Welcome to Florida: Part One

Around 4 o’clock this morning, my buddy, Scott, picked me up from my house to take me to the airport. I had a plane to catch that was headed south; non-stop to Ft. Myers, Florida! Scott and I were pretty excited about getting some breakfast before actually getting me to the airport though. We were wanting some good ol’ Cracker Barrel. I had my heart set on the “country boy” breakfast and the thought of digging into some of that hashbrown casserole was making me salivate!  We pulled up to the Cracker Barrel closest to us, the lights were all on and there was a van in the parking lot. We were ready to eat! Unfortunately, we were quickly turned away when we got to the front door and saw that they didn’t open until 6 o’clock a.m. This really is something that should be looked into. There’s no reason a place like Cracker Barrel can’t be open 24 hours! Onto “plan B”.

“Plan B” didn’t really exist. We decided to drive south on I65 towards the airport and just stop at something along the way. We knew Denny’s was open 24 hours, so we decided to stop at a Denny’s we found between Lebanon and the airport. We pull into the dimly lit parking lot and once we stepped out of the car, what we saw was several clearly intoxicated individuals who were just wrapping up their Saturday night shenanigans. At least that’s what I hope we had just stumbled upon. Ladies of the night, walking around in high heels, talking rather loud and boisterously, on a Sunday morning. Anyway, we proceeded towards the front doors. They were open; no doubt about that. There were several people standing there in the entryway waiting to be seated. I walked up to the hostess stand to get our names on a list or whatever needed to happen to get a couple of hungry gents seated, and what I saw was confusion and utter disarray among the staff. Another thing I saw was a police officer. He was apparently stationed there because he was standing behind the counter as if he were there as a precautionary measure. Not a good sign! Scott and I decided to leave that location rather quickly. Onto “plan C”.

Like “plan B”, “plan C” didn’t exist. But there was a Hardee’s right across the street. We made our way over there and ordered us some quick grub through the drive-thru. The drive-thru worker apparently had a “thing” for Scotty, she not only upgraded his extra hash rounds from small to medium without charging for the upgrade; but she also upgraded the first two smalls to mediums as well. She claimed to not like the bags the smalls came in. Hardee’s; you might want to look into that. Your employees are giving away free product upgrades! Breakfast was served. We stopped to get some gas and then we were on our way to the airport.

We arrived at the airport nice and early, just like I like. My theory has always been, “if you’re on time – you’re late.” I checked my luggage with the gentleman who was working the desk and we exchanged some small talk. He asked where I was headed, presumably part of his job and not that he really cared where I was traveling. I told him I was flying to Ft. Myers, Florida and he gave me the same speech most people give me this time of year when I come to Florida. Telling me how lucky I am to be escaping the weather that Indiana always gets this time of year. I’ll be trading cold, snowy weather for some nice warm sunshine and beaches. I am a lucky fella! With my luggage checked in, I headed onto the concourse.

The concourse is my least favorite part of flying, by far. I understand the need for security, but that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it. Luckily, I’ve done this enough times to know how to streamline things here. I already have my pockets emptied of all things, my shoes are untied, my laptop is out of its bag and sitting in its own tray, and my camera bag is opened for them to inspect it visually. I slide my belt off, toss it in the bin with my shoes, and step into the whirly gig. You know, the fancy touchless pat down machine. You stand in the center of it, raise your arms above your head, a thing spins around you, and it can tell if you’ve got anything on you that you’re not supposed to have. Test – passed!

I gather my things, which is another process I’ve perfected. I grab the laptop, slide it in its case, then slide that into my backpack. Shoes slipped on, belt picked up out of the bin, and I head over to the benches to tie my shoes and put my belt back on before my pants hit the floor. I was wearing my CrossFit 180 hoodie this morning (because it was 20 degrees in Indiana) and the gent working security saw the kettle bell on the front of the hoodie. He asked me, “Is that CrossFit stuff hard?” To which I replied, “It’s as difficult as you make it. If you put forth the effort, it can be one of the toughest workouts you’ve ever experienced. If you half-ass it, it’ll be gravy.” He chuckled and said he’s thought about giving it a try but he’s afraid of it. That’s an entirely different blog post of its own on why NOT to be afraid of CrossFit. We’ll get to that later.

I had put myself back together and headed towards B23, the gate from which I would depart the Indianapolis International Airport. I was there extremely early, but that’s alright. I found the seats that had the outlets under them, plugged my phone in, and listened to Pandora while I waited to board my plane. If you’re interested, I was listening to Jack Johnson radio; it’s one of my favorites. Very upbeat stuff.

to be continued…

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About John Shue

Just a normal guy in pursuit of happiness.
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3 Responses to Welcome to Florida: Part One

  1. seriously … I had no idea Cracker Barrel would not have been open at the time of your breakfast adventures. Hershal’s in my favorite.

    • John Shue says:

      I know, right? They’re definitely missing out on some major money! I know Scott and I would have easily dropped $25 in there. And since it’s right there off the interstate, you can guarantee that we wouldn’t be the only ones in there!

  2. Pingback: Happy Anniversary…to me! | Chronicles of Shue

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