You know that saying, "Well behaved women rarely make history"? I think we should change it to, "Well prepared foodies rarely make it past airport security"!!!
During my day of airports and airplanes, which of the following do you think occurred?
1) I cried
2) I went on a WILD GOOSE CHASE because of my peanut butter
3) I had to get tested for explosive substances on my hands
The answer is... ALL OF THE ABOVE- but not in that order.
Let me start from the beginning. My airport experiences usually involve trying to smuggle in as many snacks as possible to a) avoid ridiculously high airport restaurant prices, and b) ensure that I get yummy, nutritious eats. In other words, I rarely make it through airport security without getting pulled aside. Last time I was at the airport, I was carrying on an unlabeled ziplock of quinoa and a jar of lemon-pepper seasoning. The security guards were suspicious of the odd looking grains and yellow powder, and I had to stand by anxiously as they unpacked my perfectly organized bag of carry-on food items. Sigh.
This time, I arrived at the airport confident that I would not cause any trouble. I had remembered to pack all my liquids in my luggage rather than carry-on. I had crossed off everything on my packing list. I made sure to bring my cheap, healthy snacks. Everything was going smoothly...until I got to security. As my bag was going through the X-ray machine, I walked through the metal detector. It went off, but they assured me it wasn't my fault. Instead, I had been randomly selected to be tested for explosive powder. Awesome! I was worried they were going to frisk me, but they just swiped my hands with a cloth and told me I was free to go. Just after I was released, I saw the guards looking at my bag on their screen. I heard them say, "We've got a serious bag search on our hands". I figured it would be the same thing that always happens to me: They would search my food bag, realize that it was harmless, and then let me go. Not this time. I watched as the man pulled out my beloved jar of Smart Balance Peanut Butter. He gave me the look. "No!!" I yelled. "You can't throw it away!" Overly dramatic? Probably, but it was a knee-jerk reaction.
He informed me that peanut butter was considered a liquid and that the jar was well over the fluid ounce limit. Apparently he could tell I was distraught, because he offered to let me go find my bag and put the jar in my luggage so that I could keep it. After we talked about the situation further [he told me I could cut the security line when I came back], I decided that I had enough time and that I should try to save the heavenly jar of nut butter.
Finally, I was through with the entire process and got to relax at the gate for about... 10 minutes! Saving peanut butter apparently takes up quite some time. Once on board the plane, I relaxed a little. I traveled Jet Blue, which was pretty amazing because they have a huge variety of complimentary snacks. Score! I asked for a couple of the snacks, but ended up stashing them in my bag for later. Since I ordered a hot coffee, I was more in the mood to munch on a Larabar that I had brought. Coffee + Larabars = winning combination. Jet Blue also offers a private TV screen for each passenger, and while I mostly buried my nose in my GRE prep book, I also caught a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother. That show always cracks me up. Of course the one time I'm watching it on a plane, I actually CRY! In my defense, it was the episode where Marshall's dad dies. Oy vey.
So as you can see, I had a pretty adventurous day of airports and airplanes. It was extremely worth it when I got to see my family and give them a huge hug, though! We stopped by a Persian restaurant on our way home where I had the most delicious shish kabob, pita, salad, roasted tomato, and basmati rice with saffron, lentils, craisins, and medjool dates. Angels singing.
My kabob was half filet and half chicken. I'm usually a chicken girl, but this beef was so tender and flavorful. I ate all the meat and about half of the rice. Yay for leftovers!
I went back to the airline baggage check station and explained the situation. I was slightly embarrassed as I told them my story, aware that I was causing so much trouble over a jar of peanut butter. However, the ladies thought it was odd that security didn't let peanut butter through, and they were happy to help me. They got on their walkie-talkies and asked to have my bag released to me via the baggage claim. This is about the time that I started questioning my sanity. However, just minutes later, I saw my bright yellow bag coming down the baggage claim all by its lonesome. I quickly put the jar in my luggage and went back to the check my bag in yet again. I then got to cut to the front of the security line (!!!) and go through security for the second time. Some of the security guards remembered me and joked that I owed them 10 dollars for going through it again. Hah.
After dinner, we did a quick Trader Joe's run to get some of their amazing non-fat frozen yogurt for some quality dessert and TV time. I topped mine with some fresh fruit, which really hit the spot after a long day of traveling.
What do you think about my airport adventure?
Would you have tossed the peanut butter or tried to save it?
Do you bring your own food when you go to the airport?