She’s baaaack….

Oh, you don’t KNOW how happy I am to be typing these words this morning.  It may have something to do with waking up to the sound of my kids running down the hallway or drinking out of a 16 ounce coffee mug (note to hotels: people don’t drink out of  6 ounce cups anymore).

More than that, though, I think I’m just happy that I survived the plane ride back from Jamaica.

I may or may not be a nervous flyer.

Just ask the stranger on that flight from DC into Dallas in 1996. He and I got a little more than personal when we hit an unexpected air pocket.  Like, “let’s pick out the furniture together” personal.

I blame the captain for my nervous condition.  We had been parked at the gate in Montego Bay several minutes past departure time and I had noticed the attendants were passing looks back and forth and whispering to each other under their breath.  To me, that meant there was an obvious malfunction that was going to cause major failure over shark infested waters.

Having worked for the government, I was also trying to go over the necessary diplomatic niceties that would need to occur should circumstances require us to land in Cuba, and I was hoping that fifty years were enough for Fidel to have gotten over that whole Bay of Pigs things.

The pilot finally came on and said that there were major storms over Cuba and that we couldn’t fly over the island on our way to Miami and we would need to fly the long way around the storms (AND OVER MORE OPEN WATER) to avoid the turbulence. I had not taken enough Valium wasn’t quite prepared for this change of events but Mr. CPQ assured me that we would be fine, so I practiced my deep breathing while we thundered down the runway and started to climb into the sky.  I tried to remember that given enough rocket power, even cardboard boxes can fly, and I was just about to release my grip from the arm of the seat when I smelled something.

In great alarm, I turned to Mr. CPQ and said, “I smell electrical smoke.”

Now, Mr. CPQ can’t smell a darn thing.  Expired milk? Bad ham? That tub of botulism otherwise known as our sour cream?

Nope.

He was useless to me.

Until he pointed out that perhaps that odor I was smelling was the pot of coffee that the attendant had started brewing before we took off.

Which says a lot about the state of airline coffee these days.

ANYHOO, this story has a point, which I will get to before Friday.

THE POINT IS, as we were on approach to Miami, you know, that part of the trip where the airplane is slowly DESCENDING, we experienced a little something unexpected when the engines started groaning tremendously and the nose of the plane started to ASCEND.

Rapidly.

As we have established, I may be a nervous flyer, and I was, naturally, freaked out concerned.

I turned to the love of my life and said (for the 10th time in the last hour), “I think something’s wrong.”

Mr. CPQ rolled his eyes patiently explained that when a plane is banking, the nose of the plane must remain elevated so that it doesn’t turn into a death spiral and crash into the ground.

If this was his attempt to soothe my jangled nerves, NEWS FLASH, it didn’t.

I told him that while my love for him was unparalleled in the course of human history, he was flat out wrong.  Something was amiss.

Seconds later, the pilot came on and apologized for the sudden change in course, because it seems that ANOTHER PLANE WAS IN OUR PATH and he needed to take corrective action to avoid landing us, not on a runway, but on the breaking news segment of every major television station as they reported our demise.

I don’t know what gave me greater pleasure: avoiding a mid-air collision or proving Mr. CPQ wrong.

Have a nice day.

P.S. Pictures and travelogue tomorrow!

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27 responses to “She’s baaaack….

  1. Oh my word!! While I know this was not funny while it was happening, it sure is entertaining for the rest of us! I hope the land part of the trip was fun. And maybe you should leave a large travel coffee mug in your suitcase for the next small-cup destination!

  2. guuuurl, you can spin a yarn! What a fabulously told story. I missed you.

    and am SUPER glad you missed hitting that plane.

    and being on fire.

    and being a political prisoner in cuba.

    ’cause living to blog another day is WAY better than being right.

    at least in this instance.

  3. Oh, you sweet thing. I just want to pull you into my bosom & rub your back! I nearly wet my pants out of sympathy. Glad you’re home.

  4. Gretchen just used the word “bosom.”

    I totally forgot everything else I was going to say.

  5. It’s nice being right, isn’t it? Even better to be home safely. Trust Bernoulli; question everything else.

  6. I am so glad you are alive!

    And your Ranger Rick tip for the day? Try to avoid airports where they practice noise abatement…its one of the only times that I have flown and thought I might die.

