchange student in Mexico City.

Best flight was a round trip from Atlanta to Rome with one of my girlfriends. She had buddy passes from a friend who worked for Delta that got us seats in Business Class both ways. A nine hour flight in BC is pure pleasure!

I know people always complain about flying through Atlanta but I honestly don't mind that airport. Maybe it's because I've flown out of there so often but I have no trouble getting where I need to be.

Congrats on Cosmo, Jeanne! Keeping my fingers crossed that it will turn thousands of people on to your fabulous books!

PJ said...

Anna said, I'm really sorry I won't see my Bandita darlings at RWA this year but I must say part of me is relieved that I don't have that AWFUL trek to deal with.

You are going to be missed SO MUCH!!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey! Anna got the roooooooster! Grins. He should be justly chastened after all the abandoned animal stories yesterday. Grins.

Then again, it's Goldie we're talking about. He probably ignored the whole thing. (I'm still sniffling.)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

*blush* Thanks, Anna! I'm feeling distinctly cool, with the Cosmo thing. Preening a bit, I must confess. (I probably look like the chook, all strutty and proud. Grins)

You said: I'm really sorry I won't see my Bandita darlings at RWA this year but I must say part of me is relieved that I don't have that AWFUL trek to deal with.

And we are SO going to miss you, too. It won't be the same without you! Then again, I know that flight upon flight upon flight deal, and hours on the plane must be a HUGE pain.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy, you crack me up. But Anna, if there's Tim Tams involved, I've got my hand up too....

Just sayin'

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Slush said: We got to meet the captain, get a set of wings and everything. I also got a lil' big for my britches watching over my sibling.

Heehee. Well, at least the wings were cool! Grins.

I have to say, next time you fly go early. Since its been 7 years since you flew, stuff's changed. That whole "practically strip before going thru security, please and thank you" bit makes me nuts. Really, people? Do you REALLY have to make me take off my belt?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: The guy doing the scans at Gatwick took one look at it, with its tacky, green fake-fur grip and said, "Oh, been to Sherwood Forest, have you?" and shot it through (no pun intended).

Oh, my! How funny! My strangest is probably the rug we brought back from our honeymoon in Kenya. It was rolled up, and I'd found a big fat mailing tube for it (Think dinner plate sized in girth) while in Nairobi. That thing was SO heavy though. It made it too, though, so we're happy. It has pride of place on our family room wall.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Christine said: Can't wait to get on that plane to NY!!

Congrats on the Cosmo splash! So, so happy for you!


Happy Dancing! Christine's coming to NYC!!! WOOT!!!

Thanks for the Cosmo fun. Like I said, totally thrilled!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Tawny said: I have to say, I hate to fly. I love the airplane part of it, but the crowds, the waiting, the hassle? Ugh!!

Oh, hey... Anna's giving out Tim Tams? May I have one, purty please :-D I'm hungry!


Looks like the Tim Tams are going faster than Thin Mints at my house. Grins.

I'm with you Tawny. The hassle-factor's the bad part. The flying itself? BIG fun!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Kim said: I kept chanting "Anna Campbell, Anna Campbell" because I had arranged to have dinner with her. I figured if she flew all the way from Australia, I could make it through those few minutes of turbulence.

Oh, my. *muffled snork* Those of us who KNOW Anna Campbell find this hysterically funny. "And her name is a reassuring name...."

Grins.

I'm so sorry you hate to fly. In our global world, so much commerce is done by plane, and everyone is so scattered about the country and so forth.

Glad you made dinner with Anna though. Bet that made up for the turbulence.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Helen said: Congrats on the Cosmo excerpt for a read hot read I can vouch for that I loved the book

*Blush* Awww, thanks, Helen! :>

I hope you get to fly over here to see us some time, or we get to come see YOU!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Dianna Love I had won the Finally A Bride contest where they give you cake knife and server with your name and book engraved. When the four of them stared at me for an explanation I said, "Do you really think I would try to get a knife onboard that has my name engraved in it?" They were actually very good about it and let me go ship it home. ;)

That is too funny! OMGosh!! But I'm so glad they let you go mail it. It would be such a sad thing to have to leave it there or something after having worked so hard to win it. And to have your name engraved on it too. Wow!

