Africa 2017

Africa 2017

Sunday, July 13, 2014

All in a day of travel.....

Beginning a vacation is fraught with preparation.   It's the details that need to be left behind as in for us finding a trusting house sitter who will take care of the home but most important for the care of our pets.  That was easy for once.  Of course little Stewie began his separation anxiety as soon as the suitcases appeared.  He began following me closely, giving that waifish, sad eyed look as though surely doom is about to happen in his world as those suitcases mean we are leaving.  I try hard not to give into his fear by just playing perky happy packer.  

The morning of departure comes.  I've typed up lists and taped them to the pantry door for the house sitters with details of what needs to be done while we are away along with emergency numbers, how to feed the pets and other last minute items that I forgot to add such as leaving the towel on the bed for the kitties to sleep upon at night because I thought they might think we forgot to put it away and then the kitties would leave cat hair on the quilt.  Silly thoughts that pop up as you prepare to leave.  Did we have our passports, the directions to the Villa we are to stay at, the car rental forms?  The lists that shouldn't cause anxiety because we do have them, but do.

It is only once on the plane that I realize what I forgot.  Some snacks would have been good.  The rolled oats, walnuts and raisins I meant to bring to make Bircher Muesli while we are gone.  Me who eats some form of oatmeal thought this would be perfect for humid hot weather we will meet.  Tea would have been good to bring.  The coffee we bought that is left in the pantry.  Granla bars.  Oh well...

Our neighbor kindly volunteers to drive us in his VW Bus which is missing the middle seat so my youngest adult daughter first sits on a box and then on the floor beneath our legs and feet.  I'm chatty and excited to at last go on vacation after what feels like a long drought of going to know where.  Traffic is quiet at 5:30 AM and we depart at the airport with a hug, then lug our rolling suitcases into the International part of the airport which is quiet as well.   Check in is done by the self service kiosk which is not wholly self serve when a dour agent comes by to see what we are doing.  She helps, I guess, and we are on our way to security minus our bags.  Then it is on to the gate where we find we really should all go together to get breakfast (coffee! please!).  

Why, pray tell, does there always seem to be just one place to get food out by the gates?  A long line of people wait patiently to buy food and drinks.  What use to be freely given when you got on a plane is now sparingly provided or one must pay for poorly provided items that hardly should be called a meal.  Coffee and food in hand, we sit and wait for our time to line up and board our plane.

At last we sit in our cramped quarters for a 4 plus hour plane trip to paradise.  We cram our purchased food, our carry-on bags filled with reading material and cameras beneath the tight space below our feet.  Our knees squashed in place, our seat belt buckled we look around to our fellow travelers.  There are two small toddlers behind us, next to my two adult daughter. I cross fingers that these two little ones are happy and maybe sleepers.  As luck would have it they are excellent travelers with long naps and giggles.   In front of us and to our left is a family that speaks in what sounds like Russian though the two teens speak clear English and Russian. 

The plane has screens in front of us but our row seems to have blank screens we note.  All the other screens are flashing images.  And though our screens start to work after takeoff it mattered not as everything is charged to watch.  Alas no music options either.  Really?  We are flying out of the country!  Would't this be included?  Not this journey.  Never mind as I have brought my laptop that I have music I like and I've loaded some viewing options I truly wish to see.  Sit back dearheart, we are on wings that carry us faraway.

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