Jamaica Trip: The Flights July 16, 2008
It may have been a previously little known fact, but I am terrified of flying. The last time I was on a plane was when I was three and I thought it was a ride. Because you usually have no concept of the world when you're little. I thought maybe Disney World was at the airport and we just flew around for a little bit and landed, then went into the park. I remember about 5 seconds of this flight, leaning over my brother Scott and looking down out the window.
When I knew I was flying to Jamaica, I was nervous for a little while. About two weeks before, I talked to my Mom who works for our doctor, about possibly getting something to settle my nerves for the flight. We made an appointment and the doctor gave me some Xanax (can't wait to see what kind of traffic I get with that name on here). I told him I needed just 4, with his description of "take 1-2 every four hours". He gave me 10. I left for the airport from my parents' house (my Dad drove), at about 4 in the morning and got there at about 4:30.
There was a short line, and Mike and Amanda, Amanda, Becky, and parents and other family were in line ahead of some other people. I said hi and went to the back. I showed my passport and driver's license and got my ticket and headed to security.
This is where I totally screwed up! I had worn shorts with zippers in them, I had my phone and ipod in my pockets, my wallet has metal on it, I have a chain on my neck. Short version, I had to get swept with the wand and padded down while Mike waited for me, laughing at me. Secondly, they took my iPod and phone and put them in what I can only describe as a dog water bowl. After I was done getting swept, I asked the guy where my iPod and phone were, and he said "go check with your friend, he may have picked it up". Nope, I told him. I was like WTF. When I asked Mike about it he was like WTF. But he had it up at the desk. Thank God! I couldn't deal without music and just Xanax. They did spot one threat on me and he had to deal with it. At the last minute of packing, I was frantically going around throwing stuff in my carry-on that I might need, including a big squeeze bottle of sun tan lotion. I read the warnings that the travel agent sent, including "no liquids over 3oz" but totally forgot. He said "you're not allowed to have this", I said "take it". Get me the f#@$ out of here!
Waiting at the gate was fun. I had popped a Xanax about 30 minutes before, waiting til I got on the plane to take my second one. It's like a drunk feeling. At this point I had put the pills in my carry-on... whoops. This turned out fine though. As the plane boarded, I was just trying to do what the people in front of me were doing since it was my first time. I didn't want to hold anyone up as I got to my seat, so I just threw my bag, and the pills, in the overhead, and sat down to get out of the way as quickly as possible. I was on the window seat, which was great for my claustrophobia! It's mild. I sat and waited for takeoff.
Taking off went without a hitch. As the plane was getting ready to leave, I put my headphones and some Bob Marley on, the stewardess came by and said no. Damn. Takeoff with no tunes. Brutal. So I just got my camera ready and snapped some shots and a video of takeoff. At about 7:40 in the morning, this was an awesome sight! The only thing that really worried me was we were heading up and suddenly went DOWN a few feet. My throat quickly made some room for my heart and stomach and anything else that wanted to go up there. I was a little nervous. Hurry up and hit 37,000 feet!
I managed to fall asleep for a little while after we passed Virginia. The whole flight was estimated to take 3 hours and 5 minutes. This was after about 45 minutes or so. I forget at this point, plus I was on Xanax :) We hit some very gentle turbulence, where the seatbelt signs would turn on. It really didn't bother me. I fell asleep kinda looking out the window at the land. When I woke up probably 2 hours later, we were over WATER! I was like WHERE THE F#@% AM I?!?! I got nervous for a little while, and the Xanax had worn off. The captain came on shortly after and said we had just passed over Cuba, and the next land we'll see is Jamaica! Sweet!
Landing was freaking awesome. We were flying South, obviously, and the airport at Montego Bay faces west to east. We took this huge turn left and that is just about the freakiest thing ever. It just kept turning. Please stop turning or we'll be upside down soon. It finally flattened out and we went down for a very smooth landing, which I also video taped. Very smooth and the captain certainly knows what he is doing.
The way back to Philadelphia was a blur. Our flight had been delayed 2.5 hours. During this time, I popped a Xanax, spent $15 at the bar, popped another one, ended up sitting next to a very nice Jamaican girl going to Philly, I fell asleep leaning against the seat in front of me listening to classical music, woke up with my legs very tense and not feeling good at all. I woke up because the girl in front of me moved her seat up... WTF I'm sleeping here! Since my legs were so tense, I bit half a pill and tried to relax. The 2.5 pills did the trick. Along with the drinks. I got to my parents house and fell asleep in a few minutes. Next up, Jamaica Mon!