I have to confess that not too long ago I went through security, on the plane, to my destination and home again never realizing that I had a very large, very sharp box cutter in my inner jacket pocket. (I had done a post-office, mail lots of boxes run the day prior to leaving and forgot it was in there)

So, hey, body scanners? I just busted your gig and got through with a "lethal weapon" Flew out and BACK with it. Through security TWICE. No one caught it. (Not even me. HAHAHA!)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

PJ, I have this mental picture of petite you with this monster sombrero and your snacks for the ride home. Grins.

You said: Congrats on Cosmo, Jeanne! Keeping my fingers crossed that it will turn thousands of people on to your fabulous books!

*blush* Man, ya'll are gonna turn my head with all this fun stuff. Grins. Thanks, PJ, for the vote of confidence!

TerriOsburn said...

As a person who DROVE 40,000 miles in 8 months, I'm always happy to get on a plane and leave the "driving" to someone else. But after the issues I had earlier this year, not so much.

My problem was not what I took ON the plane, it was what I didn't take. The plan was to fly from VA to AR to get my daughter, then the two of us fly back that same afternoon. I took a purse with my iPod and eReader, that's it.

Unfortunately, fog in Charlotte meant a cancelled flight and no way to get to AR. They could get me as far as Memphis, where I ended up having to spend the night. Remember the part about only having a purse? You don't even want to know how much that weekend cost me.

I've never flown into NYC so this June will be a first. Anyone have tips on which airport to choose?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Terri said: They could get me as far as Memphis, where I ended up having to spend the night. Remember the part about only having a purse? You don't even want to know how much that weekend cost me.

Ohhhh, that's so not good. Wow. I have this mental list running now of all the things I would have had to buy to stay the night...yeah. Expensive. Urg.

I'm terrible about which airport to choose, to tell you the truth. I've flown into Newark, NJ and taken the train in (Penn station is about 3 blocks from the hotel), and I've taken the bus from La Guardia (not too bad), and a cab. I'm not sure where I"m going or what I'm doing either.

What about everyone else?

TerriOsburn said...

Jeanne - I bought toothpaste and a toothbrush at the airport, plus a charger for my cell. The motel wasn't too bad. The big expense was all new plane tickets for the next day. (Long story, but there was no other way.)

Ever buy plane tickets less than 24 hrs before your departure time? Not. Good.

I wondered about the Newark thing. Wasn't sure how much of a hassle that would be.

p226 said...

My opinions on flying and the TSA are not suitable for this venue. Some of you probably already know them anyway.

If I fly now, I fly private. Which means that due to cost, I drive.

PJ said...

Terri, I fly into LaGuardia because I always find better fares into there than the other airports. I've used both a taxi and private car service to get from the airport to the hotel and back. They ended up being about the same price ($50)which isn't bad if you're splitting it three or four ways but the car was much more comfortable!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

P226 said: My opinions on flying and the TSA are not suitable for this venue. Some of you probably already know them anyway.

Snicker. I can guess at (and agree with) the majority of your opinions on this subject, Sir P226.

Driving's a good option and I do it when I can, but it woulda been a Loooooong way to Austin, TX. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

PJ said: They ended up being about the same price ($50)which isn't bad if you're splitting it three or four ways but the car was much more comfortable!

Good to know, PJ!

Jenn3128 said...

I'm a big traveler, but not by air. I love to drive. I like taking the older highways and backroads and seeing what's hidden.

My fav road trip was when we took highway 50 from CO back to CA. What an adventure! The excitement of stopping for gas when you actually saw a gas station vs needing a gas station was kind of a rush!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Jen3128! You said: I like taking the older highways and backroads and seeing what's hidden.

Oooh, I love this! It's fun, isn't it? Just finding hidden gems on backroads in odd places. Not so great when you have to BE somewhere, but if you're just tooling along...yeah. I love it.

TerriOsburn said...

Thanks for the tip, PJ!

Deb said...

The first time I flew, my sister and I sat by each other and our hands gripped one another's so hard, we left imprints. :) Lifting off is thrilling, isn't it?

A couple of summers ago, 2 friends and I had an education conference in Nashville and flew there via O'Hare. A thunderstorm had thrown a glitch in the computer systems and the flight personnel were scrambling to put everyone on other flights. While standing in line waiting, we had struck up a conversation with a young woman with 2 young children who were in line behind us. They were flying home to relocate in Nashville after having been on a military base in Germany for the last 4 years and her husband was being transferred back to the U.S. Three seats became available; the three of us looked at each other, stepped back, and urged the mother forward with her children to take the seats. Spending the night in O'Hare is not fun, but worth it to see the woman smiling through her tears.

