While I usally get out as Robin at least once a week, my girl time seldom exceeds a few hours. Occaionally I get a 6-8 hour adventure, such as I described in my last posting and even less frequently a full day out. While these are okay nothing beats spending multiple days being “full time”. The last time I did it was more than 4 years ago when I accompanied Denae Doyle of Femimage to the Southern Comfort Conference where I helped her with the classes she was teaching. I wrote about this in a couple of blogs in 2013 (or was it 2012??).
I have really been wanting to have another multiple day adventure but things never worked out for one reason or another. However this last year the opportunity finally presented itself. One of my favorite rock groups was performing in Las Vegas at a time when I could get away. It was far enough in advance that I could get low cost airfare and a big discount on a room. I proposed to my BFF that we fly down for the concert which would probably mean we would have to stay overnight. She countered with a proposal to also see a Cirque Du Soleil show that she had been wanting to see which meant we would have to stay three days and two nights in Vegas. That sounded okay to me as it meant even more girl time. It would also provide an opportunity to fly in girl mode, something I had also not done since my trip to Southern Comfort.
Since the concert was 4 months away, we were able to book $59 flights to Vegas and $120/night rooms at the Venetian, which for those of you not familiar with Vegas, is a really nice all suites hotel. Rooms there are normally $300/night. We got tickets for the concert and show and were all set. All we had to do was wait 4 months!
During that time, my thoughts were occupied with two topics: a silly one and a more serious one. The silly one was what clothes I should bring. The more serious one was flying as Robin.
Actually I spent more time worry about what to wear as there was little I could do about the flying part. Vegas is a pretty casual place with very long walks to get almost anywhere. We did have two concerts/shows to attend and so we could be a little dressy but not too much. We were going in October which means the weather was still pretty warm (85 or so) but not crazy hot (110+). I also wanted to limit myself to one suitcase so that I could carry on and not have to check luggage. Finally I wanted to bring only women’s clothing and leave all the boy stuff behind (just to make things interesting).
After making and revising endless lists, I decided on:
- Two tunic/legging sets
- two skirt/top sets
- one pair of jeans with a tshirt
- one long skirt
- 3 pairs of shoes (all flats that were suitable for walking)
- PJs and robe
I could wear the jeans and leggings outfits for the days and the skirt outfits for the evening shows.The long skirt was backup but I never wore it. It would all fit into one carryon suitcase although it was a little tight when other items like toiletries and curling iron were added.
The one extra thing I realized I needed was a shoulder bag of some kind to hold my purse and computer. My regular computer case is decidedly unfemimine plus there is no place in it for a purse ( per airline rules, only TWO carryons). I ended up buying a black shoulder bag into which my computer and purse fit quite nicely.
The flying in girl mode part was a more serious topic but I found myself oddly not too worried about it. The TSA had a whole page dedicated to transgendered passengers which was very reassuring. I was also flying out of San Francisco (and Vegas) whose TSA agents had probably seen everything. Maybe if I was in Texas (or North Carolina) I may have been more concerend. In any case I had done it before without any problems. Besides, what is the worse that could happen?? Maybe a grin or two from the TSA agent?? Even an “pat down”, while potentially embarrassing, was not likely to be a big deal. The key is all of such situations is to stay calm and respectful.
After much delay, our departure day eventually rolled around. We had a 12:25pm flight and so I picked up my friend around 10:30am. I had changed clothes in my car on the way to her house and so was girl mode when I arrived at her house. I wore a green tunic, black leggings, and some black Sketchers I had found at a Ross store the day before. We drove to the airport where we parked in long term parking and then rode a bus the terminal. I had printed out our boarding passes and so there was little to do when we arrived except to go through security. We both had TSA precheck when means simplified security check (and NO whole body scanner) and so that made everything easier. I got out my passport (with my boy name/picture) and boarding pass and got into the security line. Eventually I reached the agent. handed him the passport and boarding pass, and waited. I was actually very calm, almost excessively so.
After a few moments, he wrote on my boarding pass, and said have a nice flight. My friend was watching him and said his face did not change expression in any way (beyond normal changes). I was just another passenger to him. I put my bags on the xray machine and walked through the metal detector. The agent nodded as I walked through and that was it. I was through security and on my way to Las Vegas!!