Déjà Vu – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Thursday and I am late to the party.  Fashionably?  Truth is, I wasn’t even sure I would play this week but I am totally skipping class, so to speak.  I needed a break from the monotonous task that was leaving me brain-dead at work so I have snuck out for a few moments to get that grey matter working.  Shhh… don’t tell my boss.  Thank you to Rochelle for hosting this party and to Brenda Fox for bringing the party favours.  Should you want to play along, just click on my frog carousel below and add your link to your 100-word story.  K. Back to work. None the wiser…

©Brenda Cox

Mouse Fair: Leap Frog Carousel – Action Artwork Rental

Do you ever feel like you’ve been somewhere before even though you know you haven’t?  It’s like a strange familiarity wraps itself around you.

I am walking in the Charles-de-Gaulle Esplanade in Montpellier when I see a beautiful old carousel.  There’s that feeling of déjà vu I mention. As in “already seen”.  I have yet to set foot in France.

Not déjà vu after all.  In Florence, in the Piazza della Repubblica, they have an almost identical carousel situated in a square just like this one.

Must be a European thing, I can’t imagine this in Phillips Square in Montreal!

Walking and Walking: YUL to ATL to PHL/PHL to IAD to YUL

Inspired by David Kanigan, I thought I would write a “Walking” post. Because Lord knows I’ve walked in the past eight days! Of course, mine won’t be as sophisticated as his. I don’t have some cool reference to the latest book I’m reading, inspiring me. No, no. Mine is the Good Gawd Version.

It all started with a decision to go hang out with my fella… Justin opened up the border to the Yanks and I just had to wait until Joe did the same for us. But he didn’t. Damn him! So, arrangements were made to fly – destination Philadelphia followed by a short drive to Delaware, just for the hell of it.

I did the necessaries, i.e. get a proper Covid test (the US, while not open to us Canucks, are less demanding of which test was needed). Found me a drive-through and was planning on getting tested on the Saturday, August 21, on my way up to Yvon’s funeral. It only takes 15 minutes to get the results. However, I decided to follow my sister Tracy’s suggestion that I not wait till the last minute. So I went on Thursday after work, enduring traffic to and fro. But all good. Negatory, so I was set.

Why, pray tell, do we have to present ourselves at the airport three hours prior to boarding when there is no one officially working until 5:30? My flight was at 7:30… There was one woman who was asked to come in early so she dealt with as many as she could, including me, before the rest arrived… And then? Great, she checked us in but the security isn’t open until 6:30? What in the eff?

There is a screen between the cow chute and the agents…

Sunday morning, I was on my flight to, get this, ATLANTA, as a layover to Philadelphia. Nuts, I tells ya. Nuts. I have gone to Florida, to the Dominican Republic and my layover was IN Philadelphia. Now that it was my destination? No, no. we can’t have us no direct flight. Let’s send you for a ride!

Blue skies over fluffy white clouds – gonna be a great week!

I won’t complain too hardily as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is a beautiful place. I mean, if you are to have a four-hour layover, this is a grand place to have it. I’d get my 10K steps easy-peasy! I arrived in Concourse A and walked around there, not quite knowing how to get to the other concourses. So I took the train to T and walked all the way back to E. And back. Wow.

Concourse T to A contains a series of Zimbabwean sculptures, each one so beautiful. I took ’em all but won’t torment you here!

Concourse A to B has a rain forest theme, including the sounds of tree frogs and other beasties. So cool.

Between Concourses B and C, you find a serious history lesson. Along the walls the images take you from 11,000 BC to today.

There was nothing special after that that. Was more straightforward.

My flight was on time and it was off to Delaware for a week of reconnection, rest and relaxation.

Fast-forward to Wednesday. I had a Covid Test to take. This time the PCR one. Thanks to my co-worker, I knew that Vybe Urgent Care took appointments and gave results in two hours. Woot! (Booked it on Monday,) Off we went, I took the test and then we walked around South Philly for a few hours. Picked up the results. All good. I was negative.

Friday afternoon, I receive an email from Air Canada telling me my flight next day’s was cancelled. For weather. What? What weather? There was nothing in Philadelphia. Nothing in Toronto (my connecting airport) and nothing in Montreal. What in the blessed eff? Sonova…. They give me my new flight for SUNDAY at 8:30, with a connection in Dulles, Washington. An eight-and-a-half hour layover. Oh. Em. Gee… No matter how much I searched, unless I was Croesus, which I am not, there was no way I could change this. Double Damn. Thankfully, we were able to stay at our joint for another night.

