I once had pancakes in the Shannon Airport.
They weren’t diner-quality, nor what Suzi makes on our griddle at home — even though she doesn’t think hers are very good — but they were perfectly fine.
And since that an early morning flight from Ireland to Boston and the time-zone change it entailed were probably going to wreak havoc on my eating schedule, I can appreciate that they were more filling than whatever I would have otherwise picked up at the coffee shop.
“Sometimes, it’s just the way the airport meal signals the transition from one space to another that’s the appeal. There is a Belgian restaurant at Newark International and a Cafe Nero at Heathrow, and both of those entirely okay venues light up my brain with the pure joy of getting closer and then closer still to London.”
— “I miss airport food,” Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon
When I consider all the things I miss about traveling during this time, pancakes in Shannon, pastries and doughnuts from the various Starbucks or Dunkins or wherever, the orange juice I truly need to get myself going or my in-flight go-to snack of mini-peanut butter cups are not the first things on my mind.
But I get what she’s going for, because I think we all have little, seemingly inconsequential milestones that add to our excitement of what’s to come.
For instance, there’s going through security.
The dance of having my ID and boarding pass ready before taking off my sneakers, undoing my belt, emptying my pockets, pulling my iPad and electronics stuff out of my carryon, grabbing and loading everything properly in the trays while trying not to hold up everyone behind me is not fun … at all.
And that’s before putting my stuff and myself through the scanners, hoping neither set off any alarms that make them want to take a closer look.
Then, when it’s all over, I have to gather up all my stuff, put it back in pockets or bag, shuffle away from security without leaving anything (I have left my wallet in the tray, but was alerted to it before getting more than a few steps away) and then find a place to put my sneakers and belt back on.
But when all that is done? That means the hard part is over and the fun is about to begin.
Granted, Suzi handles most of the logistics, but it means I’ve gotten to the airport, gotten my boarding passes sorted, checked my (surprisingly never overweight) luggage and cleared security.
All that’s left is finding the gate, boarding the plane and going.
I still don’t miss going through security, and it certainly won’t be what I’m most-excited about whenever I can go somewhere again … but I still get what she was going for by missing airport food.