Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tickets Purchased!

Me at the Georgetown, Delaware airport which DOES NOT HAVE FLIGHTS TO PHILLY OR BALTIMORE - only play acting at our little local airport - maybe someday they'll get with it and realize there is a market down here for flights OUT


Well folks, I did it!  I purchased my round trip plane tickets from Philadelphia International airport to Buffalo, New York this morning.  Total cost just under $300.  That's a bargain compared to the over $700 round trip if I was to buy tickets for a non-stop flight to Toronto.

Now to the luggage I'm taking with me.  In my last blog post I received some excellent advice.  Information that I didn't know about.  I am most concerned about my special shampoo, a tar based shampoo for my seborrheic psoriasis scalp condition.  I've had this condition since I was a teenager and only a 2% tar based shampoo used daily keeps this condition under control.  This is a must for me if I'm traveling.  I cannot do without it or else I will be tortured with an itchy and flaky scalp which I haven't had for years.  I don't want to go back there.  I was going to order my MG-217 ahead but Pat had a good suggestion, just buy it at a drugstore in Buffalo and take it over the border.  Thanks Pat!


I've decided to go minimalist (per Pat's suggestion) and only take one carry on luggage which meets the size requirements stated (40 lbs and up to 45 inches - 14x 9 x 22 inches).  In that I will have one pair of short pants (I'll wear long pants for the flight), and several shirts, a couple of polo type pullovers, and a five day supply of underwear and a light, nylon jacket for chilly nights.  I'm not going to take any bathroom accessories, Pat will have those for me at is place in Tornonto (razor, shaving cream, toothpaste).  I will take my own tooth brush and medications.  I have to tell you folks, I'm really freaked out and angry about all the restrictions about what you can and can't take by air travel these days.  Before 9/11 I traveled often by air and one time traveling to Provincetown I literally took the kitchen sink.


Me in Provincetown July 1978 - when I took clothes for EVERY occasion and frying pans 

Well, not literally but I did take a mini frying pan for my apartment for those times I would cook in (I never did by the way).  These days it seems as if it's almost a miracle (an over exaggeration but I'm making a point here) if one can travel without too much harassment.  And to what end?  To me most of this is all security theater anyway.  But we do it and must comply.  And I will.

I have also decided to take my laptop which will be my "personal bag".  I practically live by my computer, iPhone and iPad. I decided not to take my big SLR camera.  However, I will take my Flip video camera and, of course my iPhone camera to capture those special moments

I'm starting to get butterflies in my stomach folks. The Big Adventure is coming!  

By the way, here's a question for you seasoned travelers.  I paid for my tickets online this morning and printed out the sheet which looks like tickets.  Do I use those tickets when I board or do I get other more official looking tickets when I check in at the airport?  


My return trip plane awaits me at the San Francisco International airport May 17, 1975
My one and only trip to the west coast in my life - I left on a Friday and returned on a Sunday - don't ask why

20 comments:

  1. Anonymous1:20 PM

    I actually believed for half a second that you may have actually flown with a kitchen sink. Stranger things have happened.

    I have a suggestion for an activity in Toronto. Some are going to think it's an idiotic suggestion - others will think "yeah, I get it, I like to do that too". What I'm suggesting is that during a time that Pat is otherwise occupied (yoga class for example) have him drop you off at a grocery store (The Real Canadian Superstore) to have a look around. Seems silly to some, but like I said, others will "get it".

    I remember that Pat brought maple syrup as gifts to your Bloggerpalooza, the brand name was "President's Choice" which is a brand from the Superstore. Superstore is the Canadian equivalent to a Super Walmart (every type of grocery item available in addition to every type of dry good from clothes to small appliances and perhaps even that kitchen sink).

    Even if you don't buy anything some people like to windowshop and are curious to see what other stores offer (even from state to state, never mind country to country). You've previously posted about your and Bill's trips to Costco so that was probably my initial reasoning of thinking you may not think of it as a strange idea.

    Just think - if it's a hot day it'll be a great way to enjoy free air conditioning!! Pat can drop you off for an hour or two knowing that you won't get lost as someone might do if they were just going out for a walkabout through the streets.

