Got Home A Few Hours Ago…

…from a very fun weekend in Houston. Melanie and I had all sorts of adventures with sweet friends (and with some MIGHTY FINE Mexican food, I might add), and I’ll have much more to say about all of that as soon as I get my suitcase unpacked, catch up with my people, and recover from one of the craziest days-o-travel I have ever experienced.

One good thing about the crazy day-o-travel is that I was able to sit and read and enjoy a few magazines, and I would just like to encourage you to buy the February issue of Southern Living at your earliest possible convenience, mainly because there is an article about pimento cheese that almost made me weep when I read it. There is also a recipe for some savory pimento cheese cookies with a strawberry preserves filling, and I kid you not: I TALKED BACK to that recipe when I read it. It got a hearty “COME ON” from me, and I might’ve even thanked the Lord out loud when I saw the part about the strawberry preserves.

Because that’s not embarrassing or anything.

I also read a New York Times article about Apple (the computer company – not the fruit – and certainly not Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter) while I was waiting for my plane to leave Houston this afternoon. I cannot quit thinking about it. It’s fascinating and sobering and maybe even a little bit scary. But mainly it’s fascinating. Here’s the article if you’re interested.

And not that I’m proud, of course, but I may or may not have read an Us magazine from cover to cover on the way to Houston. I can ignore new issues of Us all the livelong day when I’m in the grocery store at home, but at an airport? Oh, forget it. Put a boarding pass in my hand and suddenly I AM LIKE A MOTH TO THE US MAGAZINE FLAME.

What do y’all do to pass the time on airplanes? Are you a book person? A magazine person? An iPad person? A movie person? A stare-into-space person? A fall-asleep-at-the-gate person?

I’m beside myself with curiosity.

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  1. Well. We’ve been living in Germany for a year and a half, and I have taken 6 trips back to the US to be with my daughter and take care of our house in SC. Four of these were commercial flights and two were Space Available on cargo transport planes. Those are a whole different UNIVERSE, but on the commercial flights I’ve learned a few things (mostly the hard way.) Sleeping is nearly impossible on a 10-hour flight. Great Aunt Mabel here has a bad back, touch ‘0 the rheumatiz, touchy bladder and a perfectly rational fear of deep vein thrombosis, so I always nab an aisle seat and then get up and down as much as I can. Take food, and lots of it. I’m a tactile person and adore magazines and books, but I have surrendered to the necessity of a kindle on trips because I am completely OVER hauling my carryon into the overhead bin and falling backwards onto a stranger or having to support it with my head while wrestling it the rest of the way up there. Movies are a fab way to pass the time. Marry a man who owns real travel headphones and turn down the $5 earbuds. Neck pillows are wonderful when used as tailbone pain relief devices. Wet wipes are essential to scrub down every possible surface you’re thinking of touching. And y’all enjoy those airport magazines – just saw a notice on the shelf here at our commissary that no more magazines will be sold here after the end of January – I can’t imagine a checkout line with no magazines. I suppose the generation of the iPad has made them obsolete.

  2. This moth cannot resist the US flame either.

  3. I am the same way with People magazine. Who cares what Whatsherface wore to the Whathave you?

    But…. in an airport, all bets are off! I need to read fluff (mostly captions) and see pictures of pretty people in interesting clothes. That’s just the way it is!

  4. I just returned from a mission trip serving Haitians living in the Dominican Republic. We flew from Houston to Miami to Santiago, and had a LONG lay-over in Miami both ways. So I got to do lots of my favorite airport activity: people-watching. On our return trip we ate at a burger place that had a counter facing the concourse. PERFECT spot. We were hungry for American food after eating Dominican food for the past week, and I could have spent all afternoon sitting at the counter with a big juicy hamburger watching the people walking by.

