Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday Sojourn - From the Sky

“The best laid schemes o' mice and men Gang aft a-gley" (The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.)

- Robert Burns

Silly me. What was I thinking? Getting up at 3:30 in the morning to watch a royal wedding and saying to myself, “No problem. I can sleep on the plane.”

[Yes, I’m off on another trip. Every year, usually on Mother’s Day weekend, I fly off to Las Vegas to visit with Son #3, The Coach, and his beautiful wife, The Fashionista. They both work very hard, she as a sales rep, and he as a teacher and coach-of-any-sport, and though they come home to Weldon Spring once or twice a year, we enjoy seeing them in their natural habitat occasionally, too. This year, we’ll have the opportunity to sit on the sun-drenched bleachers and watch The Coach lead his high school varsity football team to victory…we hope.]

Well, my plan to rise early and sleep for hours on the plane seemed like a good idea when I hatched in in the early morning hours. Actually, the plan worked perfectly for a good long while. I had a beautiful morning, watching a lovely young couple take their till-death-us-do-part vows in opulent splendor. I drank cups of strong English Tea Maine Blueberry coffee and ate piping hot scones hard boiled eggs . I admired women in lovely dresses and bizarre creative hats, and men in morning suits and uniforms. I chatted on facebook with friends inWashington, D.C., Toronto, Canada, and London, England. I had a great time.

I watched the giddy crowds, so enamored of the spectacle that many of them had spent the night in ?) Park in order to catch a glimpse of the procession to Westminster Abbey. As the happy couple returned to Buckingham Palace after the beautiful ceremony in Westminster Abbey (which had been bedecked with scores of live trees inside the abbey, which I just adored), I watched the jubilant people chant in unison to their future king to “Kiss Her! Kiss Her! Kiss Her!” until he obliged. Twice.

After The Kisses, I reluctantly turned my attention from the telly (hehee) to the unpacked suitcase and readied myself for my journey. I cleaned the kitchen, tidied the house, and picked up the Little Beauty from her morning preschool.

Our #2 son, the Scholar, drove my husband and me to the airport, where we enjoyed a nice salad before boarding the plane. I was feeling ready for my nap, but what a fun morning I’d had.

Then the plan fell apart.

[First of all, who makes these flight plans, anyway…’Wrong Way’ Corrigan? We were scheduled to fly from Lambert St. Louis Airport southeast to Birmingham, Alabama, and from there, west to Las Vegas, thereby turning a four-hour trip into a six-and-a-half-hour fiasco flight. Really? How is this plan economical to our environmental resources, the wear-and-tear on the airplanes, and even sound business practice? But I digress…]

What are the odds that one could spend two flights totaling over six hours and have two separate families end up in the seat directly behind me , each with a baby who screamed the entire trip? It must be astronomical…the odds, I mean.

But it happened. I don’t blame the babies, and I don’t even blame the parents (both of whom, it appeared, were completely surprised that their offspring were doing this, and clueless as to how to make it stop). These things happen. I know. I know. And no amount of expert advice from good-natured flight attendants and experienced mothers surrounding these families helped. There was no way a nap would take place.

I read. I did crossword puzzles. I flipped through the Sky Mall catalogue (did you know you can buy eyelash tinting dye that will last 28 days before re-tinting? Why can’t it last a whole month?)

Finally, I took out my camera and started snapping pictures of the journey from my seat on the plane. The blueblue sky, the ever changing topography, the cloud formations, and the lovely patchwork of roads and farms and mountains and valleys provided an endless supply of awe-inspiring and peace-inducing diversions.

The plane trip turned out fine after all. So what if I haven’t slept in seventeen hours or so? I’ll just plan on sleeping in Vegas. Another great idea, eh?

I may not have received an invitation to the royal wedding, but I had a front row seat to the majesty of nature yesterday. Here are just a few of the wonders I saw from my window to the heavens...enjoy.

The music selection could be none other than the legendary Louis Armstrong singing "What a Wonderful World." Enjoy.

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