21 November 2006

Jet Blue and the Cheese Man

I make these cryptic notes to myself of things to write about...mostly the list is single word entries...but one item was this title: Jet Blue and the Cheese Man. It sounds like a kid's book, doesn't it?

Last month, I went to California for a long weekend with my mother, who doesn't walk terribly well, and my daughter, who's only just three now and wasn't yet three then. I poked around on the web for plane tickets, with the one caveat that we had to fly non-stop from NYC to LA - no stopping in Cleveland for hours and changing planes. It came down to a handful of flights - most going to LAX, or Jet Blue to Long Beach. In a moment of great thrift and lucidity, I realized that I had enough mileage points to book all three tickets on Jet Blue and so I did. Jet Blue into Long Beach turned out to be a great solution. Long Beach is a tiny airport - you get off the plane by walking down the stairs onto the tarmac, the baggage claim is about 100 feet away from the plane, and you can see the car rental kiosk from the baggage area. All this was perfect for one older gimp and one willful toddler. Even though Long Beach is about 20 miles south of LAX, and therefore farther south of where we were headed, the ease of transition from plane to rental car - at both ends - made up for the extra miles.

The other wonderful thing about Jet Blue was that everyone gets a TV on the back of the seat. Miss M.'s TV was tuned to Nickelodeon (I'd have preferred Noggin, but they didn't have it) most of the time and she was duly fascinated. She watched without sound because her headphones kept falling off and finally she just forgot about them. On the trip back, Nick seemed to be having a SpongeBob marathon - all SpongeBob, all the time. Well, Miss M. had never seen SpongeBob before, and kept calling him the Cheese Man. I had no interest in correcting her - who would? And she is still calling him the Cheese Man - we saw a SpongeBob helium balloon in the supermarket the other day and she said "Look, it's the Cheese Man". And frankly, the character really does look like a hunk of swiss cheese.