You Get What You Need

There it was - I saw it shining like a beacon from the self-service kiosk - the yellow available on seat 31J on the 777. That magical exit row seat with legroom galore (and even the “wedge” that you can put your feet up on if you are flying with an accommodating crew) was open.  After a, let’s call it ‘quite ambitious’ nine days of traveling (2 days in London, 1 day each in Reims, Normandy, and Chartres using Paris as a base, and 4 days in Greece covering Delphi, Hydra, Poros, Aegina and Athens), I was at the breaking point.  I had actually caught myself saying that it might be time to stay home for a while.

 In my nine days I had amassed more train, bus, boat and plane tickets than should be allowed. I’d missed my appointment to tour the champagne caves at Veuve Cliquot thanks to the complete absence of taxis at the Reims train station and too tight a connection to make the 45 minute walk. I sat in Paris Charles De Galle while the airline strung us all along and finally got us to London 4 hours late making me miss a curry dinner planned at my favorite restaurant.

I waited in Gatwick for over an hour for luggage from Athens and when it finally came (well after all flights were in for the night) there was no announcement or posting of the belt as flights “disappear” from the screens one hour after landing. I finally arrived to my pod at the hotel at Gatwick for a shower and a quick nap as I had an early morning flight out of Heathrow the next morning. (Of course it was Heathrow – nothing was easy on this trip!) I found that the hotel had sold my prepaid room to someone else and had no room for me! Finally I was given a pod without a shower and forced to take a shower in another pod after someone checked out but before the room had been cleaned. They did give me a clean towel, but seriously! Disgusting!

So when I finally checked in for my flight at Heathrow and the most magical coach seat ever created was available - I was back!  It was just what I needed to shake the crazy thoughts of staying at home from my head. Nothing can bring me down and I am already thinking of where to go next (even when 2/3 of the way through the flight, the attendant tells me I can no longer use my ‘wedge’ as a footrest…)      

--Kristen Kelly

(From Seat 31J)

 

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