Firsts and Hopefully Lasts?

2015 has seen a lot of firsts – some of which I hope not to repeat.

Moving on: After a long and painful process, I decided to move half way across the country on my own. No net included.

Longest Rode Trip: I made the trip twice. The first time was with my cat along for the ride – where I experienced for the first ever: food poisoning. Jackson, MS is not a destination I wish to repeat — ever. It was a doomed overnight stay from the moment I left the interstate until I dragged my sick body, cat in tow, into the car the following afternoon. When people say they feel like dying, they are not kidding. I would have been happy if someone had offered to put me down.

2 Apartments: I moved into my new apartment in March (my first apartment in over 20 years – I think that counts as a first), but in early April there was a fire in my building. It was a couple hours later that I learned the fire was in the apartment above mine. While I had no fire or smoke damage, my apartment was flooded. I ended up moving to another unit a couple of weeks later.
I fly – a lot so I was surprised when I look back over the last few months that a lot of these first are flight related. And that’s saying something considering how many years I’ve been flying.
My first trip to Santa Anna – business related, but fun none-the-less. This led me to grab my first cache in California (check another item off the bucket list).

Best Use of Duct Tape: In August on one of the trips to Santa Anna, I noticed that the wing had been duct tapped. I know duct tap fixes every things, but really? The wing of a plane? –> duct-tape-wing
Best Ride: On one of my solo trips to the west coast Avis didn’t have a lot in stock. They gave me a Jeep. Talk about fun! I even managed to find time to take off the front top of the Jeep and go cruising on the shore, at sunset, and watch planes land at the airport nearby. jeep-santaanna
Most Puzzling: When I fly, I prefer window seats. I like to watch the earth below – or clouds, depending on the weather. So it is with great surprise when I get on a plane and am presented with a window seat that has no window., I’m not joking. It was the only window seat (near as I could tell) that had no window.
windowless-aircraft <– Well you know that makes my list of firsts





Awards for the Worst, Best, Better, and Unusual go to:

WORST: 20 minutes after take off from Santa Anna to Dallas (a 3.5 flight), the passenger in the middle seat (I was in the window seat), was extremely ill. He obviously didn’t know what a sick bag was and so he used the pocket seat in front of him. The flight attendant was wonderful in trying to fix the mess and even went so far as to let the aisle passenger and me take turns standing in the back gallery for some relief. American Airlines has some great personnel.

BEST: I flew a lot this year and as a result, for the first time ever I made Platinum. I like it and hope I can keep this status for a while.
Austin Airport (which I can never seem to leave easily) went down for 3 weeks in the flood of October this year. Water not only took out the tower, but all the associated equipment. This led to Houston and San Antonio using a backup radar to work the Austin flights.

BETTER: A week after the floods, my MD–80 plane was swapped out for a 767 to move more people to and from the Dallas airport. Can you say WOW? It was not only on my bucket list of planes to fly, but I also got upgraded to first class. Let’s just say it is (minus military planes), the best flight I’ve ever experienced. The 757 and the 787 are still on my bucket list. (Cross your fingers for 2016 bucket list.)
Most UNUSUAL: Stranded in the Dallas Airport. This is a fail on American’s part (my personal opinion). They canceled several flights into Austin earlier that day because the backup radar went down and only long distance flights that were in route could land. They landed via line of sight – kinda glad I wasn’t on those flights. The fail was, I believe American knew they were going to cancel the flight 4 hours prior to 1am when they actually canceled the flight. The end result of this trip would have been a 2 day delay for another flight with no luggage (because they checked the bags on flight attempt #1); however, I started talking to a few people. Within an hour, I had secured a car for a one way trip with 4 strangers to Austin. It took me 13 hours to get home. For those of you who don’t think this is a a big deal – Dallas is usually a 35 minute flight or a 3.5 hour car ride from Austin.

Most Scenic: After all that flight excitement, one of my favorite firsts occur right here in Austin. A place called graffiti park.

I would like to say this ended my lists of firsts, but it hasn’t. I’m sure I forgot a few, but some of my favorite firsts:
I am enjoying my first freedom in years. My first year in a new city. New friends and new places to visit – locally and afar.

Last minute category, courtesy of United:
Most Concerning: As I was editing this post another flight first occurred on my take off from Houston to Hartford. We started down the run way and just as the pilot gained speed to thrust he slammed on the brakes. He then announced as we slowed down that he had just aborted the flight. Needless to say, a few of us were concerned. His concern when he went to take off was that we did not have enough fuel for the flight. I’m just going to end with that cause, well I got nuthin.

One thought on “Firsts and Hopefully Lasts?

  • at

    Well damn! It seems 2015 has truly been an “I survived” year for you.


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