What Happened In Chicago

Today is sandwiched between Veterans Day and the day my second sailor leaves for Guam so I thought it was a perfect time to post about our trip to Chicago for his boot camp graduation. And to learn firsthand about bad drivers.

I keep a journal when I travel. Not so much to remember everything, but to have surprise blog posts.

Surprise! Found my journal!

Our trip to Chicago was for my son’s graduation from Navy boot camp. For those long-timers in BeckyLand, you’ll remember I’ve posted about this before. *

Now I have two sailors. Two graduations. Two memorable trips.

This trip, however, we knew our son would be leaving for San Antonio, Texas soon after graduation so we decided to stay for a few extra days and play tourist. (Those mothers who get a higher place in heaven I spoke of in the other blog? Now I’m one of them.)

My first note from the day I went to Chicago reads, “Terminal security doesn’t sound good.”

Going through security at 4:30 a.m. is a very different experience than going through at 4:30 p.m. Or at any other time, I bet.

The TSA guy mocked me. He let me go to a conveyor belt line that wasn’t running, get my shoes off, load up my plastic bin and look perplexed before saying, “You might want to go to a line that’s open.”

Well, I might, but then how much would he enjoy his job? Not nearly as much, methinks.

Then he treated me like I’d never been to an airport before. “The conveyor belt moves intermittently …. just wait …. walk through like this” whereupon he made me twirl, twirl like a dancing leaf. Okay. I made that part up. But he could have. Such is the power of a TSA agent before the airport opens.

The airport at 4 a.m. is a delightful place. The coffee is freshly brewed, the people are few and far between and the ones you see make you want to learn their stories.

Like the guy in the sleeping bag with his bike parked next to him. Homeless? Tolerated by the airport folks because he’s a local hero/character/someone’s dad? Getting ready to race the plane down the runway?

I’ll never know because I was too polite to wake him up and ask.

It’s also a great time to fly if you’re misogynistic. There were only 14 people on our flight. The gate agent started to announce the rows to board then laughed, waved his arm and said, “C’mon! Everybody on!”

We all got a window AND an aisle seat.

Do you keep a journal when you travel? Do you ever go back and read it? Care to share anything?

*In re-reading the previous post, I now know that the guards are not called MPs … I know they are MAs because I have one now. And yes, I got all weepy when that garage door rose. another interesting tidbit about that post … about 100 people have read it every week since I posted it. It’s almost as popular as my broken toe blog.

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