Sunday, August 02, 2009

I'm one of those who's afraid of flying...so shoot me

The plane ride to San Francisco was like being on a plane way back in 1987 on my way to Mexico...a whole new experience.

It didn't start out wonderful but I should note that flying is not one of my most desired things to do. Getting to a new place is always a lot of fun but it's how I get there that determines just how much anxiety I might build up because of that dumb ability to over-think every little thing, and I most certainly did so for that San Fran trip.

We boarded the plane, got situated and I was really trying to keep my mind off of the flight. I pulled out my crossword book and clung to Pat like a little kid. Pat was reading I was doing my book...it seemed like we were sitting at that gate forever when the captain got on the intercom to tell us that there was a defective gauge and they had a crew of men fixing it as fast as they could.

Oh the thoughts going through my head began to run at lightening speed. I fought to tame them, tried to read; I couldn't concentrate, I tried to do my crosswords...couldn't focus. All I wanted to do was get off that plane, I'm superstitious as they come. A bad gauge to me was a bad omen. Too many scary movies perhaps? Final Destination or Alive?

So I managed to calm down, Pat was so sweet and concerned about me, regardless of his loathing of flying, he was sure to take care of me and distract me as best he could. The gauge was finally fixed after an hour and I knew at that time that it was too late to run down the aisle and out of that plane. So now we had to prepare for take off.

The taxi to the run way left me feeling a little queasy...good grief am I a wimp or what. People fly all the time, why is it so difficult for me? A concept that runs through my mind on numerous occasions everyday because besides flying, I am a natural worry wart or high strung over sensative, over thinker.

So, when the engines started to gear up I gripped Pat's hand like he was keeping me from falling 100 stories. He kept asking me if I was ok with a consoling smile and a squeeze of the hand about every 10 seconds. When we started to race, I forced myself to relax, closed my eyes briefly but then looked out the window and watched as the ground sped by. Wow, we were going so fast and then the lurch in the stomach, we were off the ground and flying.

For a short time it was good, I was exhilarated and my anxiety was waning until we hit the turbulents. There was a storm happening in the cities that morning and we had to get through it. Jeez, could it have been any other day? Obviously we made it and continued our journey towards one of the best places I've even been to or I wouldn't be writing this right now. But with every ding that went off in that plane for the duration of the trip both to and from, my radar screamed in my ear...what, why is that going off....

We did have a layover in Salt Lake City so we had to redo things all over, the landing was a little rough, those are Pat's least favorite things but to me, being on land is where I like to be. The second half of the flight I was in much better shape and handled things a lot better. Maybe it helped that on the last leg of our flight I was sitting next to a little boy who was about 5 or so who was terrified to take off and land. Him and I got along really great and it made me feel better to help him through his fear, perhaps the comfort of knowing that I wasn't alone. Yes, he's a child and I'm a grown woman but all the same, he eased my fears and I his.

There was some beautiful scenery out that window seat, I didn't get to sit next to Pat on the trip from Salt Lake to San Francisco which was kind of sad. But we made it. When it came time to land in SF, I swore we were headed right into the ocean. But turns out the runway is pretty much right next to the coast line.

Once we landed in SF it was time to figure out all those things that neither of us never even thought of...like, where exactly is our hotel? We are not seasoned long distance travelers...tell me were going to a cabin on a lake or some campground and I got everything in order. Send us a few thousand miles away and well....I guess you'll read about the rest....

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