Last week we went to Philadelphia. On Saturday morning, while we were sitting at the airport in Norfolk, I noticed an odd-looking plane pull up to our gate. It had wings at the top of the plane, not in the middle where they are supposed to be, and it had propellers. What was it doing at our gate, blocking the way for our little jet that should be arriving soon? When I pointed it out to my husband, he looked up from reading the paper and said, “That’s our plane.”
Flying is not my favorite thing to do under the best of conditions, but taking my jet engines away and giving me those propellers instead had me clutching my seat. And I mean the seat in the airport. Before we even got onto the plane. But I was excited about our trip, so I managed to get myself aboard. George really didn’t have to push that hard. It was the first time in years that I had to walk onto the tarmac to board a plane.
Our seats were right under the wing, a prime spot to hear the noise and watch the landing gear retract the wheels when we became airborne. I commented on how loud the engines were, and my husband said, “They should get quieter once we reach cruising altitude.” I actually liked the sound of the loud engines. At least I knew the propellers were still turning.
When we arrived at the Philadelphia airport, we again deplaned onto the tarmac and were told we had to take one of the buses that were lined up to take us to the main terminal. We didn’t know which bus we needed to get on and had to ask several people before we found the right one. Once we were on, I casually asked my husband if this bus was supposed to take us to baggage claim so we could get our suitcase we had checked in. My husband looked concerned and told me to hold on while he got off the bus to ask. I worried that the bus would leave with me and all our belongings, headed to the main terminal, separated from my husband, and I would never find him again. I watched as he asked an attendant, then saw him motion to me to grab our things and get off the bus. Apparently, the only people who needed to be on that bus were people who had to catch a connecting flight. Our luggage was at the little terminal where we were already.
My husband said he had no clue where we were supposed to go to find the baggage claim. I looked around at the signs and said, “I think it’s this way because the sign has an arrow pointing to ‘baggage claim.’” I am brilliant sometimes. I read signs. We retrieved our suitcase, and the next task was to find a taxi to the airport. Again, my husband was confused about where we were supposed to find a taxi. I looked at the signs and pointed to one that had an arrow pointing to a picture of buses and taxis and read “Ground Transportation.” My husband said it was a good thing he had me with him because he’d be wandering around the airport for hours looking for a way out. I don’t know why we waste so much time teaching boys how to read. They clearly don’t use that skill to the best of their advantage. Oh, yes. They need it to read the football schedule.