Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tales From the South - The Journey

Sorry for the delay on the report of the greatest musical event in the history of time. Since arriving home on Friday morn I have been making amends with Wheels and assisting my padres with their move to the promised land. Without further ado...

For those of you who thought the Yellowstone blog was long and pointless - stop reading now. When KG and Vanwarmer decided to head to the South I figured a running diary was the best way to record the events. Here is what transpired:

September 17, 2008

9:00 – Got a cold Dew. Packed and on my way. KRCL is playing some hits. Life is good.

9:13 – Son of a… Just realized I left the ticket that I had sold on eBay at home.

9:32 – Ok, back on the road. Once again life is good.

10:01 – Economy lot parking – not a problem. 11B right next to the shuttle pickup.

10:03 – Riding the shuttle. Apparently our driver tonight is John Locke and he doesn’t realize that the large letters painted white in ALL CAPS on the road mean that you should bring the shuttle to a halt, look both ways and then carry on. No brakes, no worries.

10:08 – Step off Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and head into the terminal.

10:14 – check in went without a hitch heading to security.

10:17 – the strange looking TSA fellow stamps my boarding pass and says, “you have been chosen to receive additional screening, please pick up a red bin.”

“What does that mean?” I inquire politely.

“It means they are going to search your bags and you must go through the Puffer Machine,” states the agent (quite racistly)

10:20 - I proceed through security as normal and the woman says, “Hey, you didn’t go through the Puffer Machine.”

“What the F*** is a puffer machine?” I retort (ok no I didn’t)
”I have no idea what the puffer machine is…” I say as innocently as possible.

“Right there, it’s going to blow some air at you so don’t be startled.”

10:22 - I step into the Puffer Machine. A woman’s robotic voice (you know the voice) says, “please remain still” and other standard directions as if I were getting on a rollercoaster. Sure enough my face and back are greeted with a few puffs of air. I’m not sure exactly who would be startled by this. It was not exactly a blast it was more like an old man cutting a stale fart in your direction from a few feet away.

10:23 – Apparently I passed the Puffer Test. Then the same lady as before (not the robotic voice the other lady) herds me into some sort of plexi-glass corridor. There I am told to wait.

10:24 – A non-threatening ethnic fellow then puts on some latex gloves and tells me to follow him.

10:25 – My mind races, what now? I follow the man out of the corridor and over where a few ladies are rifling through my backpack.

10:27 – They are now using pliers and something that looks like a gauze pad to swab out my shoes and then the gauze is placed into a machine.

10:30 – Done. Good grief. No pat down and apparently I passed. Seriously, I feel much safer now. Special thanks to the SLC International Airport staff. I know nothing is getting by that top notch squad.

10:36 – Vanwarmer has arrived and he took the following classy pic of KG typing up this very diary. Imagine that.

Non diary sidenote - I would like to apologize up front for the pastie white legs. These legs will be making several appearances in this blog so please be prepared. Also FYI - do not wear black socks, black shoes, and khaki shorts when your legs are pastie because it increases the pastie factor tenfold. In my defense, it was Wednesday night and therefore it was okay for me to be wearing my business socks. Ok, back to the diary...

10:40 - Good news. Big Buddah from Fox 13 Morning News is on our flight.

10:52 - Vanwamer returns with a bagel, a Vanilla Bean Frappucino and a bag of cashews. He asks me to guess the tab. My head says $14, my gut says $12, I go with my gut and lose. Total tab = $14.43.

11:40 - We finally board the plane. I am given a few dirty looks by the ticket takers because of my security clearance issues.

11:42 - Good news Big Buddah is sitting in the row behind us and not between Vanwarmer and myself.

September 18, 2008

12:01 - The sassy red headed flight attendant in the Delta safety video tells us how to be safe, blah blah blah. I'm more interested in the trivia game on the headset in front of me.

12:15 - We're in the air and I've won the first round of trivia. Take that Big Buddah and Vanwarmer.

12:20 - 7:00 - I'm awake... I'm not awake... I'm awake... I'm not awake. Although I must have slept more than I thought I did because I barely remember anything about the flight.

7:01 - We arrive in JFK. My first trip to NYC. I am incredibly excited.

7:05 - Vanwarmer figures out that our gate has changed. We scramble over to the other concourse and await our trip to Durham.

7:13 - Vanwarmer needs food. We wander into some kind of time warp 1980's food court/arcade and instead of food his eyes are drawn towards the Ms. Pacman/Galaga game.

"Which do you want to play?" Vanwarmer asks me?

"I don't know, how about Galaga." I reply.

"It's your funeral." Vanwarmer humbly states.

