Remember back in the day when you could go to the airport about a half hour before your flight? That was before airplanes were used as lethal weapons. Nowadays you get there at least a couple of hours early, maybe three if its peak normal hours, because you have to go through security, and I wonder if there are still TSA approved travelers, which sometimes was on your pre-printed boarding pass. Otherwise, one has to remove their shoes, belts, change, hat and sport coat and place in a bin, that probably hasn’t been sanitized since the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020. You also have to take your laptop out of its satchel and place upon the satchel in another bin. While you are getting an X-ray and a potential colonoscopy, all of your carryon clothes and luggage is also getting an X-ray. You also have to pray, that your luggage and stuff has passed the litmus test, and then you have to get re-dressed, and take your luggage off of a conveyor belt, with all the other people suffering the same indignities. Though I have to admit that we actually were not identified as terrorists and did not suffer other insults to the body or possessions. If you are lucky, you only have maybe an hour to waste being idle, before boarding the plane.
My Bride could not find any direct flights from Detroit to Las Vegas, except from the cut-rate carriers that then charge you for everything under the sun, and if they could figure out how to do it, they would have everyone stand and hold onto stirrups like on the old street cars. I can remember when one could travel with several bags, plus a hanging garment that would be placed in a closet and you received a lunch or dinner and drinks. Now, there are no more mixed drinks, beer or wine and you may get a small glass of water or pop and a little package of a snack mix. So, it is imperative that one try to find something nutritious and edible before your flight, and during your layover, if you have to change planes. This is also the time to imbibe, to soften the indignities of traveling. We were catching a very early flight to start the day off, so my job is to stand with all of the luggage, while my Bride attempts to forage for food, it was even too early for Nick and Nora to have a glass. She came back with some version of an egg with bacon on a bun. I also have to tell you that not once, were we asked for proof of the vaccines and there was no Social Distancing encountered on the plane, as every seat was occupied. Now I have to admit that with all of the great propaganda that I have read about the new air-filtration systems on the planes, I really think that I could light up a panatela and no one would be the wiser. During our layover at Houston Hobby in Texas we found a Cajun/Creole Bistro called Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen. We both enjoyed a very satisfying bowl of Andouille Sausage & Seafood Gumbo and a couple of glasses of wine.
I was expecting some heat from the Gumbo, so I wanted to get a wine that would be complimentary and carry us into the last leg of our trip. We went with Benziger Family Winery Sauvignon Blanc North Coast 2019. Benziger Family Winery is based in the Sonoma Mountain AVA. The estate was purchased by Mike and Bruno Benziger in 1980 and has thirty-five acres of volcanic, clay and loam soils. On the estate grounds they grow the five red Bordeaux varieties, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel. Beyond their own estate they maintain long-term leases in many of the nearby AVAs. They began green farming practices in the 1990’s and their first certified biodynamic wine, was their flagship Claret blend “Tribute” in 2001. Every wine that they produce is now third-party certified as sustainable, organic or biodynamic. The winery was family owned until 2015 when it was sold to The Wine Group. This was a very refreshing wine offering notes of lemon, grapefruit and grass. The wine gave nice citrus flavors with some terroir in the finish. The perfect way to hold us through our lunch and the last leg of our trip.