October is a heavy-duty travel month for my family. It began with my trip to North Adams for the Boiler House Poets Collective’s fifth fall residency at MASS MoCA. (There are several posts about it earlier this month.)
On Sunday, my father, known here as Paco, and my two sisters flew to Ireland! Apparently, on Grandparents’ Day in September, Paco had been talking by phone with his grandson L and they talked a lot about Ireland, which is where Paco’s grandparents were from. L then called his mom (my younger sister) and said, “You need to take Paco to Ireland – now.”
In short order, she arranged for an expedited passport for Paco, made reservations for flights, accomodations, and a driver, and made lots of lists so everything would go smoothly. My older sister joined in to help and they jetted from JFK Airport to Shannon. It was the first time Paco had flown on a jet. His last plane flight had been coming home from the Korean Conflict! (He had also served in World War II.)
The three of them are now in the middle of a week in Killarney. They have a driver to take them out to see the sights. They have been sending us some photos and updates. Here is my favorite one of Paco so far:
This evening, they were at a pub with a singer/guitarist performing. My sister requested “Danny Boy” for my father and it seems that everyone in the pub fell in love with Paco. One woman even came over and danced with him for a bit! Of course, what’s not to love about a 94-year-old man in a US Navy SeaBee cap, who is visiting Ireland for the first time?
I used to like to fly. The first time I flew I was in my early twenties and I loved looking out the window at all the landforms I had studied in geology and the clouds I had studied in meteorology. Those were also the days when checked baggage was free and so were snacks and meals. I even remember getting hot towels to freshen up at the end of a long flight – and this was in coach, not first class.
Now, I don’t like flying as much. Flights are really packed and service is – ummm – let’s say spotty. For example, on my recent flight back to NYS from Hawai’i we had blankets for the flight over the ocean in the afternoon but no blankets for the overnight flight from LAX to Philly. The airline sent me an email to order food for that flight, except they don’t serve food that late at night. Originally, I had a morning flight into Binghamton from Philly, but the airline cancelled it so I was in Philly for five and half hours before getting to come home in the afternoon.
I guess in a way it is lucky that I don’t fly very often. Less to complain about and more money for my bank account.
Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is: “fly/flies/flew/flu/flue.” Join us! Find out how here: http://lindaghill.com/2015/07/17/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-1815/
We are in Dulles airport (Washington DC) waiting for our connection to San Francisco. We will be flying over the storm system that has caused so many tornadoes and so much death and destruction with the unfortunate expectation that there will be more to come as it slowly moves eastward. Sending out thoughts and prayers on behalf of all those who have been affected and those who are in the path of this storm system.