Flying High… and Awkwardly

This week the hubs and I were traveling again. The hubs was gone on a business trip, then met me down south for my baby brother’s wedding. If you are thinking to yourself, “Good grief, these people have traveled an awful lot this summer,” you would be absolutely correct. We have traveled so much and have had luggage out so frequently, the dog now thinks that suitcases are just part of the furniture, and are there for her to sleep on.

This summer I have spent more time on airplanes than I ever have in the whole rest of my life. I like flying, and it sure is convenient when trying to get all over the country in just one summer. However, I seem to do really awkward things when I am traveling by air. This should not surprise me, I suppose: I seem to find a way to do embarrassing things everywhere else, I don’t know why I would expect the sky to be any different.

Just this summer, I have helped a kindly Ukrainian onto a flight. Unfortunately, it wasn’t his flight and I directed him to the wrong gate. I spilled an entire glass of ginger ale on the person sitting next to me when my tray suddenly collapsed. I was feeling quite emotional after leaving the hubs again for a week, and didn’t have time to get a chicken biscuit for breakfast during my layover, so started weeping uncontrollably while walking through the airport. I fell asleep with my head propped on my hand and woke up when my elbow slipped off the arm rest and I slammed my head into the seat in front of me.

When I flew out west to travel with my family, I flew into a little tiny airport that was about 10 miles outside of the city. I had a few hours to kill before my parents made it in, so went in search of a taxi to take me down town, where I could take the bus around to see the sights. I couldn’t find any taxis or anything out front of the airport so wandered back into the baggage claim. There wasn’t really anyone around except for a man holding a sign that said “Orbridge Family Reunion.” I wandered up and asked where the taxi’s pulled up. He looked at me suspiciously, “Taxis? This is the middle of nowhere…there’s no taxi that comes here.”

So I asked him how he suggested I get downtown if there weren’t any taxis. He thought for a minute, then said, “Well, why don’t you just come with us. I’m driving this family reunion to their hotel, I’m sure it will be fine. For $20.”

Seeing no other option, I agreed and told him I’d sit on a bench off to the side of baggage claim until he said it was time to go. A few minutes later the Orbridges arrived and he took them out to their waiting vans. Then he came back and waved me out. Coming out I found that of the two large vans that were there for the Orbridges, he had squashed the whole family reunion into one van, so that I had the other van all to myself. So that’s how I found myself driving around South Dakota in a large white van with an “Orbridge Family Reunion” sign on the side.

Perhaps airplanes were what was on the hubs’ mind the other night when he started making whirring engine noises in his sleep. I was fast asleep and woke up to a funny sound. I was quite groggy and it took me a minute to figure out what it was: it was the hubs. Blowing air out through his lips, making that funny “bfffffffffffffffffffffffffttttt” noise we have all made at babies or when we are pretending to be exasperated.

I was still half asleep, so just laid there, wondering what on earth he could be dreaming about. Then he stopped having flappy lips, and started blowing air out through tight lips. It sounded like the noise he makes when he’s trying to sound like a trumpet…it really sounds nothing like a trumpet. It just sounds like squeeking while blowing out air. He did this for a minute or two and then went back to flappy lips. “Bbfffffffffttttttttttttt.”

When I fell back asleep he was still doing it.

I am so happy to be back to the hubs, even if he does wake me up in the middle of the night. I think the dog is happy we are back, too. Especially because it means the luggage is going away for awhile.

“Why would you put me squashed between all this luggage? I ought to be sitting up front!”


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