To read this in order, please see Sister Saga or follow the links.
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I got to my new seat and plugged in my computer and it began to recharge its battery and some guy came through a door and announced the plane for Charlotte, NC was sitting way over there at gate B14. No one else mentioned this, but still.

I turned off the computer and got my stuff together and began the trek to the new gate. A14, my original gate was all the way at the end of the A (lower numbers) concourse and B14 was right across the parking lot, at the end of the B concourse. So I hauled my stuff and schlepped my way to the B14 gate. By the time I got to a bank of television screens with all the Departing Gates listed, the gate change was listed.

I had three large cups of coffee prior to arriving at the airport. I stopped at the bathroom on the way to the new gate. As I was ensconced in a only relatively clean stall, an announcement came over the PA. “Fight 1544 to Charlotte, NC now boarding at gate B14.” PANIC!!!

Since I didn’t have a watch and had turned off my cell phone, I had no idea what time it was. I knew I had gotten to the airport for enough time to cope with long lines and there were no long lines. I thought it was too early to have my plane boarding, but who am I to argue with a loud speaker. I got myself together and rushed to the gate.

Translation of message: The flight that used to be in a waiting section at gate A14 is now in a waiting section marked B14 but it will still be eons before we do any of that actual boarding stuff. Do not panic.

So we waited and of course, two gates right next to each other tried to board at the same time with people tripping over each other while trying to roll all their carry-on luggage to the plane since no one wanted to pay the extra charge for actually taking luggage on a trip.

I got to my seat without problem and stowed my stuff under the seat, except I couldn’t. There was some large obstruction in the way and only my purse would fit and my computer bag had to go in the overhead bin. The flight would take about 3.5 hours.

My ticket said they would feed me some horrible in-flight food, but it must have been subject to change. Because instead of that, they had a chicken sandwich and Caesar salad sealed inside a box wrapped in plastic for $7 or a “snack box” sealed in plastic for $5. I was fearful of the sandwich and don’t eat Caesar salad and the snack box probably contained pretzels, a pretend food item I don’t eat even when its free.

I’m so glad I packed three granola bars. I did eat the last English muffin before leaving Pam’s house and I had some of the taffy with me. I would have loved to have had some of my dry roasted peanuts, but that probably would have been a very, very bad idea. The airlines graciously served my a ¾ full 6-ounce cup of coffee during the 3.5 hour trip. The peanuts would have only made me thirsty.

There was an in-flight movie if one chose to watch it and they sold the fifty cent headphones that used to be overpriced at $2 for $5. I don’t watch movies at the best of times, so I passed on the opportunity to watch some really stupid one on the plane. I had my book and my crossword puzzles along with a magazine. I read. And tried to nap.

We arrived in Charlotte just slightly late and landed at Gate B4 and my flight was departing in 45 minutes from Gate B2. I threw caution to the wind and found a bathroom where some Latino women had taken all the paper towels out of the automatic dispensers and were tearing off sheet of them and thrusting them at unwary sanitary bathroom goers. The tip jars were right there next to the empty paper dispensers. I took their damn paper towel and scowled.

I looked around for a place that sold either food or drinks, but there was nothing at all close to gates B1-6 where I was located. I have no idea if I could have found some coffee or water let alone some food and make it back to the gate where they like to board 30 minutes before the flight time. I got seated and was going to try to see if I could access the internet and they began calling for us to seat ourselves. I shut my computer back down and got on the plane.

While waiting to pull away from the gate, I called Dick and asked him to bring some coffee with him when he picked me up. We pulled away and got in line, the twelfth plane in that line and waited to take off.

It was a quick flight so they didn’t even offer us anything to drink. If you didn’t have liquid with you, you were simply out of luck. However, the flight was soon over and Dick was waiting for me as I got to the baggage claim. I gave him my computer and purse and took the coffee and went and stood around waiting for my suitcase to appear.

Everything is unpacked and put away. The dog was happy to see me, but now she is pouting because I had absolutely no right to be gone this long. My computer is set up and I have a real keyboard again and it seem my email is working.

It’s only 8:20 in Arizona. Pam and Cheri are probably playing some game. If they called me for rules, I would still be up. I bet they are having fun and still laughing. I sure hope they are.

THE END

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