I made it back safe and sound from my Mother-Daughter Vacation to sunny Southern California!
Just before I boarded my first flight in Moline I spotted a shiny copper penny on the ground. I put it in my pocket (see previous posts…I’ll take all the luck I can get) and handed over my boarding pass with tears streaming down my face.
The steward looked at me and said, “you don’t want to go do you?”
Of course not!
I did my usual kiss-the-palm-of-my-hand-then-touch-the-outside-of-the-plane routine and found my seat.
It was, as the pilot warned it would be, a very bumpy ride. We were flying in to Chicago behind a nasty storm. I couldn’t see the city – it was obscured by clouds, but I could see about 10 other planes circling. My flight to San Diego was less eventful…except for the girl beside me who kept up a steady stream of silent but deadly gas emissions for the entire flight. She seemed like she was sleeping, but I’m pretty sure it was a ruse to make the toots more acceptable.
Mom and I had a great time. We didn’t argue, we ate when we were hungry, we shopped – but not too much. We stopped on every beach we wanted and didn’t spend too much time getting lost or annoyed. I discovered I am stronger than I had thought, and am still capable of doing a mean handstand.
It was a great trip, in spite of the earthquakes.
THREE FRICKIN EARTHQUAKES.
Earthquake One occurred when I was sitting in a Hilton conference room listening to Robert Allen speak. (Don’t ask.) I thought I was having a massive panic attack, (because physical vibration is a symptom of panic?) but I asked Mom if she felt anything – just to make certain.
The lady beside my Mom piped up with, “Oh, that’s just the earth. Look at the chandelier.” Sure enough, the massive Hilton chandelier was rocking back and forth. Robert Allen didn’t miss a beat, and no one else seemed bothered. It was very strange. I mean really, JUST THE EARTH?
Earthquake two happened that night while we were sleeping. I woke up at 2:14 a.m. because my bed was rattling. It was stronger than a ride on one of those Magic Fingers Vibrating Beds (for your comfort and relaxation) found in all great hotels of the 70’s and 80’s.
EQ2 was the biggest one, and in fact I missed Earthquake three.
Back to quake two. People were calling it an aftershock…it measured 5.2 on the Richter Scale. In Iowa we call that an earthquake.
Right before getting on the plane to come home (which was delayed by mechanical issues – they couldn’t unload one of the lav’s and ended up putting an out-of-order sign on it! I swear I smelled sewer the whole way to CO.) I found another shiny penny. I gladly pocketed it. My Mom saw me off, again with tears streaming down my face.
My final flight was out of Denver. They had the airport down to one runway for both arrivals and departures because of heavy winds. Then they diverted an hour and a half around bad weather. I am grateful to the pilots for not mentioning the detour until AFTER it happened.
The next trip is supposed to be my sons and I going to Canada for two weeks this summer. I started researching alternate forms of travel the day after I got back. Unfortunately, the train will not get me to Saskatoon. Guess I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for those pennies.
Because I’ll go – even though I’m certain my fear has the capacity to take down a plane.
My wake-up call came two weeks ago when one of my friends lost her mother. There will be no more Mother-Daughter extravaganzas for her. It’s a terrible thing, to lose your mother. The fact that it happens to all of us doesn’t make it less awful.
So there is nothing that will keep me from seeing mine. Not while we both walk this earth. Earthquakes and turbulence be damned.