Like many Richmonders, I like to travel by air to see this great country of ours. When planning
a trip, I always leave enough time to get to the airport and then again to make my connecting flight.
Traveling always tends to take an entire day, especially when you have connecting flights. I know more about the Atlanta airport than I do about RIC, and I have good reason; I spend many more hours there waiting than I do actually flying to my final destination.
We have become accustomed to making travel plans with built-in hours of sitting time. It begins with the reservation online, which is when you realize that your connecting flight is four hours after you arrive. After trying to change that, and not being able to, we plan for the long haul. My wife brings playing cards, her iPad for a round of Words with Friends and perhaps a nap pillow. As for me, I make sure I bring a good pair of walking shoes because the only exercise I will get that day is visiting every kiosk that sells zebra cell-phone covers and vibrating neck warmers. You could never find these things at the local mall.
After wandering around the airport and visiting every food merchant and sampling very salted Swiss Pretzels, mango frozen yogurt and what tastes like two-day-old glazed donuts, I finally make my way back to my seat in the concourse. My wife now reminds me that we have three hours until our next flight. I decide to sit and people watch.
There's the business traveler talking loudly on his Blackberry, a family of four in their matching jogging outfits, a young couple wearing shorts who are on their way to Boston on this winter day. What were they thinking when they dressed that morning?
I don't visit the men's room until right before boarding. When I do go, I spend more time debating if I should tip the men's room attendant. He doesn't really do anything except point to the next open urinal. I give him $2 because no one else has.
I now have two hours left. I proceed to visit the newsstand to see what the local city magazine looks like. Ours is better.