Greetings from the Heartland, where Dr. D and I have been nothing if not efficient! As of noon today and we'd already been to Super Target (for Einstein's jalapeno bagels and pepperjack cheese), to Krispy Kreme for a free sample donut and coffee, and to Super Walmart to stock up on all the usuals…over-the-counter cold medicine, Smucker's All Natural peanut butter (chunky) and solid deodorant/anti-perspirant in gender neutral scents.
I've also purchased the Canon PowerShot camera I've had my eye on ever since taking our Canon ELPH for an accidental dip last summer, met a bunch of my Mom's colleagues at the elementary school where she's working part-time, talked to my sister on the phone and started a load of laundry. And all this on about 5 hours of sleep!
The trip over was long but exceptionally smooth. It started off a little shaky, however when we got a late start for the walk to the train station hauling two really heavy bags, a pilot's case and a backpack. Then the layout of the terminal at Kastrup had changed since the last time we flew out of there, resulting in the odd sensation of feeling lost in a very familiar place.
Once we cleared security and made it to proper gate, the SAS gate crew told us the flight was very lightly book and by golly they weren't kidding. We were seated in the back of the plane and I doubt there were more than 20 people in our section. Needless to say, we spread out BIGTIME. At one point I was seated in the center section using three media screens simultaneously…one for the in-flight movie, one to play the old arcade version of Centipede, and one to monitor the progress of the flight. I was like Elvis at Graceland!
We breezed through passport control and customs in Chicago, which was a complete shock after all the horror stories I'd been hearing from colleagues who travel in and out of the U.S. for business. We got out of the airport so quickly that we managed to catch an earlier shuttle down to Merrillville, Indiana, where my brother and one of my best buds were picking us up.
And it's a good thing we saved that hour because we needed it to find the Popeye's Fried Chicken restaurant in Merrillville. Now normally I would have gone with Taco Bell for my first taste of fastfood on U.S., soil, but since we don't have a Popeye's in Lafayette, it was the obvious choice.
The problem was that we only had a very general idea of where it was located and Merrillville is a huge grid of multi-lane divided highways that make it impossible to turn around if you miss your exit…which of course we did. The result was that we could SEE the Popeye's but couldn't figure out how to get to it. By the time we finally navigated our way into the parking lot, the dining room had closed…so we had to use the drive-thru. And let's just say fried chicken and red beans & rice are not the easiest thing to eat in a moving car…especially when the drive-thru staff has forgotten to give you silverware.
We finally arrived in Lafayette around midnight…having laughed the whole way about the Popeye's saga. But damn that chicken was was worth it!