Thursday, January 19, 2006

Day One - Part Two - Dallas to Orlando

The first leg of our journey took us to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW) where we would change planes before continuing on to Orlando. The layout of the plane was such that there were three seats on one side of the aisle and only two seats on the other side. We were fortunate enough to be seated on the side with only two seats. Jason had the window seat and I sat on the aisle. Since this was the longest flight on our trip east, we each came amply prepared with a tote bag full of things to do. Jason had his PSP and we each had our iPod nanos. We had each purchased our iPods specificially for this trip a couple of weeks prior. With its slim design and long battery life, it was perfect for a cross country flight. It was also planned to be the majority of our Christmas gifts to each other, which seemed like a really good idea in September, but not quite as good of an idea in November.

One of cost cutting measures implemented by the airline industry was the elimination of a free meal service. Shortly after take-off, the beverage cart was hauled out and slowly made its way down the aisle. As usual, we shared a can Canada Dry ginger ale, and for a snack, we were each given a Quaker low-fat maple brown sugar granola bar. Yum! For a small fee, we could purchase a boxed snack. We declined to purchase the snack and instead opted for some of the many provisions we had packed in our carryon bag. Our stash consisted of Quaker granola bars, honey-roasted cashews, pepperoni sticks and a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. Later in the flight the beverage cart was hauled out again and we were offered yet another granola bar, which we declined.

It was a four and a half hour flight which seemed to go very quickly and before we knew it we were preparing to land in. DFW airport is a major hub for American Airlines and during our descent the gate numbers for a dozen or so connecting flights were announced over the PA system. Luckily for us, our connecting flight was scheduled to depart from a gate within the same terminal.

DFW is huge and even though the gate for our next flight was located within the same terminal, it was still a long walk. Prior to our trip, Jason had compiled a short list of things that he wanted to take pictures of. One of the items on the list were the horns from a steer, another was a big-haired woman, which we assumed was the norm for women from Texas. He was successful in finding the first item, snapping a picture of horns mounted on the wall in the gift shop, but alas, was unable to spot a big-haired woman.

Periodically spaced along the way were food courts offering up a variety of different cuisines. After spending way too much time in a state of indecision, we realized we were running out of time and settled for Popeye’s Fried Chicken. This particular Popeye’s had a Cajun flair. After a few moments debating the difference between a meal and a combo, we decided to each order a 3-piece meal, which, unlike a combo, does not come with a drink. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Anyone, we wanted the option without the drink. I very clearly ordered 2 three piece chicken strip meals (or combos). What they packed into the little box, was 2 pieces of chicken on the bone. I very politely told them that we had ordered the chicken strips, not the regular chicken. For some reason this was very difficult for them to comprehend. It took us both several tries before they were able to understand what we were trying to say. Finally, with our chicken strip meals in hand, we quickly headed back to the gate. We ate quickly and finished with a few minutes to spare before boarding the plane.

On this second leg of our journey, we were seated in the middle and aisle seats, with Jason seated in the middle. Fortunately, the man in the window seat slept through much of the flight, even though he snored. This was the shorted leg, with the flight lasting about two and a half hours. The flight attendants again hauled out the beverage cart and we had our usual ginger ale. This time, instead of Granola bars, we were each given a ½ ounce bag of tortilla crisps. We also enjoyed watching a sampler of TV shows including David Letterman, 60 minutes, a sports show, an entertainment show, and ending with a full episode of The King of Queens, one of our favorite sitcoms. This made the flight pass fairly quickly and before we knew it was had landed at our final destination, Orlando.


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