For the past couple of days the General and I have been off on a big adventure. We spent Monday night at a hotel in Dallas near Love Field. We obviously were excited. Monday night the General set the alarm on her phone for 1:30 a.m. I set mine for 2:00. I guess you could say I decided to sleep-in. Actually, the way we calculated it, we didn’t need to leave the hotel until 3:00 a.m. the following morning to have time to negotiate parking at Love Field (off site) and get to the terminal in time to check luggage and get through the security.
Our flight was scheduled to board at 5:40 a.m. Of course, half a dozen people mentioned to us in passing that you now have to get to the airport 3 hours early to get through security. Apparently, according to rumor, the recent expose’ on the number of bags with guns (fire power) that got through security at airports across the country was astounding. Now they are dead serious to ensure no barrel is left undiscovered and it is taking more time. Reportedly, that’s the story. How was I to know? I don’t watch the news. Even the General’s mother communicated the need for us to get there early.
It didn’t help that I received notification from SWA on Monday afternoon via text message that large crowds were expected on Tuesday morning and that passengers needed to allow plenty of time. So what does that mean? They really didn’t say. They also suggested in a different notification that the parking at Love Field could likely be unavailable and that other options needed exploration.
Of course, those of you who are mathematically minded have already figured out that there is something wrong with our math. If our plane was boarding at 5:40, we weren’t allowing enough time. We didn’t have three hours to spare. I guess you could say, we were bending as far as we could bend. If they couldn’t get us through in little over 2 hours, they needed to double the pace.
Actually the General made the statement, “If we miss our flight, we just won’t take this trip. We’ll just go home.” She then added: “Actually, that would be okay with me.” Did she really mean it? I don’t know, but I found it frustrating. Of course, I’m the impromptu guy who made the reservation, purchased the tickets and planned the trip without her involvement. How could she turn down a trip to Niagara Falls? She wouldn’t, would she? If nothing else, it might provide the opportunity for her to push me over the edge. Actually, her comment about it being okay not to go almost pushed me over the edge.
I’ve worked with kids who were always reluctant to try new things. Once they took the risk to get out of their comfort zone, they immediately became a fan of the activity. Actually, it is not fear of anything that makes the General reluctant. She is generally (pardon the pun) so content with life that she actually doesn’t see the need to do any of it differently. “Same ole’, same ole’” works for her. She lives with a sense of contentment day in and day out. Did I mention that we are as different as night and day? I, too, don’t live with a conscious lack of contentment, but I’m open to stepping it up a notch whenever the opportunity presents itself and experiencing new things and new adventures.
So how did the early morning Love Field experience work out for us? We actually got from the hotel to off-site parking and then to the airport in less time than we anticipated. Consequently, we were ahead of schedule and in the area where the ticket counter is located for check-in and baggage check by 3:15. There were three or four other passengers there as well. You know what they say, “The early bird gets the worms”.
I can’t say that I checked the SWA website to look for the scheduled time that SWA employees begin their day. I do now know from experience that it is not before 3:15 a.m. Actually, the ticket counter didn’t open until 4:00 a.m. As luck would have it, the ticket agent who assisted me was definitely not a morning person. I started to suggest that if she hated her job as much as her body language and demeanor indicated, she should do herself a favor and get a new job. It was the only experience I’ve ever had with SWA where I didn’t feel the love.
Despite the delay, by 4:10, the General and I were at the security check station. Lucky us, we were both TSA pre-approved. Who would have thought that TSA (Transportation Security Administration) personnel need more sleep? They don’t start their day until after 4:30 a.m. Actually, the General said they didn’t start processing folks through security until 5:00 a.m. She is probably correct. I was mostly sleep walking at the time, so I’m not sure.
We changed planes in Baltimore and arrived in Rochester N.Y. on time. We accessed our rental car and were on our way in short order. The route took us away from the direction of Rochester. So where were we going to have lunch? We had both been up since 1:30 a.m.. It was now past 1:00 p.m. and we were hungry. Actually, I can handle hunger better than the General. I discovered long ago that she doesn’t always march in step if she’s hungry.
We traveled about 20 minutes and saw an exit for LeRoy. Taking the exit, the sign indicated LeRoy was only 4 miles away. It was a back road two lane highway. We were both energized by the drive. It was country, farm houses, barns, open spaces – it all looked excitingly refreshing. We then saw a sign indicating the “Village of LeRoy.” I wanted to stop and take a picture. Wasn’t LeRoy’s name plastered all over Germany in WWII? And then I remembered it wasn’t Leroy, it was Kilroy. The General would have called my hand on that. Consequently, I’m glad I kept my thoughts to myself.
We drove through a portion of the town and didn’t see a restaurant. However, we really liked what we saw. The architecture was amazing. In the interest of time, I let Siri find a restaurant for us. It was located in a former B&O railway station near downtown. In addition, the food was delicious and the atmosphere was cute and quaint. The menu also included a couple of pages of the village’s history.
The General read every line. Sometimes her questions only have one right answer. This time, she was actually asking. “Can we go back in the direction we came? I thought that looked like a quilt painted on the side of a building. Apparently, there are multiple quilts painted on sides of barns in the area. They actually have a route laid out for a driving tour. I’d really like to see them”. She was energized and excited about the trip. Maybe all it takes is a blanket on the side of a barn.
As we left the restaurant, we back-tracked. I hadn’t even noticed before, but it really did look like a quilt and it was painted on the side of a building downtown. She said that we’d also passed one earlier on the side of a barn. We located that barn again as well. With a little persuasion, she deferred looking for more quilt art and we heading toward Niagara Falls instead of scouting out 18 more barns.
So was it the lunch, the two lane country road, the landscape or the quilts painted on walls of buildings? Whatever it was, she was now fired up (enthusiastic is probably a better word) and glad to be in New York.
All My Best!