I was in California for the Thanksgiving holiday but am now back in hell, more commonly known as Washington, D.C., our lovely nation’s capital.
This is only the third time in the past seven years that I’ve actually spent Thanksgiving with my family, so it was a welcome change. In the past, it’s been too short a period of time to fly all the way out there for the holiday, as well as incredibly pricey, so I always opted to stay in DC (or London). This year, though, I decided to take the extra day off (Wednesday) as well as fly into the less desirable Ontario airport so that I could make it work.
Of course, with my luck, I was struck with an incredibly nasty bout of food poisoning on Monday thanks to a chicken salad sandwich from Corner Bakery. On the food poisoning scale, it was just a step above the Paris incident of ’05, in which the French attempted to kill me with Brie.
I woke up on Tuesday morning fully intending to go to work for most of the day (flight wasn’t leaving until late afternoon) but realized that I couldn’t stand up for more than two minutes without becoming incredibly nauseous, so decided I should stay home. I am not quite sure how I managed to drag myself to the airport, but looking back I really should have taken a taxi instead of the metro. After checking in, I had to sit down and rest for a few minutes before heading to the security checkpoint, which was full of newbs who were oblivious to the fact that you can’t walk through a metal detector with your cell phone, iPod, and assorted bling without setting the damn thing off.
I caught my connecting flight in Houston (where, I kid you not, a girl asked “Is there, like, a time difference between here and California?” WTF!) and arrived in Ontario before midnight. I finally got into Palm Desert a little after 1am. Unfortunately, I had to skip the obligatory double double from In-N-Out due to being damn sick.
I thought I would be over this food poisoning by Wednesday morning, but woke up in even worse shape. I basically spent the majority of the day curled up in bed, dressed in a fluffy oversized Ritz Carlton – Rancho Mirage robe (legally acquired!), downing liters of Gatorade and wishing someone would just put me out of my misery. Katerina and I were supposed to go hiking in Ladder Canyon, but for obvious reasons had to cancel.
As you can see, our training regimen for Mount K is going quite well.
Thanksgiving rolled around, and I was feeling a little better, but still not well enough to eat anything substantial. I had a few bites of mashed potatoes and stuffing, but that was about it. I am quite possibly the only American who lost weight over the Thanksgiving holiday.
By Friday morning, though, I was back to normal. My face had regained its color, and I no longer looked like a starved zombie. The rest of my time in PD seemed to be a non-stop schedule of engagements. I had people to see, double doubles to eat, Mexican food to enjoy – the usual Palm Desert activities.
This morning, I left the house at 3 to catch my 6am flight out of Ontario. While our plane was pulling away from the gate, the girl sitting directly across from me screamed “Oh my God! Did you see that?!?!” Well this is great, I thought, I’m sitting next to an insane person. But then a flight attendant said that she had seen something as well, and they both concurred that a large mouse had scurried across the aisle. So our plane pulled back into the gate, an operations crew boarded, and after several minutes of deliberation, a decision was made that we would proceed to Houston with the mouse on board. The captain announced that anyone who did not wish to fly with the mouse could get off the plane and take a later flight. No one took him up on his offer.
And now here I am, back in DC. Food poisoning aside, I loved being able to spend Thanksgiving with my family. Hopefully next year I will be able to do the same without having to fly 3,000 miles. I’ll steer clear of the chicken salad as well.