Friday, July 03, 2009
No Bikes...Unless You Got 50 Bucks!
The crack of dawn came early this morning as we started our journey to the midwestern town of Bloomington, Illinois. The temperature was up again in the Vegas valley, along with humidity and it almost felt like Florida around here. Yuk! Funny how you can break a sweat walking the dog at 0430 on a very hot and humid Las Vegas day.
The jaunt to the airport was uneventful and the gut wrenching flu bug I managed to catch two days ago finally abated. Lord knows I wasn't looking forward to travelling with that. I did say the trip to the airport was uneventful, but the arrival was a bit frustrating. It seems Southwest charges for bikes, 50 bucks for bikes. Even though mine is broken down into a nice tidy little suitcase, they still charged me 50 bucks. She asked, "what's in the bag?", A bike... "Oh, that'll be 50 bucks. We've always charged for bikes." Bobbie says, "You've never charged for this bike before." She again says, "we've always charged for bikes, that'll be 50 bucks." Seems the operative word was a bike, not suitcase. So, I call customer service. "Sorry, all of our representatives are at a staff meeting until 0830 central time, please try your call again." It's 0848 central time. So, I hangup and wait at 37 thousand feet.
Funny what and who you encounter on airplanes. I kindly asked the flight attendant, they were all stewardesses when I was kid, for another coke. She says seriously but at the same time rather jokingly, "No, I'm busy and I have three other orders in my head." I smile and say, "I'll pay you." She gives me that police, vice-undercover look and says, "Ok, 5 dollars" and then walks off. I smile and feel satisfied with the humor of the moment. She returns with my coke and says that she was sorry but she has had a lot of crappy passengers to deal with lately. "It must be the travel season or something, people just don't know what they are doing.", she says. I say, "yep, probably is something like that" and listen attentively to the rest of her story. Then she says, "You won't believe this, but I actually had one lady do something really astonishing the other day." I say, "Oh really, what was that?" ever so curiously. She says, "Well, you know how we go down the aisle collecting trash every so often." I say, "yes" "Well" she says, "this lady reached down to give me her peanut rapper that was lodged in her seat pocket, and before she gave it to me, she blew her nose in it! Can you believe that?" I say, "no, that's disgusting." "Some people" she says, as she walked off. We look at each other in amazement and disgust and Bobbie says she doesn't know how these people do this kind of work, and that she'd rather deal with snotty little kids all day then deal with adults sometimes. Me too. Hopefully we won't have to experience anything like that on the rest of this flight.
The plan for riding over the next couple of days is to explore the flat lands of Illinois by bicycle and try to document a bit of days gone by from our past. Should be fun and pictures to follow. The plan on day one is ride over to Bloomington Lake for a tour and maybe a picnic. Then, we will had west over to another lake that I can't remember the name of, spend some time there and head back through a couple of small Illinois towns located just north of Normal. We will also be using the Constitution Trail. I did a little research and the trail appears to head both East and West as well as North and South. We will be making our way on the North South portion and will hopefully explore the rest in the next couple of days, either on foot or by bicycle. Should be fun either way, especially if the weather holds out. So, we'll see.
Now, time for a little rest while I enjoy the message from the 6 year old behind me kicking my seat and listen his ever so loud lulliby out how big the clouds look up here.