Posts Tagged ‘Dunkin Donuts’

For once in our lives we actually left for the airport on time, no racing out the door, no panic because we could not find a cab.  Off to a good start.  Let’s begin by saying I’m probably not the best packer, so for me to pack for a month’s stay in a place where they hang their underwear out on the front balcony was a real challenge and we ended up with 1 LARGE suitcase, 1 Carry-on suitcase,  2 small Travel cases and 1 large  leather tote and a cane of course.

First things first, we knew our best bet was to get me in a wheelchair because you know the gate I’m going to is ALWAYS the farthest away.  I like to look at the boards of the other 9 gates as I drag my bags along to see if they are going someplace I’d rather be.

Never being handicapped before, I had no idea of how fantastic it was to travel this way.  I was wheeled up to the counter because I had a bag to check (and no Juanita we we were not overweight). Madeia took care of us, with the broadest most perfect ivory smile I have ever seen. She laughed, she told us about her singing career and her idol, Billie Holiday.  We promised to be in the audience when she performed some day in Carnegie Hall and I do believe she will get there.

She signaled for someone to take us to the TSA check and me and the wheelchair just cruised to head of line and we let Peter come with us.  For some reason I was pre-approved but he was not, Mmmm.  Who knew Mr. Press was a security risk? Anyway I had to put all my bags on belt and hobble thru the X-ray.  I didn’t beep but they ran the wand over the boot – let us not forget the infamous shoe bomber! Once thru I’m left sort of standing there leaning like the Tower of Pisa waiting for the man and the wheelchair to appear and at the same time look over at the conveyer for my bags.

FC482810-7C9E-4F66-9933-BAD5EE1D2B60.jpegI see all but the tote which of course has my phone, my iPad, and my euros. I’m really panicking and if you can imagine what a whirling dervish with a limp would look like like -that’s me as I scan my entire perimeter looking for that bag and Peter joins in looking for his passport. Kindly man shows up with chair and wonders what the problem is? Where is my bag?  Apparently it is under further examination….

It’s noon, we left at 10:10, still no coffee, still no breakfast.   C554415C-58A1-4490-BFA9-381229FC0AECI wish I could remember kindly man’s name but I can’t, says Dunkin Donuts and that sounds good to me.  Wait a minute, didn’t I envision a month of frutta, formaggio, Parma e caffe per colazione every morning for a month?? Oh well still in USA. I drew the line at the coffee though insisting we go to Starbucks after we got the donuts. Look how quickly one can become a diva sitting on a throne! LOL.

Finally onto the plane for a quick flight to Charlotte NC for a 2+ hour layover  where I suggested we eat some real food because I remembered last year they didn’t serve dinner till around 11pm. When it was time to start boarding, this adorable young man shows up –  Kevin Hill.  Oh my, after a protracted winter of gray days and the stress of the last few days, that Southern charm was rolling off his tongue like ice cream melting on a warm day. He “yes mam’ed”  and “Miss Laura’ed” me every few words all the way from the gate right up to the plane. I told him he needed to trade up that green uniform working for the airport and get a blue, red and white Americann Airlines uniform to cash in on the perks.  With his south of the Mason Dixon line charm,  he would make a great attendant.

I booked each of us an aisle seat at opposite ends of a 4 seat row.  I figured we would work it out and so I talked Peter into giving his seat up to sit next to me.  BUT that wasn’t so smart since my bad foot was not on the aisle and we wedged in there pretty tight.  Halfway through the delicious airline meal, the man in front of Peter shoves his seat back  in full force, just about knocking his meal off the tray. Shortly thereafter the woman in front of me does the same.  THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME! I sit on the aisle  so I can access the bathroom and not disturb anyone else – these other people sit in the aisle seat because they are the size of a cow.

Long night, could not sleep, pretty scrunched up. I can’t even turn sideways but the rude disgusting person in front of me with her seat pushed back and blanket up to her chin , legs stretched out in front of her watching tv like she was in her living room. I was miserable 😩. I tried taking the boot off and letting it  rest on the plastic bag holding the pillow and blanket but my foot kept falling off the slippery plastic.


I tried to take some Tylenol to ease the pain in my arthritic knees and wanted to stand up so I asked Peter to turn on his light. All the controls were on an unlit  panel and in a  moment an attendant appeared  – how embarrassing ! I tell her we don’t need any help, it was a mistake. She says, “perhaps you do, you are holding pills”. I try to explain in shorthand that my knees hurt, my foot can’t move, nor can I get up because the seat in front is so far back and and I had been thinking of going to rear of plane to see if I could sit in back with her and prop leg up. At first she said it was against regs  but then said seeing how I’m in distress, it would be ok. I opted for the Tylenol and would see if they worked. They didn’t!

