Before the Flight

Parking at the airport can be expensive. Driving to an early flight can be a pain. But the Jones’ have a solution to both of those problems; they get a hotel near the airport the day before the flight. For a long trip, the cost difference between staying at the hotel and paying for parking is usually marginal. Hotels are aware of this and offer long term parking to those who stay and fly.

So our adventure begins the day before our flight. After millions of passport checks by the mother hen, we finally made it to the first hotel. It was two and a half hours later than originally planned due to some last minute packing by said mother hen, but nobody was bent out of shape. We checked in without a hitch – Walter (also referred to as Papa J, Waltie, Waltito, Walterino, Walterio, and Walt, though he very much prefers Walter) dropped off the mother hen so she could check in. Everyone was hungry, so she was going to run in, then we could find a place to eat.

While she was in the the hotel, the occupants of the car started searching for a place nearby. Several places were ruled out and we eventually settled on a sports bar called Champions. The Jones’ had been there before and they had a good experience when they did. Directions were found and communicated to the driver (Walter) when mother hen returned. She had a plan – we’re going to Ruby Tuesday.

Once at Ruby Tuesday, drinks were selected. I got a “Fizzy Cider,” a non-alcoholic apple-flavored drink. When I ordered, I made sure that there would be free refills because I knew that it would be sampled repeatedly by an unknown person. (Laurel) By the end of the meal, we were all sitting around talking. Laurel was kind enough to ask if I needed another refill of my drink. I told her I was fine. Walter explained what was really going on.

After Ruby Tuesday, it was time to go back to the hotel, park the car and get ready for bed. This was an exciting part of the day.

Most people don’t understand the subtleties of selecting the best parking spot, especially when the selection is practically permanent. Among the four of us, only Cheri is gifted in the field of spot selection. Unfortunately, this gift does not speak to her until the car is halfway into a particular spot. Nevertheless, we manage to take advantage of her clairvoyance through simple trial and error.

With luggage in tow, we walked to the room. Suddenly, Cheri froze. “Oh my god! Guess what I forgot!” Oh no.

“My drink.”

Once Walter’s heart restarted (again), he said, “Geeze, I thought you forgot your passport or something!” Laurel and I laughed and volunteered to get her something to drink. We had no idea what we signed up for.

The drink couldn’t be just any old mixture of liquids. It had to be caffeine free, with a strong preference for the low calorie variety. These requirements sent us to three of the four floors of the hotel, scouring the vending machines. Luckily Sprite, a commoner’s drink, was sufficient.

By the time we got back to the room, Walter was uncomfortably stretched out on one of  the double beds… in his jeans. Pajama pants forgotten, Walter was left with no other option.

Eventually we all settled down and drifted off to sleep…

*Random music plays* “Son of a bitch!” -Walter

“Sorry, it was a facebook video. You know how they play.”-Cheri