Well, I am finally back in New York City after a crazy travel schedule. I spend the last week of March and the first week of April in Denver so I could be with my BFF. I promised my BFF that I would come home to be with her when her father passed and that’s exactly what I did. It was a bittersweet return home but I felt it was an absolute honor being at her side.
I spent last week in San Jose/San Francisco with the hubs. He attended a training and I stayed in the hotel like a prisoner. Just kidding- I got to explore a little bit of Santa Cruz but I spent most of my days in coffee shops doing work. It was a busy week for me and my social media clients and I had to prepare to launch our East WillyB Kickstarter campaign. (Which you can support by donating and sharing the news about the campaign here!)
After a fantastical week in San Francisco full of adventure, rain and stuffing my face with the most delicious crab and shrimp a girl could ever want, we had to head back to NYC. We took different flights back home, so the hubs left at 11am and I had to wait until 1pm. Here’s a fun fact about me: I HATE FLYING. I fly at least 2-3 times of year (if I’m lucky) because we love traveling, but every time I get on a plane, I treat it as the last time I will EVER be alive. So I have a stupid habit that probably makes people think I’m a bit “special.” First, I must step onto the plane with my right foot and I have to touch the outside of the plane as I enter the cabin. Then, I take my seat, put my seatbelt on and try not to think of the horrible way that I am about to die. After that, I look for the closest exits and life rafts. After I’ve identified the proper exit locations, I begin to think how I might survive a crash. Then I get really upset and scared and start reading the SkyMall Magazine. Once we leave the gate and prepare for take-off, I start to pray silently and to myself and I do the holy cross and beg La Virgen de Guadalupe, my guardian angel, my grandmother and God not to let me die like this. Then I relax and try to enjoy the movies or magazines that I brought.
Most of my flights are perfectly fine and I actually got use to minor turbulence. Living in Colorado means that you will experience turbulence on your way in and on your way out. That’s just a fact of life, but what happened to me on Sunday was no small turbulence. It was 30 minutes of absolute hell and I’ve never been so close to losing my mind. To begin the trip, the plane was a half hour late departing and the flight attendants were the most obnoxious women that I have ever encountered on a flight. One of them had a Cali-valley-girl accent and the other one had a cute southern drawl that turned annoying very quickly because she had no southern charm. They treated the intercom system as if it was their personal walkie-talkies and were quick to let us know that the delay was not their fault at all, but the fault of the catering staff.
Once we left, we had some minor turbulence as we approached our cruising height. About two hours into the flight, as we flew over what must have been Oklahoma and the midwest, the plane took a sudden drop and I just about peed my pants. Then, another drop, side to side and more up and down movement. I grasped my seat and start saying another silent prayer. Then I hear a female voice come over the intercom:
“Ladies and gentleman, this is your captain speaking, we will be experiencing some heavy turbulence as we go over a big storm right now, please stay in your seats with seat belts tightly fastened. Flight attendants, take your seats.”
My first thought was this (and I apologize now to everyone):
“WHAT THE HELL IS THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT DOING PRETENDING SHE’S THE CAPTAIN! GET OFF THE $%*& INTERCOM SYSTEM AND QUIT SCARING US!”
That was literally my first thought. Then the intercom system comes back on and I hear another female voice: “Ladies and gentleman, you heard our captain, we ask that you please do not get out of your seat until we have passed the storm. Please. Stay. In. Your. Seats!” She scolded us and I realized that I was wrong. We had a female captain flying the plane and then I thought this (apologies again to my feminist friends):
“GET OFF THE INTERCOM SYSTEM AND FOCUS ON FLYING THE PLANE! THAT’S LIKE TEXTING AND DRIVING! NO WONDER WE’RE ALL OVER THE PLACE!”
The plane continued to drop and roll from left to right for 30 awful minutes and I was clawing at my window and my arm rest for it to stop! Nothing helped. I tried reading but that didn’t help. I tried watching a movie, that didn’t help. I tried putting my face down in my lap, that was awful and made me want to vomit, so I just sat there clutching my legs for dear life! If I could have folded myself into a fetal position then I would have but I felt so helpless and scared. It turned we experienced clear air turbulence which is difficult to fly in and undetectable. Great.
Once we made it through the storm, I calmed down and realized what a sexist pig I had been. Why wouldn’t a women be able to fly a plane? After all, women airline pilots make up 5% of airline pilots, totaling 8200 as of December 2011. I never had a female airline pilot fly a plane I was in and I was surprised. After I got over my sexist episode, I realized what a fantastic job she did getting us through that storm because it was the same storm that spawned 100 tornadoes in the midwest.
Even though I felt like I was going to die, I was pleasantly humbled by this female airline pilot. I just wish her stupid flight attendants would have been as awesome as she was. I’m glad to report that I didn’t die but I’m pretty sure that was a close call.