Another week and another flight from sunny Florida to the chilly and possibly snowy Northeast. I would think that at this point in my travel life I’d have seen or experienced most everything travel has to offer. But once again, I found myself smiling at something somewhat new.
As always, the flights to and from Orlando are pretty packed with families with small children either excited to be going to or leaving exhausted from the Disney experience. This trip was no exception, although for the first time I had a family I had on my outbound flight who was also on my return.
I remember them because I noted how harried the mother looked herding their three children (an infant, a 4ish year old girl and a 6 year old boy) between herself and her husband. He wasn’t blissfully unaware of the stress, he merely seemed as if the kids were her responsibility. I do not seek to make excuses for him, but there is a chance it was a cultural attitude. Anyway, I remember thinking that I felt for her because the kids, though cute, were VERY excited by the prospect of the Magic Kingdom.
Today, as I was standing in line waiting to board, I spotted the family nearby where some of our air crew was hearing all about the trip from the little girl. As expected, the mother looked beat and the kids, particularly the girl, were extremely active. The little girl told the crew all about Disney and Cinderella castle and how she got a Minnie hat because she was Minnie and her brother got a Mackey hat because he was Mickey. The main flight attendant was totally engaged and several of us close by were smiling at the scene. The flight attendant asked her if the baby brother got anything and she mentioned that he got Donald Duck. It was at this point things turned funny.
The flight attendant asked the girl, “so, was your dad Goofy?” The girl looked at her and said just as serious as could be, “no, mommy said he was a jerk.” The immediate area went silent as the father and mother looked at each other embarrassedly and the mother tried to both explain and hush her daughter. The father slowly smiled and said, “I didn’t even get a hat…” The flight attendant and several of the rest of us just chuckled and let it go at that.
A bit later we boarded and headed on our way home, but the shocked look on the flight attendants face will stay with me for awhile longer. And while there was no real life lesson learned, it did brighten my day and I hope brightened yours.
Our flight landed late and I raced to catch my connection and got to the gate right when they got to my section for boarding. I walked on, dropped my stuff at my seat and headed back to the bathroom. As I reached for the door, the flight attendant said, “Good evening.” Still somewhat breathless, I said, “I am so glad I made it” and entered the bathroom not thinking about how it sounded. When I came out she looked at me and asked if I was okay, at which I explained I meant I was happy to get to the gate and walk right on, as opposed to it was glad I made it to the bathroom. We both had a pretty good laugh about it. Just glad there weren’t any hot nuts.