Friday miscellany: An abundance of cheese (and why I should not fly through O’Hare)

I am posting here a little later than I often do on Friday because I am just back at my desk now. My business trip this week turned out to be more arduous than planned.

My flight from Des Moines to Chicago left at 6:25 p.m. Thursday, after my speech. I saw there was an earlier one, 4:55 p.m., and I thought about trying to switch, but I would have had to rush after my talk, and I was chatting with people and listening to the last speaker, and I couldn’t have gotten on an earlier flight to Philly from Chicago anyway, so it wouldn’t have gotten me home any earlier. So I stuck with the 6:25. I had a 48-minute layover in O’Hare. Not my favorite option, but that was what there was to make the last Philly flight (8:45 p.m.).

Despite the rain, we took off on time. We landed early! I was thrilled how well this was going. And then we taxied and taxied and…circled all of O’Hare, finally parking somewhere on the tarmac to wait for a gate that did not become available until 8:35 p.m. About 10 of us ran to the Philly flight, and all “missed” it. As in, the plane was still there at the gate, and was for several more minutes, but they’d shut the door so that was that. While everyone was yelling about that I went online and grabbed a seat on the 6:20 a.m. flight (the 9:30 a.m. one disappeared before my eyes) and booked a room at the nearby Marriott. Alas, I wound up getting only about 4 hours of disjointed sleep because I was a bit worked up by the evening sprint through O’Hare. After writing a blog post about not running every day, I wound up running twice in one day! Only once by choice.

The speech itself went well. Alas, this was the first trip where my new dietary issues wound up being something of a bummer. Longtime readers have heard my lament of suffering from sore throats and congestion. It appears to be a combo of “silent reflux” and certain food sensitivities. Dairy is a big one.

Anyway, I spent a lot of time in airports over the last three days and it turns out to be a lot harder to avoid dairy than I’d realized when you’re eating at the sorts of places that pop up in airports. Everything has cheese on it. Almost any salad has a layer of cheese. Sandwiches all have cheese. Pizza is of course covered with it. Many random other entrees are served with, say, a cream-based topping. I wound up eating a sandwich with cheese on the flight out because I was hungry and I am pretty sure the “special sauce” on a burger I got later was dairy-based (I’m not experienced enough in this to ask…and maybe it’s denial. I want to be a person who can eat anything and it looked good.) Sure enough, throat trouble.

(I now realize that some of my older episodes of Before Breakfast sound a lot more gravelly because of my chronic congestion. While I am bummed about the dairy issue, my singing voice is more clear in its absence!)

I am back home now. I think things will calm down next week. I turned in the Tranquility by Tuesday manuscript. My four speeches this week are all done and I only have one event next week (virtual). We listed the house, and while keeping it clean for showings won’t be easy, at least the ground work is done. There is still a move to orchestrate at some point soon but not quite yet. So time to pause and breathe. Well, and take the kids trick-or-treating….

Photo: 5 a.m. airport selfie. Good times. 

6 thoughts on “Friday miscellany: An abundance of cheese (and why I should not fly through O’Hare)

  1. Ah, the airport run. Classic. Rarely successful, and always sweaty and frustrating.

    One time my husband and I ran out of security without even putting our shoes back on and raced at full speed to make the gate. We beat everyone else who was stuck back in security/not willing to sprint through the airport. I, for some reason, reveled in a sick satisfaction that everyone else was going to miss the connection – but not me, based on the Herculean it took to get there. We made it in the knick of time and then they immediately delayed the flight due to a storm at LaGuardia.

    All those stragglers made it to the gate quite comfortably and all I had to show for my efforts was an uncomfortable layer of sweat. We did make it to NYC eventually…

  2. I have not been able to eat dairy for the last 3 years. It really sucked the first year but it’s second nature now. I ask about everything. It gets easier, especially because the consequences can last for days for me.

  3. Ah, I mentioned the possibility of silent reflux being the culprit for your sore throats several months ago- I’m sorry that it the issue! I can sympathize greatly. I’m also dairy free but the consequences are digestive distress which would not be good on a plane 😬😬

  4. I’ve been df for 6 years. It gets easier in time. Asian foods are usually the easiest fast food option. Or a build your own sub place. And I keep a back up granola bar and chocolate in my purse.

  5. For dairy issues I pack a few lactaid pills in every bag I use, especially when I travel. As I recently moved to Wisconsin and there is cheese everywhere I end up popping them all day long.

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