Now I notice Peter is waching The Phantom Thread and I want to watch it also but my screen isn’t quite functioning correctly. We can’t get my screen to move to another page so Peter starts tapping really hard on the screen and rapidly. All of a sudden the seat in front of me jerks forward! Ha! I guess she thought I was sending a message , Oh please let me just make it thru this night and off the plane.

Plane was scheduled to land at 9:30am and we needed to get luggage, go thru customs get a 🚕 and get to Rome Termini (train station) where we had reservations for a train to Florence. Well first ondoes not mean first off. Quite the contrary.  I was told to move up to front of plane to wait for the wheelchair.  Got to sit in Business class and was able to fantasize how easy it would be to sleep there. Well turns out several people were gathered and directed off the plane not onto a jetway with a wheelchair waiting- no it was like a large tram on stilts because it was at plane exit level. We sat on benches along the walls. They were all over 80 I swear and not a cast, cane or boot among them!!! We began to move along, going God knows where. We stop. A young girl calls out a name and after several attempts we figure out she is saying McCarthy. That couple exits. I’m wondering how we are going to get our luggage go through customs and get that taxi to the train on time. There were like 2 couples nearer to the door than me but the nice Italian man who was the driver, looked at me and held his hand out to escort me out to the platform that then lowered you to ground level where the wheelchair was waiting.  What a contraption and how efficient!

We are wheeled to yet another terminal and I see the place looks empty, maybe the lines for customs has come and gone. NOT. Long hot lines of overtired, unwashed, teeth undressed people shifting their weight and dragging luggage.  Ahhh the wheelchair rules. Right to a special deal, no line, no questions. Nobody cares why we are here or how long we will stay or did we vote for Trump (ha ha only kidding)!






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That’s right, it’s over.  I had such a delightful time while staying with Chiara and Tom and the two girls;  I wish I could have spent more time with Finley which is what they expect me to say.  However, I spent considerable time with Francesca;  We read, we drove to school, we looked at 245 Halloween photos three times.  I made her a rubber band bracelet, dressed her, undressed her and brushed her teeth and hair. We had several chats about this and that and silly questions were answered and I have been trying all day to remember what some of her destinations and professions were for “This little piggy…”, because they were clever!

I had to blow a kiss goodbye to Chiara because she was in bed and insulated with baby on her left and a crib and cat on her legs.   Last night was a rough night for Mommy, Fletcher did not want to go to sleep!  It might have been the birthday cake!  

I left Tia in charge and headed off to the airport with Tom and the girls.  Good thing I packed last night!  We made it to the airport in good time;  Tom had checked me in last night.  I mentioned that maybe I would check my bag  outside but Tom quickly dissuaded me with the tale of Chiara’s missing sunglasses.  When we got to the airport, I noticed Tom was heading towards Terminal A to drop me off – No, he was going to premium parking and he and the girls were going to walk in with me.  Everybody out and we are in a part of the airport, I’ve never seen.  We’re headed up the escalator to the concourse level and Tom asks me if I just have these two bags? Two bags? NOOoooo, I have 3 bags, where’s my computer? In the car….YIKES!  Tom says, “no worry, I’ll get it”.  He directs me to turn left at the top of stairs and head to what I think is going to be the Jet Blue counter.   

I have a suitcase, handbag and two little girls in tow and walking and walking and walking.  Francesca is distracted by the gift shop that is selling Minnie Mouse dolls and the fountain with the Lion’s head spouting water.  I am wondering why I’m passing restaurants and stores in an area where the check-in counters are?  The answer is you are NOT in the area where the check-in counter are, you are now at security.  I only have to wait a few minutes before Tom shows up with my computer bag.  I tell him that we’re at security and I wanted to check my bag in.  He says, “Why, you can take this one onboard”.  “I can’t because then I have 3 bags and I can only get with two”.  Tom: “They won’t care”.  Lori: “Yes they will, they are very strict about this”.  So Tom says: “Well put one of those bags into the suitcase”.  So typical of a man, just solve the immediate problem.  I’m concerned my glasses will be crushed as he jams my handbag into the suitcase.  It’s getting hot in the airport or I’m getting stressed and sweating.  I think it was the latter.  

