Sunday Family Stories - My first airplane ride (reunion wrap-up)

If you've been following along for the past few weeks, you know that when I was six years old, my grandparents, mother and siblings all piled into my grandparents motor home for a trip across three provinces and over 3000 kilometres to visit my grandfather's birthplace of Lac Vert, Saskatchewan.  If you haven't - well, before reading this week's installment, you might want to get some background by reading part 1 and part 2

After having spent the better part of two weeks in close confines, not to mention the stress of traveling such a long distance, my siblings and I were starting to become unbearable brats... no amount of prodding, gentle persuasion or even threats were keeping us from acting like little terrors.

I remember specifically sitting with my grandmother at the kitchen table of the motor home while she tried to share a news clipping about the family reunion and how special it had been, not only for our family, but also for the town of Lac Vert.  On any normal day, getting that one on one attention from Nana and reading the paper would have been important and special to me...especially since my name was printed in the paper as having attended... but my temper was so short and I was so out of sorts and tired that I did the unthinkable - I screamed, threw a fit and cried and said hateful things that I'm sure I apologized for later in life, but in the heat of the reaction, I was just a brat...

Things came to a head after that outburst, and the adults in the family realized that maybe another week to ten days cooped up together wouldn't be a fabulous idea after all... so while I calmed down and had a good cry on my grandparents big bed in the back of the motor home, a plot was hatched.

We'd drive to Saskatoon, the nearest city, and my grandparents would part ways with the rest of our clan... heading off for some well deserved 'adult' time, while my mom, sister, brother and I would embark on a new adventure together - an airplane ride!

We stopped in at a store on our way to the airport and we each got to choose a small toy and a book for the trip - my sister and I chose little dolls that came with accessories and a carrying case that strapped to your wrist and if memory serves, my brother picked a truck... These toys were safely stowed in Mom's carry on until we reached altitude and promised to behave for the rest of the trip, knowing that our new treasures would disappear if we fought (too much)

My sister and I sat together in the front of the plane, while my mother and brother sat a row behind us... I remember that neither Catherine, nor I got a window seat, because we had taken whatever seats my mom could book, so some poor business man was our window seat companion.

I had the aisle seat and remember people watching and talking to the flight attendants as they walked back and forth up the narrow aisles - I was lucky that for part of the trip my sister napped... so I couldn't fight with her too much :)

I also remember craning to look out the windows at the fluffy clouds and blue sky as the pilot crossed over Manitoba and brought us back into Ontario.  I marveled that a trip that had taken us more than a week by land was over in about 3 short hours...

I'm sure we saved my grandparents sanity, and probably my mother's when the decision was made to head back quickly rather than staying with them and it capped off an adventure of a lifetime for this 6 year old and made memories that have lasted a lifetime!

What was your first experience or memory with airplanes?  Do you have memories of family reunions or family summer trips?  Please feel free to share them in the comments - or if you've written a post about it, leave a link for us to read about it!