Day 15 - Albuquerque NM; Houston TX; Memphis TN

Trip Start Oct 13, 2012
Trip End Nov 19, 2012

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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Saturday, October 27, 2012

Yesterday I was hitting 75 mph (120 km/hr) on the freeways so I definately have this driving thing down pat now, but regardless of my ever increasing confidence this is one great big country and even if I drive all day every day I may never make it out of the desert. So today I jumped on a plane heading to Memphis to join a suitably corny tour called something like Elvis and the sounds of the South. Why not I say, when in Rome and all that. I've been surrounded by natural beauty and rich history for the past week or so, time to mix it up a bit and surround myself with the sublime and ridiculous for a while (also it will be nice to travel with others for a bit, it's a group tour for just over a week).

So bright and early this morning I hit Albuquerque airport and got my very first frisking from security, seriously I was patted down! I must have moved a bit during the full body scan (are you kidding me) that made me look a bit suspicious. Who knows, all I can say is that as I've been wearing the same clothes for the past 3 days (kept changing locations so who was to know, except now I've shared it with all of you, I did shower in between I promise) I felt more sorry for the lady patting me down than I did for myself.

As Albuquerque is a fairly small airport it doesn't fly directly to Memphis, so I had to fly to Houston first. Houston airport is like nothing I've ever seen. There are announcements about making sure you are not talked in to carrying packages for other people on to the plane, there are announcements about protecting yourself and your property, there are announcements that making jokes about security will get you arrested, and the place is sooooooo huge that there's a monorail that runs between the gates. My gate was B83. I don't know how many there are but I saw a sign for D so there must be at least 4 monorail stops. Heaven's to Mergatroid this place is big. You wouldn't want to get the number of your gate wrong. It says on your ticket please confirm and I'm glad I did, could have taken ages to correct if I'd have mucked that up. I'm just thankful I didn't have to go out and come back in again, I don't think I could have taken two friskings in one day, especially not without being bought a glass of wine first.

Mum this is definately not the airport for you, there'd be no compensating for your unique perspective of "on time" and there's no chance of you getting away with sneaking your manicure set through, you'd be in the hands of security lightening fast.

If Houston airport is any indication of the size and scariness of the place it's no wonder the Texan's I met in Vegas pack heat. I know the more security there is the safer it is, but the sheer presence of it has the negative effect of making you feel a bit overwhelmed instead. I shall consider what I saw from the window of my plane my trip to Texas for this particular journey.

Now Memphis airport is whole other story, everyone smiles and wishes you a good day, that's better. And if that's not enough there's pictures of Elvis and BB King at the baggage carousel giving you a little hint of what's in store. I like it already and the tour hasn't even started yet :)

By the way I had the good fortune of getting window seats for both my flights so got to watch the landscape change from west to east. I flew out of dry desert and rock formations and flew into greenery and forests, it's great to get a different perspective from what I'd see from the road. Fantastic flights.

(No pics today, didn't want to risk bringing the planes down.)

PS Just met the other people going on the tour, it's a great bunch, nice and small (less than 20 of us) and there's a few Aussie's too. We just spent the last half an hour talking really fast to each other, yah! - my accent gets stronger and the ability for people to understand me lessens when I talk too fast here ;)

PS again I note sometimes when I read back through the odd typo. It's the silly predicted text, I shall have to keep a closer eye on it, sorry.
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