Friday Photo #38 (the extended EP version)
A Long Day's Journey Into...Pittsburgh?
or Murray's Odyssey
Where's a Hot Tub Time Machine when you need one? For that matter, where's a hot tub when you need one?
Okay, so it's taken me all week to remotely recover from our Austin adventure. More precisely, it's taken all week to semi-recover from our travels home on multiple eastbound planes.
Dude. It was epic. No shit.
The last I left off, Mary Ann and I had dragged our sorry butts to bed around 5am-bellies full, ears buzzing like the interior of a bee hive and all tanked up on hootch. Not a bad way to slip off to slumber land except for one small detail...we had to get up three hours later at the way too early hour of 8am in order to be ready for the airport shuttle at 10am.
And by "get up" I mean crawl pathetically towards the bathroom, whimpering and moaning like an injured dingo, longing for the cool, cool comfort of icy porcelain to stem the steady, 3/4 time, throbbing, drum beat of pain coursing through our nauseous noggins.
In our misguided zeal to drink in every last bit of flavor (and liquor) from SXSW, we seriously miscalculated the math of recovery time and were paying the price. It took both of us several tries to actually navigate movement from the bed to bath.
Jim, who pansied out on us at 10:30 the night before, was feeling no ill effects of his decision to bail early. I gotta say I was hatin' on him a little bit right then. But only a little.
Here's a little known fact (to me anyway) I've learned about Jim from this trip. He loves bacon. No, he is IN LOVE with bacon. He loves it perhaps more than anything or anyone else in his life, but only when he travels. He cannot get enough of its salty goodness. It's like he's conducting a clandestine torrid affair with this Princess of Pork product every time he finds himself in another town. He can't resist its seductive siren's song. Most relationships aren't this loyal. Seriously. Ha Ha!
We've decided we are going to bury him in a chrome roll-topped, chaffing dish-like casket filled with bacon. Instead of the usual wheat spray display, it will be a bundle of perfectly charred bacon strips baring a sash stating "to my one true love". This is the kind of shit that makes one howl with laughter when one's faculties are impaired by being stupidly hungover.
But I digress...
So after we eat our fill of breakfast and wash ourselves in coffee to try to spark an internal wake up, I ingest a handful of ibuprofen, don my Vampira dark glasses in an attempt to prevent the Texas sun from boring a whole in my brain via my bloodshot eyeballs and board the shuttle to the airport.
The shakiness of our personal start of the day should have clued us in to what lay ahead.
At first everything was going swell. We boarded on time, buckled in and sat... and sat... and sat. For over two hours, we sat waiting for the wretched winds to ease enough for the okay to take off. Mind you we only had a one hour layover in Dallas to catch our connection home.
Yeah. One hour. Not gonna happen.
Nothing to do except slip on our newly bought horse shoe shaped neck pillows, and catch some much needed winks. When we finally did land in the big-ass metropolis known as Dallas airport, we needed to sprint from Terminal A to Terminal B via the Skylink air rail. As luck would have it, our plane was still at the gate having been delayed by the inclement weather. We had a chance at making it.
Aside: now keep in mind I specifically booked our connection through Dallas, because, come on, flying via Chicago in March is just... you know, crazy talk, right? That's correct, genius. Turns out Chicago was 70, clear and calm. Oh Universe. Why must you always kick me in the crotch for your own twisted enjoyment. And please... not so loudly with the laughter. Major hangover here.
Anywho, we jump on the tram in time to hear the announcer say, "Attention all passengers. This train will not stop at Concourse B due to a security issue."
What the? You couldn't have told us that BEFORE we boarded?!?
So we run, walk, ride on the special cart to the gate. All hope is not lost. We can see the plane is still docked. We got a shot at this! We get to the counter and are greeted with...
"The flight is CLOSED, loser. Now step away from the counter before I release my devil dogs to tear you limb from limb, then use your severed arm to slap you in the face over and over until I tire of the sight of you crestfallen."
Nope. Lucifer's lapdog would not budge. But the plane was right there! No doubt it was waiting for Jim and Mary Ann's luggage to be loaded. We begged, pleaded, bribed but she would not thaw her icy heart enough to let us board. That's what we here in the Burgh call being a ginormous Jag Off.
So we said "Buh, Bye" to our bags and worked out a Plan B with Baby Jane's sweeter sister. Fifteen minutes later we were booked on a flight to our homeland via Charlotte arriving (God willing) at 11:30pm. Honestly, I still wasn't convinced we were getting home that night.
We may have been exhausted and disgusted, but we still had enough cognitive brain function left in us to snap this fun photo of me and my new boyfriend, Boney James. He's very low maintenance, doesn't eat much and always gives me his dessert.
After noshing and updating family as well as co-workers, we headed to the gate where we heard this lovely announcement:
"Ladies and Gentlemen. We WERE scheduled to board at this time, but we're waiting on a part for the plane and will be delayed. You stooges from Pittsburgh can just cool your jets. You ain't going anywhere, suckers! Not with that one hour layover in Charlotte. BWAhahahahahahaha!! *cough cough* *hack*"
Son of a biscuit eating bulldog! Are you kidding me?!?
And then I burst out laughing, because really...it was just too ridiculous not to be funny. Or maybe I just snapped. Or maybe I was going through the DTs from not drinking for ten hours. Whatev. It was humorous now.
Thirty minutes later we were in the not-so-friendly skies heading for the eastern seaboard. Aaaah, but this time the wind Gods were at our back and propelled us forward at the speed of a jet juiced on roids. We had enough time to leisurely stroll up to the gate in Charlotte. No lie. Strolled. No dripping forehead. No pit stains.
We were greeted with the most beautiful sign on Earth. It's so gorgeous, I'm posting it twice.
Look at that. It's beautiful. Even now it brings a little tear to me still blood shot eye.
Aside from having to strong-arm an American employee to release the luggage from its glass enclosed cell, the last leg of our Odyssey went off without a hitch. When we finally landed in Pittsburgh, I understood then why the Pope drops to his knees and kisses the tarmac every time he travels. I wanted to give my town a big ole, sloppy wet kiss... with lots of tongue. I was that happy to be home.
Our six hour trip turned into its own 14 hour fail blog. All that on three hours sleep and the mother of all hangovers. I finally walked through the door of our home at 12:37am, passed out in my own bed at 1:00am and cried out for mercy when the screech of the bastard alarm sounded at 5:00am.
I started my week already two days behind and have been playing catch up ever since, but boy... it was soooo worth it. :D