Way back in January of this year that has lasted for seven years already, we booked a trip that would land between our two birthdays and an anniversary, and that is convenient. Though this anniversary is actually considered a milestone, we put off a major trip until we are both retired and don’t have to worry about telephones. Of course, between January and October, the world changed and not for the better. We actually monitored the trip at least weekly, seeing if we would have to cancel and try to get a refund. The trip was not cancelled, though the airlines changed our time of departure to an earlier flight, so we kind of lost a day of our three-day-package, but we survived and since we averaged about thirteen-hundred steps a day according to something called Fitbit, I guess we were still alright for the four days. Now we go back to the old days when one could drink and smoke and dine even on short flights, not anymore; and in fact, we even had to get another gold card just for the airline, to save paying for luggage fees. Instead of trying to encourage travelers, the new concept is to nickel and dime them to death. They also don’t serve drinks, soft or hard, on the flights, but now give you a sealed bag, with a couple of biscuits/cookies, chips and a small bottle of water. They also give you a little sealed bag with a sanitizing wipe, similar to the “wet-cloth” you used to get with barbecued ribs in restaurants to get the grease off of your fingers, if you were one to pick up the bones to eat. The purpose of this packet of sanitizer was so that you could clean your “area” and especially the built-in monitor, mounted in the chair in front of you. I was also surprised to see that the social distancing that keeps one from attending funerals, was not evident on the plane, as every row seemed to be utilized, but unless it was a family, only two of the three seats were used. It was all a new adventure.
All of the new wizardry that we had to endure was unique. With the new gold card came another crisis of trying to get the mileage applied to the proper numbered account, so we also arrived almost an extra hour early in anticipation of potential problems. We did get our checked luggage correctly taken care of, but for some odd reason, since the terrorist attack on 911, my Bride has had more than her quota of being pulled aside for a more thorough check of her carryon luggage with chemical wipes and she also gets the added enjoyment of special wand checks and almost gropes by female TSA agents, for some odd reason, especially around ten years ago, gray-haired Caucasian grandmothers were the choice of TSA to show that they were not using any profile measures to look for terrorists, they also figure, I am sure, that this group is the least vocal to object of an other group. We had to find a restaurant with a bar, so that we could enjoy an hour or so without the encumbrance of masks, I wanted to use a Zorro mask, but it wasn’t approved, neither were some special vented masks that my Bride had special ordered just for this trip, and she also bought these washable soft rubber things that you could put the mask over on your face, so that you wouldn’t be inhaling the mask into your mouth, but it still caused steaming of the glasses. The other thing that I couldn’t understand with all the fuss about masks, was the fact that men with bushy beards like a lumberjack cannot get a good seal, so I have to wonder about the effectiveness of the masks. In seven months, I really haven’t been out that much to notice things like before. The wine bar at the airport terminal was closed and so were many of the other restaurants, but we found a cobbled restaurant that that was a merger of two different food companies; Zingerman’s Deli of Ann Arbor and Plum Market of West Bloomfield and other locations. We got ourselves a couple of platters of Tuna Fish salad and a couple of Braised Short Ribs Tacos and there was enough to hold us over for the flight.
We decided to have a couple of glasses of wine that was rather overkill for the Tuna Fish, but excellent with the Tacos, so we had some Meiomi Pinot Noir California 2018. There was a dearth of seats in the restaurant and the only chairs, instead of stools were located at the bar, and in the cramped location, I passed on taking a new photo of Meiomi Pinot Noir in a Plum Market crystal goblet, which was a nice touch. Meiomi Wines is a California winery that was founded in 2007 by Joe Wagner, the son of Chuck Wagner of Caymus Vineyards. The winery started with Pinot Noir, then a Chardonnay and finally a Rosé. Meiomi means “coast” in the language of the Wappo and Yuki tribes of the region. The Pinot Noir is a blend of three coastal regions; Sonoma County, Monterey County and Santa Barbara County and hence the California AVA. Their first vintage of the Pinot Noir was in 2007 and they produced ninety-thousand cases and quickly became one of the most requested wine labels for restaurants. In 2015, Joe Wagner sold Meiomi Wines to Constellation Brands for $315,000,000, and he stayed on as a consultant for the 2016 and 2017 vintages. This was the first vintage not overseen by Joe Wagner and the wine was a classic California wine that was jammy and velvety with a good nose and nice finish, and as we kind of nursed the drinks until it was close enough to go for early boarding on the plane. We were heading to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida to stay on the grounds, because while I may watch the films, my better-half has read all of the books and is a die-hard fan and she was in heaven with this trip.