Waiting Games: Final Tally

With just an hour left to go before I’m officially vacation-bound for the airport, I’m starting to realize that this homestretch is even more agonizing than the weeklong holding period. Bags are packed, electronic tickets printed, passport and ID readily at hand. I’ve charged my camera battery, remembered a power converter and loaded up on iphone movie rentals long enough to eat up a substantial chunk of the 10-hour flight. Apart from my usual M.O. — i.e., frenzied blur of bags and explosion of clothes/makeup/shoes and “Christie let’s MOVE!” — I can sit back and relax, knowing I am well-prepared and very ahead of schedule…or you’d think, at least.

Of course, herein lies the danger of this gift of extra time, because as I start crossing things off my mental checklist, the anxiety starts to build that I’m forgetting something. ¬†Toothbrush? (check.) Sunglasses? ¬†(check.) Sleeping pills? (BIG check.) In my brilliant move to avoid the last-minute pack-run-pray ordeal, I’m now in danger of over-thinking my entire packing process.

I’m also a little bored. 55 minutes to go.

I will NOT think about what I could be forgetting, or the prospect of spending 10 hours crammed in an economy seat in front of a screaming child. Which seems to happen every time. Instead:

Round 3 (Thursday): Kitchen Sink Soup

Prep: 1/2 can tomatoes, 3 cups water, remainder of orange pepper, ground turkey, frozen spinach, rotini pasta, salt, pepper, dried oregano.

To cook, throw all ingredients into pot over medium heat and bring to boil; simmer until pasta is cooked al dente.

Round 4 (Friday): Pasta Puttanesca

Okay, friends – here I freely admit defeat after a grueling pre-vacation week. Still scrambling to send last-minute emails and set voicemail out of office messages at 7:30pm in my office, I threw aside my best-laid plans for this meal and resolved to chalk up $3.55 for a chick-fil-a grilled chicken sandwich – and at the end of the day, money well-spent.

At this point, I’m down to about half an hour, abiding by the two-hour international flight rule – and only more time to wait ahead of me. As any traveler knows, vacation never fully starts until the plane leaves the tarmac. Enjoy the weekend, and look out for adventures abroad from Montenegro up next! DOVID-ENJA!

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