While exploring the world in search of enlightenment (Clare), love and entertaining anecdotes (Caroline), and adventure (Emma), the Pickwicks sought to accomplish their goals in a relatively self-sufficient and thrifty manner. This would enable the less fortunate members to participate longer and the more fortunate to get a taste of “real world” living.
Given schedules, Emma would leave directly from Philadelphia while Caroline and Clare would depart from Newark a few hours later. Emma would have a few hours to kill before the C & C factory arrived but she knew she would have no problem flashing her Priority Pass (thanks Rhett) and knocking back some Prosecco at the Dnata Skyview Lounge. It was one of her favorite lounges. It was a bit more hidden than the rest of the huddle which meant more space for Emma and less screaming children.
Day One and Emma had already flagrantly thwarted the thrifty rules. She had an UberBLACK take her from her high-rise apartment at 1706 Rittenhouse Square straight to the airport. Emma found Ubers these days to be more useful to her than on-staff private drivers – more anonymity. She wasn’t an enthusiastic talker and she found that the better she knew her driver, the more compelled she felt to make chit chat. But on her first trip alone in years, she was going to be as selfish as she saw fit.
Upon arriving at the airport she was ready to display her hard-earned Global Entry badge (hours of waiting in line at the airport with no promise of a trip at the end of the line) and was sorely disappointed to learn that Philadelphia’s international terminal was not yet in the 21st century and was bereft of Global Entry speed lanes.
So she stood in line. She started feeling claustrophobic. Wasn’t traveling supposed to be glamorous? The 4’7″ 110-year-old woman behind her was so close, Emma could feel her hot breath on her waist. Emma pictured swinging around quickly, pretending to search for a friend, her Mansur Gavriel Sun bag becoming a menacing tetherball, knocking Close Walker off her feet. Teach her a lesson, for her own good. Luckily for Sweat Breath, a drop of compassion seeped into Emma’s heart and she let her go on another day.
A few hours later and Emma was sitting in her British Airways First Class seat taking a hot towel from the stewardess. She texted Rhett. Taking off now, love you. She waited a few minutes for a response before she fully shut down her phone. He didn’t respond. He usually didn’t during the day. She swallowed her Ambien with some help from Bacchus, pressed her seat to lie flat and closed her eyes. As her mind began to shut off and all the thoughts she held in the recesses of her consciousness began to come forward, the image of Tom came rushing forward in a bright fuzzy burst. Her eyes sprang open and she couldn’t help smiling, wondering if she’d run into him on the slopes, at a café in town, in her bed….wherever.