I wend my way through the zig zag maze of stanchions and black tape up to the first checkpoint, dropping my scarf along the way (thank you sir).   As soon as I get to the counter I realize I don’t have my photo ID.  It is in the g__d purse which is in the suitcase.  Flushed with stupid embarrassment, I tell the Officer that I forgot it’s in my handbag in my suitcase.  I plop the suitcase down on the floor and fumble with which end the zipper pull is at since it is one of those which open at either end!  The lady behind was NOT happy.  The gods must have been smiling down on me because I was able to unzip, reach into the handbag and actually put my hand on the case with my license. Check!  Next, off with the shoes, put the computer in one bin, the case in another with my scarf, and shove the suitcase up onto the conveyer belt.  I have to tell you I DO NOT LIKE putting the computer through the scanner and then finding out there is only ONE line going through the body scanner.  I am straining to lean over and keep an eye my stuff, “Please raise your arms over your head”!  I step out and am about to go over to pick up my computer when one of the TSA people say, “Excuse I have to pat down your shoulders, please put your arms straight out”.  My shoulders? I don’t even had shoulder pads on!  

When you’re already stressed and sweating you can rest assured that the Gate you’re supposed to go will be the farthest one   away, the last one in the concourse and of course mine was!  Did you know that the Starbucks in the West Palm airport does not carry those very important green picks?  The ones that protect your hand from being burned by hot coffee as it bounces out thru the sip top while you are walking the mile and half to your gate?  Yes it’s true.

Aha there was an upside to this long walk.  I figured out way to get my suitcase checked in.  The seating area was filled and there was no one at the Jet Blue counter BUT there was a man at the entrance of the jetway and I marched right up to him and threw my son-in-law under the bus – Sorry Tom I had to do it.  I told the man that my son-in-law thought we were late so he got us to the concourse instead of check in to save time but I really didn’t want to carry on this suitcase, can you help me (big smile)?  Of course he could and probably would have done so even without my fabrication.  Again, sorry Tom!  

Finally at the door to the plane and what do I see but this very tall man dressed in a ground personnel uniform standing there with my suitcase.  I ask him if that bag is going to be checked and he asks me if it is my bag? I say yes and he tells me I can take it onboard if I wish – NO I do not wish!  THEN he asks me what I have in the cup and immediately I wonder if one is not allowed to bring coffee onboard.  I look a little startled and say: “Coffee” – he smiles and says: “You could have gotten Dunkin’ Donuts coffee onboard and for free”. Music to your ears, Tom?

Dunkin Donuts logo

Dunkin Donuts logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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I love to travel.  Actually let me clarify that;  I don’t love to pack, get to the airport, go through security, look for the nearest restroom or sit in the middle or the window.  What I love is to be where I’m going.  And even that could be further distilled to mean I like to travel to places I can experience and places I’ve never been.

If you have been reading the blog for the last couple of days, you know I have a new grandchild, Thomas Fletcher and he along with the other two grandchildren were shanghaied  to Florida last January.  And if you have been reading the blog for a year, then you may remember my daily posts from the 10 days I was in Florida helping Chiara set up a new household while dealing with two kids.  Then I went to Florida again in March to babysit and wow did I ever have misadventures there and I blogged about them – who can forget the 4 hours in the Urgent Care place and the 11 X-rays of my foot?

I got the call.  “Mom, can you come down here for a week? I want you to be here when the baby is born”.  I wanted to but I couldn’t because my son, Joel was staying with me and I hadn’t seen him in over a year.  I said I could fly down on Sunday (today) which was the due date.  BUT of course the baby came early and Chiara postponed her baby nurse by a week so there would be room for me at the house.  Luckily she didn’t come home till yesterday so I don’t feel awful about not being here.  The baby, by the way, is a tiny little doll – if you can refer to little boys as dolls.  I can see I’m going to have to significantly alter my vocabulary with a male in the mix.

I wanted to be there as early as possible so I booked a 7:29am flight out of LaGuardia and planned on arriving Sunday morning at 10:29am.  As often is the case, what looks good on paper isn’t always so much fun in reality.  We had a dinner invitation last night that had been planned way in advance.  We got home just before 11:00pm and I still had some last minute packing to do so it was after midnight when I went to bed.  I set the alarm for 5:15am and was sure I would never sleep knowing I had to get up in a few hours.  OH how I wished my flight was at 11am.  Well, I did fall asleep and woke up twice before the alarm went off.  Needless to say I was not a happy camper getting up in the dark.

I figured I would leave by 6am.  I washed my hair (always a stupid thing to do when you are on a tight schedule) and quickly got dressed without making too much noise since Peter was still in bed (lucky dog).  No make up for me, it was too early and it was packed anyway.

