Planes, Trains and Automobiles

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This is the gorgeous view from directly outside my hotel. See what I mean about gorgeous mountains? El Paso is beautiful. So far everyone has been amazing. They’ve been kind, welcoming and generally just bone deep nice!

Tonight, I’m chillaxing by my hotel bar with a glass of Malbec and feeling inspired. Last night was my first good, full night of sleep since I arrived. It wasn’t overly crazy so I had the opportunity to relax and catch up on some of my favorite passions. I’m enjoying Sophie Oak’s Siren Unleashed and read some of the amazing people whose blogs I follow. In fact, Crazy Train To Tinky Town wrote a really cool blog about airports and people watching. It inspired me.

I’ve spent a lot of my life in or around airports. This trip would be no different. In fact, I’m about two or three miles from the airport right now. As fun as people watching in an airport can be, I’ve found that the people you meet on the plane can be even more intriguing.

So my question…do you remember your most interesting travel seat mate? Tell me about them…and what made them so memorable. If you don’t have a memorable seat mate, maybe share your most intriguing conversation that happened during travel…

My cousin says I’m a magnet for “interesting”. Over the years I’ve come to realize that it’s not that I’m a magnet…it’s that I interact! I talk. I listen. And then I’m constantly entertained…which always translates to storytelling.

I’ll start with the most interesting interaction I had in an airport. A few years ago, hubby and I were heading to Dallas for a Cowboy game. In fact, now that I’m thinking about it…it was our honeymoon! Usually we catch a flight from our nearby airport, but this time we headed out of Tampa. As we sat in the airport, John Gruden came walking up. Apparently, he was also going to be on our flight. He was working for ESPN at the time and doing the show. I spotted him, then pointed him out to hubby. He walked up and shook Mr Gruden’s hand and told him how much we enjoyed him. The guy was very cool. In fact, he found us when we landed at DFW and told us to find him at the event and ask questions. He was absolutely great. He treated us like new friends. We loved it.

My most interesting “on the plane” interaction? The June I graduated from high school, my biological grandfather died. I knew the news was not going to be good when my cousin called at 6am. No one calls that late in my family in less there is an emergency.

I was going to be flying alone to Michigan… I was 18, so it wasn’t a huge deal. When I boarded, I noticed an elderly couple toward the front of the plane, but otherwise it was just me. Seated by a window on the center of the aircraft, I was just settling in when a group of tall, large, strong men walked onto the plane. As they took their seats, I noticed I was surrounded. Two of the giants (I’m only 5’3″…and back then was only 105 lbs) were sitting behind me, two in front & 2 more across the aisle, plus the rest of the guys on the plane. The guy in front of me was the sociable sort and turned around.

Kneeling on his seat in my direction our conversation went something like this:

Him: Hi there!
Me: (tilting my head to make better eye contact) Hello…
Him: How are you?
Me: Fine.
Him: Are you from Detroit?
Me: Nope. Going to Michigan for a family emergency.
Him: I’m sorry. (Pauses) Soooo…. How old are you?
Me: (Realized he was hitting on me and checking my status as jail bait…Rob Lowe had just recently gotten busted) I turn 19 tomorrow.
Him: Really? Got any proof?
Me: My military brat ID.
Him: Can I see?
Me: Sure.
Him: (smiles down at me) Happy birthday! (Turns to his other buddies) Hey guys…can you believe she’s 18?

I laughed. He had just waved the “go” flag for himself and his friends. I was also right…I was on a flight with a college football team. Suddenly I found myself under a microscope as they all peered over the chairs at me and said hello. I laughed. Then the guy continued:

Him: So, how long are you going to be in town?
Me: A few days.
Him: You should give me your number. I’ll take you out and show you the city.
Me: (laughing and a bit coy…and not nearly as naive as he thought) My mama told me not to give my number to strangers.
Him: I introduced myself. We’re not strangers anymore.
Me: Why don’t you give me YOUR number. If I want you, I’ll call you.

