An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Thursday, September 19, 2013

An Ocean, an Airplane, and a View from a Cockpit

Three years ago our family vacationed in Italy, and while we have so many wonderful memories of that trip, one of the most memorable occurred before we even got there ...

The story begins when we purchased our tickets for the trip using frequent flyer miles. Since Air France was having a special promotion, all five of us were able to fly business class ... a first for us. But there was a snag. Because airlines release a limited number of free seats, the five of us could not get seats on the same flight. So, my husband and the two older boys left on an earlier flight, and Timothy and I followed on another Air France flight an hour and a half later. We planned to meet at the Baggage Claim in Rome.

When we boarded our flight Timothy, who is passionate about planes, was clutching a drawing of our Air France flight. The flight attendant saw the drawing and promised to give it to the pilot later. The two of us then settled down for a quiet evening, all the more so considering there were (maybe) seven people in business class. I was the only female, Timothy was the only child, and we were treated well: champagne upon boarding (that is, champagne for me, Fanta for the bambino), toiletry packs (mouthwash, toothpaste, toothbrush, warm socks, ear plugs), plush blankets, fluffy pillows, a small pouch containing games/toys for our little guy, and seats that reclined to form makeshift beds.

Around midnight the flight attendant woke us up with an invitation from the pilot to come visit the cockpit. So, with everyone still sleeping, we were quietly escorted up the aisle. It was a surreal moment. We were flying above the clouds, somewhere over the Atlantic ocean, with a magnificent view of a full moon hanging right outside the window. It was quiet. It was magical.

And conversation wasn't necessary. Sometimes it is enough to stand in awe of beauty, and share a moment without exchanging any words at all.

A copy of Timothy's drawing.
The original is probably taped on an instrument panel
of an Air France jet somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean.

1 comment:

tiziana said...

Penso siano momenti magici, indimenticabili....
Anche Damiano, quando era piccolo, durante un viaggio verso l'America, ha avuto la fortuna di andare nella cabina del pilota e anche lui, come Timothy, è molto appassionato di aerei.
PS: Noi però, sfortunatamente, non eravamo in prima classe.