written sporadically over the past few weeks…
The last time I wrote I was relaxing at the Pink Coco in Bali. I have been meaning to write several times since then, but I have been mentally and physically overwhelmed. I am currently at “home” on Guam and have NEVER experienced prolonged jet lag like this. I am still trying to adjust – to the time change, the island life, and being back at work. But this post is NOT about all that – that’s boring, sort of. This post is about the journey getting here…and I’m grateful that there’s no way I can fit it all into one post. Yea, it has been that cool and crazy and I have to say that, even in the most stressful of times, I am one of the luckiest people in the world.
I have a lot to write about. Way too much. Let’s start with my attempt to leave the states!
SYR -> JFK
So I was supposed to be flying out of SYR on JetBlue at 11:30 Am. My connecting flight from JFK to DXB (dubai) was scheduled for 4:30PM. I arrived at SYR early, and getting through security was (almost) a breeze. The only difficult part was that my parents stayed by the security line the entire time I meandered through. I was anxious to begin this adventure and, emotionally, could really only handle quick goodbyes that didn’t feel like those “I don’t know when I’ll see you again” goodbyes. But I know that they rarely get the chance to “see me off” and that sticking around until I’m completely gone [through security] means a lot to them. I always cry when I say goodbye to my parents and this time was no different. I tried to be tough as I waited in line but every single time I looked at them I felt like I was going to lose it. It was a very long 15 minutes and the thoughts running through my head were enough to drive even the sanest person crazy.
But I survived. I headed down to the gate to find the one “restaurant” in the airport, and to see that my flight was already delayed. I have really bad luck when it comes to flying in and out of upstate new york airports, one of the reasons why I generally fly to the city and have my dad pick me up. (we also really enjoy having that time together!) As it was the day before thanksgiving, and this was going to be tough on them already, I figured I should just suck it up and fly out of SYR. Bad idea!
Delay after delay after delay. First the plane was coming from Orlando. Then it was stuck in Boston. Then it was somewhere else. Then there was a mechanical issue. Then someone had scissors on the plane. And then the crew timed out.
I will say that the JetBlue staff at SYR were all super sweet. However, there were a few issues. First, my flight was delayed over 7 hours, and jetblue gave me a $13 food voucher. That’s it. Normally that might be ok, but they caused me to miss my connecting flight to Dubai. Still, that stuff happens – but they told me that they had rebooked me on the later connection out of JFK, but when I finally showed up at JFK I was informed by Emirates that I was never confirmed on that flight, and that economy was sold out. If I wanted to fly that night I would have to pay to upgrade to Business. I got really lucky though, instead of the usual $8,000 upgrade fee (seriously) they were running a promotion (because econ was oversold) and I only had to pay $1000. I wasn’t that upset because a) I was really, really, really sick and needed to get rest on that flight, and b) this was the flight of my dreams! Yes, there are people who dream about flights. And I am one of them.
But let’s go back to SYR. There’s ONE restaurant. Its called Middle Ages Brewing Company. First of all, is there really a “middle ages brewing company” in Syracuse, if so, WHY, and, second of all, why do they have an airport location? If I owned the place I would either make it an SU pride bar and cover it in orange, or just make it really cold, gloomy, and expensive so that the locals feel at home there. (sorry guys, love ya). But yeah, I spent 7+ hours of my life there, along with the rest of the passengers on my flight, including two awesome college kids (Hobart!) and an awkward girl who wore black lipstick and had never flown before. Yeah.
We drank a lot of screwdrivers and ate really, really, really bad food that was made in one of those weird convection ovens you often see on “Bar Rescue.” Sidebar: why is that show always on when I’m hungover? Anyways – it was a long day but these kids cracked me up. We ended up sitting together on the plane and probably ruined the flight for several passengers.
No ragrets. (yes, I know that’s spelled wrong…just trying to see who is paying attention…whattup 16th cir!)
So remember when I said I was really sick? Yea….for several days, ok, maybe a couple weeks, my lower back had been hurting me. I thought I may have over done it at yoga, and then pushed myself too hard running, especially when I threw the Harvard Stadium run in there. I got a pretty bad cold and when I started feeling really terrible I thought I was getting the flu or something like that. By the day I was set to fly I could barely bend over without excruciating pain and could not lift my own luggage. (it wasn’t that heavy). I knew I was headed to Bali and assumed that my chances at surfing were slim to none.
I was feeling horrible when I was in Syracuse, but I think that the screwdrivers and anxiety masked the pain a bit. By the time I got to JFK I had a really high fever and could barely walk. I dealt with Emirates, spent money that I shouldn’t have, and made my way to the lounge, only to be told that my business ticket didn’t get me lounge access. Cool. I was so tired and sick that I didn’t bother arguing with them (ps: I LOVE to argue with airlines. My dad has witnessed this and while he has seen me be super bitch 3000 before, I think this was a new level even for him!) So instead of arguing I took my poor pathetic self back down towards the gate. I felt the most horrible pain in my back- pain that I have only felt once before, two summers ago when I had a horrific kidney infection that landed me in the hospital.