After a bit of playful debate, he gave me his number. As we got of the plane, he and five of his friends insisted on escorting me “safely” to my family. The look on my relatives’ faces were priceless! Their eyes were huge as the boys all said goodbye, each stooping down to give me a hug.

I never did call the guy back…but is it any wonder why I so enjoy ménage stories? Does this not help to explain my interest with the Mile High Club?

Your turn!

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33 thoughts on “Planes, Trains and Automobiles

  1. journeyman1977 says:

    had a good laugh reading about your flight to Michigan 🙂 Most interesting interaction I had in an airport would have to be the time when the TSA morons at JFK had me strip to my boxers thinking I was carrying a concealed firearm lol. Where do they find those schmucks? Then it was established that I had left over shrapnel all over my torso. Only then was I given the all clear. That was as interesting as it got for me.

    Most interesting travel seat mate would be a State Department Courier carrying the ‘Diplomatic’ pouch from Heathrow to Tel Aviv. Nice enough guy, being retired military he had interesting war stories to trade with me.

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Thank you for serving…and taking the shrapnel. Yeah…TSA can make things interesting, but the worst that I’ve ever gotten was felt up around a breast…LOL! Would you believe that Danny Bonaducci was on the flight home? I love being around warriors when they’re in the mood to swap stories. Maybe it was my upbringing. BTW, did you see the story I wrote in honor of you guys on Veteran’s day? I hope you did.

      • journeyman1977 says:

        yet to read it, Kitt…will do so now 🙂 Having folks like you appreciate veterans makes it all worthwhile. Honestly. Army brat? 🙂 Bonaducci is good to go! Lucky you 🙂 and I hope you gave them TSA yahoos a good yelling for getting too personal!

        • Kitt Crescendo says:

          Air Force brat. Stationed 2 yrs in Merced, CA, then Bittburg, Germany, then Clark AFB in Philippines (also where I was born). When I was really little and most girls were playing Barbies, my friends and I in Germany would pack a lunch, belly crawl through a field and into the woods, then stand “guard”. I used to dream of my family and I saving the world, LOL! Copters, tanks and subs were always involved. 🙂 (Uncle is retired Navy).

          Obviously, growing up this way, I have lots of military buddies. We seem to gravitate to each other.

          • journeyman1977 says:

            Huge hug…reading your post btw…very awesome. I fought beside Americans in 1 war and have my utmost respect for their soldiers, sergeants, line officers and even battalion commanders….I’ve also attended one’s funeral only to witness the spectacle of westboro…and as my love for America grew to disgust in that moment, it was rescued by the amazing sight of the patriot guard riders and their flags escorting the hearse. the soldier died defending the very freedom those disenchanted westboro people abused by slandering the dead young man being buried that day. In france, there is a separate, special cemetery for the US war dead…it over looks the English Channel…like a miniature Arlington….the people of France acknowledge the greatest sacrifices made by soldiers. May be it is because it’s a nation of romantics. But those bikers with their flags protecting that hearse made me even prouder of America than ever before. Yes, those who serve or have served gravitate to each other. Because only those who have been there know the cost. And as a military dependent, you are well aware of that cost. Bless you.

          • Kitt Crescendo says:

            The cemetery in France sounds lovely! You’re right… We here in the States are a mixed bag. There are those who are so completely clueless and unappreciative of what our soldiers and their families go through on a daily basis. The stench of their ignorant abuse in the name of morality is yet one more freedom they get at the price of the blood shed by the same people they mock…and they’re too blind to see the irony.

            A soldier’s life, regardless of what flag flies over his/her head, is never easy. It takes a love and passion few rarely experience. Bless you, too, for being one of those guys.

          • journeyman1977 says:

            A lifetime ago, my friend 🙂 now I’m a bonafide villain according to these local clowns 😉 But thank you…I grew up in your country and loved it then as I do now. And she’s never short of brave young men and women. And I get all emotional every time I hear Lee Greenwood sing God Bless the USA. lol

          • Kitt Crescendo says:

            Eh, what do the local clowns know…. LOL! I love that song. American Soldier by Toby Keith is another goodie. I love to sing God Bless America… Of course America, The Beautiful is also great.

