We made it to Rochester and back in no time flat. Over the past two or three years I haven’t travelled much domestically and I forget that America is so HUGE and full of amazing things we don’t have in Los Angeles, like drive-thru banks and free parking and airport police who are nice to you and don’t yell at you in the crosswalks as if you are escaping a maximum-security prison.
The funniest thing that happened was in the car on our way from the conference center back to the airport on Saturday afternoon. We had the cutest Uber driver. She was a mom of three who signed up to be a driver on the weekends in between waiting on the kids at ballet lessons and track practice. She had colorful commentary, regularly argued with her GPS, and told us lots of fun facts about Rochester.
“There’s a festival going on over in that direction,” she said as she vaguely waved out the window. “That’s why there is so much traffic today, sorry ’bout that.”
The Captain and I looked out the car windows, then looked at each other, and then looked out the windows again.
There were four cars in all of Rochester that we could see, including ours.
“Oh, ok, so this is pretty heavy for a normal Saturday?” asked the Captain.
“Yeah,” she said. “Normally it’s much quieter.”
When we drove from my home in the Hollywood Hills to LAX on Thursday night at 9:30 PM, there was a pocket on the 405 that was at a literal complete standstill. At 9:30 pm on a Thursday. And we were in the carpool lane. And rather than complain about the traffic, we both remarked how good traffic had been that evening because we’d made it almost all the way to the 10 without stopping!
Everything is relative, I guess.
One thing that hasn’t changed is how different security is at big airports than tiny airports. In Los Angeles I breezed through security with my ankle brace (it’s plastic and foam and velcro, nothing metal) and in Rochester I almost got strip searched. I didn’t set off any alarms, mind you, we were in the Pre-Check line, and I do have a doctor’s note but nonetheless I had to go through the sort of screening usually reserved for an errant lipgloss that has fallen out of its protective ziploc baggie. This time I kept my mouth shut and didn’t make any jokes because, friends, lessons have been learned. This is perhaps the one good thing about getting older … knowing when to hold ’em, when to fold ’em.
I also learned that even if you don’t get upgraded on the flight home, if you are an Advantage member (not sure which status?) on American, you get free pringles in coach. I was already two drinks in to the trip when I discovered this fact and it was clear to me that all my traveling has paid off and I am being given the respect I deserve, paid in the finest junk food to ever grace the friendly skies. And they weren’t the stingy little 100-calorie packets, it was a true mini-can. BEHOLD, FOR I HAVE ACHIEVED THE FREE PRINGLES.
So, all in all a great trip and lots of fun moments. The next trip is the one where I meet his entire family and die in a puddle of anxiety. We are driving all the way out to Palm Springs/Palm Desert, pray for us. Don’t you like how I’m game for a one-day airplane trip to New York and back, yet driving three hours to the desert feels like we’re embarking on the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon? I’m trying to change my road trip karma by having a good attitude and making a playlist and buying new sunglasses. And packing snacks … lots and lots of Pringles 🙂