Yesterday I got to visit four different airports, which is a one day record for me. My ticket said that I was only going to three, but for some reason my Knoxville to Philadelphia flight made a brief stop in Washington, DC, to let some people off of the plane.
That's when it got a little strange.
"Passengers continuing to Philadelphia will also need to leave the plane. Please take all belongings with you."
"Are we getting on a different plane?"
"Please get on the airport shuttle."
I don't argue at the airport, even when it doesn't make any sense. Arguing gets you kicked off the plane or put on a list or renditioned to a cheerless solitary cell in a prison that doesn't exist on any maps, so I just got off the plane and got on the shuttle. The shuttle drove around the tarmac at Reagan National, then reached the terminal, where we got off and were directed to get onto another shuttle. This shuttle also drove around the tarmac, and then we got off of it and back on the same plane.
"Please consult your boarding pass to locate your original seat number."
All that was missing was a cheery rendition of "The Merry Go Round Broke Down" on a circus organ.
Things got a little more absurd when I reached Philadelphia. You know what kind of planes fly from Philadelphia into Islip, New York?
That is the smallest plane I've ever flown on. It has propellers. The plane that my dad flew into the bush in Alaska to hunt caribou might have been bigger than that, and that plane landed on grass, in a field. Not only that, but it was filled with people from the city and Long Island with their heavy Brooklyn and Long Island accents, so for the duration of the flight it sounded like I was at Thanksgiving with Dad's family. The resemblance was so strong that later, when the flight crew and I were out at the curb waiting for our rights and the flight attendant loudly asked, "Whay-uh the fuck is the God damn ayuh-port shuttle?" I thought, "Nanny? Is that you? Do you need another can of Meister Brau?"
The resemblance was uncanny.
Sean arrived moments later, and after we exchanged pleasantries he presented me with what I can only describe as Sophie's Choice:
"Do you want to go get something to eat?" Yes. I have eaten a scone today. "Or do you want to go see the Big Duck?"
Or? As in "not both"?
"We can only do one?"
I must have looked stricken, because Sean immediately clarified:
"No, no. We can eat and then go see the Big Duck, or go see the Big Duck and then go eat. They're both right near each other."
Thank God, otherwise I would have been really, really hungry, because there was no way we were skipping the Big Duck:
Originally constructed as a marketing gimmick to sell ducks and duck eggs:
it is now, as advertised on the sign, a museum and gift shop. It is also awesome:
The lady inside and I got to talking about other buildings shaped like things (the architectural term for this is a "duck", in honor of the Big Duck, which is on the National Register of Historic Places) and I noticed that she didn't have any examples from Tennessee even though she had pictures of all sorts of other ducks from around the country.
"You've never heard of the Flying Saucer House by Chattanooga? Or the gas station shaped like an airplane in Powell?"
"No! Send me photos!"
She ended up writing out her address for me, so that I can send her pictures of our odd shaped buildings in Tennessee. I am a cultural ambassador for the Volunteer State, people.
After the Big Duck (which may be how I refer to all experiences from now on; "Well, I was born in 38, BBD" or "I flew back to Tennessee on Day 5, ABD") Sean drove me through South Hampton, the setting for the TV show "Revenge" and the rumored geographical area for Ina Garten sightings. This is where I discovered, once again, that television has lied to me.
"This doesn't look anything like it does on TV."
"That's because they film in Malibu. But look, they used that Pottery Barn as city hall."
There are about three blocks of South Hampton that look like "Revenge", and the entire rest of the town looks like the slightly seedy suburban sprawl outside of any large metropolitan area, except for the beach:
Endless horizon and crashing waves? Yup:
Big houses right up against the water? Yup:
Peaceful solitude during which you can look for shells and plot the destruction of your enemies? Yup:
That looks just like it does on Sunday nights.
Now, I have to go get showered, so that we can get a New York bagel.
And then see a haunted windmill.