AIRPLANES, AIRPORTS AND THE PATHETIC CHOICE OF SMART TRAVEL SNACKS

Let’s talk about air travel snacks…as if the options are bountiful.

I write this as I’m headed from Denver to New York on a Delta flight.  I give a “shout out” to Delta, by the way, for being a seriously great airline.  Honestly, I’m a great fan.  But let’s be real with one another here: no matter how great a job your favorite airline does, air travel is one hot mess of an experience.  It’s highly tedious, inconvenient, aggravating and dreadfully boring unless you’re jet setting around in a Gulfstream V, which we are not.  We need to sell a heck of a lot more biltong before we can afford one of those, not that our marketing department hasn't already envisioned how snazzy our lion emblem would look on the tail.

Packing is entirely a CHORE.  Security is not exactly a joy.  Laguardia, our home base airport, is as reliable as a Vegas fortune teller.  “You will take-off on time today.  Or not.  Mercury is not in your favor as the full moon overshadows your planet…but you will get into a very interesting real estate opportunity very soon.”  We also love our fellow travelers who get so tightly wound, little altercations erupt over an arm rest or overhead space.  How.  Dare.  You.  Sir.  Encroach.  On.  My.  Two.  Inches.  Of.  This.  Armrest.  You.  Wanker.

Anyway, on this last trip from Colorado to New York, I spent a good twenty-minutes perusing a wall of sad, miserable, carb-laden sandwiches…the kind with one slice of turkey and an oddly orange “cheese” single inserted between two fat slices of white bread.  I didn't even bother to to check the nutrition facts.  I’d bet dollars to doughnuts the carb count was multiples of the protein count.  Sure, there’s the option of trail mix but that’s often full of sugar and unless I’m actually on a “trail,” I’m not overly excited by the idea of such a “mix.”  I love almonds, but how many almonds can a girl eat in a day?  Not to mention there appears to be a nut allergy epidemic in our country and who wants to be that person who disregards the announcement about a fellow passenger and please refrain from opening anything with nuts…only to send said fellow passenger to the hospital?!  Lastly, there is the hard boiled egg in the plastic wrap, floating around in some clear liquid.  All right, YES, this is a wise choice if you’re on a low carb, high protein kick.  But is it an appealing choice?  We think not so much.  That leaves us with salads, which are a decent option.  But add that sugary dressing and watch bits of lettuce fly off your tray onto your neighbor’s lap, and it just feels (to me) like ordering spaghetti on a first date.  Messy, awkward, expect to dribble on your own shirt.    

So what’s left?  Notice we are not even acknowledging the wall of sugar-laden beef jerky that’s so full of artificial ingredients, you’re better off with the miserable turkey sandwich.  Pack a brown bag of your own snacks?  Good luck with that.  If you’re anything like me, it’s a miracle you make it out the door with a suitcase properly packed and any iota of a chance of being on time for your flight.  I live in New York.  The journey to Laguardia is as predictable as a Texas tornado.  We’d argue that a healthy, smart option would be to toss a bag of biltong into your case, assuming you’re a carnivore like us.  Pair it with one of those cute little veggie trays and you’ve got a nutritionally balanced snack that has enough protein to mitigate hunger pangs while you make your journey from Point A to Point B.  Clean protein with zero sugar, nitrates, gluten, carbs or artificial additives.

In summary, we wish you safe travels, a zen outlook on airports and as much tolerance as you can muster towards your fellow passengers.  They’re human too, even the ones who forget full water bottles in their luggage before they go through security; as are the ones who take twenty-minutes to deduce, with relatively basic logic, that their carry-on won’t actually fit into the overhead bin after all.  Remember that “square peg, round hole” game you played as a toddler?  Regrettably, we’re not sure all children get one of those during the holidays, which is a crying shame because it’s pretty easy to identify those poor deprived souls when boarding a flight.

Signing off for now, 

Your travel weary blog author! 

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