Sunday, April 19, 2015

Westbound

Here in the hermetically sealed wonder of the United Lounge in Terminal C of Dulles Airport, I am surrounded by the well-heeled gazing numbly at their smartphones or mindlessly watching whatever is on the televisions, audible only to those with owl-like hearing.  Since I have begun this effort to lose a good bit of me, the carb denying aspect of it makes the time spent in posh airport lounges far less posh.  Whereas I used to mow down cup after cup of trail mix and wash it down with diet coke, I now drink water and long for trail mix.

I am headed to San Diego, to which I will return in two weeks and then four weeks after than.  Wedged in between will be a trip to Newport and then a mid-June trek to Norway for a panel I've been asked to anchor.  Presumably, my travel schedule and propensity to overshare means a number of these travel-logue themed posts, but who knows, perhaps I will get lazy.  Not wishing to disappoint fans of my travel rigs, I am of course, betrackpantsed, with trainers and blue blazer.  This time though, I am wearing a golf shirt I purchased several years ago without trying on.  When I did, I realized that it made me look more LPGA than PGA, and so I put it away until I had lost my manrack.  Though it isn't completely gone, it is subdued enough to comfortably wear a nice light blue golf shrt, and so I am.  

Standard trip, three full work days and the red-eye home Wednesday night.  I am trying yet another hotel out there in my quest to find the perfect place.  Of note, I see that Dulles finally opened some food/coffee establishments in the baggage claim area.  This is a great idea, because I find myself landing at 0600 in the morning after a red-eye in great need of a coffee, and unless I am fleet of foot (which has been impossible with my hip maladies) a huge line grows at the single coffee stop open between the gate and exiting the airport.  Now there's one I can hit on the way out to caffeinat for the ritual joining of the Norther Virginia crawl.

There must be an even more VIP VIP lounge, because I often think that I should run into famous people here, but rarely do.  Occasionally I'll espy a member of Congress, but usually nada.  As I look around today, there are no famous people, or at least none that I recognize.  TSA-Pre remains a triumph of the Obama Administration, perhaps the only one.  I used to remove more clothing for airport security than I did for connubial bliss, but no more.  A quick step into the all-body scan and I'm on  my way, after the staff have beheld the wonders of my naked form.  

May I bitch about Dulles again?  Thank you.  Now that I am equipped with two superbly functioning hips, the Bataan Death March from daily garage 1 to the terminal is now manageable.  That said, the last half of the trip remains ridiculous.  I fly out of terminal C or D usually.  If D, then you get on the ridiculous people movers.  If C, you ride a tram to a spot where you are dropped off and then get to walk another ten minutes.  Why build the damn train?  I did see that C terminal has a new Chef Geoffs opening there, which should be nice, as we have discussed here in the past the wasteland that is Dulles dining.

I am going to experiement with remaining on Washington time throughout this trip, going to bed at 8PM and rising at 3AM (Cali-time).  I am wildly productive in the morning as it is, and I've found that when I try and go "full west coast", my post dinner hours are a waste anyway, as I am ready to go to sleep pretty early.  I will report on the results of this great scientific experiment.  I do need to be productive, as things are righteously busy in Bryan-land these days, to the point where I'm going to have to start turning things down with more frequency.  Plus, the War College gig still has a month left in it, and -- like the ideal gas -- expands to fit any given volume of time I have.

Will future generations, hundreds of years from now, view video of CNN and come to the decision that Fareed Zakaria must have served some kind of global authority role?  Let's face it:  you cannot fly these days without seeing his serial plagiarist's face in every airport.  With his East Indian appeararnce and the patois of an Oxford don, he is the ultimate global citizen.  I think they will look back and try to affix some incredibly important role to him in our present day.

Is there anything sillier than the baseball hat with the sunglasses perched on the bill?  I mean, if you're on the golf course or softball field, it's one thing.  But the departure lounge?

Ok--enough kvetching for today.  My plan is to land in Cali, get the car, head to the hotel, eat some dinner and go to bed.  If I execute the plan, I should have time to scribe in the morning.  Fare thee well.  


5 comments:

Tom de Plume said...

"Is there anything sillier than the baseball hat with the sunglasses perched on the bill?"

The suburban Rommel look.

xbradtc.com said...

Dinner at El Indio, followed by a post-prandial libation of Guinness and Jameson next door, one presumes?

Ken Adams said...

Along the line of trying new hotels, the Courtyard Downtown is unique - built in an old bank building and none of the corporate sameness typical of that chain. Add to that a short walk for multiple dining options and I think it's a winner.

JB said...

"Is there anything sillier than the baseball hat with the sunglasses perched on the bill?"

Yes:

1) The backwards baseball cap, or;

2) The baseball cap w/ the bill @ an odd angle

JB said...

Ken,

I believe I stayed in that hotel back in 1999 or 2000 I think. It had only recently opened after renovations, and I don't think it was called a Courtyard back then. I remember they had some meeting/conference rooms downstairs where the old vaults were, and the check-in "desks" in the lobby were old bank teller windows w/ lots of marble. And it was a very short walk to the Gas Lamp district, w/ all the restaurants. It was unique, and a nice break from all the "same-ness".

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