Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Rio - Leaving Dallas On A Bonus

There are some distinct advantages of living in a group of townhomes mostly occupied by flight attendants. They know whats happening in every major city, when moved to have you accompany them on flights they can usually plop you into a seat for a minimal charge and then ... there is the bonus of 'special friend treatment' when you happen onto one of their flights.

Wednesday, my departure day to Rio, started like any other: I got up at 7am, obligatory 3 cups of caffiene to prevent drowning in the shower, classes from 8-1230, lunch with my friend Lauren, then the mad dash to DFW, park, shuttle, check in, security and wait. I was cutting it close that day so it wasn't much of a wait, I arrived as they called my group number to board. Strolling into the small walkway and crossing the galley to the far side of the 767 I felt a sense of release.


Thats when I saw her. I know her. I just can't place her. I looked at her with that cockeyed 'puppy hears a strange noise' look, she reciprocated, in the opposite direction, just for the sake of symmetry or balance I suppose. Then, simultaneously, we recognized each other. We hugged, commented on how strange it was to see each other out of context, laughed, then she escorted me to my seat.

'I'll come back to check on you after we get in the air', she said.

I love the lift off, the momentum, seeing the city disappear behind me, smaller and smaller, cares I had just 15 minutes ago, becoming as temporary and disposable as the popsicle stick and Elmers bridge I made in high school science class. 'We've reached our crusing altitude' is simply code for blank out your mind. My friend came back several minutes after the fasten seat belt sign went away.

"I'm so sorry Jim, we were not be able to get you the upgrade to first class, will business class be acceptable?", she smiled mock concern.

"Oh, well, I suppose that will be fine", I tried to keep the air of concern without saying 'Business class? Are you kidding me, sign me up! woo hoo!'

Off I went to business class, smiling my ambilvalence at not being able to get my non-existent upgrade to first class. Free Skyy Tonics flowed; 4, 5, 10, I dont know I lost track of how many little blue bottles she brought around. I'm sure my row mate thought I was a budding alcoholic, judging by the looks.

I leaned over to my row mate and said. "First time in a plane."

"OOHH ... I totally understand. Its nothing really, flying, you just have to get used to it.", he smiled all-knowing , the well-seasoned traveler consoling the neophyte.

Right, OK, so how about another Skyy Tonic while I try to forget I've been on more flights than some pilots.

Free snacks, headphones and 'Jim, could you stop by and see me in the galley when you have a chance'. Sure, if I can pry my wobbly legs out of this comfy reclining seat and somehow disengage from my personal DVD player. I did. In the galley my friend had made me a little care package to take on my trip to Rio: dozens of little Skyys, Makers Marks, Baileys, wine, spa treatments, corkscrews. The travel bag weighed about 20 lbs. Wow!

She really made the first leg of my trip very special. Thanks sweetie, you know who you are!

3 hours and many Skyy Tonics later I arrived in Miami, drunk.


Blogger purpletwinkie said...

What fun! It's just the best when a travel adventure gets off to a great start...the vodka doesn't hurt.

7:17 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Truly an amazing start!

Working on installment 2 during study breaks.

1:08 PM

Blogger theclamwhisperer said...

What a great description of flight...the feeling of a city becoming smaller and smaller...the past becoming as significant as a lost Elmer's glue creation from grade school. New adventures to follow. I look forward to the next leg. I want a friend in flight!

8:07 PM

Blogger Sangroncito said...

I can't wait for the next flight segment!

8:27 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Glad you liked. One more flight story (several friends included), which is of course a stall job, since I still havent figured out how to get the pictures out of my camera, lol :)

9:37 PM

Blogger Sangroncito said...

I'll catch up the first week of October when I'm in Salvador and have internet access...until then, take care of yourself! Um abra├žo, Sangroncito

4:50 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Thats right, its your turn to go to Brasil! Have a safe trip. Hopefully I will be caught up with my story and reading your blog by the time you arrive :)

8:42 AM

Blogger BRETTCAJUN said...

I am so very afraid of flying. I don't think I could ride in a plane for more than 5 hours. I suppose that's why I have never been to Europe, S. America, or Hawaii.

3:30 PM

Blogger Noeha said...

Hmm...just a few drinks, there, eh? And you do know that they work on you at about double pace 30,000+ ft. in the air, right? So, it sounds like it was a good start to it!

11:54 PM

Blogger Jim said...


You need Ambien for that :) If you can make it through Katrina, you can make a 10 hour flight to Brasil :)

1:06 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Yes Noeha, its true.

BTW, Rio is your kind of place. If we gave Myers Briggs to the whole city, they would all come back as extroverts ! :)

1:07 PM


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