The Abandoned One Schedules a Visit

Finally, tickets have been booked for the Abandoned One to visit.

It’s been a long process.  Abandoned has a full social and musical life, and only two weeks vacation, so he finds little time for travel.  He’s also gotten a bad case of the travel-time distortion syndrome that afflicts so many people who live in the city and who judge every trip against what is available within five subway stops.

People in New York use that yardstick, or some variation, to avoid being overwhelmed by choice.  The subway simplifies life so that one need never consider restaurants, bars, music venues, museums or even friendships that fall outside the magic route.  Without it, life would be overwhelming.

Trying to entice city folks to visit was bad enough when I lived in Staten Island, but is far worse here.  At least when the folk is my own son.

First, because he has inherited the miserly DNA of both his paternal grandfather AND his maternal grandmother, he began looking at flights by price.  Yes, you can get a relatively cheap flight to Montgomery if you don’t mind two or more layovers. American, for example, offers an itinerary that takes you to Chicogo’s O’Hare and then to Ft. Worth before nearly closing the circle by coming to Montgomery.  It’s a good way to build up your miles, I suppose.

But it takes about twelve hours.  So I advised that he should limit his search to the single stop-over, which means either Charlotte, Memphis or Atlanta.  Generally it takes about five hours.

Which equates to a completely unacceptable subway ride.

“I can’t find anything less than five hours,” he told me.  “It’s a lot less time if I fly to Atlanta. What if you pick me up there?”

“How long does that flight to Atlanta take?” I asked.

“About two-and-a-half hours.”

“Well,” I explained, “it will take about two-and-a-half more hours to drive from Atlanta to Montgomery, so the trip will still be five hours.”

“OK, I’ll change planes in Atlanta.”

Next obstacle down.  Yes.

“Looks like I can’t get into Montgomery until late — about 10 at night.”

What?  Does he think we’ve started going to bed at 9?

“Not a problem,” I replied (this was happening via online chat).  “It’s only 20 minutes to the airport from the house.”

“OK, well it looks like I can arrive at 10 pm on Friday and leave at 5 on Sunday.”

I did some quick calculations.  He would arrive on Friday, sit up with us for a while and then go to bed and sleep on Saturday until 3 pm.  Then we’d have about 24 more hours to visit.

“Why don’t you come in on Thursday night?”

And thus, through a series of small decisions, we negotiated our way to an actual visit the third weekend of May.

I should let him know what shots he’ll need.


One Response

  1. It should be known that very early on in the negotiations, lifelongnewyorker presented the ‘fly-to-Atlanta-drive-to-Montgomery’ option as being quite viable… just sayin’

    And if I can do south Brooklyn to north Brooklyn, I can do anything

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