I found the nearest (not near at all) bathroom and just sat in a stall and cried. I was overwhelmed and exhausted and in so much pain. I pulled myself together and dragged myself to an Irish pub near my gate. I called my mom and told her that I had a fever and was in a lot of pain – the first thing she asked me was if I had antibiotics in my carry on. My response was, “it’s a kidney infection, isn’t it?” Yup!
Thoughts: Great. I’m about to take my DREAM flight and I feel like I’m going to die. I have a 50lb carry-on bag that I can barely roll and I’m heading to Indonesia with 4 more in tow.
I was already tired of being alone and being sick and was terrified that I was going to end up in the hospital in a foreign country.
I have a bit of anxiety when it comes to medical issues and have had a few panic attacks in emergency rooms. The last time I had a kidney infection that caused as much pain as this one, I had to seek medical treatment and got shots in my ass and an IV. I was really afraid that the antibiotics I had on me weren’t going to be enough.
But anyways, I sat at the pub until it was time to board. I hadn’t even made it out of New York State and I was already ready to turn around. Not the best way to start a move across the world.
But Emirates helped. Emirates helped a lot…
Alright. Ya’ll need to pay attention. And then you need to start following The Points Guy and sort out how you’re going to take this flight, unless you plan on paying for it, or getting really, ridiculously lucky like me. Seriously.
By the time I was boarding this flight I was in really rough shape. Luckily I was in Business, so I got to board early, and despite the pain, I ran onto that F’ing plane. This A380 was a sweet oasis I desperately needed.
Upon boarding the plane I was greeted by my name and directed towards a glorious staircase. Yes, a glorious staircase. Ok, yea, it was nice, but to me, especially at that time, I felt like Rose and Jack on the stairs in the F’ing titanic.
My “seat” was the very last seat in business. SCORE! I was right next to the lounge. Yes, lounge.
Let’s talk about the seat:
Two televisions, one that doubled as a remote and smaller viewing device. Every channel you could want.
Wifi. I sent selfies to my “family girl talk” chat (mom, sisters, aunty) throughout the entire flight.
Bulgari amenities kit. Hairbrush, lotion, face lotion, perfume, dental kit. Lovely. It is currently in my bathroom.
Upon finding my seat I was greeted by my attendant with a glass of veuve. For those of you that know me, you know that I love veuve. Well, I love champagne in general, but I REALLY love veuve. This made me very happy.
I was then handed my amenities kit, had my seat/surroundings described to me, and was given a menu. A long menu. A beautiful menu full of delicious things that I was too sick to eat.
I popped back to the bathroom to find bulgari amenities and REAL washcloths. It smelled fantastic in there and was fully stocked with anything you could possibly need in-flight.
I didn’t really waste any time with movies. I made great use of the wifi and got to talk to my family the entire flight. It was awesome. For dinner, I started with shrimp, followed by filet mignon. There was dessert but I honestly don’t remember it. I was really, really sick and could barely eat my dinner. I took the wine that was paired with the steak and literally just smelled it. When has that ever happened?
Well, I had taken my first dose of cipro (really strong antibiotic that makes me feel like HELL) and I was super nauseous….but I didn’t want to miss anything on this flight! After dinner, my attendant came by and was very concerned that the food was not to my liking. I told him that it was wonderful, but that I was feeling very sick. Ah yes, I thought I had good service before….once he knew I wasn’t feeling well he upped the anty. Didn’t know it was possible.
So yeah, after dinner they brought me a mattress for my seat. The lounge was set up with snacks and drinks and a bartender. I chose to stay in my horribly comfortably pod – I reclined the seat all the way down to a bed, and snuggled up with a nice plush blanket. The ceiling of the plane was dimly lit with stars and it was one of the most relaxing spaces I have been in. I eventually put my eye mask on and slept for nearly 7 hours straight.
I desperately needed it. When I woke up, the lounge had been revamped with breakfast pastries. I freshened up in the bathroom and ordered French Toast for breakfast. I enjoyed a mimosa and had a chat with the bartender. She took a Polaroid of me behind the bar in the Emirates hat and made me a card. I logged back into Facebook and chatted with my family and felt like a new person. It’s crazy what good sleep, food, and antibiotics can do!
I spent a lot of time in the lounge talking with other passengers. There were a few “newbies” and several people who take the flight all the time. Even the vets were still impressed by the lounge and service on the flight.
Fortunately, I was really excited to be landing in Dubai.
At the time, I thought I had just a few hours there until my connecting flight to Bali. Nope. How about 30?
How about the most over-the-top, most luxurious 30 hours of my life?