It’s been almost a month since I wrote my forward-planning post (I’m writing this on 14 June). I’ve been back from the trip for two weeks. Jet lag hit me hard this time: it took me a week to recover, and, frankly, two weeks later I’m still waking up at 4:30am.
Jet lag (noun)
: a condition that is characterized by various psychological and physiological effects (such as fatigue and irritability), occurs following long flight through several time zones, and probably results from disruption of circadian rhythms in the human body —called also jet fatigue
— jet–lagged (adjective)
First Known Use of JET LAG: 1969
It occurs to me, however, I may have always been jet-lagged—but it was disguised in the cold / bronchitis / pneumonia I’d always brought back with me after air travel.
Oh yeah. I’ve flown a dozen times since February 2006, and every single time I got sick. It started with bronchitis and escalated; the last three trips I’d taken (two in 2011 and one in 2012) I ended up with pneumonia. I can’t even begin to tell you how not-fun pneumonia is, especially when you’re not at home.
I was determined to beat my flying jinx this time—and I did! (A concoction of essential oils to boost my immune system consumed for six weeks prior to departure, plus care taken with frequent antiseptic wipes on the plane.) I’m pleased to announce I didn’t get sick. Not even a hint! So now that I’m recovered from jet lag, let’s get started.
19 May 2013, Sunday
I was going to try to fit it all in one suitcase this time, I really was. That sixty bucks you pay to check a second bag is really more fun spent on Irish chocolate or something. 🙂 But then I weighed my CPAP machine—and it’s twelve pounds! I might have been able to keep the bag under fifty pounds going over, but I knew I wanted to bring books back. And chocolate.
What to do, what to do?
The math, that’s what.
If your bag’s over the fifty-pound limit but under seventy pounds, the penalty fee is $60. Or, the fee for a second fifty-pound bag is $60. I opted for the second bag and the extra pounds. When I got to the airport, I told the gentleman checking me in that the only reason I was checking a second bag was my CPAP machine—the truth—and he didn’t charge me for it. So I lucked out!
I’d had plenty of good fortune already. On Friday, my massage therapist—and good friend—Diana had asked me if I had a ride to the airport. No, I said, I’m just going to drive myself and park. I live a forty-minute drive away, and I dislike disturbing my friends’ busy lives (especially on a Sunday). I’ll just park and we’ll have the car right there when we get back, I said. It would cost about $120. That evening, Diana called me. Why don’t you park at my house—she lives five minutes from the airport—and I’ll take you. It won’t be a disruption, and it will save you all that money. And you won’t have to leave so early.
So I took her up on it, and she wasn’t kidding about the five-minute drive time.
I took a quick walk around the backyard before I left. We have a pair of magnificent foxgloves in the yard, and they were just starting to bloom. I was going to miss twelve days of prime blooming time, so I wanted to document, at least, what they might have looked like this year.
I’d intended to tuck my last two hardboiled eggs in my purse to have as a snack while I waited for the plane. (I always arrive early, because I don’t like to be rushed.) But in that last-minute second-piece-of-luggage dance, I’d forgotten. Actually, I’d neglected to eat altogether. And eggs would have been cheaper than the six-dollar Whitt’s sandwich I had. Normally I love Whitt’s Barbeque; it’s a Middle Tennessee institution. In particular I love the vinegar slaw they put on the sandwiches along with pickles. Here’s some news, Tennesseans: at the airport you pay 50¢ extra for the slaw and it’s … creamy. Not genuine Whitt’s slaw. Ick!
But wait. I’m on my way to Ireland, and nothing’s going to ruin my day! Next stop, the Windy City.
It’s very pretty to fly into Chicago on a sunny day. That lake—it’s huge! I should put it on the list for an excursion sometime.
And then on to the jumbo jet that would take me across the Atlantic. The flight was full, of course, and I ended up sitting next to a young Chicago family—husband and wife—traveling with their adorable daughter. She was somewhere in the twelve to fifteen months old range and cute as a bug’s ear.
Until we got airborne. Then she screamed at the top of her lungs for seven hours straight. I kid you not. Screamed. Normally a child can wear herself out carrying on like that, but not this one. She never stopped. It’s one thing to have a crying baby somewhere on the plane, but I gotta tell ya, in the same aisle, one seat away, is a whole new circle of hell. I wanted to shake her mother and say, “Liquid Baby Tylenol! Puts ’em right to sleep!”
Which is something I didn’t manage to do on this overnight flight. 🙂