Thursday, January 6, 2011

I still got it

Why is it I always have adventures? I love that I do and perhaps since my Mom took me 'adventure walks' since I was but 3 years old, it's in my blood.

I am on a plane with about an hour to go to San Diego. My carry-on is filled with 3 books - all different, a few snacks and my nano which has 136 unlistened to podcasts despite the thousands of songs of which I'm blasting my earballs with right now. 

My adventures of the day should have been at first in the airport - no line though so straight through security and customs who questioned why I was going for so long, why I was staying with friends and he should have laughed when my reason was "ditching winter". 

I went right to the gate, but I was ansy. I couldn't read or listen to anything, my eyes darting everywhere to everyone. Why do people take babies to Disney when they have no other children with them?

The adventures started then. A harsh but nice woman rolled me to a new gate with no explanation - I had to ask, "The gate has changed due to the delay in the flight to Philly. We'll bring you up the stairs to the plane.


My eyes started to water despite my rockstar self. Then not just tears, but crying. Not Oprah-Ugly-Cry, but lots of tears. Another attendent brought me through an underground maze to an outside door where there was an aisle seat. I needed help to be transferred and strapped in so much. I had no coat or gloves. They brought me to the tarmac, and I cried again. Two large men lifted me up the stairs on a 1,2,3 lift for each step. I'm not a crier, why am I so weak? Pain, right. They were very kind and gentle though, all things considered. I can't complain at all, this was no Newark and no Continental. I managed to get to my seat with them just watching. It was a small commuter place with just 28 people and was smooth as glass.

Of course I was to be the last off the plane but there was no assistant despite the call for one 100 miles out. The pilot came to me an apologized. He was a kind man with a voice that was so comforting and very warm eyes. He offered to take me to my next gate which was a good 20 minute walk and another terminal but luckily I didn't have to redo security. He asked me what happened that I was in the chair. "Shit", he said. I was thankful for no pity, or various "I'm sorries". By now he was pushing me with one hand, so he could walk beside me. This was surprising and meant so much. He did say that "I didn't look sick, but great and positive". Thank you, I have my days for sure. Double checked the gate for me and had me use the washroom before he let me go. 

Pilot Mike, thank you or taking life and mine so seriously, you are an angel. 

Gate 14 had a bar. Not just a bar but one on the walkway with just 8 seats. I was able to get up on the stool and a pinot grigio. 

I met a bartender that taught me the spanish word for shutup as she told a collegue. I met an oil mogul that is American but mostly works all over Canada. I met a nice guy coming from San Diego to Minneapolis and talked hockey. The new bartender was a blast and took great joy in asking everyone to flash....their I.D.s. I saw my gate boarding about an hour early, but it was to San Fransisco. The bartender left his post and checked the monitor for me, my gate was changed. I would have only had to go 8 steps, now to a gate 7 gates away. I haven't walked that much yet, let alone with the chair. He gently touched my shoulder and said "you can do this, I have faith in you." He stayed in the walkway to watch me make the new gate. 

I was boarded right away...

The office is on the airplane TV, it's funnier without the sound.

(I made it safe and sound, I've had my first night in San Diego, and I feel okay, super sore and very tired, but all things considered, okay). 

Thank you for the continued support, pushing that little button to the right and the comments and ongoing love. It is this that help me be able to get through the days and continue to have adventures. <3


  1. Glad you are safely far away from winter. Relax and let everyone spoil you.

  2. Earballs may be my new favorite term. :) I love it especially since some people give me crap for saying normal things like 'watch tv'.
    Pilot Mike sounds great. Especially with taking you to the washroom. It's amazing how people forget that some people in chairs need those. With the increased security it's so much harder to get help at an airport. 15 years ago while it wasn't a breeze comparatively it was.
    Have a blast being a snowbird :)

  3. I'm glad to read this story. And if you have time please email the airline about Pilot Mike. Really it will get back to him and his boss. I used to be a flight attendant - not all employees are that cool and the ones that are deserve the high five. The industry isn't so easy anymore.

    Have a great time in the warm and soak up some warm for me ok? We're calling for light snow again tonight. Gah. Winter.

  4. It certainly does sound like an adventure, Rhian. I think you handled everything well and your blogging to thank people is such a blessing, I'm sure. Keep up with posting on how it's going. Will keep my eyes on your blog.

  5. I've been through this kind of thing so many times in the last 2 years with traveling to and from the UK and Russia. I have also had the experience of being manhauled up the stairs to the airplane. They were very good about it, no pity or anything.

    What a great post!