Is airline travel for the faint of heart?

PH-BQC KLM  B777-200  & sunset

The Significant Other, the Son, Roxy, and I recently visited the city of Prague. After years of staring at this city’s name on my bucket list, I thought it was time.

The Son wasn’t too keen on going but I played the mom card. You know, the one that induces so much guilt, the child in question (or young adult, in this case) has no option other than comply.

“Honey, mom needs this. You’ve been talking about moving out and I’m struggling. I really think this trip will help with the transition and who knows, it might even prevent  “empty nest syndrome.”

Of course he caved and just like that, I was busy searching for a way to fly for peanuts.

To my delight, KLM had a special fare and we snatched it up. Unfortunately, our good luck didn’t last. Little Roxy’s ticket cost more than our own and came with a list of travel stipulations.

The day of the flight, they asked for her passport (dogs in Europe have a document called a passport where all vaccinations and health notes are recorded), microchip card, and health certificate. They asked that she stand, turn around, and lay in her bag. The procedure was so thorough, I thought they’d call the pilot to do a rectal exam on the poor pup.

Aware that we were irritated, the KLM associate said, “You understand that it’s important that our furry travelers are comfortable and meet flight criteria, don’t you?”

I replied, “With what you’re charging, why don’t you give them their own seat?” The Significant Other chimed in, “More importantly, why don’t passengers get treated to the same considerations?” At this point, the Son walked away and pretended not to know us.

I’m convinced airlines do their best to annoy customers. “Will you be stowing that in the overhead bin?” the woman handling our tickets asked, pointing to my purse.

Tempted to say, “No, I’m wearing it on my head,” I nodded. Exasperated, she sputtered, “No, no no! Small items must go under the seat in front of you.” The Significant Other asked, “Isn’t that where Roxy’s going?” Rolling my eyes I turned to him and said, “Yes, which means my bag will be under your seat. However, if that leaves you with little leg room, perhaps Roxy can wear it on her head.”

Meanwhile, the Son, who was standing ten feet away but still listening to our exchange, sent me a text that read, “For sure this is the last time I am flying with you freaks. Never again, mom!”

Boarding passes in hand, we approached the line at security. I turned to the Son who was sporting both dark sunglasses and a beard that would make Moses proud and whispered, “If they pull you over for a ‘random’ security check, don’t make a fuss.” Sighing deeply, he inched forward.

“Ma’am, ma’am, can you please step to the side? You’ve been selected for a random security check.” A fast approaching middle aged woman with a ten pound dog and a purse the size of an envelope and I was being pulled to the side? The irony was not wasted on the Son who laughed under his breath as he waltzed past me.

I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on the size of airline seats. “Honey, are these seats getting smaller or are my hips spreading wider?”

“Is this a trick question?” asked the Significant Other.

“Don’t answer that!”, warned the Son, “No matter what you say, this will not end well!”

Muttering “idiots,” I squeezed my ample, yet fantastic hips into the “torture chair” and prayed the arm rest wouldn’t have to be surgically removed upon arrival.

An hour and a half later, we arrived in Prague and folks, it was worth every irritant that lead up to it. Pictures do not do this city justice. I believe it is by far one of the most beautiful places in Europe.

There is much to say about our trip, but for now I’ll leave you with a few captures. Stay tuned for more posts about our travels.

Prague 1

Prague 2

Prague 3

What’s your favorite European city?
Continue reading “Is airline travel for the faint of heart?”

Roxy turns five!

Roxy birthday

Hello Everyone,

Our little Miss turned five this weekend! Our celebration was nothing short of spectacular as Roxy was finally able to return to the dog park. I’ve spent the last six months curbing her little outbursts by rewarding good behavior. Unfortunately, munching on too many homemade peanut butter doggie treats has resulted in a slight weight gain. While the extra pound makes Roxy all that much cuter, she now has to lose it to fly in the cabin when we travel this summer.

On another happy note, the Son graduated with a Bachelor of the Arts in Communication. And with Magna Cum Laude to boot! Like the Grinch, I felt my heart grew three sizes upon seeing my baby’s name on the graduation ceremony program. Indeed, it was the moment that finally allowed me to exhale.

I also want to take this opportunity to offer an apology for my absence. A shout out to Monica and Nan, whose support have helped me through these past ten months. Thank you, ladies! I love you! Much like Lemony Snicket, my life has been a series of unfortunate events, ranging all the way from surgeries to the unexpected death of a family member. It has not been easy, folks, but I’m still standing.

I have missed blogging, writing, and most of all, visiting your blogs. Please forgive my absence. It has not been intentional. However, with so much worry hanging in the air, my muse took to hiding. Nevertheless, things are looking up and guess what? Summer is just around the corner and you know what that means!

Yes, another summer of blogging from sunny Spain! I look forward to getting back in the writing saddle and catching up with your blogs. I have missed you!


How dare you snub me?

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When we last met, Roxy was chasing a pup into the cemetery...

The minute the Significant Other and I saw the man and his furry friend, we stopped in our tracks.

I heard the Significant Other mutter, “I just gave chase to this one and her cohort and I am in no condition to do another back breaking sprint.”

We tentatively took a few steps. I whispered to Roxy and pleaded with her to be nice.

The man and his furry friend came closer.
And closer.
Until they were a foot in front of us.

Roxy, in her usual modus operandi, leaned in close. This time, the other dog did not pull away. He lifted a paw and gave a sharp bark. Soon, the two were playfully running in circles.

No teeth were barred.
No growl was heard.
Just two furry friends who had connected instantly.

Watching the scene unfold, I was reminded of how many times we humans react similarly to Roxy.

The moment we feel we are not being appreciated, liked, or acknowledged, we become angry. We lash out. We say unkind words to the person who is making us to feel this way.

We are so busy feeling nursing our hurt pride, that we don’t realize what a huge waste of time it is to expend energy on something so trivial.

If only we took a minute to process the scene before us, we’d realize that the person who is ignoring us does not have the power to render us powerless.

If we took a moment to process our indignation, we’d realize we’re reacting this way because we are letting ego get in the way. We are taking things personally and allowing the actions of others to dictate how we feel. And in the process, we are allowing our insecurities to rise to the surface.

If we recognize that we have no control over how others act or feel, we’d realize that the only one we are responsible for is us.

Had Roxy chosen to ignore and walk past the dog that snubbed her, she wouldn’t have been involved in the gnarly dog chase that ensued; she wouldn’t have pursued someone who simply wasn’t interested.

Likewise, if we recognize that it’s not a given that everyone we meet will like us, we will spare ourselves a lot of angst and frustration.

If we are able to dismiss those who cannot appreciate all we have to offer, we will realize that only we are responsible for allowing others to make us feel bad about ourselves.

In taking back our power, we will discover that our sense of being does not have to be disrupted. Instead, it can remain tranquil, at peace, the way it’s supposed to be. We will realize we don’t have to spin out of control and lose our cool.

And like Roxy, we might discover that sooner or later, someone who is smart enough to truly appreciate us will come along.

Are you ready to take back your power?

Captures of the place where Roxy lost her cool.

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