Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tulsa, Oklahoma in 4 Hours

Date night started when Rob and his crew arrived.  We caught the shuttle van to the hotel, arriving in downtown Tulsa at around 5pm. Captain Bobbie is a runner, so Rob had already planned that the four of us, would go for a run along the Arkansas River.  Their flight attendant, Ruth, was game, though about as much of a runner as Rob.  We all changed quickly and met back in the lobby.
It's about a ten minute walk to the riverfront bike/running path through some sketchy downtown areas and some nicer old neighborhoods.

The path was shaded in parts, but afforded a nice view of the river.  We passed several park and seating areas, and a riverfront bar as we made our way past one bridge, and turned around at the second. Ruth and Rob walked back while Bobbie and I ran the three mile river path. By the time we made it back to the hotel we were ravenous.

Bobbie led our freshly showered  group on about a mile walk through the blue dome district to the iconic Joe Mommas restaurant. On our way we saw numerous cowboy boot shod folks, and it was hard to discern whether that was simply Oklahoma on display or a result of the Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line concert that was in town.  But, it is clearly not JUST a cowboy town, we also passed this: 

And this:

And of course, the historic blue dome. Built originally as a gas station on Route 66, the building is oddly out of place, something you'd be more likely to encounter on a hillside city in Greece. 

Joe Mommas is famous for its ghost pepper pizza (The Incinerator) and wings. 
Here we area waiting about 15 minutes for a table.

Rob tried the ghost pepper sauce and was seemingly nonplussed. 
Many of the wood-fired pizzas, which are hand-tossed for your viewing pleasure, feature peppers. We tried Nathan's Unlikely Marriage, an interesting combination of buffalo ranch sauce, buffalo chicken, bacon, roma tomatoes, jalapenos and cheddar cheese.  Our second pizza was called Sweat Heat: Alfredo sauce, bacon, ham, jalapenos and pineapple.   

After dinner, we strolled home through the downtown area that earlier in the evening had hosted a street festival.  We had been so hungry on our way to Joe Mammas that we did not stop to enjoy it.  However, we were able to enjoy the street art undisturbed as we walked home.  Here are a few of my favorites.
Love this little frog!  If I ever get talked into a tattoo, this guy will be part of it.

Morning came early, as the crew had a show time of 8am.  I went along to the airport, to work on my airport loitering PR, though the first flight I had any likelihood of getting on did not leave until noon.  But, I got to watch Rob take off.  Here is his plane, preparing to leave.
And here he is taking off for Denver:
And me, watching him fly away:
Between yesterday's travels to get there, and today's to get home, I spent 20 hours in an airport or on a plane.  For 4 hours in Tulsa.  But, you know what?  These crazy date nights that the girls at the office tease me about, they are what make this life just a little easier to handle.  I would do it again, and I probably will.  Wouldn't you?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

So Far Away From Me

Rob's shot of Times Square taken at about the same time as my shot below
My blurry photo of the Golden Gate taken concurrent with Rob's above.

I think the first question should be: why is his camera so much better than mine?

On Tuesday of this week, I left for a conference in Napa Valley with one of my fellow midwives.  Rob was between trips in Newark and had so little time off, he did not go home but went into the city instead.  Just after I landed, I texted him this:

Could we be any further apart geographically and still be in the continental U.S.?

His response: (of course he took it as a literal question!) Yes, if you were in San Diego and I was in Portland, Maine. 
Love him! 

But, man this has been a long, tough week.   Challenging and inspiring to be at a conference on Integrative Women's Health.  But, today, as I sit at the airport in Tulsa, OK, finally looking forward to seeing my sweet love after a whole week apart, I feel like I am setting a personal record for time spent loitering in airports.  

Yesterday, I flew as a ticketed passenger, so my travel woes were no different than anyone else's.  I had to leave the conference by shuttle bus at 8am to guarantee I made it to SFO in time for my noon flight.  Long, uncomfortable flight from west to east.  Then I sat in ORD for hours waiting for my 9:20 flight home, which was delayed due to maintenance issues for 2 hours.  As we were finally boarding, I asked the captain if his crew was flying the plane back to ORD in the morning, since I'd be on it.  I was scheduled as a standby passenger at 9:30.  He said yes, but that the flight would very likely have a two hour delay to accommodate the minimum rest requirements of the crew. 

Knowing that a two hour delay would cause me to miss my connection, I decided to play it safe and book myself on the 6:00am  flight.  That meant driving home, unpacking and repacking, climbing into bed for two hours and leaving for the airport again.  Ouch!  I skipped coffee to maximize my sleep time this morning, had a glass of kefir for breakfast, slept on the plane to Chicago, and then found a nice, comfy (Ha!), bench to sleep on for a couple of hours there.  Now, having arrived in Tulsa about 2 hours ahead of Rob, I'm nursing a mild migraine brought on by this airport lifestyle I've been engaging in for the past two days.  He offered to call ahead to the hotel to see if they'd let me check in ahead of him, but there's my airport loitering record to think of.  Once I get through the "getting home" dilemma of tomorrow, I'm sure I will have logged some serious time.

But, soon, he will be here.  And tonight is date night!  Sometimes, when it gets desperate, and Rob has a long overnight somewhere, I will fly to join him for the evening.  This makes those long stretches when we are so far apart, just a little more bearable. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

That's My Pilot

Last month I wrote about how Rob has lost weight over the last 6 months, by eating pre-made meals out of his meal bag when he is on a trip.  

Read about it here:The Airline Diet: Packing His Lunch

I posted some before and after pictures that really did not do him justice.  What I really wanted was a shot of him in uniform.  And I finally got it!

This is my pilot, standing in our kitchen, ready to walk out the door, climb into his truck and head to the airport for a 4 day trip.  Isn't he fine?

Last thing we do before he leaves is a mandatory hug.  Somehow a kiss is just not enough.  But, when he wraps me in his arms and I snuggle into his neck, I'm imprinting that memory of him, the feel of him, the smell of him.  That hug has to last me for 4 or 5 days....Shucks!  I'm blushing now, but that's love for ya!

I'm curious what other people do to make saying goodbye to their loved one just a little easier, when leaving is something they have to do every week.