Flying at the Crack of Dawn

4:00 AM!? Anyone who knows me even remotely knows that 4:00 AM is for sleeping, sleeping or sleeping - not for waking up. And yet, that's when I had to get up this morning to catch a 6:00 AM (another dirty word) flight from Houston to Atlanta to connect to Richmond, VA.

First off, let me say that I'm surprised by how many cars can be on the road at such an ungodly hour... particularly on I-45 south. Admittedly, the view of downtown Houston at that time is particularly impressive. I flew out of Hobby for the first time in a couple of years - I actually had to leave a Post-it Note in my car to drive to make sure I drove to the right airport. I didn't realize how nice the new gates at Hobby were - nice and spacious. Again, I'm never there so the last time I flew there was out of some ratty gates to the far right of check-in.

So... the flight. For the most part, it was fine (other than being one seat away from a smelly toilet... somewhat a la infamous Seat 29E e-mail). Yes, we had some turbulence and I'm used to that... however, even the most seasoned traveler will get nervous when faced with the very strong smell of smoke. Shortly after takeoff, the cabin stunk like something burning and you can see most of the passengers looking around nervously. It was nothing but still not pleasing. I put on some Chet Baker on the mp3 player and half-slept for most of the flight.

The good news is that I found a Delta Crown Room directly across from the gate for my next flight. I'll be here a bit longer and will then head up to Richmond for some meetings. Barring any weather issues, I'll be back on the ground tomorrow at 3:00ish.

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