    Plus, for a purely selfish reason, I think your readers would get a kick out of your writing about your impressions of the Canadian metric system which will be on full display at the grocery store. Funny thing though, the grocery stores here a mixture of metric and Imperial measurements. For example, a "Sale on Meat" sign may show the price in pounds, but then the packaging itself shows the metric weight. Always interesting, that one. And oh, don't forget French is our official second language so by law all food packaging must be bilingual. If you don't understand why a can that is labelled "haricots noirs" looks suspiciously like "black beans" .... don't worry, it's just that the stockboy put out the stock on the shelf with the French side showing, instead of the English side. Just turn around the can and "voila". Haricots noirs is now black beans!

    Or am I the only one who finds it interesting to check out the grocery stores in foreign cities, even if it's just for window shopping and may not even buy anything?

    ~ The Canuck

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    1. The Canuck,
      I will blog extensively about my Canadian sojourn. I like to window-shop and does Pat. In fact he's window shopping as I type this reply (he just texted me and sent photos.). I am always curious about other areas of the country and now Canada. Should be fun.
      Ron

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  2. Ron,
    Yes, the ticket you printed today is your boarding pass to show at security and to board the plane at the gate. One may instead print the same boarding pass at the airport (several printing kiosks are available). If you desire or if you were to forget this one, then you can print another at one of these self service kiosks when you enter the airport lobby. And by the way, you could still take a frying pan in your bag if you want. Security isn't nearly as much of a hassle as you think.

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    1. Don,
      Thanks for the information about the boarding pass. Oh, and I won't be taking a frying pan (it was actually one of those mini-electric frying pans which I never used while I was in Provincetown, ate out every night) on this trip. I'm going to go the minimalist route. Pray for me.
      This is a major change from my usual style of trying to replicate my closet when I leave home.
      Ron

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  3. The "ticket" you printed out may have to be exchanged for a "boarding pass" when you check in. These kiosks are often like ATMs in the airport at the particular airline you are flying on.

    If you are talking prescription drugs along, be sure to leave them in their original drug store container that shows your name and the name of the medication etc. Otherwise they could be confiscated.

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    Replies
    1. David,
      All good advice. Thanks! I will do.
      Ron

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  4. Ron,

    Be sure when you get to the airport that you have your identification and THE CREDIT CARD that you paid for the ticket online. Self check in at a kiosk will print your boarding pass or you can go to the desk. There are plenty of airline employees around to help. I am giving you this information based on Delta which is what I normally fly. I am pretty sure the other airlines go the same. The main thing is the identification and the credit card. Without the ID you'll never get on the plane. Oh that's right, you have your passport, never mind. Once you get through the maze of airport security which in my opinion strips you (literally) of all dignity especially if you have to go through the x ray. After that, sit back and enjoy the trip which in your case should be mercifully short. You'll know what I mean when you get to your seat, especially with your extra long legs.

    Enjoy your trip and make memories that will last a lifetime.

    Jack

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    1. Jack,
      I will definitely have my credit card (two of them actually) with me as well as government identification. I have the passport, driver's license and my VA id. I hear you about airport security stripping one of all dignity. I'm already there after my prostate and kidney stone episodes and procedures of last year. And I also know what you mean by a "mercifully short" trip. I cannot sit for a long time, my legs start to ache if I can't stretch them out. Two hours is my limit.
      Thanks for all your advice. Very helpful.
      Ron

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  5. PS: If there are remaining "radioactive" seeds that could show up in your prostate when you get scanned, you might want to take along a letter from your doctor proving that you had the procedure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip. I'll take along some paperwork. I don't think I need a letter from my doctor though. I had my seeds implanted May 2nd of last year. I guess they're still active. What a hassle.

      Delete
  6. Airline tickets have changed a lot. With most airlines, 24 hours before flight time, you can go online, check in for your flight and print your boarding passes. The paperwork you have is a receipt - it has the confirmation and possibly a ticket number. You will need those numbers to check in and print the boarding passes. With most airlines you can wait to get boarding passes at the airport counter.

