For years I have taken them. The notes started as shopping lists, then to-do lists, and packing lists. Eventually I started taking travel notes – always with the intent that I would write about the moments I captured on each line. Sometimes I do.
I am sure I am not alone.
Now each time I travel I pull out my iPhone 5S (yes, I know. I am old school), and jot down a few words to help me remember the moment.
Saturday, June 6, I took a few notes as we made our way from Costa Rica to Salt Lake City.
1. AA flight (1392) from Costa Rica.
It was actually a flight from Libera, Costa Rica to Dallas. Dave left moments earlier on his United flight. The boys and I boarded our plane and somehow each of us ended up with a row to ourselves. Our 7:05 AM scheduled flight time was three hours and forty-four minutes. The pilot announced that we were ready for take off, the boys and I were nestled snuggly in our rows, I heard the engines rev up as I drifted off. Maybe two minutes later the captain came over the loudspeaker,
“Folks, as you may have notice we shut the engines down and we are headed back to the gate. An engine light went on and we want to make sure everything is ok.”
He did. And nearly three hours, a few false starts, no murmuring, and two trips to the airplane bathroom later, we were off. I am grateful our pilot (I wish I knew his name) was so careful. Not only was he careful, he kept us all in the loop,
“Well folks, now they are draining the oil from the engine. They tell me it will be another twenty minutes. Thank you for being so patient.”
On and on his updates went. My guess is if I had not jotted this note down, and if life continued as fast as it does, I may not have remembered how important this moment was.
We landed in Dallas, moved quickly through customs and security, and only had to walk a few steps to our next gate. Dave reminded me that a perk of one of our credit cards was my Lounge Club membership. The information Desk (near Gate D22) was a few steps away. We asked the man behind the desk. As we stood there waiting for him to call someone and ask where our lounge was, Kyle and Eli figured out where we needed to go.
The Dallas Lounge Club near Gate D22 is interesting. It is a conglomeration of odd ball Lounge Clubs, some fancy, some bare bones. Our very clean, and very friendly-staffed room 1 was along the lines of bare bones. We did not mind. There were a few variety of potato chips, pretzels, apples, oranges, alcoholic beverages (no, I did not partake), sodas, sparkling water, and an espresso machine. The best part of the lounge is that you do not need a password to log on to the WI-FI.
I helped myself to the Gluten Free baked Lays and a cup of tea. As we situated ourselves people in the lounge were screaming as Barcelona won its fifth European Soccer Cup. We took our electronics out: phones, laptops, and iPads and their accompanying chargers. As I read the news on my laptop the television closest to me was tuned to a recap of Beau Biden’s funeral. Here is where the rest of the day’s notes come into play. I needed to set the scene.
The ticker read something like: Obama eulogizes Joe Biden’s son and moves people to tears. It did. I know. See, while Barcelona was winning on one side of the room, I was looking up Beau Biden’s eulogy on the other. I watched. I cried. I thought. “those are some well written words.”
“To the Biden family, this sprawling, intimate clan—I know that Beau’s passing has left a gaping void in the world,” said President Obama.
And before I could finish watching President Obama, I heard Coldplay’s Chris Martin strum his guitar all over the big church’s stage singing one of my favorite Coldplay songs, “Kingdom Come.”
“…For you, I’d wait ’till kingdom come
Until my day, my day is done
And say, you’ll come and set me free
Just say, you’ll wait, you’ll wait for me…”
I think the best part is the giant pipe organ accompaniment.
Ok. This may sound weird. My favorite moments of travel are often the small simple moments. Moments I may miss if I don’t pause, or write them down. Sometimes it is the combination of sweeping view and quiet moment. I will admit. Nothing beats the subtle moment of watching your husband read the Nature Valley Granola Bar wrapper as he sits under Delicate Arch. These quiet, subtle moments I do not want to forget are the “humanity”-styled moments.
Earlier Saturday our plane had engine trouble. We were exhausted and flying without Dave. Eventually, we made it to Dallas. We easily found our way to a quiet spot. One side of the room was cheering Barcelona’s win while the other was mourning Beau Biden’s death. We sat in the middle. Big moments like Rome’s Coliseum I will always remember. Small moments like these, I sometimes forget. Thank God I took out my trusty old iPhone and wrote myself a note.