austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

My lady's got a sort of strange fascination

So, the honeymoon: things started Monday (the 2nd) with dropping off one of our out-of-town friends where he could get the bus to the airplane. I'd seen a lot of this spot in the week leading up to the wedding; this would be the last time until the week after the wedding. On returning we stopped off at a convenience store because I needed travel-sized toothpaste and mouthwash, and bunny_hugger needed airsickness pills, and various other miscellaneous things. Then back home, to do a little more packing, where bunny_hugger warned me I needed to pack more warmly. In the Michigan area temperatures have been routinely reaching the upper 160's, Fahrenheit; in that circumstance it's hard to see the need to bring a parka along. I would learn better.

We took a taxi to the airport, after thinking hard about whether long-term parking made sense (it didn't, but it could save precious minutes getting back home, weeks later), and checked our bags, which I'd kind of forgotten how to do. It's been a while. We also had to get boarding passes from the desk, which again, was kind of forgotten knowledge. I think the screener tried to get us over to the self-check-in station but I was too confused to do it.

After enjoying some iced tea outside security we went through security and discovered our plane had been delayed by ... we didn't know. They were giving out no information because there's no better way to handle passengers than to keep them uninformed about why they're not going where they need to go, or how long it's going to be before they go, or how they're to make whatever connections they might be making. They didn't even have a gate attendant around for an hour. The plane coming to us was something like two hours late, apparently due to weather, which worked out nicely because we had about two hours to make our connection in Chicago.

The gate attendant, when he arrived and after I gave time for people with even tighter connections to figure out what they should do (a depressing number of them were ``maybe there's something the next morning'') and he said that the plane should arrive in time, and they'd pull it up to just a few gates down from our connection, to Amsterdam. Like, we'd be pulling into gate C-20 and departing from gate C-8. This was wrong; we pulled into gate F-4-something, so we had to charge across O'Hare with about five minutes to get from one terminal to another. (bunny_hugger thought we should take the shuttle between terminals, and maybe we should have, but I wasn't sure how long it would take waiting for the shuttle to start.) Still, we got to our new gate two minutes ahead of the posted time to start boarding.

And ... we waited.

That there'd be a delay loading was not surprising; assuming it was weather that delayed our Lansing-Chicago flight getting into Lansing (since it shuttles back between the two cities), then, surely leaving Chicago would be similarly delayed. But they got us on board and then ... we waited more. After a while they explained that there was a ``high-priority'' shipment which had to go on board, since this was the last flight from Chicago to Amsterdam of the day. Fair enough. We kept waiting. At one point they announced that they were waiting for, I thought, a ``parcel''; bunny_hugger thought it was some ``parts'' they were waiting for.

Something like two hours late --- neatly matching the two-hour delay going to Chicago --- we took off. This was my first experience flying with someone particular; while I've travelled with people in the past we hadn't been in adjacent seats. bunny_hugger put up with my really mild quirks like tracking the kinds of plane I fly on, and we chatted a little bit. Dialogue turned to monologue as we passed over Rutland, Vermont, and got nasty enough air turbulence they turned on the warning lights. I held on to bunny_hugger and talked at length about the ``Time Chasers'' episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the time rcoony and I passed through Rutland on our way to buy odd cheese.

This was an ever-popular ``red-eye'' flight, starting in the evening and going east so that we'd arrive early in the morning with the loss of many hours of night and ``sleep'' being that airplane sleep, which occupies time but doesn't leave you any less tired. bunny_hugger took the chance to sleep a lot. I used the chance to sleep not so much, but to read more. I'm like that. Because of the delay in starting, we were delayed in arriving at Schiphol airport.

So, a little tired after all that we wandered into a strange land where everything was written in a funny language, and Tuesday.

Trivia: The French chemist Comte de Chardonnet introduced a nitrocellulose cloth in 1884. Production of so-called Chardonnet silk soon reached 10,000 tons per year, despite being nitrocellulose. Source: Molecules At An Exhibition: The Science Of Everyday Life, John Emsley. (Emsley claims the nitrocellulose silk, like nitrocellulose billiard balls, sometimes exploded spontaneously or spontaneously enough; while I find this plausible, I realize in my increasing age that I've never seen a first-hand account of exploding nitrocellulose silk or billiard balls or, presumably, piano keys.)

Currently Reading: Flat Earth: The History Of An Infamous Idea, Christine Garwood.

Tags: honeymoon

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