This is how our, my wife’s (Kate) and my, return trip from our vacation in Crested Butte, CO looked.
Montrose, CO: Montrose is about an hour and a half from Crested Butte, where we spent our vacation, so in order to make our 11:00 flight to Dallas, we had to leave the house around 8:30. We got to the airport in plenty of time, but of course we weren’t “assigned” seats. I still don’t know how or why you can buy a plane ticket and not be assigned a seat, but alas, we had none. It was up to the travel gods at this point. Luckily they kind of smiled upon us and we were given two seats, at the back of the plane, next to the WORST family ever.
Flight from Montrose, CO to Dallas, TX: Earlier, like one line ago, when I said WORST family ever, I should have said WORST FAMILY EVER!!!! We noticed these people in the airport before boarding and Kate and I immediately gave each other the, “Holy crap! I hope we don’t sit next to these psychos on the plane.” look.
The two daughters were probably about four and eight and were unruly from the get go. When the plane finally took off, the parents fell asleep within about five minutes and the girls went into high gear in terms of terribleness. They were singing, fighting, spilling, yelling, jumping, running, banging, etc. It never ended. The parents never woke. The girls shrieked nursery rhymes… IN FRENCH! They played with Kate’s shoe while she slept. They got their organic popcorn all over my bags. They threw water on the ground. And still the parents slept through it. I felt so sorry for the flight attendant that had to attend them.
Warner’s Parenting Tip – Let’s just say that it’s pretty awesome that your kids are bilingual at such an early age, but if you as parents choose to let them act a fool in public, they will never have friends to speak French to. They will have computers and books and imaginary friends that tell them to kill people on planes.
When the use of electronics was finally approved, even my headphones couldn’t block out these little demons. It wasn’t until we began our descent that the parents woke to see the mess their children made. But did they yell or punish or even slightly reprimand them? No. They just watched as the children continued to wreak havoc on the tiny plane.
Finally we landed, and I wish I could say there was some sort of closure to the situation with these kids and their awful behavior, but there was none. They filed out of the plane with their parents and probably went on to terrorize another flight, but I still can’t shake their nasty little images out of my head. If I ever see them again, it will probably induce some sort of PTSD reaction where I refuse to speak for the rest of my life. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen. I’ve determined that if I avoid Telluride, CO (where they were from) and Miami, FL and NYC (one of those was where we think they were going) then I should be OK.
Dallas, TX: We had just over an hour to eat and get to our gate before boarding. We munched on some Mickey D’s, a welcome fast food treat in a life relatively void of junk food, and went in search of our gate. We arrived at the gate with plenty of time to spare before boarding. As the sitting area filled up, a gentleman sat down next to my wife and in front of me (we were on opposite rows of chairs) and struck up a conversation. He asked if I went to the University of Maryland, as my hat said UM on it in red letters. I told him Ole Miss to which he responded with a fist bump. Later it was revealed that he was a Memphis comic named Lester Bibbs. Apparently he opened for Dave Chappelle and is pretty good. Look him up. He’ll be appearing at Harrah’s Casino in Tunica, MS all week.
As boarding time came and went we realized our flight was delayed. At first by ten minutes, then by 30, then by an hour. We boarded the plane about the time we should have landed in Memphis, and much to our surprise, we were seated in first class. I guess the “FIRST” in bold letters on the boarding pass should have indicated as such.
Flight from DFW to Memphis, TN (attempt one): As Kate and I nestled into our comfy first class digs and anticipated the free cocktails, we breathed a sigh of relief to be away from the kids that terrorized our first flight. But the honeymoon with this plane was over practically before it began. About twenty minutes in the captain came over the loudspeaker and told us that we had hit a bird and were going to have to return back to Dallas for some safety checks. He wanted to make sure the safety of the plane had not been compromised by a fowl up. Get it?
After they requested that we deplane so they could run their series of checks, they told us that there was lighting in the area and we could not re-board until it was gone. So we sat and waited. And with no time frame we didn’t want to risk leaving to get food in case they started to board again. So dinner time came and went and all I had were Sour Patch Kids, a nice snack but a paltry substitute for dinner.
Flight from DFW to Memphis, TN (attempt 2): We finally got back on the plane and took off towards Memphis at a rather late 8:40, three hours after we were supposed to be in Memphis. During the boarding process a flight attendant said my carry on was a bit large for the plane so she took it, tagged it, and walked away. Kate gave me quite a disdainful stare when I handed my bag over so readily but never said why. The flight was fine. The drinks flowed. And before we knew it we were home.
Memphis, TN: When we finally got to Memphis, it was well into the ten o’clock hour, and we were exhausted and irritated. As we got off the plane, Kate indicated that I should talk to a flight attendant about the slip of paper they handed me in return for my now absent carry-on. Naturally she told me that they had officially checked it, and I would have to wait for it at baggage claim. How else would the day have ended? Despite packing in only carry-ons, we still had to wait at baggage claim for another 30 minutes before we could get home. At least the first class FLIGHTS from Dallas to Memphis allowed us to wait with a little buzz.
Home: We walked into our sweet little house at 10:45. Our day of travel started at 8:30. Twelve hours plus of cars, planes, airports, screaming kids, birds and lightning was enough for me to want to stay at home for a while. Glad my vacation days are gone.