Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Flash Gordon

Duncan's first airplane trip was blissfully uneventful. We left our house at 6:30 a.m., armed with a bag full of no fewer than seven new books, crayons, stickers, and paper, a Magnadoodle, an Aquadoodle, a DVD player, and a selection of DVDs.  I hadn't been to the Westchester airport in quite some time and imagined it might have grown bigger in the interim.  Really, not.  As I mentioned previously, we checked no bags.  We flew through security (unless you take the time to be concerned about your civil liberties as you remove your shoes to walk through the metal detector- it is a little more difficult when you also have to get a toddler's shoes off and on and try to explain why we're all barefoot) and arrived at the "gate" in plenty of time. 

The plane was probably the second smallest plane in which I have flown (unless my parents say otherwise; it's the second smallest I remember), and I was honestly terrified, but I seemed to cover it well. Westchester is one of those uniquely diminutive airports where you actually walk outside onto the tarmac and board the plane outside. We were in the back row, seats 9 A, B, and C. The plane was so small that Jamie actually suspected for a few frightening moments that it might not have a rest room, but indeed it did. Our flight crew consisted of Pilot Flash and First Officer Gordon, and I am entirely serious.  Someone must have paired them together just for giggles, like the year I tutored two students with Valentine's Day birthdays or the year I assigned Christina Tscharskyj to be tutored by Laura Tkazyik.  Duncan spent the first half of the ride fascinated with the plane, the seat belts, the flight attendant, the snack service, and the other passengers.  We asked him to blow his nose to pop his ears.  We spent a few moments watching Charlie and Lola, read a few books, looked out the window, and landed. It couldn't have been easier.

Our return trip was slightly complicated by a 30 minute delayed departure.  Apparently, the pilot hadn't arrived by the time we were due to depart.  That builds your confidence in air travel.  When we boarded the plane, he was still filling out paper work; he ran across the runway, jumped in his seat, and we were off. We entertained Duncan a little longer (he especially enjoyed the toy plane and Thomas the Tank Engine magnet set that Marylou gave him), and there we were, back in Westchester, where we simply walked out the door with our carry-ons and found the car.  Magic.

Duncan's favorite parts of the experience were watching planes take off in the Cleveland airport and watching planes land in Westchester.  We're thinking we may make another trip to Westchester just to visit the observation deck.  Imagine that...a trip to the airport just for fun? We were thankful that it went so well and that Duncan had such a good time.  We look forward to more air travel in our future, maybe the next time we receive an economic stimulus check (unless we need to spend it on gas)!

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