The plane had been sitting on the runway for what felt like an interminably long time. Finally an announcement came on that the plane was waiting for a two flights, the other from London and one from Birmingham. Cool, I thought, I want them to get home as well.
So we waited and I divided my time between reading and falling asleep, the two most productive things I was capable of in the moment. Eventually though, everyone got on the plane, they closed the doors, I buckled up my seat belt and the plane began moving.
I hate take-off. It’s my very least favorite part of flying and, no matter what, I close my eyes and clutch my seat for dear life. It simply terrifies me. Personally, I believe that the ideal mental state to take off in is asleep. This has happened to me very few times, but this was one of those rare moments. As the plane lazily made it’s way to the runway, I slowly but surely fell asleep.
I didn’t wake up until they handed out the menu for the food service. A menu! I thought, how classy. Looking over the options (chicken! risotto! this was proper food!) I suddenly realized that this was it. I was on the plane bound for JFK. I was going home.
Relief washed over me, I could barely contain my joy in the large and cushy business class seat. So, I got my meal. My three course meal complete with champagne. Yes, I got champagne. Probably the most ridiculous choice to make, on Aer Lingus no less, but I made the flight attendant go the refrigerator to pour me a tiny glass. And you know what?
I even got a couple refills. Yep, I was in heaven.
And then I fell asleep, right in the middle of the extravagant meal service. I was simply so overcome with the past couple of days and the lack of sleep. Even before this ordeal had started I was feeling ill and was definitely worse for wear. But at least I could take care of that all in New York.
Then, I woke up and had a small chat with the flight attendant about going home, Heathrow and Irish boys. It was fun to be able to talk to a flight attendant in a manner that wasn’t simply put up your seat or can I have your headphones please.
And so, we flew across the Atlantic arriving in JFK by no small miracle. We walked through customs and waited for the bags.
Remember I checked-in my laptop? I was freaking out. What if my bags didn’t come through? What would I do? I literally had everything in them and was starting to freak out as I was one of the very last people to be left waiting at the terminal. Bag after bag turned around, nothing.
Suddenly, I caught a glimpse of blue Tommy Hilfiger luggage. One bag down! I struggled to lift it off the trolley as my other bag came into view. Finally, I was ready. And I had everything.
Now, I was worried my parents wouldn’t actually be there. Would they know that my flight took off that morning? Yes, they would. Reunited, we walked to our car and drove home.
One starbucks cappuccino later and the magical realization that I had woken up at three am that morning, stood on line at Heathrow for hours, ran through Dublin Airport, had champagne in business class and nearly lost my bags, and I was in business.
I’ll be home for Christmas.
What is your most remarkable Christmas memory?