Bags are packed; documents printed; a twelve-page copy of the girls’ schedule lies on the counter for my mom; meals in the freezer and we’re off. Yousef picks us up at 1:00 for our 5:40 departure from JFK. We’re leaving early because you never know what traffic you’ll hit on the Belt Parkway and other than a brief scare, when Yousef pulls over on the Turnpike because he fears something wrong with the car, and I have visions of missing our flight and vacation, we’re at JFK by 2:15.
Flying business class has its advantages and one of them definitely is the ability to bypass the long lines at check-in and go right to the first class check-in line; subsequently we’re checked-in, through security and alone in Delta’s first class lounge by 2:30. Within thirty minutes the lounge fills with other passengers as we sit and sip red wine (Chris), and water (me) waiting our departure. We call home during the wait because I forgot to mention to my Mom that she needs to pick up Sammi from school (cello day) and other than that, nothing much happens. About 4:30ish they put out a nice spread of crappy airport food and about ten to five, after security (men with those funky earpieces) has flooded the lounge we decide to go board rather than hang around to find out what dignitary is about to arrive.
We get right on the plane (it doesn’t suck going from lounge to plane) and the flight attendants bring us some champagne (doesn’t suck either). Chris checks out the movie selection but it’s disappointing at best. We’d thought we’d be seeing Sideways on our flight but it turns out it’s only for people going to Greece or Turkey or some such destination. I end up watching Coach Carter, a predictable feel-good basketball flick, while I eat dinner.
The dinner menu is fine. They mark which entries they believe to be good if you want to sleep and which entries are good if you need to stay up at work. Contrary to my plan I go with the steak, a working entry, only because I have an issue with eating fish on planes (lingering remembrances of Airplane or Airport or something like that). Chris opts for veal (i.e., tortured baby cows – sorry I just saw that South Park episode the other night) and we both have an assorted appetizer plate and green salad. I skip dessert because at this moment, the sleeping pill and red wine I had before dinner kicks in and I’m ready to catch some zzzss.
Hours later, as we descend into Fuimicino, Chris wakes me as they’re clearing away the breakfast service, which I seem to have slept through. Luckily, the flight attendant brings me some Danish and coffee before everything must be stowed for landing. Chris downs his Red Bull; he believes Red Bull cures his jet lag, and we’re good to go.