7:18 - Vanwarmer is still rocking. He proceeds to pass 14 phases before he dies for the first time.

7:19 - I passed phase one and died. I suck at Galaga.

7:28 - Final score - Vanwarmer 168,000 - KG - 15,000. Screw Galaga.

7:30 (eastern time mind you) - Vanwarmer needs more food so we head out to find something tasty to eat.

7:32 - decisions, decisions...

7:35 - Vanwarmer decides to stick with a croissanwich (sp??) - probably for the best when your body clock is at 5:35 am.

7:41 - Just in case you needed more proof of the iPod world domination. The iPod vending machine.

7:41 (and 30 seconds) - I still hate iPods but I love that girl's shoes.

8:02 - Our tickets are torn, we head down the ramp, open up a door and what the hell? There is a bus waiting for us. I think my magic COCOnut tree travel agent could have warned us that we'd be making a 7 hour bus trip from NYC to NC.

8:04 - Phew the bus takes us to a plane. I was so worried.

8:05 - We walk up and board the plane on some little steps. Either we are getting on Air Force One or we have suddenly been transported to Osorno, Chile.

8:20 - In the air and once again I'm out...

10:05 - We are in NC. I can't believe it. We wait for our Avis Car rental shuttle. It seems that Avis must not be too popular in NC because we've seen every other possible shuttle but Avis. Meanwhile people smoke and smoke and smoke. Tobacco Road isn't just a clever name for North Carolina.

10:22 - We arrive at Avis and our spirits are high. Only 1 group of people in front of Vanwarmer and the radio station is playing hit after hit.

10:36 - Still waiting...

10:41 - Still waiting... fatigue setting in...

10:42 - The familiar strains of Eddie Money blast through the speakers and we are treated to "Two Tickets to Paradise." The irony is not lost on us. Our spirits soar.

10:47 - We have a car. A sweet ride... something to be proud of. Yep this is how we roll. We spare no expense when it comes to this trip...

Photo doesn't do it justice. That baby is a lime green Ford Focus. Oh yeah.

11:03 - Check in to the Fairfield Inn. We opt to skip showers and maximize our time.

11:22 - The trusty Garmin leads us to the basketball mecca. We arrive at Duke University.

I am in awe. Check out the architecture. Screw Yellowstone, our next family trip will be to Duke.

11:29 - We found the student center named "The Bryan Center." Flanksteak (also a big Duke fan) sheds a tear as I phone him to inform him of the center's name.

11:34 - We enter the bookstore. I could spend maybe $3 million bucks in this store.

11:50 - I run screaming from the store lest I spend the $3 million dollars that I currently do not possess. I kid. I purchase a few items and we continue our campus tour.

11:58 - As we wander campus we decide to find the Cameron Indoor Stadium. We find Zion and realize that we must be close.

12:01 - You would think Coach K could afford a better car but it appears that he too is rockin a Ford Focus...

12:03 - A few hundred yards past Zion we come across the temple of Zion. I am so excited at this point that I have to untuck my shirt. Keep in mind this isn't a church but it might as well have been... Cameron Indoor Stadium

12:06 - We decide to check the doors and see if per chance it is open. Indeed it is.

12:07 - The gym doors are wide open. I am in shock. It just so happens that girls' practice is just about to begin and there are some guys working on the jumbotron. We spend the next 20 minutes having our own special photo shoot.

I can't even comment on those photos. I don't want to make any snarky comments, not even about my pastie whites. I just want the reverence of the photos to speak for themselves.

1:05 - Leaving Duke, looking for some tasty southern BBQ. Still in awe over my Duke trip. Seriously have my trip just been this I would have boarded a flight home and been happy. Luckily for me there was much better things in store. And they deserve their own blog post.


Jen said...

I read the whole dang thing and I don't feel angry about it. Just thought you might want some feedback. I'm glad your trip was all that.

brohammas said...

Dude, wednesday is the night for business socks... but is that OK when LEAVING home?
Wheels, check KG's phone for nasty texts to "coach K".

Corbie said...

As your 'travel agent' (that is what you called me, right?) I guess I should have warned you about the Avis thing. Only, here is the problem - it is simply Murphy's Law when it comes to rental cars. Whatever one you pick is the one that seems to have a shortage of shuttles. I have randomly tried every one and it is always the same thing. Except for Hertz - O.J. Simpson picks you up in a white Ford Bronco.

Vanwarmer said...

Nice work, KG. Accurately reflects how even the mundane was electric on this trip. The Avis crew was doing their best, but I got stuck behind someone who had never rented a car before AND someone who was a corporate mega-renter making all kinds of demands. In the end, our lime-green baby served us well, as did lady luck.