Picnic in the Sky

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On the flight back from our recent mileage run to San Diego, Jeanne & I happened to come up with a fun way to pass the time (and save money!).

The night before we’d stopped by Trader Joe’s to pick up some wine and some cheese and charcuterie to accompany our room service dinner. When the food arrived, it was more than enough, and the cheese, crackers, and salami went uneaten.

The next morning we decided to brave the TSA and try to take it with us as a snack on the flight. Remembering the advice I’d read about traveling with a corkscrew, I pulled the brie and chevre out of my bag in case it was flagged as spreadable item, like peanut butter (yes, I’m still bitter). That way they could just remove the offending cheese without running my bag through the x-ray again.

We made it through San Diego security with no problem, the next challenge was finding some plastic knives. The food court area had none out by the napkins and condiments,  but the resourceful Jeanne picked up some wooden coffee stirrers as a back up spreading mechanism.

I was hoping if we bought one of the buy on board items that would come with some plastic silverware or we could ask for some. Then Jeanne went to Starbucks and ordered a Short Mint Latte with a plastic knife on the side (which strangely went unquestioned). Yay!

When drink service came around we ordered the Tunupa Cabernet Sauvignon, which fortunately was from Chile and thus better than it’s California counterpart at that price would have been, and broke out the cheese, crackers, and charcuterie.

The wooden coffee stirrers were surprisingly effective at spreading the chevre, and fortunately our salame was pre-sliced.

It was quite the feast, and cheaper than purchasing the buy on board snacks when our upgrade didn’t clear. For the first time flying domestic economy I was actually full to bursting and entertained. So if you have a long flight ahead of you, consider packing a picnic and definitely add a more solid cheese, like gouda or cheddar, to the menu in case your local TSA is persnickety about what’s a “cream.”


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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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