Chapter 1 - the way it ought to beWhen the cart dropped us off at the departure gate of the airport, I was annoyed to see that it was one of the automated ones. I know the intelligent systems are supposed to be fantastic, but I don't have full faith in them. I really didn't want faulty logic to get our weekend trip off to a bad start. It was our present to ourselves for our third wedding anniversary, and I really wanted it to go well.
My lack of faith in technology was tested, however. The auto-attendant had successfully scanned our faces before we got to the counter, despite any changes to them in the three years since we'd last flown, and had figured out that we were together. "Mrs. Amanda Stanton, Mr. Nick McNoor, welcome to Air Liberty flight 3207. Please review the bookings on the screen in front of you and identify any issues." A quick glance showed that they looked correct. The auto-attendant continued "You have booked seat segments of 30 and 21 inches. On this flight those segments would not allow for another passenger if they are placed together. You can be in separate rows, or I can place you together if you wish to purchase the remaining 8 inches of your row." The flight wasn't overly full, so the buyout price on those last eight inches was reasonable, and we took it.
By the time we'd boarded the staff had arranged our row appropriately, having anchored the seatbelts and hung the armrests with the correct spacing, however they'd put Amanda by the window and she prefers not to have to slide in that far. We re-arranged our bench, and the flight attendant quickly confirmed that everything was set up to standards. I was really pleased, especially when I found that we both had appropriately lengthed seatbelts.
The flight went smoothly enough although it left and arrived a little late. Using the menu in our armrest we tried to delay our reservation for the courier cart at LaGuardia, but at our new time they were booked up. Amanda insisted that she would be fine to walk, as LaGuardia isn't all that big, so we simply cancelled the reservation. I was worried because I knew there would be a fair amount of walking that weekend, but she told me I fussed too much, three hundred and fifty pounds wasn't all that much, and if I was fussing this much now, what would I be like in another hundred pounds?
Amanda did make it through the airport OK, although she looked pretty happy to sit down while we waited for our luggage. No matter how much automation, it still seems to take an awfully long time to unload luggage from planes! But after a few minutes our suitcases texted us that they were ready for pick up. I went over to the luggage desk and activated our tracker, signed for them, then set them to follow me.
While I'd been doing that, Amanda had connected with the taxi AI, and our car was ready when we made it to the door. It was a little old, and he had to give an actual seat belt extender to Amanda as it didn't have the larger belts built in, but it was clean, and hummed along nicely into the city. While the car was slaved to the expressway our driver had Amanda flash our hotel reservations to his car, and the taxi company's system alerted our hotel to our arrival. It was swanky enough to have a human doorman and smoothly enough running that he was ready to open Amanda's door first and give her a hand out. The door confirmed it had scanned our faces successfully, and we authorized it to flash our mobiles all of our access codes. We were fortunate to get the elevator to ourselves, and Amanda was happy enough to rest on the bench until we reached our floor, then the two of us and our suitcases trundled off to our room.
We had a play to go to that evening, followed by dinner reservations, so we decided to order an early supper from room service while we cleaned up and changed. They had a fairly extensive menu, but Amanda simplified things by ordering the screen to only show the options marked as being higher calorie. We ordered, then I unpacked our clothes. Fortunately modern fabrics don't wrinkle, so they were ready to go. Amanda took a shower first, then put on the larger of the robes provided for us, and waited for the room service cart while I had a quick shower. Sure enough she was already tucking into the creamy potato curry by the time I was out, but she'd ordered enough for both of us to have a good serving.
Things continued to go smoothly on the way to the play. The hotel was near the theatre and the restaurant, so we'd reserved one of its scooters. They had it waiting for us when we got back downstairs, and it took us only a few minutes to make it to the theatre. It was an older theatre, but recently renovated. We had to hand the scooter off to a valet to park, but that was actually more convenient as this left us right at the door to the elevators. There was a bench in the elevator to the lobby, however an older gentleman of significant size was riding up with us, so Amanda let him have the bench. We quickly found our designate portion of seating, and settled in.
The play was pretty good, although it was too bad that the original leading man was no longer with the production. His replacement was a good actor, good looking, and had previously been on a successful web comedy, but this was a historical drama and to me he seemed a little too fat to be convincing as a 1960s activist, I've seen pictures of that era and most of them seemed fairly thin. Still, I guess in theatre they care more about the fame and skill of the actor than if they look quite right for the role. When I groused quietly to Amanda she told me to be quiet while she enjoyed the eye candy.
We took the stairs after the play, to avoid the elevator line. In such an old building I guess they could only fit in a couple of elevators, and those were not really adequate given the portion of patrons who preferred not to take the stairs. Well, I shouldn't complain too much, Amanda was happy to clutch my arm as she felt her way down the stairs, uncertain of her footing in her wedge soled shoes on somewhat steep steps, and I enjoyed feeling her pudgy arm clenched around mine. I got a couple of guys throwing me envious glances for having such a bombshell clinging to me, which made it all the better. It isn't like I'm not used to envious glances, but they haven't grown old yet!
We did have to wait a while for Amanda's scooter, the three valets could only bring out scooters so quickly, and it seemed many people were also staying nearby and had used them. I could tell by Amanda's expression that her shoes were beginning to bother her. I resolved that at our play the next day I'd flash the request just as the play was ending, in hopes that we'd not have to wait so long. Then we had to deal with congestion in the scooter lane, with how many people were leaving at once, further aggravating my lovely but not always patient wife. Still we did finally make it to the restaurant.
On the way Amanda had flashed a request for the soup of the day to be served once we were seated, and it was. Seated in a comfortable chair and with hot food in her system she was soon back in better humour. We chatted about the play, and she teased me, suggesting I was jealous of how handsome the leading man was. I knew she'd like me to fill out a bit, but it seemed that with my biology I wasn't going to get above two hundred pounds any time soon, so she'd have to put up with me being more average in size.
Still, maybe she had flicked my pride a bit, because I did request serving sizes a notch bigger than my usual, the same size as Amanda was ordering. Fortunately the food was delicious so I didn't mind eating that much, although by the end I was quite thoroughly stuffed. In fact I was full enough that I could feel my stomach pushing against the stretch of the fabric in my pants and shirt. Not uncomfortably, of course, as they had plenty of give in them, but enough to let me know I was much fuller than usual.
Amanda, of course, had no trouble finishing her portions, then ordering her dessert extra-large. The waiter looked pleased, possibly because the incremental extra cost of our larger meals meant a bigger tip for him, or simply because he loved seeing a babe like Amanda really enjoying her food I couldn't say. Well, I suppose it could have been both. I certainly enjoyed seeing her finish her dessert, and hearing that little contented sigh when she was done. He was on the ball, too, because as soon as she finished he came and asked if we were looking to head out to a club, and if we'd like him to flash ahead a reservation for appropriate seating. Looking a bit pained he explained "A lot of these clubs are fairly old, so they only have so much larger seating, sometimes they run out, to it is best to book in advance."
I looked the question to Amanda, but she winked and said that the comfy king sized bed in the hotel room was calling to her, and I was hardly going to argue with that!
1 chapter, created 11 years
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