Lin dropped me at Boston's Logan Airport early at my request. I had two large duffels filled to capacity with boat parts and miscellany. Add to that a carry-on suitcase and a large “purse” which accommodated my new laptop, my iPad, my Kindle and then other less important stuff like my wallet, passport and ticket info. I had my hands full. Remember, I had originally planned to fly directly back to Perth, Australia. Stopping in Las Vegas was not the plan. Luckily Southwest offers two free checked bags up to 50# each (really!) that I was able to check at the curb, no less. I already had my boarding passes and headed straight to the gates. In all the times I've flown out of Boston, I don't think I've ever flown out of its “E” gates, usually reserved for international flights. Something new and different.
The TSA security check line was long, but moved very quickly. A pleasant surprise was the line-up of white rocking chairs facing the planes and runways as I exited Security. Close to my departure gate, I spotted an empty rocker that seemed to call my name (it had a lobster painted on it) and I claimed it in a nanosecond. I sat down, rocked slowly back and forth and began to watch the show.
I spotted an AerLingus jet arriving next to the Southwest jet I would be boarding and I couldn't help wonder who might be coming or subsequently leaving on that plane. My Irish-American cousins make the trip to Ireland quite often. They stay in castles and cottages and roam the countryside and I daydreamed that David and I might sail there some day. It's easy to daydream while you're rocking.
I watched the tons and tons of luggage being shuttled around from plane to plane. No wonder my luggage barely survives one flight before giving up the ghost. These guys are not gentle. Then I spotted two legless, abandoned plastic pink flamingos sitting on the tarmac and wondered what their story was.
We boarded on time and were off. No drama at all. Though it was open seating and the flight seemed full, I got a great seat close to the front with plenty of room to stow my carry-ons and a good view of the city as we took off. I waved goodbye to beautiful Boston and felt a twinge of regret and sadness in my heart. Next stop … Nashville.
We arrived early. Figures … I had a 3-hour layover. I've visited Nashville in the past. It's a country music city: Grand Ole Opry, Honky Tonk Highway, Country Music Hall of Fame … nothing open at the airport though. After all, it was after 6PM on a Saturday night. Even the Burger King was closed. I finally found a place for a salad, dawdled a bit over my romaine lettuce and then set out to see whatever there was to see to while away the rest of my layover time. It turned out the comic strip character, Nancy, hailed from Nashville … at least her creator, Ernie Bushmiller did, and there was a display dedicated to her. That took up a good 10 minutes.
Next, I spotted some art on the ceiling. Entitled Spectrum Wind by Duncan McDaniel, this was a conduit and colored plastic cup artwork funded by Arts at the Airport. Hmm … I stopped to photograph it … looking up to do so. Several people stopped and looked up, too. We shared a few comments. Another 5 minutes gone … just like that.
The flight was delayed another 45 minutes. I waited impatiently. I fidgeted. We finally boarded and I got a seat next to an old codger who insisted on talking incessantly ... even when I feigned sleep. Nearly 5 hours later, my left ear numb from the chatterbox next to me, we arrived in Las Vegas. I made my way out of the security area, eyes peeled for that familiar face. And there was David with a big smile and an iPad sign for his arriving passenger. It's good to be home … and home is wherever David is.