Monday, October 19, 2009

Nashadena Weekend ~ The Arrival

Day 1 - 10/16/09

At 4:15 this morning my alarm went off. It didn't take me long to orient to the situation. I was asleep, but upon hearing the beeping I immediately awoke, my grogginess peppered with excitement. Today was the day of my flight to Nashville to hang with April, Casey, Leah, and Whit for the weekend. Those of you who read this blog know that I love Brothers & Sisters and that the five of us compare ourselves to those siblings. I decided last week that since the fictional Walker family lives in Pasadena that I would call Nashville, Nashadena. So as I was riding the E train toward Jamaica Center, Queens this morning, I decided to enjoy this travel day. I decided to enjoy the train ride and the waiting to board the plane and the flight. I decided to set up my weekend in a way as to savor each moment. Live in each moment. Be present in each moment, instead of anticipating the end of the flight or trip.

I got off at Sutphin Blvd to catch the JFK Air Train. It was simple. I just followed the signs and made my way to the turnstiles. It was a $5 charge to ride the Air Train. That seemed like a small price to pay for a trip to the airport. Super Shuttle would have cost me $25 plus tip and I don't even want to talk about the expense of a taxi. The Air Train was warm enough and took me straight to the Delta terminal. All this for $5. No matter how much there is to bitch about in the City, this is a fantastic addition.

I sat in the seating area of Gate 25 waiting for an agent to open the Gate 25 desk so that I could get a seat assignment. I tried to tweet this information. My tweets seemed to be down again today. Not enough network coverage was the issue. So I tried to facebook the info as a status update. Not enough network coverage. I found it amusing that diagonally across from me was a Verizon advertisement stating "Coverage in Mexico" and I couldn't even browse the web on my Verizon Blackberry at JFK in America! You might can hear me now, but you can't get my clever updates or tweets!

The plane was delayed for boarding by 15 minutes. No reason given. I got to the gate and the agent scanned my ticket and my seat assignment printed out. 4C. An aisle. I was worried about getting a seat because when I booked the flight all the seats had bodies occupying them. I prayed for a seat on the flight last night and asked the Universe for an aisle today. I got both. Be tee dubs, the plane seats about 48 people. It's barely larger than the flights I take from Memphis to Paducah. Interesting!

I was asleep before we took off. The flight was smooth. I awoke after beverages. I had to pee of course. I got a water after the bathroom break and that led to two more visits to the bathroom in the course of the flight. After the nap I read two Vanity Fair articles. One on Penelope Cruz and the other on Dominick Dunne. Then I completed the first part of My Life In France and we began our descent.

Arriving nearly an hour late didn't dampen our spirits as my "Walkers" picked me up outside of baggage claim. We headed off to lunch at Bosco's. After lunch it was time to head to Kroger for a little grocery shopping. We needed ingredients for Casey's taco soup, breakfast items, and snacks and nibbles for the weekend. While walking down the cracker aisle, Casey asked, "Does anybody want anything down this aisle? Crackers?", but it came out, "Does anybody want anything down this aisle, Crackers?" Needless to say, thinking we were being called crackers set us off on a laughter tangent. The next laughter-role-in-the-aisle came when April mispronounced orange and asked if we wanted Oran Danish! Casey yelled no and that made us laugh even harder.

We headed home and Casey started the soup while the other three of us perched our butts on various spaces of the counter. As travel days are often exhausting, I had to take a nap. When I woke up, April and Casey were gone to the mall and I watched a little television with Whit and his bff Randy while waiting on the girls to get back to pick us up to go back to the airport and pick up Leah.

Relaxing and familiar is the best way to describe the feeling when we were all back at the house. Lots of pictures being snapped and wine being consumed and music loud enough to be danced to. And dancing ensued.

Casey planned a small gathering at the apartment before we went out. We left the apartment around 10:30 pm to go downtown to a bar called Paradise Park. We had to get out of the taxi about two blocks away because the road was closed due to the Kings of Leon concert. The concert was over and the area was crowded. It was cold and nobody really wanted to walk. You know what's amazing? If I had been in the City, walking would have been the clear option, but not being in the City, those two blocks seemed such an inconvenience.

Paradise Park was so crowded that we had to shiver on the sidewalk for a while waiting to get inside. The very large bouncer checking ID's was yelling at people about where the line was. Thankfully we were in it! When we got inside it was even more crowded than the street outside. The cover band was great, but the drunk people, especially the stupid girls, was not. I was just waiting for the beer spillage to hit my head or back. Thankfully, that never happened. I was very tired and I'm sure that made me less understanding than the little bit of understanding I would have had had I been fully rested. Lots of understanding was never going to be a option for me in that situation.

We finally all got on the same page and headed out the door. We didn't have to wait very long for a cab. We piled in and headed home. I was longing for my pajamas and a warm blanket. I was not disappointed. I was told that Whit was giving me his bed. I added two more blankets and quickly fell asleep without the need for earplugs. What a concept. Peace and quiet for falling asleep like the rest of the country.