          • journeyman1977 says:

            Toby keith kicks butt 🙂 love his stuff…yep America, the beautiful is just as good as Greenwood’s but depends on who’s singing it…

          • Kitt Crescendo says:

            True. I love the traditional versions, but I also have a huge soft spot for Ray Charles’ version. Just like there’s something completely awesome about Jimi Hendrix’s version of The Star Spangled Banner. BTW, if you love quotes, check out my blog post on Sept 18th. You’ll love the clip I put on there.

  2. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches. says:

    Having flown coast to coast once a week for almost fifteen years and often European flights, I’ve trained myself to go to sleep just as soon as I buckle my seat belt. I rarely remember when a plane leaves the ground. I almost always flew the red-eye. That way when I left San Francisco at night I’d reach D.C. in time to change and reach wherever I needed to be.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Unfortunately, I am usually the most interesting person, but not in a good way– I am terrified of flying. I tell everyone I sit next to that I might freak out. I just like to warn them in advance. In the past, I have grabbed arms, I have been hugged, I have been soothed, and I have been offered many drinks. These days, I usually just take a muscle relaxer and things go much more smoothly. Enjoyed your story. Fun. And I jelly that you are in El Paso.

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Aww! My sister would sometimes leave crescent dents in my arm from where her finger nails dug into me. She is a little afraid of heights, so smaller planes, especially during turbulence is tough. I’ve always thought sex would be a great distraction for people afraid to fly…or at least groping under a blankey…LOL!

      I’d recommend El Paso to anyone. It’s great! The wierdest thing is driving down I-10 and realizing that the shanty houses you’re actually looking at shanty houses from Juarez, Mexico. They’re really that close. Of course you look to the right and it’s completely different!

  4. Jane Sadek says:

    A non-stop flight from Frankfurt to Dallas remains my most uncomfortable flight and probably because I couldn’t talk to anyone. I was traveling alone and had been placed in the center of a row of immigrants from a country that will remain unnamed to protect the guilty. No one on the row had ever bathed and their perfume was redolent of of grease and a spice I will never be able to eat again. Though I couldn’t talk to anyone, they were certainly doing a lot of talking – at a volume and pitch that nearly drove me mad. My biggest accomplishment was to convince them to let me out to visit the facilities, but wouldn’t you just know it, when I got out of the restroom we flew into some turbulence and had to crawl back over my seatmates to my prison chair. Crazy!

  5. Emma says:

    Those boys sounded like a lot of fun, lucky you! That view is gorgeous.
    I met quite a few characters the summer I travelled by train throughout Europe. My boyfriend at the time and I ended up sitting next to a Korean guy on a train to Krakow and wouldn’t you know it, we were all staying at the same hostel. Ended up going for dinner and drinks and turned out to be a fun night.
    On a Greyhound bus from New Jersey to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, I got the last seat on the bus beside a guy from Co. Tyrone. He hadn’t been home to Ireland for a decade so was eager to hear all the news from back home. I love meeting random people when I travel.

  6. Don't Quote Lily says:

    Lol, NICE! I can just imagine the look on your family’s face, with you being escorted by a group of guys…not just one, but a bunch. 😉 Man, my travels are never interesting, but I guess it’s cuz I don’t interact. Oh well. 😉

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Girl, you should have seen my cousin’s face. Her eyes got wide, her jaw dropped, then she started shaking her head. She looked over at me and said…only you…LOL!
      Next time you travel you should try interacting…see if any writing fodder comes from your (mis)adventures. 🙂

  7. fuonlyknew says:

    I grew up in Michigan and my flights back there were never this yummy!
    Wanted to stop by and say Hi and find out what I’ve been missing. Nice to meet you and now following all the fun here:)

  8. L.J. Kentowski says:

    I always love your stories. I swear sometimes you’re 1000 years old you have so many of them LOL I can’t really remember an interesting convo on any of my travels. Usually I have my nose in a book on the planes. Maybe I need to socialize more so I can get better stories 😉 I just read a book about a chance meeting in an airplane bathroom that I know you’ll love LOL

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