The Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a force to be reckoned with. Starbucks outnumber restrooms and Cinnabun franchises—don’t even get me started on the moral dilemma that constitutes the Cinnabun. Do you have any idea how hard it is to resist the delicate aroma of caramel-coated pecans when they’re stationed throughout the airport at twenty foot intervals? Trust me: it’s hard. Nearly impossible. Especially when you’ve been up since 4:00am.
In order to get from Gate E (where my flight from Tallahassee landed shortly after 8:00am) to Gate C (where my flight to Philadelphia was departing shortly after 9:00am), I had to pass not one but two Cinnabuns, numerous smoothie joints, half a dozen designer luggage shops and no less than three Starbucks.
On account of the fact that I am still sick (what a surprise) and spent the majority of the weekend’s conference trying to time my nose blowing to coincide with the requisite rounds of applause that followed each presentation, I decided that a thousand calorie cinnamon bun drenched in sugary icing and caramel-coated pecans was probably not the best idea.
So I resisted the Cinnabuns.
And the first Starbucks.
And the second Starbucks.
But I finally caved in at the third.
And so I find myself enjoying a chai latte in a cramped coffee shop where there are currently seventeen travel weary coffee addicts wrapped around the counter. (Yes, seventeen. I counted.) In my defense, it’s a small chai (or rather a “tall” in Starbucks parlance) and I had it made with soy milk and even added a few drops of Echinacea—it’s practically health food.
At least that’s what I’m going to tell myself when I spend the majority of the flight to Philadelphia hacking up my lungs. And on that note, I’m going to enjoy my cinnamon raisin South Beach bar and pretend it’s almost as good as a soft, gooey Cinnabun.