After two full days of meetings in the Chicago suburbs it was time to return home. Friday afternoon travel can be horrifically crowded. People heading home after a week on the road. Folks beginning a weekend adventure. Regardless, they all end up at the same place – and at the same time.
It’s occasions like this where having airline status removes you from the hustle and bustle. You’re treated to a quiet oasis where customer service excels and you have nearly empty security lines reserved for the traveling warriors – which are breezed through with precision. A TSA dance. Bin, step, shoe, step, baggie, step, laptop, step, shoe, step, boarding pass, step, jacket, step and so forth. No cutting, no interruptions please. We know this dance well.
I’ve been diverting of late from my normal O’hare routine of going straight to the airline lounge. Instead I’ve been heading over to Macaroni Grill for dinner. With an upgrade to first I’m served dinner on the flight, but having a nice meal beforehand means I can just get a snack on the plane and chill for the return home. This has become the new routine.
On the evening flight, first class is served a starter course that usually consists of a salad and a shrimp cocktail (kinda like the shrimp salad from the other day, but put on two plates). The main course tonight was salmon or a stuffed shells dish. Very glad I had the Rustica.
After dinner a dessert is served. Tonight was a fresh baked brownie topped with ice cream (which smelled delicious). Another desert not always offered is a fruit and cheese plate. There aren’t often many of these and they tend to go quickly to those of us who know to ask. This is what I was after.
After gorging myself on Rustica, a little cheese plate is perfect with a nice glass of wine. So while people are putting in their dinner selections, I order my “dessert”.
The cheese plate consists of red seedless grapes, crackers, a wedge of Brie and a sharp white cheddar. Just perfect with a glass of wine. Unfortunately this was all slightly spoiled by someone near me with a bad case of gas. Yes, first class, wine, crackers, and a disgusting odor to go with. Yea, travel is oh so glamorous.