Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Wedding Singer, Part 5: Nothing More to Write. Part the Last.

Some people have asked me why this series of posts is titled "The Wedding Singer: Part Whatever."  Well, it's a little English major joke that's also pretentious but I had fun with it. In the great epics of the past, the poet, feeling inadequate to the task of writing about such high and noble acts, invokes the muse, the inspiration for the account of the story. In many cases the poet asks the muse to sing to inspire him.

Homer in Book I of The Odyssey:
"Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns
driven time and again off course, once he had plundered
the hallowed heights of Troy."
Virgil, in Book I of the Aeneid:
O Muse! the causes and the crimes relate;
What goddess was provok'd, and whence her hate;
For what offense the Queen of Heav'n began
To persecute so brave, so just a man...
Dante Alighieri, in Canto II of The Inferno: 
O Muses, O high genius, aid me now!
O memory that engraved the things I saw,
Here shall your worth be manifest to all!
(Anthony Esolen translation, 2002)
John Milton, opening of Book 1 of Paradise Lost:
Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing, Heavenly Muse, [...]
William Shakespeare, Act 1, Prologue of Henry V
Chorus: O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
There was no wedding singer at this wedding (there was a d.j.) but there could have been and s/he would have been my inspiration. Had s/he only have been there.

Anyhow, when we last left our story, United Airlines had just announced cancellation of our flight due to mechanical problems. Practically everyone in the waiting area took off just about at a run. Not having done a lot of air travel, we asked Alyssa where they were going. "To rebook," she answered. And so we joined a long line of people working their cell phones to get on other flights. I jumped on mine and found there were possibly seats on a 6AM Delta flight, which was very early (duh!) and a 2 PM USAir flight. We were already booked on the original flight a day later but Becky wanted to get back as soon as possible for a couple of rehearsals Monday late afternoon and evening. The United agent on the phone said she would have to wait to hear back from Delta and USAir. By the time we reached the counter, both those flights were overbooked and we settled for a 5:20 flight going into National Airport. Our car was at Dulles but we figured we could call Amy (who was home from the trip) or take the subway/bus connection between the two airports. (In another hundred years or so there will be a Metro connection between them.)

As it was, Amy was able to pick us up, for which we were grateful. Also, Alyssa was ahead of us in line and insisted,using her retail manager/HR specialist mojo, that we be given passes to stay at he Hilton Lakefront in Burlington. The shuttle to the Hilton had stopped running for the night but Alyssa and Chris had already rented a truck for transportation.

And so we checked into the Hilton about 11 PM.  It was the poshest hotel I have ever stayed in.  Who knows what I might do if we stayed at the Ritz in New York City? Go up in smoke, probably. (Not a good figure of speech in the same paragraph with references to hotels.)

The next morning we took it easy. The lake was covered with mist which meant no pictures and no cruise, which we probably didn't have time for anyhow.

We made one last swing through the Church Street Marketplace and at lunch at a Mexican food place, Miguel's on Main Street.  Good food, but spicy, oh my.

We walked back to Hilton,did our final packing and caught the shuttle for the airport.

The TSA was even more aggressive this time. They had me put my stuff into six bins and then fussed at me when the bins backed up.  They said I was slowing the operation down. I said I had done what they asked, but didn't say any more since I might want to fly at some point in the future.

We met up with Scott in the airport. He said their flight to D.C. had been delayed and then they would go to San Francisco, do laundry and then off to Hawaii for the honeymoon. It was good to see him.

Our flight was delayed about half an hour, but the aircraft was medium size pure jet so I was happy.  The seats might have been leather (not sure).  The flight was uneventful, with one of the smoothest approaches I've ever experienced. We recognized the Masonic Temple, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and I-95 on the way in and clearly saw the Capitol, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and Washington Cathedral lit up after we landed.

We retrieved our luggage and called Amy, who was waiting in the cell lot.  She drove us to Dulles where we retrieved our car and drove home.  The trip was over.

Tomorrow: Some Lessons from Travel

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