To Tampa for Thai Donuts


I had trouble relaxing last night and finally going to bed as I always get excited before a trip. I had cleaned the house, packed my bag, bathed my body, and talked to Caleb but didn’t get to bed until after 9:30, which is early for my regular routine but I needed to be at the San Diego Airport before my usual alarm. Sparky woke me at midnight, nails clicking on the wooden floor. I grabbed him and he stayed under the covers till after 2:30 when I woke before my phone went off.

I washed my hair and ruffled his to get Sparky out of the pocket of warmth he created so we could go on a walk at three in the morning. The houses on my street already have Christmas lights up and inflatable decorations that are going all night. I would have them on a timer, but we don’t have any decorations these days, though Caleb misses the ambiance of the soft light they provided inside. I sneak into Fallon’s house and wait with her while she finishes her oatmeal so she can give us both a ride to the airport.


in Houston Airport: The Sentinels by Elizabeth DeLyria

I eat the grapes that I stuffed into my water bottle last night before I have to worry about what security will think because I went to bed hungry after having dinner at 4 pm. Not only is there holiday traffic today but the Navy decided to transfer a bunch of guys who are crowding the American Airlines counter. Good thing I’m flying Spirit and am sixth in line to go through the checkpoint. The agent opening the gate is friendly and full of jokes and though Fallon isn’t clocked in yet she’s there to hand me a piece of gum.

I’m the only one in the lounge for about an hour and it’s fantastic while I read and tune into the TV when it talks about rain on the west coast. A guy opens a sandwich next to me and it tells me that I’m hungry, but I forgot my other snacks. I debate getting up and check the airline website that sells muffins and BuzzBallz and I’m not about that party lifestyle so early so I slowly decide to put away my book and venture one gate away.


reflections and lights landing in Tampa

I’m getting cold as we start to board with a 15-minute delay and I’m given the window seat and eventually the exit row too, but there seems to be some confusion as to the guy’s ability to handle the door. I thought it was an age thing, but apparently, he’s a litigation attorney and not willing to give his seat up for discrimination without an exchange of words as he attempts to get moved to the first row or be given a full refund. Turns out the attendant had to make a judgment call with the FAA on her side, but I feel bad for sitting here.

I tried to read and napped instead and woke up to a passenger in need of air with half the plane looking towards the back and a crew member carrying a portable emergency oxygen system that looked like a mini dive tank. There’s also a line for the water closet and it starts to smell like nacho farts. I’m feeling grateful I didn’t buy a drink so that I don’t have to wait in the aisle, especially as the seatbelt light comes on and the pilot asks people to return to their seats so we can land in Houston at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.


Tampa toilet technology

I wait in line for another delayed departure, but it’s no big deal considering 30 million people are traveling today and it’s only a few minutes. The flight is an hour and a half and Caleb has an hour to himself at the hotel to think about dinner and “dessert.” I sat next to another reader on the flight, title of his book One Minute Millionaire, and now we’re both napping. My neck fell asleep; a sensation I’ve not felt before and the clouds are all white and smooth as I look out my window to the water below.

The plane making contact with the ground felt like landing a soda can full of rocks and the attendant comes over the speaker to tell us to “let social media know you were 11 minutes early because you’d let them know if you were late.” We stopped at Jack and Jill Adult Superstore to find something new to play with, on the way to dinner at Lemon Grass Thai Kitchen where I got the curry and Caleb the noodles, and we ordered their donuts for a new experience.


steamy start to an evening

We’ve never had Thai donuts, which are like loukoumades (Greek donuts), but the nuts and sauce combo come served on the side which would come in handy when we got back to the room (I spit the nut part out so it wouldn’t scratch) and got to try some Nipple Nibblers tingle balm, Belgian waffle, after watching the second half of Inglorious Basterds.


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