  5. I understand your Us magazine thing…the only time I ever buy or read People magazine is when I am flying! But I am primarily a book person while traveling. I don’t want a Kindle because I love a real book. Which means I am usually lugging a bag o’ books wherever I go as I am a quick reader and CANNOT WILL NOT be without :)

  6. I’m glad I’m not the only US magazine airplane reader. Never give it a passing glance until I’m planning for a flight. I thought I was just weird. Glad to know I’m not alone. Once I finish my US weekly, it’s on to a novel or work if I’m in the mood to be productive. During layovers or while waiting on my flight, it’s people-watching 100%. Airports bring out the crazy in people! :-)

  7. I saw the pimento cheese spread and now I am ready to try some new recipes!

  8. I can’t believe we were in the same room this weekend and I didn’t get to meet you face-to-face! Shoot! Wasn’t it a wonderful time, though? Glad you made it home safe!

  9. I’m going to confess, I check People Magazine’s website daily.
    I’m so glad you made it home safely!!
    Happy week to you!

  10. when at the airport I am the one in the corner having an anxiety attack. I am the one who can’t get the child safety lock open on my pills. Help me.

  11. I’m interested in reading all of these! I’m a rare traveler. My trip to Florida with my son a year and a half ago was the first time I’d flown in a decade. Next August I’m flying to Dallas. Yes, TX in August. Not my idea. :) I’m excited though, I get to go with no children.

  12. I hold up a magazine, and read the first 5 pages over and over. But in real life I’m too busy people watching to actually read. Long ago, when my husband and I used to travel, we’d pick people out and make up stories about where they were and why, and who the people meeting them were.
    And now I am reminded that I have not flown since I was pregnant with my middle child. Who is soon to turn SEVEN. This makes me sad.

  13. I am such a people watcher!! I honestly don’t mind having to get to the airport early because I buy my coffee (medium regular French Vanilla, thank you very much) from Dunkin Donuts, sit down and watch away. I find it fascinating to see what people are talking about, where they’re going, and what they’re wearing. I’d like to do an official study on those who don’t dress appropriately for their destination. Arriving in Alaska? Don’t be wearing shorts, a camisole and flip-flops! I’ve been traveling a lot by myself lately and it kills me not to have anyone to point things out to. So I just endless text my observations to my blog friend Laura instead. :)

    I also love looking out the window, but I do believe I’ve talked enough for one comment. ;)

  14. Oh my, I fall asleep before wheels are up! But I have been known to read my fair share of US Weekly, People, OK!, and others of the like while waiting at the gate. :)

  15. Okay- I did the very same thing with the Pimento Cheese recipes- I made the second recipe on Saturday- and we had grilled pimento cheese paninis with strawberry preserves and we also had pimento cheese quesidillas with pickled jalapenos and we ate a whole bunch with chips. So stinkin good.

  16. I don’t fly much but I’m definitely an in-flight reader. I help pay the utility bill of the airport snack and magazine store with my People, US, OK, and Time/Vanity Fair if I like their cover stories. Then there’s the 2 or 3 candy bars I splurge on that I never let myself buy at the grocery store checkout, and of course the 2 bottled waters, because you never know if one might not be enough on the flight. But mind you, I don’t start reading til we’re good and in the air… too much people watching and silent praying for our plane and pilots and air traffic controllers and all the other planes in the air around us (you get my fear of flying -or rather- crashing). Seriously, anyone should want to be on a plane with me. It’s the most covered in prayer you’ll ever be in your life, I promise. :)

    My husband, on the other hand, who flies 10-15 times a month (at least), is asleep before they taxi to the runway.

  17. My husband is reading Steve Jobs biography right now…it’s good! I just got my Southern Living in the mail but haven’t read it yet. Will definitely be making some pimento cheese!

