Hey friends! Happy August!
I recently returned from a trip to Boise to surprise my friend M for her birthday (it was a huge success), and it was my first time flying unaccompanied. Traveling by yourself, as I found, is a fantastic experience. Navigating airports by yourself can be a bit tricky, depending on their size, but is very rewarding to do it alone for the first time. And, of course, traveling brings new experiences and fun stories.
I thought it would be cool to share the experiences I had on this trip, and also post some pictures from Boise sometime next week. Enjoy!
This story takes place as I flew from Portland, Oregon to my home city in Alaska.
I sat down at my gate at PDX and opened the sandwich I just bought. Taking a bite, I watched the people around me. A young couple sitting a few seats down, a group of teenagers, and an African-American woman with extremely curly blonde hair filled the seats. Sitting across from me was an elderly woman and an elementary-aged child. The girl was dressed in a coloful outfit and a large black suitcase at her feet. The older woman, who I presumed was her grandmother, smiled at me. I smiled back.
When the gate agents began boarding, the older woman with the girl got up first and boarded the plane. Fifteen minutes later, my boarding group was called and I stood up to get on the plane. As I pulled my carry-on bag down the Jetway and throught the narrow aisle, I scanned the numbered rows for the one that matched my seat number on the boarding pass in my hand.
I soon located it, and realized that the elderly woman with the little girl were going to be sharing the row with me.
“Oh, you’re sitting with us!” exclaimed the woman, giving me a smile smile.
“Yeah!” I replied, waving at the girl sitting in the middle seat before trying to push my bag under the seat in front of me while simultaneously plopping down in my seat to let other passengers through the aisle.
Shortly after the plane boarded completely, the girl turned to me. “Want some?” she asked, holding out a small bag of popcorn. I smiled and took one. “Thanks.”
“Do you know how to do your own hair?” was the next thing out of her mouth.
“I do, actually,” I answered. “I can do braids, buns, ponytails, and a few other things.”
“Me too!” she said with a grin. “I can do a low bun, see?” And she pulled her hair into the elastic.
“Wow!” I exclaimed, exchanging a grin with her grandmother. “That’s super cool, did you teach yourself?”
“Yep,” said the girl.
“So, what’s your name?” I asked the girl, realizing that if we were going to talk about hairstyles, I should probably know her name.
“I’m Catrina,” Catrina informs me.
“I’m Morgan,” I told her. “Nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you too,” she returned.
I pulled out my phone to text my mom.
ADORABLE LITTLE GIRL SITTING NEXT TO ME WITH HER GRANDMA. HER NAME IS CATRINA.
NICE. ARE YOU GOING TO WATCH A MOVIE?
YEAH. SPIDER-MAN, PROBABLY.
IS THAT APPROPRIATE FOR HER? SHE CAN SEE YOUR COMPUTER SCREEN.
IDK HOW OLD SHE IS.
I turned to Catrina. “So, how old are you?”
“Nice. I’m **.”
I retuned to my phone.
HMM. MAYBE NOT APPROPRIATE THEN.
IF I HAD AN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD CHILD, I WOULD LET HER WATCH SPIDER-MAN.
YOU WOULD NOT.
SURE I WOULD.
(Leave a comment below, would you let your eight-year-old watch Spider-Man?)
The plane took off shortly after, and I popped in my earbuds and started reading (Tell Me Three Things, if any of you know of that book).
Once we leveled off, a felt a tap at my shoulder. I pulled my earbuds out and turned. “Yeah?”
Catrina looked up at me. “Would you like one?” She held out a bag of Hershey’s kisses.
“Oh, no thanks, I’m good.”
Catrina shrugged. “Okay.”
A few minutes later, I pulled out my own snack bag. A bag of Twizzler bites sat inside. I popped one in my mouth and offered one to Catrina. She took it happily.
And that’s how it went. We shared our candy and Goldfish and popcorn.
When Catrina’s grandmother ordered a Kid’s Pack meal for her, Catrina pulled out the Wikki Stix. “Wanna play with me?”
I smiled. “Sure!”
Catrina made a doll out of the wax sticks, and I created heart shapes and flowers. Turns out, Catrina had a lot more artistic talent than I did. Once I gave up and handed my sticks to her, she made a pair of glasses that actually fit on her face. Her grandmother and I laughed.
Towards the end of the flight, Catrina was getting restless. “How much longer till we get there?”
“About an hour,” I answered.
I too was getting bored, and started playing a game on my phone. Through my peripheral vision, I could see Catrina watching over my shoulder. “I bet I could play that.”
And that’s how Catrina wound up playing games on my cell phone for an hour and a half.
Once our plane landed in Alaska, I wished Catrina and her grandmother a safe flight to their home in another part of Alaska.
“Thanks,” Catrina said. “Have a safe drive to your house. Once, my family got into a car accident!”
“Oh no,” I replied. “That must have been scary, huh?”
“Mmhmm,” she answered.
Her grandmother explained the rest of the story. “Some guy wasn’t watching where he was going.”
“Yeah,” Catrina added. “He didn’t look left and right and left.”
As soon as the flight attendants turned the seatbelt sign off, I got up and Catrina gave me a hug. We exited the plane shortly thereafter and I waved to my new friends. Catrina and her grandma waved back.
I grabbed my suitcase from baggage claim and met my mom and brother outside the airport. After a wonderful five-day vacation in Idaho, it was great to be back . . . and with many great new stories, memories, and friends. ❤️
Sorry, guys, that got a bit long, but hopefully you enjoyed. If you want to see more Storytime posts, let me know in the comments below. Have a fantastic day!