Christmas Vacation, Day One - Travel

1) Alarm clock at 2:15 AM, car service on the tick of 2:50 AM. The radio was playing Christmas music, and when they got to Karen Carpenter's "There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays" I remembered how she was one of Daddy's favorite singers. One year I actually gave him the Carpenters Christmas album.

2) The advantage of arriving early and (I hope) looking respectable was being directed into the TSA Pre-Check lane, where I was number five.

3) The one occasion on which I'll indulge in McD*****'s is for an early departure flight from Logan Terminal B. Bacon/cheese biscuit, coffee, and the indulgence of the hash brown patty.

4) One of the best parts of traveling through O'Hare is V***** chocolates. Om nom nom. It just happens to be located next to a wine bar, and even at 7 AM (or whenever it was) their little pianist was going at it. I thanked it. It was so civilized!

5) Breakfast with my beloved The Economist - not their big end-of-year issue, which I always anticipate with pleasure.

6) Mercury retrograde came into play after we pulled away from the gate at O'Hare. I suddenly realized I was reading an awful lot of The Economist! Long story short (too late!), we had to return to the gate because all three of the air-conditioning indicators were on. I really had lost track of time, so when the flight attendant announced the 800 number, I called and got rebooked "just in case you miss your connection" on the only other flight left to Lago di Carlo - leaving at 8:40 PM . . .

7) And you guessed it, I missed my connection by about half an hour at DFW after a comparatively turbulent flight. But I was surprised at my own equanimity, waiting in line for over an hour to get a new boarding pass. Certainly there were people there in worse situations than mine.

8) The bonus in all this, of course, is that now I can enjoy the best part of ANY layover at DFW, my beloved Pappadeaux! I'm in a banquette at the back, tucking into shrimp etouffé and washing it down with coffee. Fabulous.