  18. Becky in 'Bama says:

    My daughter (and, hence, the g’kids) live out of state so I fly several times a year to visit.. I’ve tried NOT to do it, but “people staring” er watching is #1 in an airport. In the past year: I saw an entire troup of kilted/bag-pipe playing fire-fighters at Chicago Midway, a young lady delivering a puppy to someone – the dang dog flew first class, a middle-eastern female stripped to her undies and searched, and on and on. *Sigh* I know it’s not polite, but WHO can resist? However, once the wheels are up I tend to zone out and nap (unless trapped with an obnoxious chatterbox sitting in the next seat) …. :-)

    • I just attended the funeral of the mother of a friend, the pastor who did the service was great, he really KNEW her and shared some jokes and stories about her…and now to the point of this comment. He said the best way to get the chatterbox to hush is to tell them you are a pastor…..! but you probably cannot read US then?!

  19. The pimiento cheese article………wow! Got to try them all!

  20. Melanie M says:

    Like Leslie said, I’m so sad I didn’t get to meet you this weekend. I should’ve picked up that Southern Living magazine…I read a book that left me disappointed. That doesn’t happen often. Also like to people watch at the airport. I’m amazed at what some people wear for traveling. I would’ve loved to meet you face to face, I so enjoy your blog.

  21. I’m a “rent a movie from iTune for 3.99 and watch it on the plane” person.

    I’m also a “buy magazines I would never buy unless I’m at the airport and read them at the gate while you wait’ person.


  22. a hearty “come on” from me – that is just genius and I simply cannot stop giggling. CAN.NOT.STOP.

  23. I read that Apple article too, and, my oh my. I work in economic development and have a daily experience with people and industires struggling with jobs and training or the lack thereof. Articles like that are mostly written about manufacturing, but I’m seeing it in many other aspects of life too. That is, wanting the “all or nothing” aspect of it and making no room for the middle ground (from both employer and employee perspectives). But what do I know? I’m the one that still pulls out hardback books out of my bag when everyone else around me is staring into an iPad or a Kindle. I’m likely to be one of those left behind with a college degree and no job, stuck in the middle!

  24. Better Homes and Gardens had an upside down banana fudge sundae pie that almost made me weep like a baby. And then I turned the page and there they were…starring at me…home-made chocolate pudding pies. Ahh! I love all of that you read. Sometimes a good Us Weekly is all you need to keep your travel successful!

    Loved meeting you! You are just hilarious!

  25. Just saw the weather down there and I’m concerned. Are you and yours ok? Looks bad!

  26. OMG!!! I totally laughed out loud over your “COME ON” comment!!! Because you see I too have read the Feb. issue of Southern Living and it’s currently on the coffee table open to the Pimento cheese section as we speak!!! There are just times when I’m so proud to be a southern girl!!!!
    Oh….I’m an Ipad convert however when I fly I love me a good ole’ trashy copy of the Cosmo!! For some reason it must not embarrassing to me to be in the middle of a bunch of strangers and them to see that I’m reading “365 ways to drive your man wild in bed” magazines!! hahaha

  27. I used to buy a People magazine and a Newsweek because I felt they balanced each other out.

    • And it is really bad if you ” hide” the People inside the Newsweek to cover up one’s obsession with the Bachelor. I have heard of people doing such things.

  28. Book at the gate. Book, music, sleep on the plane usually. Going to read the Apple article.

  29. If the NYT article on Apple made you think, you have to listen to the This American Life episode from 2 weeks ago. A guy went to China to see where his Apple products were made, and left deeply disturbed. It’s thoughtful, disturbing, and well worth an hour of your time to listen:

    Fair warning, though. After listening to it, I literally couldn’t buy the iPad I’d planned to purchase.

  30. I so hate to admit this, but since it’s Monday. And I’m on my third cup of coffee. That I’m dipping a piece of dark chocolate into. And you went first. Why not? I people watch. Oh, I do not just watch. No sir. I listen. Before I board that plane, I will know all sorts of details about every passenger waiting by that gate. It absolutely astounds my husband (I say astounds, as if he’s impressed by my skills, rather than say he’s horrified). We always board early since we have little kids, so as the rest of the passengers board, I make eye contact, reconfirming in my head the intel. What to do with said intel is unknown, but suffice it to say, if there are any shenanigans on the flight, I will be able to assist the appropriate authorities in ways that will make them want to offer me future undercover assignments. Maybe I should have laid off that third cup of coffee.