Saturday morning I wake up with a start. Aaaarrrggghhh! My Covid test is now no longer valid! I call Vybe and am told that “sorry, we cannot fit you in”. I call elsewhere and hit a wall. I call back the first Vybe – which is the closest in Ridley and basically beg. Successfully. We have to leave immediately, so off we go.

As expected, it took less than five minutes. So I treated us to breakfast in a diner (meh) and we then walked around until the paperwork was ready. Yay. Negative again (like… of COURSE).

It was great to have an extra day of vacation but the running around necessary? Not so much. Plus, now I had to leave at 8:30 instead of 10:15 yet another early start!

So. Here I am. In Dulles. It ain’t no Atlanta, is all I’m saying. But now I have to distract myself for eight-and-a-half hours. After a lickety-split flight from PHL to ATL (arrived early, of course). I thought I’d be seeing this spaceship (please, take me away!) over and over again but no. I found other places to get my steps! Not too exciting.

I walk from one end to the other and back. I see there is a Bar Symon and I think, that will be a great supper. It’s in Gate B and I still don’t know where I am leaving from. By 10:30 my 4 a.m. bagel is no longer sustaining me so I decide to have a Five Guys burger – a small one. Thank goodness!

Walk some more and wish and wish I could find some place to lie down. All the damn benches have armrests! What is it with this well-maintained airport already? I could like on a wooden bench like some rubby (homeless Canadian drunk) – right the middle of the hallway…. or maybe this cushy one, also set up in full view. I keep walking and find this overpass between Gates A1-A5 and A6-A-whatever)… Dang. That would have worked

Too late. I sit down in my empty gate A5 and start to write this post. I realise, as I am looking for deets, that I cannot find my blue travel wallet. What the? Wait. Oh man. I think, when I took my laptop out of my bag at security in Philly, it fell out. Never saw it. It contained all my paper proof of vaccination, tests, etc. Thank God I had it all digitally but I knew it would make my life easier to have the paperwork. Could this day get any worse?

Why yes. Yes, it could! By 4:30 they call us to verify our vaccine situation and test and all that schmegegge and tell us… hey… by the way, let’s delay your flight by an hour! Sallamabeetz…

Papers verified, I look around. I am NOT taking the chance to walk over to Michael Symon’s joint and find a nearby pub called Firkin and Fox. Imma have me a Yuengling! And a “turkey” (pressed meat) avocado club sandwich. Was edible and quenched my thirst. All for the measly sum of $30. Gotta love airports, eh?

Return to my bench to finish my post and accidentally flush it. Had to start the whole damn thing over (I think this version is better, though still way too long!)

Oh… that a boarding call? Not quite yet as, well, there is something they need to look at…

The Daily Wave – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday morning, my peeps! It’s Friday Fictioneer time and today we have this photo from J.Hardy Carroll to inspire us. As always, thank you to Rochelle for driving this train weekly! If you care to play along, just click on the frog below and add the link to your 100-word story. Easy peasy!

Pin on TAMYRA

The Daily Wave

My train’s always on time. I pride myself on following the schedule. People count on me and I dare not let them down. Not in my nature, anyhow. So, I chug along, blowing my whistle calling the children to come out and wave. I tell you, it’s the best part of my day to see them kids running across the fields wanting nothing else but to have me return their hello. I sure wish I could bring them wherever they want to go. It’s a hard life for them with few options. But I ain’t allowed.

Where are they today?

I was reminded of my trip to Cuba. My kids and I took a short train ride and the local kids all came out running, waving to us passengers. Most smiled…

A Family Trip – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday!  And the last day of work for me, followed by a four-day weekend. Again. Wooo hoooo!  So, why not play a little with this lovely Russell Gayer image?  Thanks, always to Rochelle for hosting this weekly party.  I do appreciate your efforts, my friend.  Should you be interested in writing your own 100-word story to go with, just click on the frogs below and add you link!

Click to play

 

All five of us in a van for four weeks?  Have you lost your mind?

It’ll be great.  We’ll get a chance to see most of our beautiful country and part of the States on our return.