I went downstairs thinking I would have no problem getting a cab because really how many people could actually be going to work at that hour?  The answer: no one was around and therefore there were no cabs!  I asked the doorman to put the taxi light on and I stepped in the street straining to look both ways and across to the avenue hoping to see a yellow cab come into view.  Well, so much for leaving early and getting to the airport without having to rush.  Finally I saw a taxi approaching and heading in the wrong direction, but I hoped he would take pity on a woman and a suitcase in the street and make a U-turn.  Thank you Lord, he did.

We made it to the airport in record time, he drove really fast.  I hopped out and went into the Jet Blue Terminal to find a kiosk to check in.   I put in my credit card and my name came up along with a request for the flight number.  I typed it in – Sorry we are unable to locate your reservation.  Please try again or go to our Full Service desk.  I tried again, no such luck as the word that rhymes with that came out of my mouth.

No line at the counter so I checked my bag and got my boarding pass.  It was very easy and simple, however, it just annoys me to no end when equipment doesn’t function correctly.  There was a line for security but it seemed to be moving along and I was glad I had only my handbag and computer and no jacket.  Nothing is ever quite as easy as you think it’s going to be and one of these days I am going to KNOW that before it happens to me.  JUST as I was at the conveyer belt ready to put my stuff into bins, I looked down and there were no bins!  I looked around and around and no one seemed to see my dilemma.  I was about to put my bag and computer on the belt sans bin when all of a sudden there was a blue blur in front of me.  Not one, not two, not three, really I don’t know how many stewardesses, oh excuse me flight attendants jumped in front me each holding onto two bins and sent their belongings into the X-ray machine.  I was dumbfounded and a bit put off by the whole thing, but just then  a young man came along pushing a cart stacked with bins.  My stuff went through.

My flight on Jet Blue was due to depart from Gate B1, only when I got there it said Frontier!  I looked at the schedule on the electronic board and there it was;  Jet Blue flight 461 departs gate B1.  Oh well, I thought, I’ll just sit here and see if some Jet Blue  staff would show up at the counter.  I really wanted some coffee but the line leading to Dunkin Donuts was soooooo long. Thankfully Jet Blue employees showed up.  

The plane wasn’t crowded, there were quite a few empty seats, the plane was impeccably clean and the seats comfortable. I had an aisle seat. Seat backs up, trays up, turn off your electronic devices, put on your seat belts.  One of the attendants started to recite the safety measures one must take should there be a crash or loss of pressure in the air cabin…AND THEN she said, “potty time can wait a moment” . Apparently some woman just got up and went into the lavatory.  Then a couple of the attendants came down the aisle and went to the rear of the plane where the rest room was.  AND THEN a LOUD discussion took place.  The woman kept saying,”I wasn’t rude, how am I going to get home”?  This went on for about 10 minutes.  The head stewardess marched forward to speak to the pilot.  Shortly thereafter, a security officer went down the aisle.  Discussion with my seat mate and surrounding passengers revealed that woman had copped an attitude with one of stewardesses and had been asked to leave the plane.  We are now 30 minutes into the discussion.  Back come all of the flight attendants, then forward, then the security guard.  Eventually they are all up front talking to the captain who is standing outside the cabin.  AND THEN as we all sit strapped into our seats, we hear coughing and retching coming from the bathroom – the woman is in there.  They all rush down the aisle and inquire loudly if she needs help and is there anything wrong.?  The head attendant is maintaining the position that there is nothing she can do.  The woman is repeatedly claiming that she had been sleeping and she wasn’t rude.  The airline staff cannot touch or handle the civilian passenger.  AND THEN (and we are now 50 minutes into the standoff), two police officers arrive and head to the rear.  More discussion ensues and EVENTUALLY with real attitude the woman leaves the plane escorted by the two cops with the promise that ‘we can discuss this outside”.  

The plane that was supposed to depart at 7:29am was finally ready to take off at 8:25am.  We are all assuming we’re going to be an hour late.  I rarely and I mean rarely ever break any rules.  I had visions of my son-in-law sitting at the airport at 10:30 waiting for me and I would be an hour late.  I threw caution to the wind, figured they wouldn’t want to throw 2 people off the plane;  After all consider the social media opportunities for really bad publicity, so I turned on my phone and sent a cryptic 4 word text to my son-in-law – “very late check flight”.  

The upside to this adventure was 1) the movies were free and 2) we landed in West Palm Beach at 10:47am  – PLEASE tell me how the pilot made up the lost hour!  I mean really? Really?



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