Saturday, August 02, 2008

Please Recline For Take-Off

We found-somewhat miraculously-available seats on a last-minute flight to the US. Last minute as in, purchased on Wednesday for flights on Thursday. The connection was through London with a five hour layover, but it would at least get us into Washington, DC late on Thursday night. The family had begun gathering together.

Check-in for the international flight was rather confused and chaotic. The British Airways flight was full and probably over-booked. I had booked seat assignments online. Our seats weren't together but a couple of rows apart. When we handed out tickets to the gate agent, she informed me that my seat was changed, I'd now been knocked to the back of the aircraft as they tried to accomodate a group seated together. Bryan, on the other hand, was upgraded to Business Class. What the...? She said, "just get onboard and they'll sort it out."

I won't make a short story long by detailing the trivial aspects; we'll just say that the seat next to the Business Class seat was deemed "inoperational" due to malfunction of the inflight entertainment system. I didn't give a rat's rear about the entertainment system, so I chatted amiably with the flight attendant who needed to rearrange a few more people in the coach section where I'd been assigned anyway, and so she let me take the "inoperable" seat. Inoperable? Not! The pod system worked like a charm...I was able to fully recline to a lay-down position, get some rest, and enjoy the little goody bag they give with eye shades, moisturizers, and truffles.

As the flight was ready to depart, the attendant came and reclined my seat! I had straightened it more upright and played around the lumbar support button. Apparently, in business class you get to lounge a little during takeoff! A decent meal, a glass of wine, and I was feeling much more calm and at ease about the long trip ahead. I had been on the verge of "losing it," fearful at what would be lying ahead and the interminable eight hours of flying while not knowing what was happening in the hospital had me on the verge of going to pieces. The sweetness of the flight attendants and the chance to relax worked wonders.

I am in DC. The whole family is here (or will be arriving here) by tomorrow. It's another bittersweet journey. I'm here for the duration. My ticket is for 2 weeks but I'll extend it as needed to be here to help my beloved uncle and my family who are giving care. I'm just glad I couuld get here so quickly and offer my love and assistance. I'm not sure when I'll return to Ascoli -or to the blog, so please hang in there with me. I'll be back soon.


Anonymous said...

best wishes and hope everything works out for the best (it always does) for your family and uncle!

truffles always make everything a little bit better anyway :-)

Ice Tea For Me said...

Valerie - I'm so glad you were able to get to your uncle so quickly. The stars aligned with the cheap tickets, business class seats, and wine!

Prayers to you and your family. God speed to your uncle.

italiaCalcio said...


I’ve been reading your wonderful blog for several months and have been meaning to write many times. My husband is from Ascoli and we visit once or twice a year. Plus for the past 8 years, we’ve been taking youth soccer players and their families to San Benedetto every June for a tournament, as part of our school’s international programming.

I was very sorry to read that your uncle was ill. I hope everything turns out well. We live in Northern Virginia – 15 minutes from Dulles Airport) so if there’s anything you and your husband need during your stay, please feel free to email or call me. Or, if you just wish some time away to chat about life in AP, feel free to call. I sent a longer email to your PanoramaItaly email address with my contact info.

We’ll keep your uncle in our thoughts and prayers.


Cynthia Rae said...

I am glad that you are home now at your uncle's side. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.