Circumstances finally allowed the wife and me to spend this past Thanksgiving with our son and his family in California.
The last time that happened was in 2009, the year our grandson was born. The ensuing years saw us facing down health and aging challenges, so it was going to be a real treat for us.
I had to cancel a solo vacation to Las Vegas in June (the family aging challenge I mentioned), so I had this paid single traveler ticket to use. That meant I'd have to book the wife's and my reservations separately. Humbug, but it worked out.
Checking in separately online was another humbug, as was getting our separate boarding passes at the airport. Our gate was as far from TSA PreCheck as it could possibly be, and we were pooped when we plopped our butts down in the boarding area.
So there we were, way in the back of the economy section, babies in front of us, kids behind us, and to our right.
The only reason we didn't have kids to our left was because we had window seats.
It was like being in kindergarten. The kids couldn't sit still, could keep their mouths shut, and had the most God-awful raspy coughs I've ever heard.
The little girl seated behind me is aspiring to be a rock band percussionist, I think. She kept on rapping out a rhythm on her tray.
The little girl to the right kept fake-crying and telling everyone within hailing distance that she was hungry, hungry, hungry.
Their mommies and daddies had their phones plugged in their ears, listening to music, gently admonishing their kids with "shhhhhhh's" every now and then. Big deal. Their attempts failed miserably.
But I'm a patient soul, so I listened to music on my iPad while playing games, trying to ignore the juvenile nattering around us.
Damn, I wish I'd just bought first-class seats out of Hawaii. Lucky we flew first class on the return trip.