The kids turn up at 11:30. Just after the maid. I’m pretty much ready to go. I’ve finished off the bourbon and beer. Plus done some writing. I’m so diligent nowadays.
Final packing done, we stroll down to reception just after noon. Dump our bags and head for the diner Andrew has found. It sounds dead good. But is over the other side of the motorway. That is, up a dirty great hill.
“It’s not as bad as yesterday, dad. See, it goes off to the left rather than straight up the hill.” I’m not totally convinced. But it does look like a good diner.
The road may not be as steep. But the climb is longer. We end up walking up to about the same height. But I’m too out of breath to argue.
When we arrive at Glo’s, we’re informed that we’ll have to wat 30-45 minutes for a table. Just as well we’re not in any great rush.
One of the lessons I’ve learned in my travels is not to rush. Leave plenty of time for everything. Stuff always takes longer than you expect. Even without unexpected delays. I’d rather wait for two hours in an airport bar than have to run to my gate.
“We could have a coffee over the road, in the meantime.” I remark. There’s a Starbucks there. The kids just get a medium black coffee. Being flash, I go for a caffe latte. I have to wait for mine.
We notice four cops drinking coffee on the patio. After a while the only female officer gets up, runs up the hill and jumps in her squad car, which departs with lights and siren blazing,
“That’s a bit odd. It would only make sense if she’d suddenly remembered that she’d left the front door open.” I’m puzzled as to why none of her colleagues accompanied her.
We finish our coffees and trundle back to Glo’s. We’re next on the list. Though it does take another 10 minutes before our arses are parked inside. Me and Alexei choose exactly the same: 2 egg breakfast with bacon and wholemeal toast. Andrew has exactly the same, just with a single egg.
At least that’s the idea. “I’m sorry, the chef got carried away and yours has two eggs as well. I’m just charging you for one.”
The breakfast is good. Damned good. Even Andrew eats most of it. I feel stuffed. In a good way.
I plan on getting to the airport really early. Partly because we couldn’t check in online yesterday for some reason. Best to have plenty of time in such circumstances.
We pick up our bags and a taxi at our hotel. And soon we’re on the highway. Which is crazily busy for an early Sunday afternoon. Where the hell are all these people going?
We go straight to a Delta counter and explain that we couldn’t check in online. It seems our country of residence was the problem. It hadn’t been filled in. 100% certain I filled that in for all of us on the way out. Why didn’t they still have that information?
I drop by the duty free. The bourbon selection is worse than disappointing. And far worse than what I can get around the corner at Ton Overmars. Let’s get some wine for Dolores instead. I’ve forgotten to get something earlier.
Washington wine will do nicely. Except most of it is hideously expensive – in the $70 - $100 range. Oh look, this one is just $17. A bit pricey for Dolores, but not too crazy. I’ll annoy rather than impress Dolores if I get something expensive.
“That’ll be $37 please, sir.” You what? I must have looked at the wrong price. Dolores is going to garrotte me when I get home.
Our flight is from gate S1. Handily, there’s a seafood place right next to it. Which has a dozen or so draught beers. That’ll do nicely. We get a table and order beers: Sam Adams Lager for Andrew, Pike IPA for me. And cola for Alexei. As usual, Andrew’s knocking back two or three beers to my one.
Alexei is getting anxious about boarding time. Even though we can literally see the board at the gate from our seats.
“You know what I need to finish off the trip?”
“What dad?” the kids ask unenthusiastically.
“A double bourbon. That’s how I usually say goodbye to the US.”
“How predictable, dad.”
The waitress explains that they have a special. If I buy a beer and a bourbon, I get a discount. Though it’s only a single. Oh, go on, then. You only live once.
“Didn’t you say that you only do doubles?”
“Don’t spoil dad’s day, you nitpicking bastards.”
As we’re queueing up to board someone says behind me “Hello neighbours.” I’m confused for a while, but then recognise the American woman who lives a few doors down from us. Now there’s a coincidence.
I’ve the luxury of an empty seat next to me again. What a jammy bastard I am.
As usual, I pull on my noise-cancelling headphones and fire up the in-seat entertainment. It’s the best way to pass the time. I plump for my usual intellectual fare. I watch “Enter Player One” then start watching “Blockers”, but fall quickly asleep. Only to awake when it’s time for breakfast. Perfect. I must have been out for 5 or 6 hours.
My bag appears fairly quickly. And within minutes we’re in a taxi bouncing down the motorway. Racing back to the iterative reality of normal life.
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