As for souvenirs brought home...I was in Denmark and bought an aebleskiver pan for myself. (Round donut-like treat filled with applesauce). I lugged that dumb, heavy pan all the way home and found the same darned pan two months later in a shop in the Amanas (German settlement here in Iowa).

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Deb! How cool about giving the mom the seats. And no, spending the night in O'Hare is NOT fun. :> You get stars in your crown for that one, though.

You said: As for souvenirs brought home...I was in Denmark and bought an aebleskiver pan for myself. (Round donut-like treat filled with applesauce). I lugged that dumb, heavy pan all the way home and found the same darned pan two months later in a shop in the Amanas (German settlement here in Iowa).

Okay, I have one of these pans. My stepmom gave it to me. Haven't used it yet. Hoping too this spring. I'll be emailing you for ideas...

BJ said...

OMG...The stories I could tell...but I must behave!!!!
Having worked for a major airlines I know how the inside works...I started out as a ground agent (actually loading planes and stuff) then I worked as a gate agent and ticket agent when needed. So I've seen Passengers at their "Best"...LOL
I will say my fave flight I've ever flown was home from NY to Chicago with Richard Simmons....That man is so sweet, but he NEVER shuts up!
As to the same while I was helping out in NY, I had a Mayor come up to me and look at me when I asked him for his I.D, he actually asked me "What don't you know your Mayor?", and me being the smartbutt that I am, "Yes, sir, but John Hickenlooper is currently in Denver." Talk about bug eyes on a man.
Gosh I could go on all day with stories....I've kept Vern Yip's cell phone over night in Chicago from when he lost it, while travelling with Ty Pennington.
......My Sister Dee and I used to love to get stuck at Customer service (on nice days) just to people watch. It the best thing...on bad days...lets just say I learned some really interesting words.

Anna Sugden said...

Oooh Jeanne - that SOOOOO COOOOOOL - featured in Cosmo and you didn't have to do anything kinky! I'm only sad that it's not out here :(

As someone who's been flying since she was a baby, I'm kind of indifferent to it. I like the time I get to read or watch a movie, but I've done it so much that I don't actually enjoy it. I'm all for the 'Beam Me Up, Scotty approach, or even wiggling my nose to appear somewhere. Wish I could find those magical flues and port keys from Harry Potter.

I really don't like having to make connections - always guaranteed to have cancellations, delays etc.

I have to say I'm actually dreading the flight to OZ this summer as it's so long. Almost 24 hrs *thunk*! It'll be worth it though to see Anna and Christine and some of our other Aussie friends!

I need plenty of reading material - will be going with an ereader of some type this year due to baggage restrictions, probably an iPad 2 - my iTouch, my Dana (don't travel with a laptop anymore), my Japanese Hanjie puzzles book and my Bose headphones. I also always take a hoody because cabins tend to vary in heat so much and I always seem to be cold.

Anna Sugden said...

Oh don't mention the whole liquids thing - we were on the first flight out of Newark to London on the morning that all became an issue. No-one knew what was going on and it was chaos. We lost everything that was liquid or gel - no matter how small. What really annoyed me was that we had an unopened bottle of Chanel Chance which was a present for one of hubby's daughter from a friend. We'd deliberately not put it into the case as we knew it would be nicked. Only to have it taken off us at security with no explanation. What's worse was it wasn't thrown into the black bag with all the other liquid stuff, but put to one side. Think someone made out nicely with it!

We got security checked about 6 times and still no-one told us what was going on. It was only as we were about to board the plane that one of hubby's kids called and explained!

Anna Sugden said...

Oh one other story - we got stopped at an x-ray machine once because my hubby was carrying wrapped birthday presents for me in his hand luggage. One, in particular, they weren't happy about. He explained to the security guys that it was a present and got taken to one side where they all whispered about what was in the package, so I wouldn't hear. After several more x-rays and tests, we got special dispensation to go through with the parcel.

Turned out they were ear-rings, shaped as chef's knives!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Omgosh, BJ, I was ROFLMAO about the Hickenlooper comment. Pretty cool about Vern Yip's cell phone too. Grins.

