Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Unbearably Light

I've never bought into the "everything happens for a reason" mantra, but I was starting to believe it yesterday. Finishing up my Portland work appointments yesterday, I made my regular pilgramage to Powell's. I've been known to come back with an entire extra checked bag and mid-triple figure debit card charges there after even a 30 minute visit. I spent a good 90 minutes there, and the above is my meager and not that relished loot. Heading to the garage, I threw the bag in trunk of the rental car. Knowing that I am anal at triple, quadruple checking my flights, I checked just to see that I had my departure time of 8:45 in my head. To my horror, 8:45 is the time of my Salt Lake flight later this month, and I was booked to leave Portland at 5:04 p.m. It was 3:57 p.m. Cursing my stupidity, I was resolved to be spending a LONG time at PDX again. Adding to my frustration was the realization that it seems all the filling stations seem to be expertly hidden in the most obscure little cranniues around the aiport, and that took another 15 minutes to resolve. I just wanted to get to the United counter and see if I would be taking some 3 a.m. flight home. Frequent flyer though I may be, I am still overly, overly prepared for most trips arriving at least 20 minutes earlier than required to be prepared for any possible snafu or having to spend my evening meal at Chili's TOO at an airport. I arrived at the counter at 4:37, feeling that I'd commited some horrid travel crime. Okay, this is perhaps the first time in 30 years that I was the one messing up on a flight, not the airlines, but I felt as low as scum wearing white shoes after Labor Day. (Though I don't wear them before Labor Day, for that matter.) The woman at the counter was one of those spunky Oregonian types who smirked and said, "Where were you," and I was ready to be told that I would be put on stand by for some flight the next day. "Actually," she said, "if you don't have checked bags, you technically still have two minutes before they start boarding. I guess I'd also forgotten that security at PDX on Wednesday afternoon is not like a Tuesday morning at SFO. I reached the gate as they were boarding two sections before mine. Deep breath, I had an empty middle seat between me and the aisle mate and arrived home 14 minutes ahead of schedule in time for a pleasant dinner at Manivanh down the street.

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