Recent postings have mostly been inspired by travel. The trend continues, for now, though at this moment the travel is of a different variety, and thus in a different vein. Or so the story says.
Thanksgiving travel can be the worst.
What with the crowds, the mad dashes, the time constraints, and of course that damned turkey related somnolent inducting situation that infects all on Thanksgiving.
And if you’re flying, add to that TSA, staff not entirely pleased to be working a holiday, and the psychology associated with thoughts and behavior over the holidays.
This can be a potent cocktail.
This year I was able to add an additional wrinkle to an already furrowed brow.
Bad enough that Brettt Ratner got to make three films with this title, now I had to star in my own feature, experiencing just about the worst our capital city has to offer right before I was set to head off on a six hour cross-country flight.
Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Now you have to understand that I love driving. I’m damn good at it. Driving. Even parking. Getting from A to B. Even from A to C. Can navigate without maps. Have great stories from the road from over the years. Even have a great car for driving, one that can hug the road, accelerate the heart, and still be efficient in this time of green. But fortunately I don’t have to commute for work, so I am able to avoid that daily grind, certainly that grind which involves bumper to bumper traffic for miles at a clip.
Until yesterday, that is.
The day before the day before thanksgiving.
So you would think the traffic would not be that bad, that people would not be jamming the roads and highways surrounding our fair city. There was no opera out on the turnpike this night, just a misting rain that slowed us all to zombie speed, testing the patience of those of us with hard flight times, and seriously causing anxiety and a not insignificant amount of stress.
15 minutes to get out of my zip code. 40 minutes to cover what typically takes 10, when traffic moves at what the professionals call ‘highway speed.’
All the way thinking, just a little bit of rain after dark, and the entire region is reduced to a bright series of red and white serpentine steel chains. While also thinking, are we gonna make it. And thinking further of John Candy and Steve Martin and about the best road movie ever made, sorry Bing and Bob, and hoping, hoping, I don’t have to end up sleeping next to a fat snoring guy. Anywhere.
At the 45 minute mark, which should have been the 12 minute mark, a turn onto the airport access road produced the first smile in quite some time. It was just about all clear ahead, nothing but state troopers and slow minivans to temper the pace.
And with not much time to spare, a few wasted moments searching for a suitable parking spot (don’t want the jalopy doors dinged any more, you know), it was on the shuttle bus, off to the airport, and the pleasure of checking in, stripping down for TSA, and trying to avoid being OJ in order to get to the plane.
Suffice it to say that the system worked, though there are plenty of bugs in it. Along with a fair number of cars, busses, uniformed security folks, and an occasional pleasant airline professional along the way.
Now, about that rental car operation at SFO.
Oh, yeah, have a happy Thanksgiving.