Come Fly The Friendly Skies
Three weeks ago the wife asked me an odd question. “Have you ever considered going home for a visit just you and Emmet?” I thought for a moment, a short moment, and said”No, twenty six hours on a plane alone with a toddler never crossed my mind.”. I was not prepared for her to up the ante.
Her next sentence was “Well he should see his cousins while they are on summer break, and your sister has an extra Buffet ticket for next weekend.” The annual Jimmy Buffet concert is a tradition in our family. Twenty or so people attend. She has learned well the art of one upmanship from me. So from a conversation on a Friday night Emmet and I were embarking on a trip back to Rhode Island on the next Wednesday.
Singapore to Hong Kong. Hong Kong to Chicago. Chicago to Boston. Twenty six hours total travel time, me and the little man.
Our odyssey started at three in the morning with a taxi ride to the airport. Emmet was very excited. He was going to see so many people. Tucker and Bekkah, Matthew and Elena, Memere and Pepere (for those not of Canuck descent that is Grandma and Grandpa), Grumman and Pepere, he could barely contain himself. Problem number on…..a three year old has little to no sense of time. He did not understand why we were at the airport and not seeing everyone already. Problem number two was that, for some unknown reason, Burger King at the airport was not making pancakes at four am. Really who wants a Whopper and not hotcakes that early in the morning? OK twenty year old drunks, but really everyone else wants breakfast food.
I have to say I have never had better customer service from flight attendants than this trip. I’d like to think its because United has just stepped up their game, but I know its because those irresistible hazel eyes have a melting effect on on any woman between the ages of seventeen and sixty. Emmet got juice and crackers before takeoff. I was , unsurprisingly, not asked if I had any needs. For long flights there is a screen on the back of the seat in front of you. This is a lifesaver. There are cartoon shows (Doc McStuffins was watched a lot) movies, and games. This in addition to the coloring books and stories we brought actually made the flight go painlessly. I have discovered Emmet is an exceptional traveler. There was one minor freakout somewhere over Alaska when he wanted to open his window shade. The problem being everyone on the plane (except us) was sleeping and it was a VERY bright morning outside that little plastic flap.
The only other issue we had (coming and going) was Chicago. Not the city specifically, I’d hate to disparage a whole city I’ve never actually visited, but O’Hare airport. We had a two hour layover morph into a five hour layover on the way to the States and an extra three hours on the way back. I have decided that O’Hare is the worst place on Earth. Bad food, too many gates, inevitable delays, the only saving grace is a phenomenal children’s play area in terminal two. Its almost like they know you are going to be stuck and need somewhere to go.
I have to say though he was a trooper. He slept well, he was polite and well behaved both ways, and we had a great trip home! I’ll write more of our adventures home soon.
Author’s Note: please excuse any typos or rambling in this post. It was written under the influence of Duty Free Bombay Sapphire gin.