Ramblings of a Tampa engineer
Photo by Daniel Thomas / Unsplash

My 2nd travel via plane since vaccinated and this time off to the homeland of Kansas City, Kansas for a funeral. It's the summer months so just trading humid heat for dry heat of the Midwest.

This trip was short with a early morning Saturday landing with an equally early Monday morning departure. To make things easier with the odd hours, I drove my car to the airport for parking & rented a car in Kansas since I remember the airport being an hour away from anywhere I'm headed.

The airport in Tampa was absolutely packed beyond belief for a 5:55am departure. The trains that connect the airport to the terminals were densely packed like sardines. I was thinking its known that no one is on the returning trains during those early 4-6am trips - they don't need to leave the exit doors open for 20 seconds before opening the entrance side - there is no one leaving!

That might be a simple quality of life improvement that works in reverse as well, since no one is heading to the terminals when flights are landing at midnight.

With the line for security as busy as spring break during a global pandemic - I was happy that a few changes occurred. Every single scanner was open and it was the new enhanced ones that just required throwing your bag into a box. Nothing to take out and nothing to change - I even got to walk through the security scanner with shoes and a watch on.

The flight was not packed and I only had a mother/baby in the aisle seat in my row. This was the calmest child I've ever had the experience of flying next to - this child slept the entire flight and made zero noise. When the flight landed a handful of folks also told the mother this.


Landing in Kansas I quickly remembered how dated this airport was. I had to meander myself off the plane through a busy gate just to get outside. To sit on a median and wait 10 minutes for the rental car shuttle to show up - then the shuttle had to start/stop at every single stop for 2 terminals swapping folks at each one.

Annoying, but I got my car rented and went off to my old high school for a memorial service. The school had changed massively in the decade since I had been gone - fences were everywhere. Was this a security enhancement in the era of school shootings or just how safety has evolved?

The fields at old high school - Aug 7, 2021

When the service was over I went to one of the old sandwich places I used to work to try out Mr. Goodcents.

Mr. Goodcent - Original on Wheat

I noticed almost immediately that the onions used were red onions and not what I remember from the past. The old sandwich used thinly cut white onions and now they have changed. Outside of that, the bread was as fresh as I remember with the meats being sliced in front of you for each sandwich.

A good sandwich to remember what I used to eat weekly back in the day.

My flight this time is Monday morning at a crisp 6:50am with an airport 40 minutes away and a rental car to return. It will be a hectic morning, but this blog post will be going out before that occurs. Hopefully, I'll wake up in time, return the car and make it to the flight to arrive safely home in Florida. I'll then debate heading to the office late or taking the day off.

I'm not sure when or where my next flight will be, but hopefully the era of COVID-19 will be over by that point.

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