I know I'm not the only one with a long and storied travel past, but from about 15, I was bi-coastal and largely on my own (armed with Dad's frequent flier number and the wherewithal to make that flight!). When a 15-year-old who looks like a 10-year-old busts out the fake tears, she gets on that flight. The number of times I went between New York LaGuardia and either Boston Logan or LAX would make a 40-year-old businessman sad. During my trip to Los Angeles last week (I somehow hadn't been in over a year!) I noticed a new dining option at good ol' LAX's Terminal 5: Lemonade. It's 30 or so simple, healthy, mostly vegetarian and gluten-free dishes you can mix 'n match to your wallet's content. Also, they sell lemonade.
Awkward transition: my first day of boarding school was 9/11. Yes, that 9/11. Freshmen weren't allowed to go home for a month, no exceptions. When that Delta Shuttle from Logan Airport finally took off precisely 30 days later, it felt like the entire year had already passed. The flight attendant plopped a fried chicken salad in front of me. That's right, back in the day even 45-minute flights had actual food (made of food).
"This sucks, goddammit!" I yelled in my head, "my city is a wreck and this salad is asinine!" For some reason that's what I remember about going home that first unnerving time, being mad at the airplane salad.
Cut to 13 years later and airport/airplane salads still suck…unless you're in LA with access to a Lemonade. Before my red-eye back last Saturday, I hoovered generous portions of cucumber-tomato-smoked salmon salad, shaved snap pea and corn salad and a humongous tomato-mozzarella-pesto stack with pine nuts. Did I fall asleep on the plane right away and feel bomb.com when I woke up? Indeed. Was I bloated and miserable? I was not. Did I poop like a rock star when I got home, then pass out immediately? (You're jealous of my travel story, I can see it in your face). I did, and believe in my creed to eat strictly for one's health while traveling more than ever before.
I call upon airport terminals everywhere to hire these people to feed the hungry, cranky masses! Yes it's crazy expensive, all things considered, but do you want to poop like a rock star or be backed up for 30 hours like a rookie traveler with a caffeine problem?
One final thought about my traveling circus of an adolescence: I once wedged a tiny folded note to myself in a crack in the wall at the Terminal 5 McDonald's and retrieved it a few months later. It said "Dear Future Jess, please don't buy anything here because hopefully you remembered to bring food." I had not, in fact, remembered. Even-Further-Into-The-Future Jess looked on, shaking her head, chuckling with something like pride.
P.S. Big shoutout to Papa K for shipping his well-deserved Delta Million Miles gift — the most baller space-age totally indestructable and wildly sleek roll-aboard Tumi suitcase I've ever seen — straight to my apartment.
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