Buns on the Table

pf-changs-atlanta-airportOver the last few years, it seems I have spent more time at the Atlanta airport that anywhere else in the country (including my home).  For at least the last year, the airport has been under going some major renovations.  The latest being a massive upgrade to the dining choices.  There are many more modern and appetizing choices now available, which is so important when you have long layovers or stranded due to “weather”.  Tonight I experienced one such “weather” event on my way to Beckley, WV where I was delayed close to 3 hours.  In the grand scheme of airport delays, 3 hours is nothing…but I digress.  Anyway, I was stuck and it was dinner-time so I decided to partake in a rather scrumptious dinner at PF Chang’s.pf-changs-airport

It has always amazed me how many tables can be stuffed into airport restaurants.  I walked in as a party of 1 and was seated almost right away at a tiny table that was sandwiched between two larger tables already occupied by diners enjoying their meals.  I had to squeeze between  my table and the one right next to me in order to sit.  As I did so, I could feel my butt graze the plates on the table next to me.  It was a good thing I was wearing black pants since there was no telling what type of sauce was now slathered on my back-side.  It was interesting that they didn’t move their plates nor did they stop eating what was in them.  I would have certainly lost my appetite.

One thing the airport restaurant designers did not consider is the space needed for img_4954luggage.  Nearly every traveler has at least one rolling suitcase to put in the overhead bins and many people have two.  So as I sit and wait for my dinner to be delivered the tables on both sides clear out and fill back up again.  This time the patrons on both sides of me have their luggage nestled between our tables to keep from tripping the servers as they walk by. Commendable on one hand, but on the other it leaves me with no exit strategy. So instead of savoring my food into oblivion, I am contemplating which set of luggage on which side of the table that I am going to stumble over when I leave, or better yet, which set of dishes and sauces will further compliment my attire as I squeeze back through.  Maybe luck with be on my side and one of the two tables will leave before I do.

img_4949My dinner choice on this night is my “go to” dish at PF Chang’s — Chang’s Spicy Chicken and Fried Rice.  I absolutely love this dish though it is way off the rail in terms of carbs and calories.  If my doctor or beachbody coach had a glance as my dinner choice tonight, I would have a lot of “splaining” to do.  The food was as expected – absolutely delicious.img_4955

The best part of any Chinese meal, is always the fortune cookie.  Years ago when I was in college, we had a tradition to add the words “in bed” to the end of any fortune cookie saying.  With that in mind, tonight my fortune was….

“You will pass a big upcoming test…’in bed’.”

Sounds like I may have a promising week after all.

Walking Shoes vs. Sitting Shoes

The weekly life of a traveling consultant can become a bit too routine simply going from the airport to the client to the hotel.  Every now and then, the four walls of my home-away-from-home start to close in on me and I need to get out.  Depending on the city, I amuse myself in different ways.  In the larger cities, I am all about the shopping.  So much so, that I make sure I have enough room in my suitcase to bring home my wares.

Of all the places I’ve been recently, Atlanta is the best for shopping.  Several years ago, I took a trip to Lennox Square Mall to “window shop” one evening. I was strolling by the Michael Kors shop and saw the most strange yet amazing pair of shoes.  They were so strange that I had to go in to see them up close.  Of course the clerk saw a “live one” walk through the door and before I could say I was just browsing, the shoes were on my feet.  This guy was good.

IMG_1888I cannot describe how these shoes felt.  They were more amazing on my feet than they were in the window or on the shelf.  They were definitely calling out to me.  (Now if you have never experienced an object call your name, you should NEVER call yourself a shopper.) Hearing the call as you are shopping is a very religious experience.  These shoes were mine.  I was not leaving the store without them.  The only problem was the price.

Long ago, my husband and I made an agreement to never purchase any item over $100 without discussing it first. (Thank heavens for cell phones.)  I tell the clerk that I need to talk with my husband.  So I am prancing around the store in my dream shoes hoping and praying my hubby answers the phone, which he does.  I proceed to describe (with glee) the most amazing shoes of my life.  Not only are they close to being “one of a kind” (meaning they have not been seen on the feet of any of our friends) but they make me feel tall and beautiful (what pair of new shoes doesn’t).  I cringe as I get to the price but promise that I won’t make another purchase until I get home.  Of course, I conveniently left out the fact that I was leaving the next day.

Anyway, he agrees – as if he really had a choice.  The shoes are really mine.  I haven’t been this ecstatic since my first purchase of a Coach purse.  The clerk was on cloud nine.  I’m guessing because of the commission he’d receive.  I quickly completed the purchase and flew back to my hotel room.  I had to put them back on and “practice” my walk.

Finally, my excitement subsided and I was able to settle down for the night.  The next afternoon, I was heading home.  I carried my fabulous find on board the plane rather than trusting my new shoes to the trappings of the baggage handlers.  You do realize that this would be the day someone inspected my suitcase and kept these shoes as their souvenir; not to mention, how much I was looking forward to the envious looks from the less fortunate souls in the airport as I flaunted my Michael Kors bag.

I landed at my home airport, where my wonderful husband was waiting to pick me up as always.  After deplaning, I decide to give him the surprise of his night by strutting my stuff in my fabulous new shoes.  I sit down and put them on and start my “walk of shame”.

I’m walking pretty good, that is until is hit the ramp at the security line.  I literally hit the ramp.  I stumbled and fell flat on my ass!!  No only do I fall, but the inner workings of my purse and my computer bag emptied out.  The only people that can see me are the TSA agents and my fellow passengers as the step over me (you remember – the ones who were looking at my Michael Kors bag with envy).

I am laying on the floor contemplating on how I am going to get up.  Normally getting off of the floor is not hard to do at all; however, I happened to be wearing 6″ high platform wooden wedge shoes.  So not only did I have to stand up, I had to stand up with stilts attached to my feet.  Keep in mind that I didn’t practice this in the hotel room.

Evidently, I was on the floor a little too long because the TSA agent assumed that I was really hurt.  I look up the hall at him just as he tries to use his walkie-talkie.  The batteries must have been dead because he screams at the top of his lungs “Bring me a walkie-talkie that works! There’s a woman down!”  Now I was completely mortified.

I scramble awkwardly to my feet, cramming the contents of my purse and computer back together and stagger through the security line.  It was evident to anyone watching me, that I was the unfortunate soul he was talking about.

When I saw my husband, I was not strutting as the graceful ballerina that I had imagined.  He smiled and shook his head as he took in my disheveled appeared as he made one and only one comment “I knew that it had to be you causing all of this ruckus.”

He graciously helped me to the car where I took off my fabulous shoes and put them in the box where they remain to this day.  The only time they come out of the box is when we have guests over that have never heard the story.  Chuck begs like a little child for me to bring out the bag, box, and shoes and tell the story of how I learned the difference between walking shoes and sitting shoes.  These are definitely sitting shoes.IMG_1889