12 Days of Cruisemas / Day one

There has to be some sort of vaccine that can be administered to people who live more than 10 miles north of LAX. I am over 30 miles away, and making a flight on time is always a gut squeeze; my wife calls it my airport mode. I was particularly stressed as TSA was tightening security after the Yemen mess and Continental’s web page advised to arrive at the airport 3 hours early. (I’ve come to believe that the airlines have some deal with the airport vendors. “We’ll get’em here early, then it’s up to you.”)

So we left with plenty of time to spare. Oops, accident on freeway….freaking out!!!! I kept checking my cell, just to do something besides sweat.

We made it an hour and 45 minutes before flight time, but I was still hanging on to frenzied. Grab the baggage, quick goodbye, rush to check in. The area was almost empty. TSA was not busy.

Surprised, I decided to call Michael (my wife) to let her know, and to apologize for my up-tight behavior.

My cell phone was gone! I checked with security. Not there! Now, calling Michael became a necessity. I had to tell her why I couldn’t call her for the next two weeks. I haven’t used a pay phone in years, nor do I carry quarters.  Down the corridor to a vendor who couldn’t open her register just to give me change, but went into her own purse. She, thankfully, carried quarters.

My gate was next to security. They were giving me a second look. I mean, who runs towards them. Quarter in the slot, buttons pushed; her line was busy!! I took a seat close to the phones and as I did, the outgoing crew gathered nearby. While I was waiting, I decided to get a paper to read.

As I paid my favorite vendor, one of the crew members yelled,

“Geoff Edwards, your wife wants to speak to you.”

Michael had called back the number shown on her phone.

As I picked up the receiver the female First Officer said,

“Boy, she really keeps track of you.”

My cell phone had dropped between the front seat and the door. Good news it wasn’t lost; bad news, I‘ll need more quarters so I can call her from Newark

To paraphrase almost every politician, “I misspoke”. Newark airport was lovely. My gate for Lisbon was just across from my arrival gate, and right next to an oyster and seafood restaurant. Very good Manhattan clam chowder.

We left on time and the back of the plane gods blessed me with an empty row.

I stretched out and pulled the blanket over my head.

Night, night, until Portugal.

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