Wolfgang Puck… in Cincinnati?The Cincinnati airport is nice enough. The plane ride is only a little over an hour (it was a little bumpy due to a significant headwind), you eat nice crackers (this time cheese crackers to chase the peanut butter ones I ate in Avoca). Of course, I had a brief moment of elation thinking that I would be in the middle of the plane and not my usual seat by the toilet because my ticket said 12C. How many aisles on the plane? Twelve and half – the half is 13 and looks right into the potty. So I had my non-reclining seatback up against the toilet. Sigh.
You land in Cincinnati and get off on the tarmac because the plane is so small and everyone is very friendly. My only complaint is their whole “concourse” arrangement where you have to take shuttles that drive you across the airport asphalt to what looks to all intents and purposes as another airport. It’s like three little airports linked by buses, and I just don’t get it.
But once you’re inside, there are nice shops and eateries and things are very logically laid out so you find your gate without incident. I made it to my gate with about 25 minutes before boarding time, so I went 100 feet away and decided to grab a bite at a Wolfgang Puck café. I knew that the ride to Seattle was LONG and I had no confidence in what Delta was going to serve (let’s face it, all airlines work on the cheap now), so I ordered a wonderful bowl of butternut squash soup and (on the waitress’ enthusiastic recommendation) a slice of the Bailey’s Irish Cheesecake. Both were amazing (you didn’t taste any alcohol overtones on the cheesecake which was my worry, since I don’t like that) and I grabbed a huge bottle of water and the latest Evanovich book (a “between the numbers” which is basically a Stephanie Plum mini-novel). They hadn’t yet boarded the plane and it turns out the reason was that the plane was overbooked and they were looking for volunteers to give up there seats – my experience is that this always takes a while, particularly when many of the people on the plane are headed to a conference (and are going to be taking shuttle buses that stop running at a certain time). There was also the dismaying announcement that the forward lavatory was broken and mentioning that people were encouraged to use the bathrooms before boarding. Knowing how close toilets and I are on planes, I knew this would be an announcement that would impact me greatly. Did I mention the children? There were two toddlers, I’d guess around 18 months old, running around. The little girl was happy, dressed in purple with a pageboy haircut, totally thrilled to be getting on the plane (I knew this would change very soon). The other was an adorable little blond boy, with a pacifier and a highly suspicious look, as if he knew quite well that he was about to be hoodwinked for the next five hours into a miniature hell of his mother’s creation. He displayed this foreknowledge by running around the gate screaming what I first thought was “Kill meeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! Killllllllllll meeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!” but what later was revealed to be “Noooooooooooooo Wwaaaaaaayyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!”. Pacifiers really do cut down on proper annunciation.