Monday, October 20, 2008

Traveling to Omaha, Part I

I’m sitting in the Idaho Falls airport, waiting for the first leg of my trip to Omaha. Yes, Omaha. I’ve never been there and, given the agenda of the conference I’m attending, I doubt I’ll have much chance to see anything except the airport and the Holiday Inn. But, to Omaha I am going.

The first leg is Idaho Falls to Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC). The Idaho Falls Regional Airpot (IDA) is a two-gate facility, with probably only one gate in use at any given moment. The security line opens 45 minutes before the flight and then shuts down again until the next flight.

I’m an old hand at airport security lines now. Remove the laptop and the cell phone, take off the shoes, the belt, the jacket or sweater or sweatshirt, etc. As Dave Barry once noted, it’s like some weird adult pajama party with people dressing and undressing at either end of the line.

I duly removed the all important plastic baggie of liquids and aerosols from my luggage and placed in the bin on top of my jacket. Gone are the days when they would mistake my asthma inhaler for some kind of weapon buried in my purse. Now it's all out in the open for easy identification.

Just as I walked through the security portal, however, I remembered that I’d left my 2.3 oz. bottle of moisturizer in my makeup bag – which was nestled inside the carry-on luggage that was currently making its way through the screener’s xray machine. Oh, shoot. But either they missed it or they recognized what it was and let it go, because no further searches were ordered and I didn’t have to explain or, worse yet, lose my little bottle of rather expensive moisturizer. I'm very grateful. Note to self: put the darn moisturizer in the baggie unless you want to risk your $20 purchase!

On this Sunday afternoon there is a football game thoughtfully provided on the TV screen in the gate (Gate 1). I opted instead to call my mother.

Mom is fine.

From the terminal you can see the planes as they land, and so far, the incoming flight hasn’t landed. So we don’t have a plane to get on at the moment even though it is only 20 minutes until flight time. I fervently hope it arrives soon because I have only 30 minutes in Salt Lake for my connection to the Omaha flight. Granted, the flights will arrive and depart from the same terminal in SLC, but, still, it’s a bit nerve wracking to run that close.

I will need time in SLC Int'l in order to hunt down some food for the next leg of my trip because, as usual, there will be no food service available on the flight – just snacks and beverages. Sad that you can fly most of the day and never be served anything close to a meal – or even have enough time to actually find food when you’re in between connections. A person could starve to death in this country just trying to get from Point A to Point C.

(to be continued)

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