Almost Reached the Summit

(continued from 6/26, “Time to Commit”)

At 4:00 a.m. Sunday, May 15, I left home headed for off-airport parking. My final destination that day would be Sacramento, CA. I’d never been to Sacramento. I hoped that my early arrival in town would allow for at least one local sightseeing pleasure. Otherwise, I was going to regret the decision to pack, not only my laptop, but also my weighty old Minolta X-700 SLR in my carry-on suitcase.

When I arrived at the parking lot, there was a shuttle van about to leave for DFW. I asked for the driver to wait for me while I signed in. Good. That put me on my way to the airport right on time, according to my carefully planned schedule. I felt even better after we arrived at my departure terminal, after making stops at another terminal first.

Now it was time for the next dance—the Security Shuffle. You know how ballroom dancers wear a completely different costume for every performance? Going through airport security is almost like changing your clothes for the next dance, except that you hope you end up putting back on the same ones you took off, not someone else’s. And you hope that someone else is not looking to steal the show, the impostor who dances off in your costume.

The security dance also requires choreography to be sure every component of your presentation for x-ray scanning is in proper form, in the specified type of container or not. If you rehearsed the timing correctly, you can move through scanning of the human component to be reunited with your partner components right on cue. Then begins the part of the dance where you reassemble the remaining pieces of your dignity and walk away as if nothing happened.

OK. I and all of my component parts made it through security without incident. Now all I have to do is find my departure gate and wait for boarding. I’m in good shape. I can relax from now until we land in LAX—no more hurdles ’til then, except for hoisting the lens- and laptop-laden Travelpro® into and out of the overhead bin. But that’s what eyelashes are for.

The flight left and landed on time at 9:35 a.m. Dallas time, 7:35 in California. Now I had to make an American Eagle connection to Sacramento. When I first booked this trip, the LAX layover was reasonable, if not a little too tight for comfort. But a few days after booking it, AA changed my itinerary to a later connecting flight. I had more than three hours to hesitate at LAX, so close to my anticipated destination—Sacramento—but unable to reach The Summit just yet.

Ah, but this was one reason I decided to lug my laptop. After finding some breakfast, I would spend the time writing on my book and looking as important and interesting as all the other people typing away on their own novels I’m sure. In the main terminal, Burger King had a line waiting to get in line, but BK fit my budget. Starbuck’s next door was a tempting option (I did have a gift card), but I wanted some protein in my breakfast calories. This would be a long day.

Getting and eating breakfast trimmed my layover time a good bit. I wandered toward the American Eagle terminal, which was in a different wing. It looked like once I set off on that path, there would be no going back for food service. I purchased a large Diet Coke and headed toward the last leg of my journey toward The Summit.

(to be continued)

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    • Betty
    • July 14th, 2011

    I can identify with the security shuffle and the change of planes at LAX. Enjoyed.

    • Chris
    • July 12th, 2011

    I’m dying to read more. I’m hooked.

    • Cora
    • July 11th, 2011

    I love the description of the security shuffle! It is so true!!!!!!!
    Looking forward to the next installment!

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