A humorous look at the little things in life

A travel tip the TSA doesn’t offer: Cut out the coffee March 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 9:28 am

Recommended wine for today’s entry: Herederos Del Marques de Riscal Rueda. According to, “The bouquet is alive with a mélange of floral, herbal and fruity scents – freshly cut tarragon, white lilly and mango. This fullness carries through on the palate; the wine is surprisingly rich with ripe fruit flavors balanced by a pleasing citrus acidity on the finish that cries out for food.” I found the acidity to be interesting and pleasant and well, if it cries out for food, that gives me another excuse to eat! It’s around $15 and found in the Spain section.

Travel is truly an adventure nowadays. My college-age daughter and I recently returned from a five-night jaunt to southern Florida and a visit with my mother. The visit was nice and relaxing … the travel was the opposite.

First I almost wet my pants.

Like a moron, I waited too late to make my reservations and we ended up on the 7 a.m. departure from Louisville. At least it was on a Saturday, so security lines weren’t too bad. But the trip still necessitated a 4:45 wake-up. Now I don’t care if you are waking me up to tell me that I just won the lottery or that you are whisking me away to Bora Bora for a month or that you are from Extreme Makeover Home Edition and you are going to implode my house and build me a clean one … if you awaken me at 4:45 a.m., I am going to be a bitch.

And that’s how I started the trip. Grumpy. Then I took my blood pressure meds and had two cups of coffee and was functioning better. We got to the airport just in time, carried on our luggage and pushed away right on time. OK. Better. 

My daughter was sleeping and breathing deeply, her head tilted back so that she could best inhale all the recirculated germs as they shot out of the nipple-thingie that blasts arctic air on you no matter the season. Suddenly, she jumped and, complete with tears, started to rub above her eye. “It feels like someone stuck a knife in here and they are s-l-o-w-l-y pulling it over to my temple,” she said. Then she said it again. Again.

So I gave her a handful of Advil, Sudafed and I think some dog vitamins from the bottom of my purse. (Please don’t be alarmed, even if there were too many of something, they’d been in my purse since I bought it about eleven years ago and expired medicines lose strength.) Anyway, after a bit of drama, she was fine.

I had another cup of coffee, which I chugged because I was wearing a white shirt. If you have ever been on a plane, you know why I chugged it.

Luckily, I didn’t spill it, but in a 7:20 a.m. moment of low lucidity, I forgot to close my mouth all the way as I swallowed the last gulp and it drooled right out my lower lip and onto my white shirt. Well, that’s better than a spill at least, because as I’m sure you know, it makes a lighter stain when it’s mixed with saliva. So I rubbed it in really well.

We landed EARLY in Atlanta, which was a good thing — no, a GREAT thing, because we had a really tight connection and I had consumed three cups of coffee and one diuretic. Yay! Time to stop in the restroom.

I knew things were bad when the pilot started giving us a tour of the Atlanta airport. A scenic tour. Like starting from some hangars I’d never seen, even from the air. We were just noodling around a little, maybe going 15 miles an hour, turning right, then left, another left…

Now I really had to pee.

Finally, we cruised to a stop. Looked out, expecting to see the jetway. Nope. A hotel construction site. Not a good sign.

The pilot informed us that, oops, there weren’t any gates open. We had now been on the ground for 15 minutes. He said we were parking until they found a place for us. Didn’t they know we were coming? If they’d told me, I would have called ahead and secured us a space. Well, while I was fuming, a line formed for the bathroom. But because the “fasten seat belt” sign was still illuminated, and I follow rules, there I sat.

About three people hurried in and out and I was negotiating with my bladder. “Just hold on until 8:45,” I said, whining a little. “I swear, if we’re not moving by then, I’ll break the law and head up there.”

I really didn’t want to, though, because I could see the flight attendant, strapped safely her own little jumpseat, admonishing each person as she reached the front of the line. I hate to be admonished.

Also, I was worried that I would be arrested for terroristic threatening, because the bathroom is right by the cockpit door and they said DO NOT APPROACH THE COCKPIT DOOR WHILE IT IS CLOSED. That led me to envision myself being led away by Federal Marshals, a Fox News camera in my face, coffee on my shirt and urine on my pants. It would be bad.

Well to make a too-long-already story a little abbreviated, we finally got to the gate. At the tippy tippy end of Terminal T. Once we got into the building, we checked the board. We had 18 minutes to get to the tippy tippy end of Terminal B. That meant not once but TWICE sprinting the length of the buildings.

Another problem? I couldn’t sprint when I was 15. I was the one who always threw up at basketball practice. Now I was 49 and couldn’t stand up straight because of my bladder. Oh, and we’d carried on our luggage.

So we ducked in the first restroom, because if I was going to miss my flight and be stuck at the Atlanta airport trying to find a way to south Florida, I was going to have on clean britches.

Then we ran like the wind. My daughter would get w-a-a-a-y ahead of me, then realize she didn’t have her boarding pass and slow down, then do it again. Meanwhile, the old lady is struggling, panting, trying to weasel my way around a bunch of people built like Paul Bunyon. And with my carry-on. That didn’t have wheels. But it is a super-cute plaid thingie and it looked great with my formerly white shirt.

But the cute plaid suitcase would wait ’til I found an open lane and got a decent galloping move going, then it would s-l-i-p its way around my back and WHAP! It would knock my knees out from under me like an obnoxious fifth-grade boy. Not once but twice I lunged forward in a squat, taking a bunch of quick little half-steps to stay on my feet, my arms thrown forward like one of those Russian dancers.

Finally I yelled to my daughter in a voice that is how I imagine the “death rattle” sounds: “We don’t have seat assignments anyway. Save yourself!”

Well, somehow we made it. We weren’t sitting together, but to be honest, I think my daughter was fine with that. And I think she’s already looking into returning to Cancun with her friends for next year’s spring break.


2 Responses to “A travel tip the TSA doesn’t offer: Cut out the coffee”

  1. Beth Says:

    ….and you wonder why RJ and I are travelling on a DIFFERENT day to get to our cruise launching destination…..

    You really need to hire a camera crew to follow you around..maybe Ashton would be interested-he wouldn’t even have to “Punk”you-it just naturally gravitates your way..

    Missed your blogs!

  2. ashleyolsonrosen Says:

    Beth – I didn’t wonder for an instant why you chose to travel separately! But I totally think you have pegged Ashton’s next show where I basically punk myself! It’s perfect — and I have NO ulterior motive in working with him.

    Amanda – your secret is good with me … except he already read it. Think you’re safe; he laughed. My daughter just informed me, however, that her procedure was done by Doc, not Psycho. Wow. Now I wonder what Psycho looked like.

    Thanks for reading, everyone!

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