God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Airplane Experience

Traveling is not what it used to be but this trip to Italy was not too shabby. Perhaps because we experienced the new United business class configuration on their international 747’s. Each seat is its own little universe with seats that lay down into full beds long enough to fit six foot Ken. Each person has a private entertainment console with options for movies, audiobooks, games, audio, Berlitz language lessons in multiple languages, TV shows, children’s programs and stuff I forget. All the programming is “on demand” so you can do whatever you want whenever you want. The selection of movies is extensive as are the audio options—you can even program your own playlist with any combination of music and artists you chose.

All of this is nice to relish if you have miles with which to upgrade or can cash in for a full ticket. Paying for it would be an altogether different matter—unless one has money to burn.

We did have one real scare when it looked as if we were parted from all our electronics, including computer, GPS, IPOD speakers, jewelry and all of our data for our two months here. We were on the upper deck of the plane where there is a little cubby hole to store carry-ons. When Ken grabbed ours, it was the last little black case there. Then, as soon as we deplaned, I opened it to get our passes for the flight from Frankfurt to Florence. It was the wrong suitcase!

As would be expected, we panicked. Without going into all the commotion, the highlights are:

After what seemed like a lot of time (which we didn’t have as the connection time to our next flight was brief), UAL/Lufthansa staff found which connecting flight the owners of the bag we now had were headed to. Unbelievably, it was to Florence—the same flight as ours. Coincidentally, the people were from San Diego.

We rushed to the boarding area which had a long, long, long line of people waiting to go through security. We knew that the people with our bag had to have discovered the switch up due to our computer but had no idea if they had already gone through security, were someplace trying to find their bag, what?. We were clueless.

We spoke with a man who was supervising the security line. He let us cut to the front and go right through, but he didn’t have any knowledge of the situation.

We rushed to the gate just as the plane was boarding. Standing at the agents’ desk was a couple being issued passes and a security guard holding the tag from our case. This was the couple who sat in front of us on the plane from San Francisco and who had taken our bag. Ken identified who he was and the security guard took him to a room where our case was being held. The other people were very relieved to get theirs back and so all ended well, including making our connection on time. But for a short while, things did not look all that good.

We view this as a true answer to prayer. Casey, who is a bonafide worrier, was becoming a basket case so I stopped with him and we prayed for God’s help in finding the suitcase. A minute later it all came together. Casey took no time in proudly telling the woman that he had prayed and so that was why it all worked out. He is a true child of faith.

The plane ride from Frankfurt to Florence is a short one and so very quickly we were where we wanted to be—home with friends.


Terry (teaberry) said...

Wow, Jane, what a scare! Thank God you had some divine intervention working for your all. A good omen for the rest of your trip, too! Enjoy.

Ice Tea For Me said...

I so glad your flight went well and the bag mixup was quickly resolved. God Bless Casey.

Anonymous said...

OMG, Jane, what a scare! I am a worrier like Casey, so I can understand how he felt. And, yes, prayers do help!

I'm glad everything worked out so well!


Judith in Umbria said...

I am so happy to read both new posts. I've been thinking of all of you and wondering how it would be.

I remember before I moved here that when I stepped foot in Italy I always got this full-up feeling, as though something missing had slotted into place once more.

Gil said...

lad to hear all is well. Never a dull moment for you guys!

Jane said...

Ciao Amici

How heartwarming to find these messages and the other posts. When I saw 18 new messages, I was totally amazed. Thank you for caring and writing. Judith, you said it well--something has fallen into place. But...moving here is not in the cards for us,unfortunately,

I'll try to write every couple of days. I know have a hook up in our apt.--because I lived in it for a year, I knew where to look and had brought an ethernet cable with me just in case. I am happy.