Here at the Marriott in West Virginia that has become my home away from home, people-watching is at its best on weekends, when the corporate suits like me go back home to their kids and spouses and are replaced with more colorful characters.
One weekend it's beauty queens traipsing through the lobby, all aflutter with glitter and tiaras. The next weekend, we have the Devil Dogs, which I learn is a nickname for the U.S. Marines, every one of them sporting a handsome dog collar and dog tag. (The last time I saw this many humans wearing dog collars was in the SM section of the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival...)
But my all-time favorite is this group hug of bikers in front of the hotel entrance. Big burly bikers getting all touchy-feely. As they say here in West Virginia, bless their burly little hearts.
On the occasional weekend when I go back home to Rochester NY from Charleston WV, I've been mostly driving, 'cause the inevitable flight delays just drive me nuts. On this weekend, I decide to give flying another try.
All is well on the first leg of the flight, and we get to Washington Dulles on time.
In Dulles, we're all boarded and tucked in and ready to roll -- when they announce that there has been a mix-up and this plane was really intended for another flight. We all pile back out into the airport and wait several hours for another plane to be ready.
Plane #2 gets us as far as 10,000 feet above the Charleston airport, but permission to land is denied because of fog. After a half hour of circling the airport hoping the fog will clear, we get the all-clear, wheels come down and we start descending. Then, abruptly, wheels come back up, and we're ascending again. We've lost our fog-free window.
If we continue to circle, we'll run out of fuel, so the flight gets diverted to Cleveland, Ohio. Another hour and a half in the air.
In an effort to lighten the mood, the flight attendant (who looks even more miserable than the passengers) gets on the speaker and says: "I've been flying for many years, and I've never had a last-minute plane change AND a diversion on the same flight. You people are all bad luck, and next time, I'd appreciate it if you all just stayed home."
Not. Flying. Again.
I spend the night in Cleveland, and now here I sit, at the Cleveland airport, waiting for the next flight back to WV.
Time it would have taken to drive Rochester NY to Charleston WV: 7.5 hours (8.5 for slowpoke drivers like me)
Time to fly: 18 hours (and we ain't there yet...)
Sleepy passengers who thought they were going to Charleston arriving in Cleveland at 2 AM.
But my California sister Eva just outdid me in Dunkin' Devotion. She turned 52 last week, and all she wanted for her birthday was...52 Dunkin' Donuts. Easier said than done. The closest Dunkin' Donuts is in Barstow--a 400 mile journey, one way. Didn't let that stop her though. Egged on by her 16-year old son (good work, Alex!), she piled the family into the car at 6 AM, picked up her 52 donuts (plus a few extra for good measure), and was back home before midnight. The family reportedly feasted on donuts all the way home.
I'm thinking there's something in the Kruszewska genes....
Imagine my relief when I heard that this week, Los Angeles opened their first Dunkin' Donuts, with plans for a total of 1000 new stores in California. Otherwise, this could be an expensive and time-consuming addiction, Eva!
In the meantime, until those 999 stores are in place, our next DD adventure is to meet up at a DD half way between her home and mine. Which would put us somewhere in the middle of Nebraska or Oklahoma. Heading to Google Maps to scout out locations now...