    Look forward to the travel post!

  7. I feel a little queasy just reading this. If we ever end up seated next to each other on an airplane one of us will need to find a new seat. It wouldn’t be pretty.

    At Heathrow it is not unusual? for a plane to touch down and then immediately lift back up. I don’t know why-something about short runways…I plug my ears and sing lalala when people start talking about it. It happened to my husband on more than one occasion-he’s not a nervous flyer at all but that does make one stop and think.

    I did something scary this weekend too-I broke out the butane torch and made the creme brulee…such deliciousness and the torch was nothin’…you’ll have to try it!

  8. Wow–you need another vacation just to relax after that return flight! Glad you’re back safe & sound–happy unpacking! 🙂

  9. girl, I AM a nervous flyer…a hardcore, ridiculous one…as in I bawled my eyes out the last time I got on a plane and left my kids on the ground…so, I can guarantee you that if I were on that plane, I’d have been a hot MESS and would never step foot on another airplane.

    But, that’s just me.. 😉

    Glad you’re home safe and can’t wait to see the next post!

  10. Oh. my. word.

    I just spit my coffee all over the place in a fit of giggles.

    Thank you for some early morning laughter to start my day!

  11. I am so glad you are home safe. I am a little traumatized from your story though, so will need nice, happy, relaxing, funny pictures tomorrow.

  12. My, but you do lead an exciting life. I watched the news all weekend for something big out of the Caribbean: massive storms, tidal wave, sunspots. Glad to know it was just a rogue plane. Well, there’d be a lower body count that way.

  13. We would not be good flying buddies. I have become way too friendly with a.) my pastor on a mission trip to Venezuala in 1989 and b.) the owner of a Harley dealership in Houston on a 2004 flight to Dallas. Oh, and he reminded me of Tony Soprano which made me wonder if the plane would be blown up at any minute because maybe he’d made The Godfather mad or something.

    Thank you for such a fabulous tale. Hope the trip was better than the flight!

  14. I’m so glad you survived, but you totally lost me at “bad ham”. OMGosh. Funny.

  15. I am LOL’ing but so feel your pain.

    I am SO not a happy flyer either. I get on only because it usually takes me to a child of mine or the sunshine and I feel better when we go as a family cuz I wouldn’t be leaving anyone behind!
    The Hubs thinks I’m crazy to think that way and I should be more worried on a road trip. Hmmm

    Glad you are safely on the ground!

  16. yikes – that would have scared me too! I used to be deathly terrified of flying too, but ever since I had to go with my dad on business trips to Asia where we flew somewhere practically every day for 2 weeks, I got over it. 🙂

  17. I read your hilarious blog today and then I read the next one on my “to read” list:

    http://struckbyserendipity.wordpress.com/2010/02/22/27thbirthday/#comment-931

    All I know is I envy you both!!! Ah, sunshine!

  18. haha! you sound like me when i fly-i always have joel’s arm in a death grip and (just as you do) say every ten minutes or so “i think something’s wrong.” reminded me of my first plane trip by myself to see my best friend when i was 20. let me just say that i wouldn’t have gotten on that plane for anyone except my BEST FRIEND IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD. the only way i made it through the flight was this cute little old lady doing her word search (she let me help) who constantly reassured me “honey, i do this all the time. we’re going to be fine.”

  19. Wow I bet that WAS scary! I’m a nervous flyer myself. And would’ve been totally freaked out if that happened. So glad you made it home safely! And I’m looking forward to at least seeing pictures of some place warm, even if I can’t be there cause I’m stuck here in the-land-of-it-won’t-stop-snowing.

  20. So, what happened to the happy-go-lucky, Ronald McDonald Jr. we saw in this picture?

    Or was this the genesis of your aversion?

    And a shout out to Amy for the Bernoulli reference. We aerospace engineers salute you.

  21. My hubby to be is an air traffic controller and he ASSURES me that it is safer to fly than to drive…yeah right, I say. I will take my odds on surviving a car crash over an airline crash anyday, thank-you-very-much.

    Glad you are back!!

    Amy

  22. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. Glad you’re back, tapping your ruby red heels in your very own home with your very own jumbo coffee mug 🙂

  23. Let’s just say that you and Mr. NEM wouldn’t be good flight buddies.

  24. I’m just glad you’re home. I missed you.

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