Saturday, November 26, 2011


This morning, I got on a plane with the kids to fly from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania, to visit my mother. I have many friends who are surprised that I am so cavalier about flying solo with the kids, but my kids are very good travelers. And ever since I took them to New Zealand and back all by myself, I feel like any other air travel is a piece of cake by comparison. In fact, I get so cocky that I almost don't lower myself to bother to pack any entertainment for them for a "short" trip like going to Pennsylvania. Surely I can keep the kids occupied for nearly three hours using only a twistie-tie and the safety information card in the seat pocket, right?

We flew through O'Hare and guess what? EVERYTHING WENT FINE. That's hard to believe. In fact, it's impossible to believe. Maybe there was a rip in the time-space continuum and United actually spirited us away to a functional airport in a parallel universe. That seems way more likely.

I'm still a little conflicted about getting a cell phone, but one big advantage is that it allowed me to document the digital toilets in O'Hare:

Can you see? The toilet has a digital read-out that alerts you when it is finished changing the clear plastic cover on the toilet seat. In this case, it says "Changing Cover." This information is also readily available by actually LOOKING at the toilet. Legroom on planes has shrunk, it now costs big bucks to check a bag, and if you miss a connection it can take you days to get to your destination....but by golly, we have airplane toilets that talk can talk to us. So I guess it's all okay.

And because I just can't let this O'Hare toilet thing drop -- is there some need to have plastic wrap between my butt and the toilet seat? The other 99,999,999 times in life that I've used the toilet, I've just put my bare skin on the seat and managed to survive without getting some dreadful disease (although I do have strange scab I want to show you). I will grant you though, that I am not the most fastidious of bathroom users; of course I wash my hands, but I don't flush the toilet with my foot, and I don't put a paper towel on my hand when I open the bathroom door. I'll understand if the next time you see me, you don't shake my hand.

I don't want this post to be all negative, so I'll make sure I say something nice about O'Hare: um... ...I noticed they had a lot of bananas for sale. That seems healthy.
Actually, O'Hare has a very nice kids' play area, although they apparently don't want anyone to actually find it and play there, because it is quite well hidden. Being the experienced O'Harer that I am, though, I knew right where to go.

The play area has an aviation theme, with a jet (which Stella is exiting, above), boxes of cargo, a little control tower, and a pretend check-in counter. The kids has a blast running all around and pretending to be pilots and flight attendants. It was very sweet seeing the kids having such a good time using their imaginations. Iguess you could call the play area a functional airport in a parallel universe.

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