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Three score and ten or more

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Eating Eastward

When I confirmed our flight from Washington with American Airlines ,  I clicked the spot on the computer that asked for notice of the flight status four hours before the flight the following day, Tuesday.  Our flight was due to leave at !2:20 P.M.  At about eight o’clock in the morning, my cell phone rang and announced that our flight was on schedule, which was a relief because according to the TV, on Monday, everything was jammed up from New York to Dallas because of ice and snow.  We finished packing  and had a pleasant breakfast of Brown Cow Yogurt (we are fans) and cereal, loaded the car and set off from Camas (near Vancouver, WA) to Portland International with enough time to check in by ten-thirty. (When you have to deal with a walker and a cane, as well as passing through security with Janet having a metal knee, metal thumb joints, one metal wrist, and a bunch of hardware on her right femur, you take the two hour in advance advice pretty seriously.)  Just as we arrived at the entrance to the air-port, my cell phone rang to let me know that our flight would be delayed till !:50.

Counseling with my daughter-in-law and grand-daughter we decided to take the extra time to have a little more substantial breakfast, so we u-turned on airport drive and stopped into a Shari’s, a chain restaurant with a pretty good breakfast menu.  We all had eggs, biscuits, hash browns, and several cups of hot chocolate then set off for the airport.

The check in was amazingly swift, and though they gave Janet the full body search the security pass was pretty good. ( When we came this way from Memphis, we passed through the x-ray machines, and though I have reservations at my naked body being seen by ANYONE, we really zipped though security, I vote for x-rays).  When asked about the lack of X-rays at PDX the agents said, with some bitterness, that they were scheduled to get them some time ago, but that they were sent to Memphis instead.  Because our gate was quite close, we didn’t wait for the ordered wheelchair for Jan and walked to the gate.  Even with the stop for breakfast, we ended up with almost an hour to wait for boarding.  We might have eaten more, just to kill time, but there were no “snack booths” near our gate.  Incidentally my cell phone rang twice more as we were citing at the gate to let us know that our flight would be delayed till 1:50.  The very nice people at the gate allowed us to board early so that we could get down the ramp with the walker, and the first leg of the flight began really well, though we were very worried because we were scheduled to arrive (now) at Dallas/Fort Worth at  7:30 and our flight to Memphis was scheduled to depart for Memphis at 8:10, and  DFW is probably the only airport in the country where it is harder to make a short time connection than Chicago.

I had prepared a couple of turkey sandwiches to eat during that flight, and it is a good thing because, though there were ample soft drinks and juice available for the flight (a mixed blessing when one is seventy six years old with a seventy six year old prostate) there seemed to be very little that was edible.  The greatest difficulty at this point was that Janet’s leg was in great pain during the flight and the flight was so crowded  that there was no chance to access her pain pills.  She was in real agony when we deplaned and this time the wheel chair was fortunately ready for her as we exited.  She was wheeled quickly up the ramp where we were picked up by a cart.

With very little time to make our connection, we found to our dismay that another handicapped couple was in the cart, also with an almost immediate connection, but at a different gate.  Our driver rushed them to their gate then off to ours, where we arrived  at 8:05 for an 8:10 flight.  As he pulled up to the gate he was yelling “Two more!  Two more!”.

The gate clerk calmly pointed up to a sign that said that the plane had been delayed till 9:00, and the driver turned to us and said, “It looks like you have time for a snack if you can find some food”

We didn’t find food, and I discovered that I had left my can hanging from the back of Janet’s wheel chair back at the other gate, but you win some and you lose some.  I did score a couple of cokes, made it to the bathroom, and though I couldn’t get to her pain pills, I did find her a couple of Tylenols.  We began to board in a very short time and we were off to Memphis.  While we were at the gate, I turned on the cell phone (which, of course  had been turned off during the flight) and found three voice mails informing me that our flight from Portland would be delayed till 1:50.  I am not complaining, I would rather get an overkill of information than none.  Thanks, American Airlines.

The flight to Memphis seemed rather short though Janet spent much of it leaning back on her seat with eyes closed and teeth clamped tight, obviously not sleeping but in pain.  We deplaned, and again went off before Janet’s wheelchair arrived, but we had heard that the baggage area was close by, and, even in pain she moves pretty well with her little walker. (It is a little three wheeled walker called a Winnie Walker which was given to her by our youngest son, and it was one of the best purchases ever.)  Of course we took the elevator to the wrong floor and lengthened our trip a little, but we got our baggage off the belt just about the time our third son (the one who sang in the Memphis Christmas Concert) arrived to pick us up.  It was late, and we stopped at  a McDonalds to have a McRib on the way to Oxford where we arrived sometime after midnight and where we went in his house, undressed, collapsed on the bed and didn’t move till Noon the next day.

So far, as far as eating our way eastward, it doesn’t seem like this was the best food of the year, but when our son arrived home from his job at Old Miss Library he took us out to dinner (actually, we asked him to find a really nice restaurant and we would take him out to dinner).  He drove us to a place that, at first glance, looked like a hole in the wall restaurant that was called “208” for its address on 208 Lamar in Oxford.  It turned out to be one of the nicest restaurants we have ever patronized.  It had a part that was sports-barish, but we were taken to a nice center table where we had fantastic food.  I wish I had taken my cameral.  We had a flank steak appetizer that was delicious, (though a little spicier than Jan would like) the three entrees that appeared and tasted like they had come from a famous gourmet kitchen.  I had a chicken dish that was melt in the mouth, on a bed of mashed (but not candied, thank heaven)yams.  Janet had a six ounce tenderloin about which she raved with every bite, that was on a bed of mashed potatoes (again a rave, and mashed potatoes are common in our house.) Ryan had a rib eye with some magic sauce.  I am not sure what else,  because he was on the other side of the table, and he didn’t offer to share, but our meals were plated beautifully tasted magnificent, and we marked “208” as a place to which we would return often.

Yesterday we had Ryan’s chili which has won Chili cook-offs three times, and then this morning, we returned to another “hole in the wall” which we have patronized before and loved.  Oxford has a breakfast restaurant called “B B B” for Big Bad Breakfast which is a little bitty place, always crowded with more running waiters (servers, to be politically correct)  and more pleased patrons per square inch than any other place anywhere.  This morning we had a wonderful breakfast with omelets (they call it with justice, the awesome omelet) eggs, biscuits, eggs, sausage, andouille, home fries, and heaven only knows what else.  Janet also bought two quarts of granola to take home because they make some of the best in the world.   Now, this afternoon we are going to have a Ryan-cooked turkey, and i am going to  go to bed this evening feeling well fed, gournetised, and pleased.  Tomorrow we leave for home, a ten hour drive, which may be interrupted by a motel stay (depending on Janet’s endurance.  I don’t look forward to tomorrow’s meals (wherever they may be eaten) but I will have the memory of the past few days to carry me back to Georgia. 


At 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First I got exhausted reading about your plane trips. I don't know how you do it.

Then you had my mouth watering with the food and it's 11 pm and no time to eat now.

It's me - Pat Joubert

At 5:51 PM, Blogger Norma said...

Your travels just leave me speechless, and you know that's hard to do.

At 8:03 PM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

If you have enough grandchildren who are far away, anything is possible.


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