September 24, 2007

Riding Shotgun - California (Part 1)

Shortly after waking up at the god-awful hour of 5am, I found myself standing in the cattle-esque Southwest Airlines queue. The drive to the airport went very smoothly, and being able to sing along to some of our favorites (Ben Folds, Guster, The Darkness - I don't care what anyone says about them, I Believe in a Thing Called Love is a classic. A classic.)

It was wonderful getting to see Meg this weekend and witness the marriage of one of my best friends, but now I'm off on a business trip. Five days of tasting the foods and wines of Paso Robles, California, will almost certainly be grueling but someone has to do it. And I will be recording it daily, so keep your browsers peeled (or something).

But we must go back to the present - the airport. I was so excited to see Einstein Bros. bagels in Bradley Airport this morning. I was just relieved that I had a choice of something other than McDonalds or mystery meat airport food. Something that I actually liked. That and their bagels and 'schmear' are actually really decent. Chewy, firm, fresh. Having worked my way through many more unfortunate bagel-like beasts than a normal human being should be subjected to, it's comforting to know that Einstein Bros. seems to be doing well. The cinnamon-suger was what broke that awful nauseous feeling I get when I wake up about 6 hours before I should. You know the feeling; the one where your body is telling your brain that it hates you.

I think we're flying over the Mississippi right now. It's the first time I've seen it in person. It's really quite big. I'll have to check it out on a map once I land in Memphis. [postscript - it could not have been the mississippi, unless we were really far off course. It was probably the Grand Rivers, or Lake Barkley. I'm sure the MS is really impressive too.]

I started reading The Raw and The Cooked by Jim Harrison on the first leg of the flight. It was a gift from my boss after sending me a hillarious quote a few weeks ago. It's a book to be savored and not rushed (thankfully, since I have such a short attention span and penchant for falling asleep on airplanes). Among other things, Harrison is a poet, novelist, and screen writer. I am ashamed to admit that I haven't read anything so poetic in a while.

Snack packs on long flights: useless or godsend? This is not a rhetorical question. I found my Southwest flight snack of dried fruits, miniature cookies, and ritz crackers a mostly useless. It did stave off rabid hunger, but not by much. A lufthansa cheese sandwich would have been really nice about then.

Find these pictures (and more dangerous ones, like me driving) on our Flickr account.

Next time: LAX (rhymes with sux)
Intelligentsia (LA Coffeehouse)
Why Google Maps isn't the best for Paso Robles
and maybe more!

Extra special thanks to frizzlednewt for the airplane picture in the graphic.


Meghan said...

1) and by "riding shotgun" you mean "I was driving and endangering myself"?

2) I can almost FEEL the afternoon southern california sun.

3) do they make hearts like that in all of their lattes?

skip said...

Answers to questions 1 to 3

1) No comment. I cannot confirm, deny or comment on whether I may or may not have been endangering myself or others at any time. Ever.

2) That shit's hot!

3) They sometimes make crema leaves, but I think they always do something.