The plane gently rolls along the tarmac taxiing into position at Toronto International Airport (TOR) as the Co-pilot briefs the staff to brace themselves as the plane begins to generate speed. As the wheels roll faster and faster down the asphalt until its nose pushes the air out of its way peaking off the horizontal-plane along the tarmac and begins quickly rising into the sky. This entire scene unravels before my eyes, as I peer out the window watching the airport buildings rush past and as we lift off into the air the massive hangars and buildings below gradually get smaller and smaller. This is when my heart stops pounding from the exhilaration of lift-off and I count my blessings of yet another successful take-off while the plane safely reaches its cruising altitude of thirty-five thousand feet.
Over the last 10-hours and 2-time zone changes, my wife and I have had breakfast and lunch at Edmonton International Airport. Took a 5-hour flight over Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and landed at TOR. Sprinted out of the domestic airport in Toronto, only to reach a lineup of international travellers being stopped at a glass partition by TOR staff, who were funnelling people through a random gate between domestic and international flights. Ran down the extremely long set of quickened walk-way conveyor belts only to reach the gate as the our zone bound for Dublin, Ireland was boarding.
Settling into our mid-centre seats we idly chat about what movies we will most likely be watching across the Atlantic Ocean. This is when, my wife comments, “Hey, where’s the headrest TV?” Looking up, I glance at all of the backs of the headrests in front of us. “Interesting. You’d think an international flight would have those.” “Must be those that drop down from above?” “Maybe. But where from?” The two of us began trying to determine where the TV’s are located?
My wife is tired of trying to figure it out and pushes the “stewardess come hither” button. Step arrives, scanning our faces, trying to decipher what our inquiry will be about. “How may I help you?” she asks. My wife asks about where she can watch a movie? Steph, explains this particular Air Canada plane is equipped with a “hot spot” onboard. So, you simply use Wi Fi and connect to your cellphone or tablet.
I literally burst out laughing as my wife’s jaw drops open. Steph looks at both of us in complete dismay and utter silence. She is unsure how to respond to our horrified faces. This is when I gain my composure and explain, how on this trip, I have decided to go “technology-free” and that I left my cellphone and tablet at home. The tables turn, now Steph looks horrified. My wife giggles at her dismay.
Steph, then explains, that if we do not have our own tablet, we can simply “rent an iPad for $10.00 for the duration of the flight.” My wife declines the offer and says she will try using her cellphone for now.
Then my wife, asks about our meals. Steph says, “to have a ‘special meal‘ you must pre-order this before your departure day.” My wife agrees and said she talked to Air Canada Vacations nearly 2-weeks ago, that she is a Celiac, and requires special meals. I chime in, “me too”. Steph replies, “I will go check, to make sure those items are on the plane. And I will let you know.”
As Steph departs, I ask my wife, “Are you sure, you don’t want me to rent you an iPad?” “It’s okay. Really, I’ll just use my cellphone to watch movies. Or I’ll read my book. Or I’ll do some crosswords. Or listen to my music. It’s okay. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be okay.” At this particular moment, I could barely keep my eyes open as I was exhausted from the events throughout the course of our day and I merely wanted to take a nap until dinner arrived. I should have been paying attention to the warning signs before me, as they were crinkled all over my wife’s face.
Needless to say, I learned a very valuable lesson on this trip about traveling long distances with my wife! Whenever you are on a long-haul airplane ride again and the airplane does not have headrest TV’s for everyone. You just pull out your credit card and rent your wife an iPad, so she can watch movies and you can sleep.
You do this Aaron, so that when you start discussing the minute details, of your car rental contract with the rental agent who is trying to oversell you on everything that your package does not include. That you are able to do so. And that your wife is not standing beside you going in and out of her “Dr. Jekyl or Mrs. Hyde” mode. And the rental car agent is not taking advantage of this situation before him. That you get what you originally paid for on your 8th anniversary trip to “Fly n’ Drive Ireland“.