Argentina 2009 – Day 1

I fought the alarm clock as long as I could, but finally took a shower and got dressed and headed out for the airport. Had I not slept too much, we probably could have grabbed some donuts on the way to the airport, but we were pressed for time and it was the middle of morning rush hour. I thought I was being smart by taking a later flight, but because of the early arrival for international destinations, it put us in rush hour. Again, thanks to Carpool, the trip up the 405 did not take that much time, and we got to the airport just when I wanted to get there. After a quick goodbye to Daniel, I was on my way. I was struck by how many Japanese people there were in the terminal, and then I remembered that the American Non-Stop to Tokyo was leaving within an hour of my flight. I decided to plunk down the $9 for a Burger King Croissanwich, and then waited for my flight.

It was a full flight on a 757 which is never a good thing. The 757 is basically a super-sized 737 and get the same cramped feeling when it is full. The couple next to me were very lovey-dubby – not in the sickening way, but in a way that made the middle seat occupant not encroach on my personal space. It was a bumpy flight to Dallas, but we made it with no issues.

Arriving in Dallas, I discovered I lost Gate lotto. Usually it’s a lottery to see how many gates you have to travel to get to your connecting flight. When I went to Nashville, I was never more than a few gates. This time, I had to venture to the exact opposite side of DFW. The bonus for my effort, was that Mom had access to the AA Admiral’s Club. I had never been in one before. It was nice, but not quite as elitist as I had imagined. After relaxing and charging our various electronic devices, we headed off to eat at the weirdly spelled Champps. Must be to avoid a lawsuit from the athletic apparel company.

After a nice call with Daniel, it was time to board the flight to South America! Mom had upgraded to Business class so we got to board with her. This gave Gary and I plenty of time to get settled before the rest of the passengers boarded. We lucked out when the two passengers in the seats next to me no-showed. This allowed for ample stretching during the flight.

Again, we had a bunch of turbulence in this flight: first over Texas due to a weather front, and then again as we went over the Andes Mountains in Peru and the rain forests of Brazil. Other than that, it was a nice flight. The food was OK, and there were no other passengers around me to annoy the heck out of me. One final plus? I actually found a comfortable spot and fell asleep.