Travel With RJ

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Most airports don’t have a lot to do. Most have some sources for food, some more than others. But once you have gotten your food, there is not much to do. You can wander around and look at various displays. Some have artwork, or sculptures. The airport in Knoxville has some cool lab created crystals to look at. But McCarran International Airport has something I have never seen at any other airport. Slot machines! So while you are waiting to board your flight, you can sit and play slot machines.
For some reason, I have come out ahead pretty much everytime I have played the airport machines. Normally I play the video poker machines. But on my recent trip to Vegas, as I was getting ready to fly out again, I first played Larry’s Lobster Mania. This is my wife’s favorite machine. So I played it in her honor. But I quickly lost $10. So I moved over to the video poker machines. I put a $20 bill, and started playing. I was down close to another $10, when I got four 3s. I now had $33 on this machine. So I cashed out, and finished up by $3. This was good compared to my previous weeks playing in Pahrump (I lost about $20 over the week). I took my $3 of winnings, and went and read my book.

I have flown through many airports. But last weekend was my first time flying through Philadelphia. I wasn’t impressed.
My flight from Las Vegas came into Terminal C. When I deboarded, I immediately went to the monitors to see where my connecting flight was. The monitors showed less than half a dozen arrivals, and no departures. What the? I looked at my boarding pass to see if it might list the gate. Sure enough it shows my connecting flight being at F6. I decided to head over to Terminal F. I started walking, and walking. I don’t mind walking at all. I like walking. But I like walking when I know that I am going to the right place. I wasn’t absolutely positive that my plane would fly out of F6. Gates changes sometimes. I kept checking monitors. I found some monitors that showed more arrivals and departures, but they still didn’t show MY flight! And my flight was only a little over an hour away. I kept walking. Then I was surprised to find that I had to leave the security area. Grumble. So I kept walking and following the signs to Terminal F. Soon I found myself in a parking garage. What? I back tracked, and found where I went wrong. Some some signage was poorly done, and instead of going across a bridge, I was supposed to have gone down some elevators.
Soon I was ready to re-enter security. I had already done this once today, now I had to do it again. I put all my stuff in the tray (shoes, watch, camera, mp3 player, change). The security person now wanted me to stick the EMPTY camera pouch from my belt. My camera is only slightly larger than a pager, and the little pouch is sized to fit the camera. I have never had to take it off before! They just make me remove the camera, which is what I had done. But here they wanted me to remove the frigging pouch to go though security to a terminal that I wasn’t positive was the right one! I asked her if she wanted me to take my pants off too. I was almost prepared to throw my pants into the tray and walk through the metal detector. She ignored my comment. I made it through security. I found more monitors, but they didn’t show ANY arrivals or departures! Just displayed airport logos and crap! I made it to gate F6, and they fortunately listed my flight. I still had a while, so went looking for food. Since it was morning, they had breakfast stuff. Mostly slim pickings of stuff like bagels. No McDonald’s or anything. Nothing looked appetizing. I noticed the prices for the daytime food looked pretty high, even by airport standards. One place listed just a cheeseburger for $8 or more. Heck, at the Las Vegas airport, I could have gotten a whole Burger King Whopper meal for under $7!
My flight came, and I finally left Philadelphia. Basically, my experience at Philadelphia International Airport was not good.

I am flying to Las Vegas tomorrow morning. My flight is scheduled to leave about 6:55am. I have a 40 minute layover in Charlotte, NC. Then barring any problems, I should arrive in Las Vegas at 11:26am local time. The weather here in Rochester is relatively mellow, and will hopefully stay that way. I plan on being at the airport about 5am. Maybe get some quick breakfast at McDonalds in the airport. I am about half packed, and will finish tonight. I loaded up my mp3 player with music.
When I arrive in Las Vegas, I will get my luggage, then head over the pick up my rental car. Hopefully I won’t have to wait a long time to get the car. There have been occasions where I have had to wait a while for a car to come in.
Then I am heading over to Mandalay Bay. I will head off to the Quality Of Life Expo to pick up my runner’s packet. At 3:30pm I am scheduled to be involved in a glory lap and pep rally for Running Elvises. Then at 4pm we (the Running Elvi) are scheduled to meet the running brides and grooms that are getting married tomorrow during the Las Vegas Marathon. I am looking forward to getting there!

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