Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Adventures in the Northeast

It’s taken a week, but I’ve finally managed to set aside a bit of time to tell ya about my trip to PARF over Labor Day Weekend. I left work early on Thursday to catch my flight to Dulles, then on to Rochester. D/FW drives me crazy, and given my preference, I fly out of Love whenever possible. Unfortunately, this time, not possible. I was like WAAY early, being the Queen of Early, for my flight, so I got all checked in, with my boarding pass, and my carryon bag. Knowing that I wouldn’t hit NY for another 8 hours, I went in search of caffeine, and lucked out, because right by my gate was a McDonalds. For those of you who don’t know it, I’m a PEPPER, and while Mr. Pibb is an acceptable substitute, if necessary, Pepsi has no such option, and Pepsi is the official soft drink supplier for DFW airport. McDonalds, however, sells Dr Pepper, and lucky for me, one of the I don’t know, like 3 or 4 of them on the whole property was near my gate. I finished my infusion of caffeine just about the time they called us to board, and started the spiel about gate checking carry on luggage as we were on a regional jet. I’d thought ahead, and brought my cool Marc Gunn To Love is Human, to Purr Divine bag inside my carryon, JUST IN CASE they made me gate check, because the laptop was NOT going under the plane. I didn’t need to GC at that time, but I had my laptop, a book, and a magazine in the other bag, since I knew the carryon would never fit under the seat. We took off about 10 minutes early, and landed in Dulles about 30 minutes early…. hmm, don’t know if we had a good tailwind or if we were speeding, but at least I didn’t have to run to find my gate in the other terminal. I was in line at the little pizza place to get a bite to eat, and there was this creepy older guy (I would say close to 60, which, granted, isn’t particularly old, but to my 40, older than I’m interested in for sure) checkin’ me out. Now, I fully expect, when I’m wearing full wench gear to be checked out. Or if I’m wearing a low-cut or very fitted top. I had on jeans and a loose t-shirt. At any rate, I got my pizza, and glanced about for an empty table, there are none, so I am going to go sit at the gate instead. Creepy guy starts winkin’ and motioning me to his table. EWWWWWW! They called us about 20 minutes early to board, and told us we’d have to gate check anything bigger than a breadbasket, pretty much. In this case, it was a good thing, because we boarded using stairs, and I would have hated to have to manage the smaller bag, plus tote that wheeled carryon up those stairs! We got to Rochester early as well, by just a few minutes I think, and I think Robin & I contained our squeals pretty well, although we were hugging and bouncing up and down right there in the doorway. By the time we got to her place, had a bottle of wine… some YUMMY pineapple wine, and decided which Loki to introduce to PARF, it was after 3 a.m., and I’d been up, literally, 23 hours! The 6 hour drive to PA was beautiful… it’s been a LOOONG time since I saw real mountains… sure we have a few mountains out in west TX, but they are largely brown and uninteresting. Big trees, beautiful shades of greens, yellows and oranges as some had already started changing. Saturday dawned warm & muggy, pretty much like a late May day in TX. We met up in the parking lot with MaidenFaeSnow & Freebird, and the first place we visited in the shire was the hostel at Emporer’s Needle, where I met Betty, and then we went on to Mayfaire Moon to look at her corsets, and meet more wenches… Ysobelle, Surlz, Jayde, Artemisia (and of course Jack the Flying Monkey was with her), Nicole, Cricket, and I’m sure others I’ve forgotten, and rogues… Bryan, Crimson, Bob, Dave the smoothie guy, crap, my brain has lost the rest… 3 days of wandering about the shire, meeting new people, seeing new acts, finding new and beautiful things for myself and friends! I spent way too much money, but I brought home (or shipped) some fabulous things. Sunday I had a bison burger for lunch… YUMMY, OMG, will definitely be buying some bison the next time I need ground meat! The trip back to NY was truly an adventure… yeah, we got lost in the mountains, sort of. I guess not really LOST, so much as we were on a smaller highway, which ran pretty parallel to the one we needed to be on, so we took the ummm scenic route. It took us about ½ hour out of our way, but we made it, and there was lots of giggling, snorting & wheezing along the way. Yes, I snort when I laugh too hard, and you KNOW I’ve gone over the edge when you hear the Arnold Horshack wheeze! It happened, I swear. The trip home started a bit late, mostly because we giggled and such too late and didn’t get up as early as we could have. We got to the airport at just before 9, and my flight was at just before 10. I was seriously sweating it standing in line to check in. This time around, I paid the $40 to check 2 bags, and just had my laptop & other essentials in my kittybag. Experienced, in Chicago, Chicago style pizza… yummy! normally, I’m a thin & crispy crust kinda girl. I don’t want a bunch of dough under my cheese and pepperoni, but sometimes I do like a bit of dough at the edge instead of the hard crunch of the thin crust. Yep, that’s what I got… my crust wasn’t exactly thin, but it was thinner I think, than "hand tossed" that is offered down here, but the edges were nice and doughy, like a pan pizza down here. My flight was scheduled to leave at 12:30, so about 11:45 I headed for the gate. When I got there at 11:50, they were saying "last call for flight whatevernumberIwason. The doors are being closed in 1 minute" WTF???? I made it, fortunately, but I HATE being the last one on, even when I have a reserved seat! We took off about ½ hour early, and landed at least that early, but by the time I got my luggage… yeah, it was right about on time for my ride to pick me up. I’ll never understand how they got my 2 bags at the same time, yet when they give them back to me, one of them is like in the first 5 items unloaded, but the other is the very LAST! UGH! Hopefully on Thursday I’ll get my boxes that Robin shipped me, full of garb & goodies. Wash the garb, and next week ship it back off (at least some of it) to MFS for the next adventure…

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