You said: My Sister Dee and I used to love to get stuck at Customer service (on nice days) just to people watch. It the best thing...on bad days...lets just say I learned some really interesting words.

Oh, like "Gosh, darn-it!" and "Dagnabbit!"

Snork.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna said: Oooh Jeanne - that SOOOOO COOOOOOL - featured in Cosmo and you didn't have to do anything kinky!

*wiggles eyebrows* Are you sure about that?

Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Anna, what's the diff between and iPad and an iPad 2?

And whoa, I do NOT envy that flight to OZ, but I DO envy the fun at the destination. I so want to go to Australia and visit our Aus Bandits, and Helen and other regulars from Oz.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, Anna! I'm so sorry about the Chanel. Sigh. Such a lovely fragrance.

And I had to LOL about this: Turned out they were ear-rings, shaped as chef's knives!

Grins. Too funny!

Nancy said...

Oh, yeah--what I absolutely have to have on a plane is a book. Preferably two, so I have a choice, if I'm not already engaged with one.

Nancy said...

Kim, I love the Anna Campbell mantra! I suspect it's a first in the history of Anna Fandom.

It's highly ironic that you're an Air Force vet and don't like to fly. I'm not such a keen fan of landings, myself. I'm okay with takeoffs, especially if there's no turbulence, but landings always knot up my stomach.

Nancy said...

Christine, we can't wait for you to get on that plane, either!

Love the comment on childbirth. It's so true. *sigh*

Nancy said...

Slush, I've never had trouble traveling through the Atlanta airport, but I've never had a close connection to make there. I couldn't give you much for the parking system, though, when I've picked people up.

The dh, the boy and I had a horrendous race through George Bush Int'l in Houston once. And even when we got to the purported gate, we still had a mad dash of about 50 yards down a long, long corridor and across the tarmc.

Nancy said...

Dianna, great story about the cake knife!

Cassondra said...

Whoa, Fo!

Way to grab the rooster!

Nancy said...

Jeanne, iPad2 is thinner, lighter, and faster than iPad, supposedly. Battery life looks about the same.

The iPad is about the size of a hardbacked book or large trade paperback but much thinner.

Cassondra said...

Oh, yes, I've made it onto a plane with a Swiss Army Knife, but that was a few years ago. Lately I've been putting them in my checked bag because I just don't like to be anywhere for a week, trying to get anything done, without a knife available. And you know what, TSA opened my big suitcase, dug in the bottom and pulled out my knives--I had my Swiss Army knife and my Spyderco Rescue knife in there. It was beyond obvious what either of them were on Xray, and I know this, so I think somebody pulled them out to see if it's something they wanted to keep. Pissed. Me. Off.

TSA has pissed me off a lot lately, but it's all the people down below, who deal with the checked bags. The people up top are usually lovely.

And the flight attendants--I have another story about that but I'll break here so it won't get too long.

Cassondra said...

Last spring I was flying back from somewhere and had one of those experiences. I always choose the aisle seat, and this time the lady on the inside seat had on strong perfume. She brushed by me as she moved to the window seat beside mine, and I got a powerful whiff of it and knew that I'd be sick as a dog if I had to breathe that the entire three hour flight. Dear, sweet lady. VILE perfume.

I hopped up and went to one of the flight attendants and whispered the problem. I did NOT want to hurt her feelings, and if there was no other spot, I'd stay where I was rather than do that, but if there was an open seat anywhere, could they move me? They said they'd try.

Well, our seat belts were buckled a few minutes later, and we were taxiing for takeoff. The attendant came and grabbed me and said, "excuse me ma'am, you're with the police, right? We need you up here by the emergency exit." I didn't even have time to answer, but was thinking what in the world?.

They brought a man back to my seat who didn't speak English, and placed me in the emergency seat row, by the bulkhead, and I got to talk to the attendants the whole time. I gave them a card and said if they'd email me I'd send them each a book as a thank you (I was gonna send some Bandit books, but they never emailed)

Sitting by the bulkhead, I finally glanced down to fasten my seatbelt and saw the shirt I had on. It was one of my NYPD shirts. These shirts were gifts from detectives I met when we were in New York for 9-11, and I wear them around like any other favorite t-shirt. I wasn't paying any attention when I put it on that morning. Just grabbed a comfy t-shirt. But it said POLICE in big letters across the back.

