Dec 17th, 2009
Storm chasers, pack your bags
As the holiday travel season nears, it’s inevitable that the crappiest weather of the year is hovering off in the horizon. As an experienced (but now wisely retired) holiday-season traveler, I know how difficult it can be getting from point A (Albuquerque?) to point B (Boston?) during the mad Christmas rush. (Tip: pack your carry-on bag for a minimum 24-hour storm-induced layover in point C: Chicago. O’Hare is all-too-often an enforced home-away-from-home for winter-season cross-country travelers. On the upside, there’s a really good pastrami sandwich place with a bar in the main terminal.)
Holiday travel can be especially maddening if you have small children, large packages or middling patience. And if the clouds do part ever-so-briefly, there’s still a 50% chance you’ll reach your destination exposed to swine flu, compliments of the droopy guy coughing in 27D. And let’s not even get started on what organisms are growing inside that chicken burrito waiting for you at the Skyport Souvenir & Snack Shoppe. Yikes. (Remember, unwitting O’Hare residents: pastrami sandwiches, bar, main terminal.)
But oh well, at the end of the day it’s great being back in the hinterlands with friends and family (well, some of them). You just have to arm yourself with a good attitude, a few paperback books and some well-weathered gear to remind you that it’s never going to be a smooth ride back home.
Be sure to share your holiday travel experiences (past & present) with us all. Yes, misery loves company. But just like the rest of the company in town it has to get a hotel room, because my guest room is full and the two fold-out couches are already taken for the duration of the Orange Bowl.