Friday, November 26, 2004

Tucson, Arizona—Chicago, Illinois—Greenville, South Carolina—Day 300 (THREE HUNDRED!!!)

My brother Simon and my mom dropped me off at the Tucson International Airport with plenty of time for my 1:42pm departure for Chicago. I said goodbye to them and to Tucson but felt refreshed from a good time back home.

Since I was the only one in the American Airlines line, I didn’t have a problem checking in. The airport buzzed with passengers who did a “stop-over” Thanksgiving like me—in one day, out the next. I went through security (again amused at the almost anal-retentive security staff) and milled through various magazines as I waited for my flight to start boarding.

Now that I have been permanently upgraded to “Group 1” I got to board first and soon we were on our way to Chicago. The flight was fine—I had an entire row to myself and worked non-stop on my Portuguese lessons (muito bem!) before we landed in snowy Chicago at 6pm. I looked outside at the frost on the ground and felt glad that I had spent my holiday in Arizona snow-free.

I then had to wait it out in the Chicago airport for my flight to Greenville, South Carolina! Whohoo! What a place! The only reason I am flying to Greenville was that I could get a frequent flier ticket on American Airlines for Thanksgiving and that was the closest airport (that AA flew to) to Columbia, where the hippos are. So I had to fly to Greenville, then in the morning would rent a car and drive myself to Columbia.

I waited in the small terminal for the “really tiny planes that only go to small airports” after grabbing a salad from some “corner market” store in the airport, noting that it was not a market, nor was it on a corner. We boarded (there was only a “general boarding” call since there was hardly anyone on the plane) and flew to Greenville. Again, the flight was fine (I think I have become permanently immune to flying now) and landed into Greenville/Spartanburg. I located my bags and the courtesy phone to call the hotel to come pick me up. I was happy that the hotel had a shuttle and that it was so near the airport. It was 10pm (8pm Tucson time) and I was ready for bed.

I got to the hotel, checked in and did some emailing before I crashed, knowing that the 6am wake up call would come far too soon.