I can't decide, now whether wearing those shirts to fly is a good thing or a bad thing.

But those flight attendants were fabulous. They put their heads together, used their "I am in charge" voices and got me out of there so I wouldn't get sick.

And, btw, it was Delta.

I've had bad experiences with them in past years, but recently, it's all been fantastic--so I have nothing but good to say now. They even held a plane for me while I ran as hard as I could through the Memphis airport because I'd looked at the wrong boarding pass and gone to the wrong gate. They had to walk me down onto the tarmac so I could board.

I'll tell ya that tearing through that airport made me realize I had to get back in shape. I damn near killed myself.

Cassondra said...

Dianna Love said:

Jeanne - I'm trying to cut back on so much travel and flying (Cassondra...no sarcastic comments )

Snork!

My lips are zipped.

Snork.

Cassondra said...

Oh, strange things I've taken on planes..

I used to fly with my guitar all the time, and that is a royal pain in the rear, let me just say.

I won't check the guitar. If I'm forced to do that, I just won't fly. There are these unwritten rules about taking it aboard--you can usually hang it in the coat closet for the first class passengers if you get aboard before that fills up. And on many planes, it'll go in the overhead.

I had one pilot come out and ask me to play for him. I would've, but I'd loosened the strings and it would've taken way too long to tune.

Nowadays, as crowded as flights are, traveling with an instrument would be much harder to do I think. And maybe it's just me, but those overhead bins seem to be getting smaller.

Most places you get a LOT Of strange looks when you travel with a guitar on your back. They look at you like, "who are you? Are you somebody I should recognize?"

The only place nobody looks twice is Nashville. They're everywhere in that airport. Even in New York and LA I don't see many guitars in airports.

Cassondra said...

P226 said:

My opinions on flying and the TSA are not suitable for this venue. Some of you probably already know them anyway.

If I fly now, I fly private. Which means that due to cost, I drive.


Mine are exactly on par with yours, but I fly a lot now, so I just suck it up and do it anyway. Not much way around it unless you work for a corporation with a Lear or can afford your own. I don't and can't. And the busier I get, the less time I want to spend stuck in a car.

I hate to fly anyway.

Anna Campbell said...

Here, Tawny, a virtual Tim Tam with virtual calories (personally I'd rather have a REAL one!).

Cyndi Lauper sounds like a good sport. I always really liked her. She wrote some beautiful songs - I was never much into Madonna. She always seemed like a triumph of the publicity machine to me whereas I thought CL was the real deal when it came to musical talent.

Anna Campbell said...

Ha ha, Kim, your Anna Campbell story always makes me laugh! Perhaps those people think you belonged to a weird cult. Although now I think of it, being a crazy mad romance reader is like belonging to a cult!

Anna Campbell said...

Awww, thanks, PJ! I'm definitely going to be in Anaheim.

Cassondra said...

Oh...what I have to have on a plane.

I have a plastic baggy and it's my emergency kit. Contents: cough drops, Advil, Nyquil and Dayquil, Imodium, Dramamine, a couple of bandaids, emery board, an eyelash curler, mascara, and lip gloss--cuz no matter how horrible you look, you can fix a lot with good eyelashes, big earrings, and lipstick. Also a small hand lotion, tiny bottle of contact solution, contact case with an extra set of contacts, toothbrush and tiny toothpaste, a few peppermints, and earplugs.

In my carry on I have my wallet, the bag with above contents, a book (always), pens, pencils, a collapsible hair brush, my wine journal, and a page of easy Sudoku puzzles, and that's it.

I carry on my computer bag and this small tote. If I'm editing a manuscript, it'll fit in that tote.

I can go pretty much anywhere with just this, but if I had to stay the night, it would be awful. I'd have to stop at a drugstore for some cosmetics, which would be really expensive. I can't carry on all the lotions, creams and gels I now need to survive. :0/

Nancy said...

Cassondra, the dh flew with his old bassoon once. A family friend had asked to borrow it for a daughter interested in taking lessons, so the dh carried it with him when he went to see his folks. He said security ran a swab through the curved neck of it.

I've seen some overheads where your guitar wouldn't fit, and I don't blame you for not checking it. I wouldn't either.

Tracy Garrett said...

Neat post, Jeanne. I like to fly, too--less now than "back in the day" but still...

