At last the trip to Europe & the UK was at hand. Since the Big K lived in Portland OR he flew to Atlanta the night before the adventure was to begin. I met him at check-in around noon- a very excited (at last) traveler. His first trip over the pond and first time in first/business class. Quickly checked in and on the way to the first class lounge to await boarding. Because our tickets were a specially discounted travel agent rate it was required that we were dressed in business attire- dress shirt, tie, jacket and dress pants.
The Big K really doesn’t drink much-if ever. But the excitement for all of the new travel experiences proved too much so a mid-day drink (or two) was called for. We soon boarded the plane for a short flight to the connecting flight for Paris.
Another lounge visit, a few more drinks and then it was time for the real adventure to begin. We settled into our seats- or as the Big K called them “barco-loungers”. Since the whole front cabin experience was so new to him he had to examine and test all of the buttons and functions of the seats. We were very fortunate to have a seasoned flight crew in our cabin who had a great sense of humor. They immediately “clicked” with Big K.
Shortly after take -off the cabin service began with (more) beverages. Just what Big K needed. He had already opened his tray table, reclined the seat and played with the gooseneck lamp that he was treating as a microphone for a fast food order system. “Order up” he kept squawking with the requisite “crackle” in the system. The head stewardess was dying of laughter. (Don’t encourage him!)
Prior to boarding he had purchased a few post cards and with drink in hand began to dictate what he was going to write. Since Paris was the first stop in our journey he was writing about what the French experience would be like. “fa fah fah fa” Bonjour, “fa fah fah fah”, Champagne…”fa fah fah fah” Eiffel Tower, etc. An entire card with his best impression of what French sounded like to him. Interestingly on my recent visit to Portland he came across one of the cards he had sent to his mother. It was the “fa fah fah” French card! We could hardly believe she had kept it after so many years.
Soon enough a nice multi-course dinner was served- on real china with metal silverware. (Much to his surprise.) Of course there was wine service with the meal (yea). The non-drinking Big K was feeling no pain at 34,000 feet. Postcards complete, a lovely dinner & dessert polished off, there was an after dinner beverage service. Soon our favorite flight attendant was by our seats with the drink trolley laden with after-dinner liqueurs, coffee and chocolates. (Remember we had to “dress” for the trip? This will be important in a moment). The Big K decided on Baileys- the only one of the liqueurs he had ever tried. Our flight attendant friend poured him a very generous glass. (VERY generous.) About the same time as the after dinner drink service the flight encountered some bumpy air. And the Bailey’s encountered the front of the Big K’s shirt…yikes! A perfectly pressed white dress splattered with a quite visible stain. Big K was quite upset but soon our flight attendant friend was beside us offering to clean the front of his shirt in their flight rest area. She took his shirt (thankfully he had an undershirt beneath his dress shirt) and was off for her break and laundry project. Since it was late and the Big K was feeling really relaxed we soon fell asleep until just before landing in Paris.
About an hour before landing and moderately awake, the cabin was prepared for a pre-arrival breakfast service. Our flight attendant friend came down the aisle with Big K’s shirt on a hanger- and looking as if it had been starched with industrial strength supplies. And no visible stain! That shirt was crispy! We couldn’t stop laughing.
After a quick breakfast it was announced that landing would be soon…wheels & flaps down…welcome to Paris!
The adventures of Big K & the Paris story continues in the next posting….
Thanks for reading… until next time, feliz viaje!