Monday, March 21, 2005

ramblings from a trip out West

My trip started out with my alarm going off after a night of little sleep; I wasn’t worried about traveling, or forgetting anything, but instead I worried about not waking up on time.

After missing a turn on the trip to the airport, I got turned around and in a moment of panic and seeing an image of my plane taking off without me, I made a call and figured out what I needed to do to be where I needed to be. I got to the airport, parked and checked in with the carrier in record time! Then I sat and waited, because my flight was an hour delayed; seems everything leaving Atlanta was grounded due to weather (thunderstorms and heavy rain) and everything was “backed up.” It worked out for me because I was able to sit and do a guage swatch and get started on Haiku (the overdue sweater for a little one). Eventually the plane arrived and we all packed on board (if the proper term for leaving the plane is “deplaning” then why don’t they call it “planing” when we all get on?) . The trip to Atlanta was uneventful and I attemped to study a board review book and knit. The word attempted is key in that sentence.

In the Atlanta airport I got in an extra-long line at a Starbucks and eventually gave up and headed to my gate with the intention of returning for a latte later in the evening. I spied a woman knitting with metal circular needles, and feeling brave I said “excuse me, but did they give you a hard time about getting those through security?” She looked at me with a surprised look and said that yes, they’d considered taking them, but gave her a harder time about her crocet hooks! They did let her through with everything, but strongly suggested she pack them in her checked luggage next time. I introduced myself and told her I was a knitter, and that started a dicussion about how long we’d been knitting.

She had put down her needles for several years, and recently picked them up so she could knit a sweater for her granddaugher’s American Girl Doll. She dug out the pattern and told me that she’d had a hard time figuring it out, and asked me if it made sense. That led to an impromtu knitting lesson with my started Haiku and I showed her how to cast off and increase, and I helped her decipher the lace pattern for the sweater. She had started the lace pattern but got frustrated when the circumfrance of the sweater shrunk and she seemed to run out of stitches. I explained how to yarn over, and she practiced a few before I could see a light bulb go on and she understood how it worked. She asked a few more questions and I answered the best I could, showing her how to do something and then having her try. She was a wonderful woman, but I think her husband wasn’t sure what to think of the situation! They were on their way home to Kentucky and I hope they made it home safe and sound.

After they boarded the plane I went back to Starbucks and ordered a latte and was called “sweetie” and “baby” but the lovely ladies behind the counter. Southern hospitality is alive and well in many form in the Atlanta airport….

The flights were still backed up and our depature to Reno went from 7:15pm to 8, to 8:30, to 9, to 9:30, and with each delay there was a collective groan from those of us waiting at the gate. Our plane showed up around 9pm, and it was another 45 mintues before we were planed and ready to back away from the airport. While I was waiting I spied a woman a few rows over doing something with what looked like novelty yarn, but I didn’t dare get up because seats were high in demand and I was in no mood to stand amongst the load 20ish guys who had used the extra time in the airport to drink (and drink and drink).

Imagine my surprise when I made my way onto the plane and saw the women with the novelty yarn sitting in the seats next to mine. The two were sisters, and had more novelty yarns with them then I’ve seen in some yarn stores. They were spunky and the one sitting directly next to me was willing to tell me about how she used them, and where they got the yarns, and why she was taking apart the scarf she had just made. She was hilarious, and we were the only three knitting on the flight!

I cat-napped at one point in hopes that the five hour flight would literally fly by, but I had a hard time sitting up and only dozed a few minutes a time. The movie shown was “Finding Neverland” and it was good. It wasn’t until I saw parts of it again on my trip East (a different carrier with the same movie) that I realized I probably slept more then I thought!

It was after midnight when we landed, making it after 3am “my” time. I’d befriended an older couple also going to the conference and together we made our way to the hotel. When I got up to my room I was glad to see that the other people staying with me were still up (I’m a student and in order to make things like this affordable we smoosh as many people as we can into a hotel room, and find the cheapest flights we can online (which sometimes means many stops and layovers and several different carriers!)) After a hot shower I was ready for bed.

The conference was great, and well worth the trouble it took to get there. Sparks (the town we were really in, adjacent to Reno) had their 100th year Sparks Celebration on St. Patrick’s Day complete with green beer, a laser show and fireworks. Several of us ventured outside to celebrate before heading back into the conference for some evening practice time. A good time was had by all. (there are other stories involving $2 margaritas and a waitress with an awful attitude and me being carded for changing pennies in to nickels (“and how old are we?” asked the woman behind the casino desk; everyone always says I’ll be grateful for carding when I’m older, but for now I’d settle looking like I’m 25 and not 17) but it’s getting late and I’m scheduled to TA tomorrow!)

Getting home was another adventure that had me up and leaving the hotel at 4am “pacific” time (I tried as hard as I could to stay on eastern time but that only lasted a day or so before I was always confused about what time of the day it was….). My luggage wound up laying over longer then I did in Philly and was delivered to my parents this afternoon (there’s no place to leave it here at my apartment, and I feel better knowing that it’s safe there rather then missing from here). I got home overtired and sore from sitting in airplane seats all day, but after a good night’s sleep last night I feel better and am still glad I went.

(the bad news is that my sonnet knitting and another project are in the bag at my parents; the good news is that Haiku looks to be done by the end of this week!)

Sorry for the length of this, and it’s potential for confusion. I wanted to get down some of the things that happened before I forgot and got caught up with school again. Classes in the Reproductive system started today and our first (of two) tests is in two weeks. We’re only two systems away from another break for board studying, and before we know it we’ll be out on the wards. It doesn’t seem real, but at some point people are going to trust me with their healthcare. At some point I’m actually going to be a doctor.

(note: I have my own thoughts on the Schiavo case, among other things going on in the world, and hope that you read Cara's thoughts on the subject; I agree completely.)

1 Comments:

Anonymous Cara said...

Thanks for the link - the whole situation makes me crazy.

On a brighter note - the best time I had playing craps was in Tahoe! Much gritter than Vegas - old school gambling, if you will. ;-)

2:39 PM  

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