Jester, Ari, Liz, and Leslie had gone to Barcelona on Thursday. While they were enjoying 11pm dinners, mysterious men named Javier, and Spanish spoken with a lisp, the rest of us were readying ourselves for the coming onslaught of sausage and beer.
TG arrived Saturday in Chicago. We hung low Saturday night, choosing to drink some Oberon and Upland Wheat with Christoff and Tradd, which they had brought back from B-town that day.
Sunday came, and Ben's brother picked us up. Packed into a medium sized sedan were me, Ben, Tyler, TG, and Ben's brother, and everyone's luggage. It was tighter than a [insert objectionable vaginal or anal related comment].
A bunch of us were all flying out of Chicago on US Airways. The US Airways Group consisted of me, TG, Gregerson, Bonham, Kyla, Alex, Tyler, John, Jim, Ben, Sara, and Preet. On the same flight out with us were Sarah and Reed, who refused to get in on the group rate when I booked it because they thought they could find a better fare. Little did they know that they would pay $150 more per ticket several months later to be on the same flight. This faux pas wasn't completely unexpected, as older brothers are usually smarter.
Meanwhile, Jer was flying in from DC, where he had been "on business," which is Jer code for buying unitards and sacks full of K-Y. Nick was flying in from Dayton later in the day. Brendan was flying in from NYC, via Dusseldorf. Chandler, as expected, was already in the EU, and would be arriving via bullet train Monday at noon.
I knew it was going to be a glorious trip when I randomly bumped into Andy "Donkey" Olsen and his pregnant wife Jaime at O'Hare. As expected, they were on their way back from a wedding in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The faint stench of milk chocolate signaled that their trip had been a success.
Interestingly enough, we had a layover in Philadelphia, which is in the very same state as Hershey. Actually, it was less of a "layover," and more of a "sprint from one end of the airport to the other to make our connection." Gregerson got ahead and stopped at the duty free shop to buy some deeply discounted death sticks. Everything was in order, and we made the flight in plenty of time.
The flight itself was decent, although the crew was one of the more ornery and unkind I've encountered. Then again, they might have been German, so that's expected. The Germans frown on the inefficiencies of love and emotion.
On the bright side, they had little monitors in the back of every headrest, which meant that in-flight entertainment was not an issue. I finally saw Blades of Glory, which I thoroughly enjoyed. In fact, for the entire 8-hour flight, I did not get out of my seat once, flouting convention and challenging deep vein thrombosis alarmists everywhere. Show me the clots, assholes.