    Now the real change, with the boarding pass in hand that you printed at home, if you are not checking a bag, you bypass the check in counter at the airport, go through security, go to the gate and wait for your flight to board. No need to talk to the airline staff until you board.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David,

      Thanks for all this good advice. Very helpful. I'm dreading the hassle at the airport. Hopefully all will go well without incident. Back when I used to travel (from 1975 to 1986), flying was easy. Not now, of that I'm sure.
      Ron

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  7. I'm glad that you're ironing out all the minute details in advance, and it's great that you're getting helpful suggestions from your blogger friends. I feel so completely archaic. I used to travel a lot when I was young - - but the entire process of traveling has changed drastically and is definitely much more complicated now.

    I remember so many times when I'd go to LAX on a whim and take a cross-country flight to New York or some other faraway place. It was all so easy back then. I was "frisked" one time in New York when I was twenty. They searched my briefcase, which (thank goodness) only contained my music manuscripts.
    Ron, the preperation for your upcoming trip has brought back lots of memories for me.

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    1. Jon,

      I haven't traveled that much by air except for my regular trips to Provincetown via way of Boston. I took U. S. Air to Boston then transferred over to a puddle jumper for Provincetown. I had my routine down pat. The only other flights I took other than to Provincetown was two flights that I took on a weekend whim like you used to do. I went to San Francisco one weekend and another weekend to Cleveland. The trip to Cleveland was a disaster (I'll have to write about it in my blog) but I don't remember any hassle in flying. Now? A whole different story and I'm dreading it. I'm glad I'm bringing back fond memories for you. I hope you can sell your house soon Jon and begin anew with your adventures. You're still very young. Look at me, an old man at 72 and I have a whole new life now.
      Ron

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  8. Don't get pine tar/coal tar on your baseball bat, it's illegal! (ask George Brett)

    But I hear it does give a better grip!

    Bon Voyage!

    :-)

    -Andy

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    1. I remember that incident Andy! I also remember that George had hemorrhoids.

      Ron

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  9. Hey Ron, I hope I'm not too late to comment on this post. Just wanted to say, the last time I flew before the trip east for Bloggerpalooza was in 1996. This last time was a little different, but I didn't have it too bad. Don't believe all of the horror stories about flying. It might be different for you on the east coast. Flying to and from big airports in or near large cities. Flying out of Omaha and Richmond, VA my experiences with airport security was I thought about average. When I got up to the TSA check point I was motioned to the pre-TSA line. (?????) Why I still don't know, same on my return trip out of Richmond to Omaha via MSP. It must be if you walk up to security point with a purpose, not timid and smile, ask how they are today you should have little or no trouble boarding. I was ready though, toiletries (3ea 3oz bottles) in a clear quart zip lock bag on top of your carry on. I did get a lot of useful info from the TSA web site about what you can and cannot take on your carry on. The only real change from when I flew this past March and when I flew in August 1996, security took my full water bottle and made me take off my belt and boots. Everything put on the conveyor, X-rayed and I was on my way to the plane. Maybe you'll have an easier time through TSA if you wear the Arab costume from your party back in 1980 to the airport.;-) I'm sure it will be fine! Randy.

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    1. Randy,
      Ironically, I think if I wore my Arab Halloween costume, airport security would probably wave me right through the line for fear of offending my "sensibilities", thinking I'm an Arab. But if you're a regular American, they're going to do their "security theater" thing which,to me is massively ineffectual. Just how many potential shoe bombers have they stopped by making millions of people to take off their shoes? I seriously think we're not too far from where you'll have to strip completely naked and have deep cavity checks before you can board an airline. That's just how ridiculous this whole "airport security" thing is getting. Oh yes, the terrorists have definitely won. We are terrorized.
      Ron

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  10. I travel heavily going to Canada. First of all there are all those shirts. I leave a lot of space knowing all the goodies I buy while in Canada. Shopping is part of the process! tea, wine, and goodness know what else.

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    1. Dr. Spo,
      I usually travel heavy but Pat has proven to me that taking all that "stuff" along on the trip isn't necessary. I'm going through major withdrawal just thinking about paring down what I'm going to take with me but I will definitely be traveling lighter this time. Partly because of the airport Security theater kabuki dance and partly to prove to myself and Pat that I can do it. I won't be bringing anything back with me but good memories and, perhaps,some fun photos and videos to relive this trip.
      Ron

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