So I told you how I had my event in Boston last week. It was so well and we were all on a success-high Friday. Most of our staff took off for home Friday afternoon. But it just so happened that my mom's side of the family was having a reunion in up-state New York the next day. So I had planned in advance to take a short/cheap flight from Boston to Albany, spend the weekend there, and then fly back to Lexington on Sunday.
I had a ticket for some airline called "Cape Air". I had no idea what it was, but had booked it via Kayak or Expedia and it was the cheapest and direct, so I went with it.
We were all joking that it would be a small plane since it was a strange airline, but Lexington is a smaller airport so I had been on small jets before. Yes, they are a little tight, but not too bad.
Well.... let's just say I had NO IDEA what I was in for.
When I checked in at the Cape Air counter, they weighed my suitcase ("Big Brown" as we call her...she's a beast). Normal procedure. Then they proceeded to weigh my carry-on roller bag, and my purse. Strange. Then they asked me, in front of all the passengers within ear shot, how much I weighed. I gave them a bewildered look and said, "me??". The agent nodded like it was the most normal question in the world, so I told him how much I weigh
minus 5 pounds.
At that point I knew something was up. I thought maybe this plane is really small. But still, I had no clue of the trauma I was about to experience.
Once I went through the gate, down the stairs, and out into the open air, I literally stopped in my tracks. Because I saw this...
I literally gasped. I couldn't move. I was frozen in shock.
Is that the pilot opening a door on the side of the "plane" like the trunk of a car?? Can you even call this metal thing a plane?? More like a mini-van with wings.
Did they really just open a compartment on the wing and throw in carry-ons?
How the hell is Big Brown going to fit on this thing??
And this isn't a long line you are seeing. This is EVERYONE on the flight. Including the pilot (in white) and the co-pilot, in jeans and a collared graffitti Tshirt (um..no).
Eventually, they convinced me to board this "aircraft" and the gravity of the situation finally hit me.
I could literally reach forward and pat the pilot on the back if I fancied! Which I fully intended to do if he managed to get me to Albany alive in this metal sphere of doom.
And did you notice all the men are in the front?? Myself and the other two chicks were in the back. They put the heavier folks up front to balance out the plane! The fact that that is even an issue proves that this is just unsafe all around. And if I knew balancing out the weight was a matter of life and death, I would have thrown back in those 5 pounds I excluded at the check-in desk. Just to be safe.
So the entire flight was basically me having an inner monologue of panic and using every ounce of strength I had to not burst into tears.
I'm terrified of heights. And not like a thrill-seeking, let's jump out of planes and it'll be scary but still fun, kind of fear. More like the walk up two stories of a water ride and become paralyzed with fear so that I'm unable to continue up or walk back down, type of fear.
Combine my fear of heights with my fear of flying (something going wrong, having no control, being screwed, etc.) and I'm really not the best on a plane. Which is ironic because I fly quite often for my job.
But I've gotten better. Especially on big jets. I look cool and collected on the outside and am only nervous in turbulence or storms.
However. This little "puddle jumper"... No. Just no.
I could see out the front the entire time. Which was nerve-wrecking, to say the least. At one point we were cruising right through clouds and couldn't see a THING in front of us. HELLO! What if we, like, ran into something?? UGH.
I also got to see the landing. Pure panic. Just chanting in my head, "Please just let us land. Please just let us land."
Once we landed safe and sound, I felt an overwhelming urge to lie on the ground and never get up. Then the scrawny little co-pilot in his Ed Hardy knock-off Tshirt turned around with a big goofy grin and said, "That was the best landing I've had all day!"
If I hadn't been so relieved that I was alive and physically well, I would have been fuming. This guy is practicing his landings with real life passengers on board?? He's not even in an official shirt! Don't tell me these things! UGHHHHH.
Needless to say, I was exhausted that night. A long week of working followed by the most traumatic experience of my life just totally did me in. My cousin poured me the biggest glass of wine ever. Because, is there any other appropriate solution?
In the end, I made it in one piece. And I got to spend the weekend eating good food and seeing my extended family that I so rarely see.
My Dad and 2-year old Niece. Melt my heart.