The strangest thing I carried home on an airplane? A dozen red roses, with vase, the dh sent me for our anniversary while I was at RWA Conference. Sigh...

Julie Hurwitz said...

Flying doesn't bother me at all. It means I have more time at my destination than if I drove. (I love to drive, but only when I have lots of time to spend.)

I truly believe that, just like other things, you get back from flying what you put into it. So I always try and go in with a positive attitude -- and I'm very rarely disappointed. I've found that flight attendants are usually very nice to you if you're nice to them. And gate agents can sometimes work miracles for you if you're nice and not snotty.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: I'll tell ya that tearing through that airport made me realize I had to get back in shape. I damn near killed myself.

Same here. Same airport. URG!

And I love that story about the police shirt. Go you! How smart of them to use that to get you the heck out of there.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: The only place nobody looks twice is Nashville. They're everywhere in that airport. Even in New York and LA I don't see many guitars in airports.


Yep, saw LOTS of guitars in Nashville in '09 when I went there. Seldom see them anywhere else. Maybe you do in LA or something, but not sure you would, even there. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna C said: Although now I think of it, being a crazy mad romance reader is like belonging to a cult!

Yesssss, come into our LAIR...make yourselfffff at hoooommmmme. We like the crazy mad romance readers who come to our doors. We keep them, we dooo....

*rubs hands, twitches madly* Yesssss, my precioiussssss....

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Casssondra, I love your "must haves" on the plane:
an eyelash curler, mascara, and lip gloss--cuz no matter how horrible you look, you can fix a lot with good eyelashes, big earrings, and lipstick.

And yes, yes you can fix a lot with lipstick, earrings and mascara. Grins.

Beth Andrews said...

Congrats on the Cosmo Red Hot Read, Jeanne! I can't wait to pick up a copy *g*

When my son and I flew to Boston he took along his double bass pedal. Thankfully, he didn't need to bring any drums to go with it :-)

I'm happy with a bottle of water and a book when I travel. But since I have to wear a patch to keep from getting motion sick, I usually fall asleep right after take off *g*

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Tracy! Great to see you. :>

You said: The strangest thing I carried home on an airplane? A dozen red roses, with vase, the dh sent me for our anniversary while I was at RWA Conference. Sigh...


I've had to do this too, but not recently. A friend did though and she said they made her empty all the water out of the flowers, then the flight attendants got her water to put back IN the vase. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Julie! Great to see you over here today!

You said: Flying doesn't bother me at all. It means I have more time at my destination than if I drove. (I love to drive, but only when I have lots of time to spend.)

I agree. And you're right - most of the time - that if you're nice when you go to the airport, most of the airport is nice to you. grins. I really had a good time with the flight attendant between Austin and Memphis this weekend. She was a hoot. The ones from DC to Atlanta were having a bad run of it though - drunk passengers in first class were not helping that much either.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Beth! Thanks! I'm so excited about the Cosmo thing. Although, I have to admit it's a bit of a *blush* thing as well, since the excerpt is a red hot quickie sex scene between the hero and heroine. Yikes! Grins. Out of context...

You said: When my son and I flew to Boston he took along his double bass pedal. Thankfully, he didn't need to bring any drums to go with it :-)

I'm happy with a bottle of water and a book when I travel. But since I have to wear a patch to keep from getting motion sick, I usually fall asleep right after take off *g*


The bass pedal? Is that like the bit that hits the base drum? Is it unusual enough that you need to take your own? Grins.

Inquiring minds....

Do you take that scopolamine patch? A friend of mine does that becasue he too gets airsick. And carsick. And boat sick....

jo robertson said...

Great post, Jeanne! Flying sure isn't like in the old days. I loved, loved flying. It was a chance to get away from my kiddies, take a break from my husband and visit with my sis on the east coast.

What I hate most is the almost-gone coast to coast fares. Now they have layovers that make a 5 1/2 hour trip about 12 hours. No fun at all!

My most unusual gift was an alabaster bust of Nefertiti that I hand carried back from Egypt. She rested between my legs the entire flight -- not really comfortable!

Donna MacMeans said...

Congrats again on the Red Hot Read, Jeanne!

I always worry about the hatpin in my Victorian Riding hat going through the scanners. It's not the sort of thing I can pack in a suitcase, so I tend to wear it in the airport...which probably makes ME the most unusual thing people have seen in an airport LOL. At least in the Columbus airport.

