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Jacquelyn Mitchard's Travel Diary

Monday morning: Woke up at 1 a.m. to the sound of my husband saying, "Wake up. Wake up. The dog is puking." I am the designated dog-puke tsar. I asked him to deal with it and went back to sleep. v. good.

Monday afternoon: Paid for my luggage for the first time yesterday. $40. Lady next to me hadn't flown since her son's wedding, seven years ago. Nearly burst into tears when she had to pay the same thing for her Grace Kelly traincase as I paid for The Empire Suitcase. Diagnosis: Paying for luggage is what is known as a double-reverse pimp. You can't put any gels or liquid of more than three ounces in a carry-on (three ounces of plastic explosive evidently being the limit). So the three-ounce-size people who used to charge $1.50 now can charge $4.75 with impunity. Thus, everyone (not only me) will sneak out of the room and steal the hotel soaps from the cleaners' carts at the W Hotel, which will increase the cost of an overnight stay from $476 to $776. v. bad.

Tuesday morning, 4 a.m.: I have a sort of panic attack. I realized that I have been writing about Alaska Governor Sara Palin and spelling her name incorrectly. My apologies to the Governor, who has an "h" at the end of her first name. I know only one other "Sara," who spells her name thusly and I have a learning disability that often causes me to set down typos and not notice them -- although you may have noticed them in this blog. Despite my disability, I use good grammar -- at least oftimes. What is her excuse? v. bad

Tuesday morning, 7 a.m.: I have joined Weight Watchers and though I have lost about 1/3 of one pound thus far, I have become disgusted by greasy food. I didn't eat the toast that was slabbed with cold butter in Pittsburgh. I was telling friends the other night, after we went for coffee following my weigh-up, about going to a meeting in another city. I realized only later that everyone around us thought we were talking about AA meetings. I'm not an alcoholic, though I come from a robust and legendary lineage of such, and am a vegetarian. I don't eat sweets. I got fat the healthy way, by overeating hummus. v. good

Tuesday morning 8 a.m.: Call home. No one is speaking to anyone except the dogs. v. bad.

Tuesday morning 8:10 a.m: Have epiphany. Luggage charge is going to mean that no one checks his or her luggage anymore. That means that the weight of the little stuffed hard-sided suitcases will increase to the equivalent of a box of bowling balls above my head. Although I know that no one is going to issue me a life preserver for my lap child and that, in the unlikely event of a water landing, my seat cushion is going to be as much use to me as a box of bran flakes, I still don't want to be knocked unconscious by someone's bag of brimstone from Brookstone. v. bad

Tuesday afternoon: Learn it will take me from 3 p.m. until 1 a.m. to get from Pittsburgh, PA to Boston, MA. Reduction in flights. v. bad

Tuesday afternoon: Learn I am laid over at the gate across from the Starbucks and beat the guy with the two TVs, two iPods and a laptop to the only outlet. v. good