January 1, 2007

To Boston.

Remind me never to book a 6 a.m. flight again.

In the days leading up to my trip I had very little sleep and was running on empty. The night before my trip was no different—I still had all of my packing to do and needed to clean my apartment for Chris who will be watching my cats for me while I am gone. Luckily, my mom is awesome and came over to help me pack/drive me to the airport. I set the alarm for 4 a.m. to make it to the airport by 5.

For those of you who have ever flown through the Reno airport, you probably know that the ‘two-hours-ahead-of-your-scheduled-departure’ rule is a little excessive, especially when your flight is early in the morning. There have been many times that I have gotten to the airport two hours ahead of time and have had to sit for an hour and a half before my flight left. So, I figured an hour would be good.

I still had a few loose ends to tie up in the morning and so didn’t actually get to Reno Tahoe International until about ten minutes after five. No problem--this is Reno, I thought. I’m good. Little did I know, though, that there would be about 1000 more people in the airport than I had ever seen. The place was an absolute zoo. The line for the United Airlines check in, for example, was literally out the door. Shit. I might not make it, I thought. My only option? Brave the cold, check in with the SkyCap people for a $2 fee per bag and pray that I would make it on the plane. Luckily, the clerk helping me pulled some strings (I had missed the check-in cutoff time), and I got out of there quickly. I must say, the TSA had their shit together that day—the security line was more efficient that I have ever seen it. Good job guys.

Halfway through the security line I began to notice girls in sweat suits carrying swim bags. For those of you who don’t know, I was a competitive swimmer for about 10 years, which has become a major part of my identity. I am very proud of the fact that I got to swim in college (even if it was only for a year—30 hour per week was too much training to handle while in school), and I still miss it a little.

Turns out, the girls in line were, in fact, the UNR swim team on their way to Ft. Lauderdale for a training camp, and, as luck would have it, we were all on the same flight. Even more strange was the fact that my old coach was in the seat directly across the aisle from mine. It was really nice to talk to everyone, update them on my new move to Boston, and hear about how well the team is doing. It was a nice way to start my trip.

My stars must have been aligned that day, for not only did I make my flight, but weather in Denver was absolutely beautiful. The previous day 500+ flights had been cancelled because of a snowstorm that dumped 2 ft. of snow on the entire airport. But today, no problem. I’m a lucky girl.

Joe and Nan greeted me in Boston with lots of hugs, some Christmas gifts (guides to Boston), and a trip to James’s Gate. I can tell already that the Gate is going to be a staple of my stay in Boston (my new Silver Peak or Shenanigans). It is an old Irish pub with a warm fire, yummy food, and good beer—all the things a girl needs to feel right with the world when it is cold outside. We’ll go when you come visit me, okay?

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