Airborn: A first flight story (Part Two)

gate check

… so after I waited impatiently at the terminal check in counter for a “Gate Check Claim Tag” that I wasn’t told I needed until I was trying to walk down the ramp to the airplane’s open doors (on an airline that does not reserve seats and with other passengers who couldn’t care less if you aren’t seated with your own travel mates), I finally got the go ahead to trod along with my two carry ons, my 16-month-old and the stroller that suddenly was missing its closing security strap.

If I’d been thinking unscrupulously, I’d have spread out the kids and I across the three seats we found vacant.  Instead, I squeezed the three of us into the window and middle seat and waited for take off.  We almost got away from the gate when a rather large man boarded and decided sitting with a petite woman and two kids was a pretty good idea.  Right after lifting off the ground, he settled in, removed his shoes, turned on his ipod, raised his arms behind his head and ordered a few vodka and cranberry drinks.  Oh, the odors that wafted to my poor nostrils… not pleasant at all.

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This first image was our view for most of the 4 1/2 hour flight – – not exactly the most interesting for toddlers.  Nor was it interesting for 7-year-olds, so mine spent her trip engrossed in ScribbleNauts.

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She did pause long enough to remark that the mountains were “giant rocks with tin foil on top,” which I thought sounded like an oddly advanced metaphor.  She insists, though, that it came direct from her brain and was not something she’d heard.

And Ya was content for a little while on my lap.  Then he got antsy when the view outside didn’t change.  It was hard to keep him on our seat (though our row mate did nothing to keep himself on his own).  Ya spent two hours or so standing up behind me.Then the flight attendants brought drinks and snack packs.  Saved!

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First, he sipped his apple juice. Then he played with the straw. He spent a bit of time playing with the ice cubes (they make nice rings).

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And a bit more making a terrible mess with a very crumby cracker sandwich. I will never buy this brand…though I know that there is a direct correlation between mess and better taste.

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A half hour nap rejuvenated him.  He was fascinated by the cramped size of the rest room (who puts the only changing table on the plane above the micro-toilet nearest the cockpit?).  There was more activity, though I fear I’ve blocked out the memory (or perhaps the neighbor’s odorous nature killed the brain cells harboring the experience’s archives).  Finally we saw a new scene outside as the plane turned a bit in preparation for landing.
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Apparently the winds were in our favor and so the 5.5 hour flight was reduced to 4.5.  The airport, however, likes to keep on schedule.  So we sat on the return runway until they could free up a gate to deplane us. 

@vegas airport (2)
Welcome to Vegas, ya’ll!
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Comments

  1. Yuck! That man sounds vile! I absolutely LOVE Ya's hat.

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