Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Traveler's Woes

When you are young you think the transporting part of traveling is fun, especially if you are going on a plane. When you are older you tend to be more wise about the inconveniences and the sanitation ailments of an airport.  It is time that I finally realize and admit that airplanes are just not meant for my type of human body. It is rough. I do not mind flying in fact in some ways enjoy it but for some reason it seems that we are not compatible.

Generally speaking, no one really is a fan of airport food either because the overly-hiked prices or the stale, mass produced food.   I absolutely cannot say that I have ever met one person that enjoys standing in the long security line while being stripped by TSA of all their belongs.  Ewww and especially walking barefoot on that floor to get through the conveyor belt area.  Seriously, no fun.

Beyond the security and food personally I am an air traveler mess.  My body freezes every single time I step onto an airplane and I am instantly sick.  It only takes me about 30 minutes in the air before I have a sore throat and severely swollen glands when I am cold.  Therefore, I am forced to always travel with very thick socks and some sort of jacket.  I am thankful when there is a valid winter so that I can have an excuse to carry my Chicago coat throughout the airport.  Not that easy of a task each time I fly along the southern coast midst of summer without looking to alert the retail LP teams or homeland security.  Ugh so I just have to freeze those times.  Blankets don't cut it either.  I need to be bundled from head to toe.

Gosh and what about my curly hair woes.  Whoever individual was that thought it would be okay for us to have only 3 ounces of liquid in our carry-on bottles never had curly hair.  Three ounces of conditioner doesn't even begin to cover one half of my curly head.  Three ounces just might get me by in the shampoo department. Okay and then we have to discuss the after wash products.  Therefore, attempting to go with only carry-on luggage won't fly (no pun intended) unless I can get by without washing my hair for an extended period of time.  Not easy to do if there is a beach nearby. Sigh.  Sometimes it could be useful to just wait and go shopping after I've arrived but when I visit a small town the idea is not always available.

Oh geesh and my hands.  It has become a pain to travel now that my childhood eczema has resurfaced and taken over my hands.  Try adding in special soap and special lotion to your purse/carry-on limit in addition to the itch cream or creams in plural.  Haha maybe next decade I will be better for travel on a plane.

Now for the vehicle...So far I am okay.  I bring along my socks and I can control my own ventilation.  If I am the passenger I know to bring a blanket.  But there is a lot to be said about the various bathroom stops on a road trip.  I have learned to always stop at a chain grocery store with a gas station nearby.  Grocery stores like Publix, HEB, Randall's or Kroger's will likely have a cleaner bathroom than the disgust-o convenience stores.  Luckily, I can multi-task at the grocery store stop and grab some snacks or a road meal at the delicatessen.

I have seen some pretty terrible gas stations in my short amount of time.  South I-55 all through Mississippi and a portion of Louisiana the convenience store owners firmly do not believe in wasting money for hand soap in the bathrooms.  One year in college I drove down to Pass Christian, Mississippi to clean up the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The caravan group stopped at a Wendy's to get food and use the facilities.  I instantly walked into the one person female bathroom and locked the door.  As soon as I turned around to locate the toilet I saw there were two commodes sitting side by side.  Both in perfect working order ready to be used at the same time.  So apparently in this location it is acceptable for women to share the air while doing their business at the same time.  Zero stall doors.  Haha.  Gross.

You really hope that the bathrooms are the worse things that road-trips can bring.  Try driving throughout the state of Louisiana were they will not commit to cleaning up the road hazards.  Up and down the streets shredded tires lay everywhere from were semi-trucks have blown out.  The department of transportation does not prioritize cleaning tire scraps up in a safe and timely manner along side many other weird things I've seen on the side of the road.  Certainly, you have heard of incidences were people have been killed because of road hazard negligence.  Famous Florida radio DJ Erika Roman died because she ran into a chair that wasn't properly strapped into another licensed driver's truck.  I have TWICE experienced a ladder fly out of vehicle going approximately 60 mph or more at me on the highway.   There is nothing that a bystander can do but swerve around the road and pray the ladder doesn't hit you or another car or that a car doesn't hit you or you hit them while swerving to avoid the rotten egg.  It is rare for a person to experience it one time, let alone twice.  Now when I drive, if there is a vehicle with a ladder strapped to the back I instantly go to the other lane.

With Angela O'

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