Today, my airplane was at Gate 1. I have hardly explored the Gates 1-12 section of Austin Bergstrom International Airport, as my typical Continental ticket has me waiting in the 13-25 wing. Today I am at gate 1, so I really will have seen the whole airport. I walk through the terminal, seeing gates 6, 5, 4, 3…round the corner to 2, and then just a simple sign for gate 1: PLEASE USE STAIRS OR ELEVATOR DOWN TO GATE 1. Ah, the special gate, cant wait for this one. I sit down for a few minutes and then they start to board. And by board, I mean open up the door out to the cement runway where passengers climb stairs up to the plane. ABIA is a small airport, but not small enough that it doesn’t have [that accordion thing that connects the terminal to the plane…can’t think of what it is], no, this plane is simply so low to the ground that [an accordion thing] would not be able to accommodate it. Unless it was a mini [accordion thing…what is that called?], but then perhaps we would all feel too much like we were boarding a Disneyworld ride and not a fancy grown-up airplane. For me, this is a business trip. I feel pretty special when I get to take a business trip, so special they had to fly me somewhere. That is pretty prideful of myself, but I don’t really care, and my ego is being fueled by the staircase I have to walk up to board the plane. I feel like the president, or the president’s wife at least. Jackie O or Laura Bush…walking up the steps to my private jet (because there are ohsomany stock photos of W and Laura on the steps of Air Force One, embarking and disembarking). My pride is quickly brought back to reality as I shove my too-big bag under a seat and a lady sticks her behind in my face as she tried to get her bag into the overhead compartment. Oh well. I sit down in my little seat want waited for the plane to leave the airport. I feel really American after my nostalgic minute as a first lady. I feel even more American as the overhead music plays “crocodile rock.” I know Elton is an Englishman, but I claim him as American, so whatever. My American-ness (or Texan-ness?) penetrates further as I eat my smoked turkey salad that I brought from the Salt Lick stand in the airport. I even use bbq sauce instead of dressing on it.
I got to New Orleans ok. my flight was an hour and a half late. Because the “battery broke” on the plane. I put that in quotes because later I called Jon and he said there was no battery on the plane, so who knows what they were stalling for. then I got to new Orleans and then shuttle ride to the hotel was some 50 people long, and I am pretty sure each of those 50 people were paying with foreign currency completely unfamiliar to the shuttle-ticket seller at the window. it was taking forEVER. SO, I split a cab with two other people I met in line: a woman from Michigan (ohmygawsh, you are heeere for a cawnfrence? does that mean all the rest-rants will be filled up? uuuuuuuuuuuugggggggghhhh), and a man from Montreal (read with French accent: we has so much snow in mon-trayyy–aal I don’t know where to put it anymore on my drrrriveway). That was a new experience. My boss can thank me later for the $10 I saved on splitting the cab. I am not sure if it was worth it or not.
I arrived at the hotel and it is fantastic. The room is huge, I feel like I am on my honeymoon with my co-worker.