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not the normal airport routine

May 27, 2010

On Sunday, I headed out to pick up a friend of a friend who was arriving from out of town.  I love picking up visitors.  Airports tend to bring out the romantic in me, no doubt influenced by years of watching Casablanca and the devastating last scene on the tarmac.

Every time I go, I am intrigued by the thought of adventures to far off places and fascinated by the stories of those waiting anxiously to welcome home their loved ones and of those who are bidding each other farewell as one party walks up the ramp to security and the other watches until they are out of sight.   It may be a small blip in the lives of strangers but the scenes are thrilling to watch, whether it is a significant moment as first-time traveler embarks on the adventure of a lifetime or a typical moment as the well-seasoned business traveler returns home.  The circumstances, situations and stories are endless, and I never turn down the chance to pick up or drop off travelers just so I can go to the airport.

Sunday, however, was not an ordinary pickup.  The backdrop reminded me more of An Affair to Remember thanCasablanca, as I found myself standing on the lakeshore watching the meticulous process of docking the Lake Express ferry.  Passengers stood on the outside deck, straining to see their loved ones, while the crowd onshore waived enthusiastically.  Once the boat was secure they lowered the gangplank, revealing rows of vehicles waiting to de-board.  Each car was guided off the boat in an efficient and orderly manner, and passengers who didn’t bring their vehicles on the boat ride made their way down the dock to find their luggage and their rides.

I recognized Sr. M right away from the description we exchanged earlier.  She had experienced a few delays on her adventure and was ever so relieved to arrive at her destination.  We collected her luggage and were driving toward the city in record time.

Yes it was different than the normal airport routine, but there were still enough reunions, greetings and prospective adventures to satisfy the romantic in me.  I thoroughly enjoyed the new pickup location, but more so delighted in the company of my passenger and new friend, Sr. M.

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