This morning I was up early to catch the shuttle to the airport. The night before my new shuttle-friends made fun of me for booking what was probably a bit excessively early of a time but I was not risking missing this flight! When I got to the airport I used some of my extra time to grab an Einstein Bros Bagels bagel for breakfast before going through security. Yummmmmm! There was no Pre-Check line for me today so it took a bit longer. I still found their staff very efficient and almost unnaturally friendly. The burly young man who scanned my passport looked up at me and said, “You’ve changed your hair color.” I stared at him confused for a minute thinking I don’t know this guy. How does he know I dyed my hair? Is he stalking me? Should I be afraid? until I realized he was looking at the info/photo on my passport. Goodness Kris, you really need to get more sleep… There really wasn’t any covering up my dumbfounded stare so I just giggled and was like, “Since I got my passport…yes, I dyed it.” To which he laughed and replied, “I like it. The red really suits you.” Why thank you Mr. Handsome Homeland Security Agent. Apparently there really is something about my stranded hobo look that appeals to the men of Denver airport. At least today I was in clean clothes, although I’m not certain when the last time I washed my hair was… :s sketchy …
Fun Airport Security Fact: The George R R Martin Game of Thrones series books are printed differently than most books. It results in a thicker cover and different binding that shows up weird when X-Ray scanned. In both Denver and Edmonton security has asked to search my bag because there was an unidentifiable object in it. When I unzipped it both agents reached in, pulled out A Feast of Crows, laughed and showed it to their coworkers then let me continue on.
Once past security I grabbed a snack for mid-plane-ride and camped out at my gate. It felt weird to know that I would definitely have a seat on this plane. I still felt stupidly nervous though. I guess some habits are hard to break…plus they still could cancel the flight all together. Then the gate attendants called for boarding to begin. All I could think was “I’m getting on a plane!!!” Then she called my boarding group. And then I got on the plane. And it pulled away from the terminal. And it taxied down the runway. And it took off. And it flew all the way to New York!
You kept waiting for something bad to happen in there, right? Well so did I, but it didn’t!
I got to Newark without a hitch. I even had an empty middle seat in my 3-seat row. Maybe my luck is changing?! I was by the aisle but the nice man next to me let me slide over and snuggle up close to peer out the window at NYC. Today I totally saw the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. It was just from the plane but, hey, still better than Denver. Frankly it was the most exciting thing I’ve seen on the trip so far. I think I’d be kinda sad to leave except that I plan to be back in NY in a matter of months with my old Wonder & Wanderlust travel-buddy Justine.
It was exciting to wander around a new airport, plus I was just so happy to be out of Denver. I’m sorry DIA. It’s not you, it’s me. You’re a perfectly nice airport but I am going to attempt to never return. Flights will no longer just be judged by ‘Which is cheapest?’‘ but also by ‘Am I willing to be stuck in that connecting airport for 4 days?‘ I had to change terminals so I hoped on a bus that took me to Terminal A. There was an Earl of Sandwich right by my gate so I munched down a sandwich and apple juice while I waited for what could be the fligt that actually takes me to my desired destination. Eventually the gate attendant made the announcement and I boarded the plane! Oh my god, I’m actually going to Nashville! I thought this day would never come!
There was no one beside me again on this flight. It was a smaller plane so I was able to scatter my belongings over both seats in my row. It turned out to be an extra blessing when the plane got so hot I thought my feet would melt. Putting them up on the seat next to me might not have been the most polite, but it kept me at a much better temperature.
When we touched down in at BNA (aka the Nashville airport) the plane literally broke into applause. I’m dead serious about this. Over 75% of our flight had just come from Denver and was arriving over 24 hours after their intended arrival time. Personally I was stepping off the plane only 68 hours after originally scheduled. “Only 68 hours?” you say. “It’s seemed longer.” Yes, yes it did. It was the longest 68 hour so of my life.
I was skipping through the airport I was so pleased. Soon I was skipping in time to thet live country music being played right there in the middle of the arrivals terminal. This city is already so cool. I caught the hotel shuttle out front and soon arrived at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. We are staying here until KG’s conference is over, as it is the host hotel. I’m so glad we are because it is indescribably amazing. However I will attempt to describe it later in its very own blog post. I met KG at a musical dancing fountain on the center of Delta Island (seriously, this hotel needs a post all of its own).She showed me to our room where I was reunited with my suitcase. So many clothes! I immediately changed. It didn’t matter that I had washed my one outfit last night, I was sick of it.
We went for supper at the Jack Daniels restaurant in the hotel. One wall was made entirely out of whiskey barrels and the decor somehow embraced both classy hotel restaurant & dicey honkytonk. I had southern fried chicken & a Tennessee tea (which is basically a Long Island ice tea with JD in it). KG had a half-rack of ribs. In true Americna fashion the meals were too large to finish. I mean did they actually expect me to eat a full 3 dense pieces of fried chicken? Perhaps they did, but would they prepared when I simultaneously had a heart attack & slipped in a food coma after?
We finished off our night with some hotel exploring…but that’s hush hush right now…
Love & Luck,