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, you're seriously scary! Do you think Cosmo knows just who they've invited to share their double bed?

Beth Andrews said...

The bass pedal? Is that like the bit that hits the base drum? Is it unusual enough that you need to take your own? Grins.

I'm not sure how unusual it is but it's two pedals that are connected so he's using both feet when he plays *g* I think the kit he was using in Boston only had one pedal.

As a drummer, that boy needs his own road crew. Much easier when he just brings his guitar :-)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo, I know what you mean about the coast-to-coast bit. Just getting to Austin was about 6 hours. A direct flight is less than 3. Sigh.

You said: My most unusual gift was an alabaster bust of Nefertiti that I hand carried back from Egypt. She rested between my legs the entire flight -- not really comfortable!

Oh, my! How cool is that? Do you still have her, or was she a gift to someone else?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Donna said: I always worry about the hatpin in my Victorian Riding hat going through the scanners. It's not the sort of thing I can pack in a suitcase, so I tend to wear it in the airport...which probably makes ME the most unusual thing people have seen in an airport LOL. At least in the Columbus airport.

Oh, my! That can be quite the dangerous weapong! (At least I could make it a dangerous weapon. Grins.)

You scandalous woman you!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna said: Jeanne, you're seriously scary! Do you think Cosmo knows just who they've invited to share their double bed?


Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!!! Little do they know!

Grins.

I'd just love it if this issue sold a ton for them because the Bandits rock them some Cosmo. Grins. We'll have to see how it goes and if it bumps sales on Amazon and B&N and all that.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Beth said:As a drummer, that boy needs his own road crew. Much easier when he just brings his guitar :-)

Yeah, I'll bet! But as Cassondra points out, even teh guitar is fraught with peril when you're traveling. De-tuning strings, fitting the case in the overhead bin....

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Jeanne!

Talking about travel had me reserving my ticket to NY for the National convention and trying to plan out when I'd be flying to Ohio to see my parents.

Like you I'm a people watcher and the airport can be fun for that. I never travel without a book, so that the time passes quicker for me. Of course at least part of the trip is spent sleeping, unless of course I'm traveling with a friend, in which case I do little of either and spend most of that time talking!!

Cassondra said...

Jeanne said:

I'd just love it if this issue sold a ton for them because the Bandits rock them some Cosmo. Grins. We'll have to see how it goes and if it bumps sales on Amazon and B&N and all that.

Oh, Cosmo should bump sales plenty. I didn't know they were excerpting a sex scene though. What an odd thing to excerpt in a national magazine.

But maybe that's the norm for them? I guess that's why they'd call it Red Hot Reads maybe?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: But maybe that's the norm for them? I guess that's why they'd call it Red Hot Reads maybe?

Yep, and it's Cosmo, after all, where they talk frankly about what you can do to please you, or your partner or...wahtever. Grins.

Louisa Cornell said...

Huzzah, La Campbell !!! And you put him on a diet. Better sleep with one eye open !!

Great post, Duchesse !! And I am SO glomming as many copies of Cosmo as I can so that I can give them to friends and say "READ THIS!"

I flew quite a bit in my singing days. These days I only fly if RWA is far enough away to prohibit car travel.

Flew back into Frankfurt a few weeks after the bombing of the PanAm Flight over Lockerbie Scotland. Slapped the hand of a German soldier who I felt was a bit too thorough in his search of my person. No big deal, but the guy did have a machine gun! He swore at me in German and then his buddies cracked up when I said in perfect German that he had a "rather unusual relationship with his mother." You do the translation.

I've brought a few odd things back as souvenirs. Brought a Black Forest cuckoo clock back in my carry-on for my parents' anniversary one year. Carted a HUGE poster of the Van Gogh Bicentennial Exhibit in Amsterdam all over Europe before I finally got it home to the States. It hangs in my kitchen these days.

My air travel must haves :

A good romance novel

Comfortable shoes and socks

My laptop with headphones so I can listen to music and write or just listen to Richard Armitage read Georgette Heyer.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Louisa said: My laptop with headphones so I can listen to music and write or just listen to Richard Armitage read Georgette Heyer.

I have got to see if I can find this. Had to LOL about the cuckoo clock and the german guard. Grins

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Well, speaking of running, I'm running out of steam, Ladies and Gents. Hope you have a great night!

Sleep well!