Saturday, July 23, 2005

Finally home again, thank goodness

The flight was pretty good. There was little turbulence, the cabin was quiet, and the food was decent. I have always managed to get along well with cabin crews and sometimes that creates other benefits. On this flight, I had some lively conversation with a few of the attendants in the cabin and even shared some jokes. At meal time, I ordered the beef filet off of the menu (in Club class on British Airways, you select you meal off of menus). He came back after a short while later and asked if I would mind waiting an extra ten minutes and they could prepare something special. Of course, I said I could. Jo, another attendant, came by a little later with a tray that include a large filet mignon and an incredible array of vegetables. I was surprised and thanked her and she winked in response. Another attendant came by later and told be they convinced the First Class crew to give it up for me in exchange for making them feel appreciated. Now, that's service!

We arrived just about on time and I immediately called my wife to see that all was going on schedule and she was almost there to pick me up. I was one of the first off the plane. At Dulles, you board a shuttle form the plan which then takes you to Immigration. I was one of the first to clear, my bag was the first one on the baggage return and was already there, and I went through Customs quickly. I checked my phone to call my wife and realized that only 18 minutes had elapsed between the time I called her and my exiting the terminal to be picked up. I think that's a record for any of my trips and this one involved Immigration and Customs!

My wife mentioned she had been caught in a backup due to an accident on the Interstate. On the return trip, we noticed that ther e was a new accident that had the opposite side of the Interstate completely shut down. The resulting backup seemed to be about 8 miles long. And then, after a short clear area, there was another backup due to road construction that was at least 10 miles long. It was probably more as it continued past the exit we use to get home. It was a good think my flight wasn't a later flight or she would have been in both of those horrendous traffic jams.

Accidents you can't predict, but who in their right mind would give approval to shut down lanes of one of the busiest interstate highways on a Friday night during peak vacation season?

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