    • Becky in 'Bama says:

      I am so into your comments… it’s not like I’m trying *wink-wink* but inevitably there is much juicy intel just for the pickings on EVERY flight. Just sitting quietly and pretending to read or sleep can produce a bumper crop of good stuff. On a recent flight I got stuck in ATL (shocker) and the couple sitting behind me in the holding tank had nothing but compalining and nit-picking for the entire wait time. Some people would have moved… just saying. Cheap entertainment.

  31. It depends on the length of the flight. Either a book or a magazine. I read the pimento cheese article. :) Yummy ideas! Although the classic is still the best with some good tomato soup.

  32. Hi Sophie! So glad to meet you at the Celebration this weekend in Houston! It was great!! Wasn’t it? Next time, Samantha and I have decided we will do what you did and stay over so we can enjoy the Mexican food, etc.

    Kay Martin

  33. I am a “don’t-talk-to-me;can’t-you-see-I’m-reading-a-book” person, but I recently traveled to Vermont with a very good friend who has the dominant congeniality gene. (The sparkle in her eye is the tiara inside her head.) I was buried in my book the whole time, but when we deplaned, she hugged someone she had met on the plane, and – I kid you not – exchanged addresses and phone numbers. I was appalled.

  34. I am a reader. I look forward to long flights because I can read guilt-free. When I get tired of reading, I check out the in-flight movies.

  35. What a revelation to see all these airport US Weekly fans – I never buy them except when I’m in the airport! Too funny!

  36. I am a magazine girl. Recipes first!

  37. Hoping you came through the tornadoes safely, ma’am.

  38. People Magazine. Why oh why do I give in every time? I know what’s in there already…it’s merely a rundown of what I read on before I left the house but for some reason the airport environment convinces me with their leather chairs and banana chips that I have a GREAT need to know what is going on with all things celebrity – especially seeing their unkempt ways on Star Tracks. That’s probably my favorite portion of the magazine – it makes me feel better about going out in public looking as I do…if Reese is wrong in her pajama pants, I don’t wanna be right.

  39. Jeannette says:

    I usually get something to eat, read my book and wait to get on the plane. After visiting my cousin and her six kids I am rather tired. I don’t even know when we pull away from the gate. And if i am flying with Southwest I tell the flight attendant which airport I need to disembark. I would hate to keep flying to the next airport.

  40. Sallie Baker says:

    My friend made the pimento cheese crackers with the strawberry preserves….and said they are quite wonderful!!!

  41. Hi Sophie!
    I’m so thrilled that I got to meet you and Melanie this weekend! I’m from Amarillo, Texas, and I talked to you girls just as the event ended on Saturday. I messaged Kelly about meeting you two, and she was excited.

    What an amazing time! My heart is full from all the encouraging and challenging words. Glad you made it home safely. I’m looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts from the weekend.


  42. Judy in Mi says:

    People magazine. It’s my cocaine. I’m not proud or anything.

  43. This will absolutely make you swoon, Miss Sophie. I read Southern Living and Real Simple on my iPad! They have both recently made all digital versions available, and you get to keep all of the past issues in your library. I can look at those magazines over and over and over again each month. At home, it’s nice to leaf through the magazines, but I love having my digital issues with me wherever I go!

  44. Crossword puzzle books. Oddly relaxing. Especially when I cheat.

    I’ve got a subscription to Entertainment Weekly now (thank you, airline points about to expire) and I adore that magazine. So gloriously filled with happy, mind-numbing news in the entertainment world, which is about the only kind of news I can digest these days.

  45. Carrie Lou says:

    I’m still laughing. That is too funny.
    Yeah, me too.