I love when people share their travel stories with me. My friend Becky has lived everywhere and traveled everywhere. She is an incredible blogger and photographer, and I will admit to often living vicariously through her for the past decade.
What enticed me the most about sharing this Guest Blog is that she incorporated my style of writing and speaking in her story.
Enjoy and remember, Always Clean Your Tray Tables…
I love to travel. And I love (almost) everything about airports. I travel often. Not for work but because currently I’m taking a year off from teaching to travel as much as possible. I don’t fly first class, I don’t get upgraded, I don’t have an airline I’m particularly loyal to. Basically if the flight is a good deal, the plane doesn’t have duct tape holding critical pieces together and it’s going somewhere I’ve never been…I’m game!
That being said I found myself with an annoying 12 hour layover in Seattle in route for 3 weeks in Hawaii in February. I know, I know. Poor me. Anyway , what does one do with a mere 12 hours? I’m too cheap to pay for a decent hotel just to shower and sleep in but also wasn’t excited for 12 hours in an uncomfortable terminal seat. Enter the good ole world of Facebook and Google searches. Within minutes of landing (and $45 dollars later) I was comfortably lounging in the Alaska Airlines Terminal C Lounge. No doubt I was the only person in the lounge who hours before had eaten her home packed PB and J sandwich on the flight. But now I was in the world of unlimited alcoholic drinks, soup, salad, cookies, cheese, hummus…what more does one need?!?
I quickly calculated how many glasses of wine I’d need to drink in order to “break even”. 4 was the magic number! No. Problem. I found a seat, got comfortable and immediately began my favorite airport activity of people watching. The crowd was a mix of business men, regulars that got greeted by name, solo travelers, a single mom and her young daughter and low and behold..let’s call her Bubbles(bc I have never seen someone down that amount of champagne in that little of time).
When I sat down, Bubbles was deep in conversation on the phone with her Mom. Bubbles, I would later find out was about to turn 50 but could pass for 40 any day of the week! She had just been to El Paso for the weekend but lives in Alaska. Anywho, I was trying so hard not to eaves drop…ok that not true, but in my defense when one talks loudly, holds champagne and flips their hair and head back with every “omg!” You are bound to take a listen. Turns out Bubbles was in Texas sending a “friend” off for deployment. She went into great detail how much “exercising” they did together before he left. After giving her Mom lots of overshared details of their favorite “exercise routines” she hangs up the phone and strikes up a conversation with me. I despise small talk.
As an introvert it’s literally painful for me to engage in such tasks but when traveling, I’m a little more game for chatting and when there is wine involved…I’m usually always up for chit chat. I quickly learned Bubbles is recently divorced. Her husband was cheating on her with her boss. Her boss arranged for Bubbles to get a year long job transfer in Alaska. Bubbles took the job only to learn of the affair shortly after. Over sharers make me uncomfortable, but at the same time, I tend to find them refreshing. Maybe it was the champagne talking, but this lady ,within minutes of meeting me decided to share very personal details of her life. She went on to tell me how it’s actually turned into a life changing, positive, and happy year for her. I admire her outlook under less than desirable circumstances. And apparently she was having sex and lots of it. This she also shared. You go girl!
A few more downed glasses of champagne, and she was off to catch her flight (she got a notification it was boarding but stayed to finish her bubbly…I respect that). The rest of the time in the lounge was quite boring in comparison to the tornado that had been Bubbles. I succeeded in drinking my 4 glasses of wine (and perhaps more) and then was off to sleep on the airport floor for a few hours before my flight left.
Cheers to travel, small talk, and seeing the champagne glass half full!