Not My Typical Christmas Day

Los Angeles Travel Blog

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When I got home around 2am, you would think I would go immediately to bed to rest and sleep since I was sick and getting on a plane later this evening...but I didn't!  Instead I stayed up 'til 4am because I figured if I tire myself out, I can pass out on the plane.  So I changed the playlist on my Nano and rethought what I packed, unpacked, and repacked my stuff into my new 22"  maroon red rolling backpack with detachable daypack as my carry-on.  When I did go to bed, I barely slept, congestion, difficulty breathing, and pre-travel excitement kept me restless.  But eventually, somehow I fell into deep sleep...

Normally, my mom, my brother (when he is in town), and I would go to Christmas Day Mass at 9am.  Afterwards we would drag my dad out to brunch or lunch at any open restaurant.  This year, however, was brother was flying back home to the Bay Area to spend Christmas with his fiancee's family while I was heading out of the country for my first winter getaway.  So after a family breakfast at home, my dad volunteered to take my brother to the Burbank airport while I got more rest. 

The hours flew by and it was now my turn to be whisked off to the airport.  At first just my dad was going to drop me off at LAX but my mom wanted to come along for the ride too.  Traffic to LAX was minimal which was a HUGE surprise.  The KLM drop off curb was EMPTY!  Hold up...wait a minute...did I have temporary dyslexia again and get my departure dates and times wrong?  Thank goodness NO...phew my flight hasn't left yet! 

At the curbside drop off, I got hugs and kisses from my parents along with their well wishes..."Have a good trip!"... and sage advice..."Be careful!".

The check-in line for KLM was short...woo hoo!...there was probably 10 to 15 people waiting in line ahead of me.  However, my inner celebration proved to be uncalled for because I spent at least another HOUR waiting to get up to the check in desk.  Unbeknownst to me at the time but according to my cousin that works at LAX, KLM is to Europe as PAL is to the Philippines!  Having flown from LAX to PI on PAL several times, I hope you don't mind if I stand on my imaginary soapbox and rant!  It is customary in the Filipino culture to bring back gifts (pasalubong) for family and friends...I think that's great because sharing is caring.  BUT what I hate is standing in line waiting for the travelers checking in ahead of me to PACK their boxes at the check-in desk to maximum capacity. 

My experience with KLM on this Christmas Day brought back memories of checking-in on PAL ...I waited in line for the travelers ahead of me to fill their f!@#ing boxes and even luggage at the check-in desk with chocolates, cookies, cigarettes, and even alcohol...hello...isn't there a ban on transporting excessive amounts of flammable liquids!  Some guy even had his kid...who looked like 10 years hold gift sets of Patron Silver and Bacardi Rum!  Buy an f!@#ing scale so you can pack and weigh your luggage and boxes...AT HOME!  So much for my holiday spirit, right?!? 

I was much more merrier after checking in.  I couldn't wait to be up in in the air.  I love air travel…I love the thunderous motion of the plane speeding down the runway, the noises of plane parts moving flaps and what not, the rush of adrenaline from the ride, and the brief moment of weightlessness at actual lift off…LOVE IT!  Woo hoo! boarding group called…ticket scanned…and I’m on the plane…now to find my seat. 

I walk down the aisle people staring, passengers blocking my way through, me not knowing how far back I’m seated…then WTF…BITCH SEAT (aka middle seat)!!!...I picked an aisle seat off of the plane diagram on Cheaptickets...BASTARDS! I should have confirmed at check-in and/or protested that I had an aisle seat but my irritation at waiting in the check-in line made me want to just board the plane and take off immediately.

I begrudgingly took my seat next to an older gentleman sitting in the window seat.  I fidgetted in my seat, stared at the people boarding the plane, and wondered who would end up sitting next to one of the cute guys I saw in the waiting area!  While waiting for the rest of the passengers to be seated, I hoped that the aisle seat will remain empty. hopes were dashed and the seat was taken by another older gentleman. 

But I guess I was on Santa's good girl list this year because the cute young man with a Pepperdine University sweatshirt sitting in the aisle seat behind my row switched with the older gentleman in the aisle seat next to me so that the older gentleman could sit next to his friend...awh the Christmas spirit is still alive and well!  It was shaping up to be a Merry Christmas after all! After the hottie took the aisle seat next to me, I was hoping to get a chance to chat with him BUT to my dismay he proceeded to distance himself from the "world" by putting on his Bose headphones. Darnit!

UGH!...being sandwiched in the middle made it much more difficult for me to fall asleep even though was so tired from fatigue and illness. To pass the time, I flipped through my copy of Berlitz's Dutch Phrase Book & Dictionary reading the phrases aloud in my head. Even though I was only going to be in Amsterdam on an 8 hour layover, I wanted to be prepared to attempt to speak Dutch if the opportunity arose. Eventually, I ended up chatting with the older gentleman sitting in the window seat. Through the course of our conversation, coincidentally, it turned out that we had some common ground...his daughter and I graduated from the same university...what are the odds of that?!? Anyways, I eventually was able to nap considerably in between the many meals, snacks, and beverage services offered with the flight.

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