Life has been very, very busy. I've been hither and yon and back a few times and have had such a nice time doing it all :) A couple of weeks ago I flew out to Arkansas to be with my friends out there for a very short (48 hour) weekend. I basically always fly Airtran (go Airtran!), cause it's the cheapest way to go. Kelly and Ruth Anne got me to the airport nice and early which I was all over. The last time K and I flew to Ohio, we got to our gate just as the plane was backing up :( It was due to a combination of not allowing enough time and the picker-upper guy who was supposed to pick us up 5 minutes after we parked the car at Park-N-Go, showed up 22 minutes later. Oh, and it was July 4th weekend which meant that flights were packed and even overbooked. We had to change our destination and ended up at our friends' house at 1:30 in the morning. So I was all good with being in Atlanta in good time. I really do love the Atlanta airport. I've been through there so many times i feel right at home and know exactly which train to get on, cause you have to get on the train to get to pretty much any gate. (I'm not sure why y'all need to know all this. Consider this a tutorial on how to do the Atlanta airport).
Ok, so to make a short story very long, everything was on time for my flight to Branson. I boarded, said "hi" to the little old lady beside me, picked up the In-flight magazine, perused it (just felt like using that word :) and then waited, and waited. Finally a flight attendant showed up, and said, "Victoria _______?" I indicated that she was indeed talking to the right person, and then she handed me a new boarding pass and asked if the little old lady and I would mind moving because they were trying to accommodate a family with children. Would I? Not if the new assigned seat was 2A. The little old lady looked at me and said, "What are we doing?" I grinned kinda cheesy like and said, "they're moving us north." I happily got my carry-on down from the overhead bin and headed north. I'm one of those stingy flyers who will do everything not to check in luggage which means I often probably have the heaviest bags on the plane. I always appreciate when a gentleman notices that as well and offers to put them up or take them down for me. I'm never quite sure if they are looking out for me or themselves but that's all okay. I have this phobia of losing control and having it whank some nice old man on his shiny bald head. ( I coined the word, "whank" myself. It means to fall and hit with a resounding, will hear-it-the-rest-of-your-life, sounding thud.)
So I settled into my new seat and tried not to look as excited as I felt. You know, the cool, done this lots of times before, old hat kinda look. It is so roomy up there! I just wanted to stretch my toes and move around just because i could. All my fellow first-classers had already gotten their pre-flight beverages so i tried not to be too miffed that I missed out. It wasn't their fault or anything.
Well, we took off and I decided that first class passengers get tilted back in their seats further because they are up front. That was my only rational thought on the flight. I spent the rest of the time trying to keep my eyes to the right size. They just kept wanting to get bigger. Because, for one thing, they brought us beverages on trays. We got beverages.... the ordinary people behind us were served drinks. The trays were little and black and plastic, but every so much more elite than just being handed a glass from a flight attendants' hand.
Oh, and here is where I faced the moral dilemma. How much does an upgraded passenger impose on the good graces of the crew when he or she really paid for drinks, not beverages? Ok, so I wasn't going to ask for a bottle of the most expensive wine. I am a Christian and a teetotaler and all that so I'm good without the wine. But chocolate milk now...... that's where I started to waver. Yes? No? Should I? Should I not? The ordinary people behind me had to pay two bucks for a small bottle of chocolate milk but it was mine for the having. I broke down and nonchalantly asked for a bottle and they brought it, no problem. Even served it on a little black tray. And then they brought the snacks out. (in a pretty wooden basket). We had a choice of several elite things such as some kind of gourmet cookie and TGI Friday potato skins. I again, nonchalantly picked out a bag of potato skins, had moment of silence for the pretzel-eating folks behind us, and enjoyed my high class snack of potato skins and chocolate milk. Oh, and then the nice flight attendant came through and asked if we needed anything else. I asked for a glass of water. I needed it, I promise. I have no idea where you'd get the idea that I'd ask for it just because I could. Duh!
The landing was uneventful and I was the first person off the plane! Wit whew for writtendownbig! I love the Branson airport. It's the only privately owned airport in the States and it's decorated like a Bass Pro Shop. Everything is rustic and there are animal heads mounted all around and there's lots of greenery. It has all of two gates I think and the whole terminal area is about the size of a fairly big house. Coming from Atlanta to Branson is quite a study in contrasts.
So that's the story of how I got to Branson. 98% being true and 2% being writers privilege :) What I did in Arkansas is a whole other story. But relax. I'm not going to write it here. It included lots of good times and chats with friends and my first and second graders and family. I taught school out there two years ago and i have so many good memories of my time there. Culturally, it's a bit different than central GA :) You can still buy snuff at Wal-Mart if that tells you anything :)
So that's the story of my first business upgrade..... and I could have enjoyed another first on my way back. It was my first opportunity for being bumped but I felt like getting home and crawling into bed.
Stay tuned for another book review soon.....
P.S. I didn't take the pictures in this post. Just didn't want y'all thinking I was capable of such art.