Five of us. Together. Four weeks.

Yes.  It’ll be great.  We each get one hour of music and no one is allowed to complain.

Hah! You think that is enough to stem potential arguments?

Have faith.

And you, have reality.

I do. And I think this will be a trip of a lifetime.

Or will feel like it lasts that long…

Shut up.

 

Not Seeing Her – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday! And today I play. Blame Na’ama Yehuda for supplying this lovely image. Thank you, always to Rochelle Wisoff(no e)-Fields for hosting this weekly shindig called Friday Fictioneers. If this photo inspires you to want to write a 100-word story, just click on the frog below and add your link. Fun stuff!

click me!

How many times do I have to come to New York without visiting the bloody place? Tell me! I came, back in ’90 or was it ’91? for a friend’s wedding. Then, we did the usual: Empire State Building, Central Park, Times Square, and… what? Nothing. I didn’t even know what the Twin Towers were and probably simply walked past them.

Twice, we left from New York to board cruise ships. What did we visit? Friggen Toys ‘R Us! Times Square. Central Park.

How many pictures of the Statue of Liberty from afar do I have to take before I visit her?

Wakey, Wakey, Time for Breaky! – What Pegman Saw

This week Pegman takes us to Saskatchewan Canada. You may use the photo provided with the prompt or take to Google maps and search within the borders of Saskatchewan for your own inspiration.

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by the prompt. You may contribute poetry, prose, or essay. Once your piece is polished share with others at the link up below. Reading and commenting on others work is part of the fun.

How can I resist when Pegman goes to my country AND I have been to said place – even when just driving through. So, sorry… once again, I have given you a “travel post” for this challenge.  Thanks to Karen and Josh for hosting this weekly party that I don’t attend often enough!  I shall strive to come by more often.

Click me to play!

Wakey, Wakey, Time For Breaky!

“Good morning, girls!  Time to get up, get breakfast and hit the road!”

“Aw, Dad! Do we have to get up at six o’clock every morning?”

“Yeah, Dad. Why can’t we sleep in a little. This is a vacation!”

“Oh, come on, you two, this is a fun trip.”

The two others, in unision:  “Shut up, Nicole!”

“Alright girls, that’s enough. Just get dressed so we can go eat. I need a coffee,” chimed in Mom.

“I’m having pancakes!”

“Me, too!”

“I’m with Mom, need coffee. This is so stupid that we have to get up so damn early,” grouched the eldest.

They piled into their Ford Econoline Super Van and searched for a diner as the motel had no restaurant.  They didn’t have far to drive.

Weird. No cars.  Sign indicated: ‘Opens at 6:00 am.’

“Dammit, Dad!!  Regina, Saskatchewan does NOT observe Daylight Savings Time!

You woke us up at 5:00!!”

Similar to the van we had to cross Canada back in 1983

*Sadly, a mostly true tale. I was 21 at the time; my sisters 18 and 15 (well, the following month) and it was the last family road trip we took together.  I moved out of the family home on my return.

 

Not Time to Sight-See – What Pegman Saw

Being as it’s October, and in light of all the political hoopla happening in this neck of the woods, this week Pegman takes us to the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC, USA. (And also in Canada as it’s election time here and we get to choose between our own batch of monkeys.)

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by the prompt. Feel free to use the location supplied above, our take your own tour of Washington D.C. via Google maps and find a view that inspires you.

So, that said, I totally did NOT go to Arlington but decided to go down memory lane. December, 2009, to be precise. Yes, I am sorry, my peeps, yet another travel story 😉

Click me!

Not Time to Sight-See

“I really need to stop for gas, Babe.”

“OK. Take the next exit and I’ll keep a lookout for a station.”

“What the hell is wrong with this place? We are turning in circles and there ain’t a station in sight.”

“Think about it. This is D.C. Just like Montreal, you can’t find a damn station downtown.  Hey look, Babe!  The National Monument!”

“I don’t give a shit. You need to look for gas stations, not effing monuments! I need gas. NOW!”

“Don’t worry, we’ll find a station soon.”

“Not soon enough. Pulling this pop-up trailer sucks more gas, yanno.”

“Yeah, yeah. Maybe if you’d filled up when we still had a quarter of a tank we would not be in this mess. Oh! Look! The White House! How cool is that?”

“Jesus! So what?!”

“Look.  A station. Dunno how you are gonna manoeuvre yourself in there, though.”

“Watch me.”

 

Pick a Key – What Pegman Saw

Today Pegman travels to the Florida Keys at the bottom of the United States. Like the other Torch Keys, it was probably named for the native Torchwood tree.

Stroll and around and see if you can find something that interests you. When you’re done, write 150 words and link to the prompt using the frog below. Remember, reading and commenting is part of the fun!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy writing!

Now, it has been remarked that I like to write travel pieces. And in this case, I find myself doing so again. Couldn’t help it, Pegman was short on views so you are stuck with my picture of 7-mile bridge 😉  And a memory of a couple of trips, too 😉 Sorry (not)!

Pick a Key

“So, take three on going to the Keys?”

“Whaddaya mean, take three?”

“Forgotten 2009, have ya? We were supposed to join my sister and gang in Bahia Honda Key but instead you wound up spending six days in the Celebration Hospital.”

“Um. Yeah. That was an epic fail on my part.”

“At least you did manage two days in Disney.”

“Yeah, that blows that I caused us to miss the rest.”

“But what a story you’ve provided me with!”

“At least in 2013 we made it to Long Key.”

“But getting there we got a flat in Key Largo!”

“That I didn’t even realise was us!”

“I swear, the guys looked like a team from NASCAR!  Zzzip! Zzip! Zzzip!”

“They were mighty impressive, that’s for sure.”

“That time we went down to Key West, too.”

“Yep.”

“And now you want to go to Middle Torch Key? I’ve never even heard of it!”

A quick change of tires on the road in Key Largo

 

Bhutan Or Bust! – What Pegman Saw

It’s been forever since I participated in a Pegman! Time is such a fickle thing. Or maybe it’s energy. Because part of the pleasure of doing these Pegman stories is that we (at least I) force ourselves to do some research.  And today, before going out to do nothing by the pool, I figured, why the heck not? Thank you to Karen and Josh for still hosting this wonderful challenge, even if the numbers are not all that high. I hope they pick up and you guys don’t quit just yet!

This week Pegman visits the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan, on the Himalayas’ eastern ridge. As always, the Pegman mission is for you to write up to 150 words inspired by the location. Feel free to use the location provided in the prompt, or search Google maps within the borders of the country of Bhutan and find your own view. Contributions can be in the form of poetry, prose, or essay, or any form that inspires you.

Once your piece is polished, share it with others using the linkup below. Reading and commenting on others’ work is part of the fun! Click on the blue frog to add your 150-word story, inspired by this beautiful location

Bhutan or Bust!

“We need to sign up with a registered Bhutanese tour agency beforehand.

“And lots of money. Why don’t we go to go to Indonesia or Thailand or Cambodia? At least there you can do stuff on fifty bucks a day! What the hell kind of place forces you to pay two hundred and fifty dollars per diem or you can’t come even in? It’s ridiculous! And, on top of it, since it’s just the two of us, they are charging us an extra thirty bucks. Per NIGHT!”

“I know. It’s their way of keeping tourism to a minimum. They want to preserve their culture and beautiful nature. They figure if they charge too little, it will open the doors to too many. Honestly, when you realise that everything is included: accommodation, meals, guide, driver, fuel, fees for daily excursions; it’s not that bad.”

“Bhutan or bust! – open our coffers…”

 

 

Alone, Together – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday morning, my peeps! The sun has been shining for four days now!  Shhhh….don’t say anything, we don’t want to hex ourselves!

This week, Rochelle has given us her own photo to work with. Tell you what. I would not mind at all to find myself sitting in an airport waiting for my own flight. Till then, I guess I can only write about it! Do join in with your 100-word story about today’s pic. G’head. It’s fun!

©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Click me! Click me!

Alone, Together

Airports are great.  They are the perfect places to be all alone whilst completely surrounded. You can stuff your nose into a book or eReader, use your computer, your cellphone, your electronic devices, and no one bothers you.

When tired of focussing on your device of choice, you can sit back and watch the people around you – make up stories about why they are there, who they are waiting for, where they are going. I love to people watch and create scenarios.

What’s my story, you ask? I’m just watching people, patiently waiting for my plane. Running away from home.