Planes, Trains and Automobiles: More Idiot Travel — Part 1

On my first trip to the British Isles, we literally pulled a Neal Page and Del Griffith. We took a plane, then a train, and then an automobile (actually, three automobiles) to travel all over the British Isles.
(If you’ve never seen the classic Planes, Trains and Automobiles, you’ve really missed out on life. Check out the clip below to get an idea of what I mean.)

It was eye-opening, exhilarating and gray-hair-inducing all in one crazy, no-not-that-way-that’s-on-coming-traffic-OMG-we’re-gonna-die ball of fun.
I didn’t subject anyone to my foot odor on the plane, but I did wear slip on shoes that had zero tread, so walking down the slick, strangely hilly terminals in Heathrow was more like sliding and slipping every which way (while my boyfriend pretended he wasn’t with me). This was the first impression I made on England.
I didn’t catch the arms of my jacket on the seat while driving, but I did get Magnum bar all over the seat belt.

We didn’t catch the car on fire, but we did lose a hub cap on the motorway (oh, so, that’s why people zip tie their hubcaps on).
We may not have gone full on Neal and Del, but we did have quite a few traveling mishaps and adventures.
I am going to organize my retelling of some of my favorite transportation stories from my first trip to the British Isles as a three part series. It’ll be a far easier read that way, because ain’t no one got time to read 5,000 words in one sitting. You’re welcome.
Surprisingly, my favorite plane story does not involve the man picking his long brown nails the entire nine-plus hour flight to London, but it does involve flying out of London, delicious karma, and plane poop problems.
When we got to Heathrow after three glorious weeks spent all over the British Isles, my travel partner paid $100 to get onto the same flight I was on. His flight didn’t leave for a good five hours, so he felt it was an investment well spent to not have to sit in a packed airport for hours.
Had he known beforehand who his seat companions would be he probably would have taken the shoulder-to-shoulder seating areas, the overpowering perfumes from Heathrow Boutique, and the endless boarding announcements that were never for him over his Flight From Hell.
When we got onto the plane and found our respective seats, I was pretty pleased to find a nice-looking middle-aged British couple as my seat mates. This was pretty much the ideal situation as my last seat mate, as we all know, chose the crusties under his nails for his in-flight snack instead of the usual dry roasted peanuts.
My friend, however, hit the airplane lottery and appeared to have no seat mates.
Time and again, people would come down the aisle, pause a couple times to deduce whether or not their seats were nearby, and then keep going past his row.
I tried everything to get him to let me sit with him. I offered up my favorite souvenir- my Odd Irish Socks and in pure delirious desperation, I even offered to pay the $100 he forked over to get on my flight.
He flat-out refused as he rudely spread out and (likely) farted all over all three seats to mark his territory.
Finally, I gave up and returned to my squashed seat, but I kept looking back to give him my saddest puppy dog pout, but he just acted like he didn’t see me as he haughtily made a bed out of his jacket, backpack and more than his fair share of airplane blankets.
Right before the door was shut and locked, a harried woman and man and their screaming toddler made their way to the only remaining seats on the plane- the ones my friend had already set his stuff up in like he was some kind of Economy King.
When I looked back at him, his face was pure karma in action. He looked just like every last dream he ever had had been demolished.
Not only did his luck majorly run its course and he wouldn’t be able to stretch out the whole flight, he had to sit right next to a kid who was blowing snot bubbles out of his nose as he screamed.
Even better, SO MUCH BETTER, the toddler barfed the.whole.way to Toronto.
I guess that’s what you get when you don’t share. I more than enjoyed that prompt delivery of karma.

Later on during our travels home from London, we were diverted to an abandoned landing strip in the Middle-of-Nowhere, Colorado due to a severe thunderstorm in Denver.
I was quite disappointed, because I really, really, really needed to use the restroom.
After the first hour of just sitting on an airstrip surrounded by cacti and tumbleweeds, I started to get desperate.
It was pretty dire because it was getting really close to go-time, but because they had to turn the AC off, I’d have to be that person who takes a huge, toxic shit on a plane with no AC or ventilation.
I kept lamenting, praying and cursing under my breath.
Finally, after mentioning I needed to poop about 87 times, my friend loudly declared, “OMG. I’m sick of hearing you have to poop. There is a bathroom right over there!”
As he so helpfully pointed, everyone on the plane looked to the bathroom and then to me.
Needless to say, I didn’t even get out of my seat. I thought murderous thoughts the remainder of the trip, and because I held it for too long, I got majorly constipated and didn’t even end up going until I was home.
I could have died.
After the hellish 17 hour trip from London, we finally landed in Reno at two in the morning, and I discovered that my bags had been lost. It was the proverbial cherry on top of the all-too familiar shit sundae.
This is how I ended up having to wear a pair of my mom’s war-torn Hanes (you can read more about that here).
Next time, we will explore train travel. Hint: it’s just as fun as air travel.
So, tell me about a memorable time you had in the air. I bet you’ll all have some doozies! I can’t wait.

29 thoughts on “Planes, Trains and Automobiles: More Idiot Travel — Part 1”

  1. Well, I recently shared with you my first commercial flight nightmare of the kid barfing right in front of me, but that is not the worst for me… surprisingly. My ex boyfriend was a pilot, so even before I flew commercial, I flew private a lot (it sounds 10x hoity-toity than it really was). We decided to take a day trip to the nearby valley to explore the caverns. When we took off, there was a crosswind of about 10mph- not bad. Once we crossed the mountains, the winds picked up significantly. Just to give you a better idea, before this trip, the ex had only flown solo a handful of times, so his experience was lacking in a myriad of situations.
    We had the landing strip in our sights and we were getting ready to enter the flight pattern to land when out of no where, the plane dropped in a matter of 2 seconds, 300 feet! I kid you not! We apparently hit a down draft that was no match for the piddly little 4 seater, single engine plane we were in. After only one attempt at landing at that airstrip and failing miserable because of the heinous crosswinds, we decided to fly back to the original airport. The kicker- by the time we made it back, we were literally running on fumes. We ended up gliding into our final approach with no engine power. Talk about kissing the ground!!
    Before that even, the first flight I took with my ex, we just took a 15 minutes ride over to the neighboring airport at sunset. It was an amazing view and the flying conditions were perfect. On our way back home, buzzers started going off and the nose of the plane started to dip. I started freaking out (obviously), so I looked over at the ex and he was grinning. He did some sort of maneuver on purpose which ended in a hard right bank (so all I saw out of my side window was ground), and he didn’t think he needed to warn me. He said I was freaking for no reason; that it was just an exercise he had practiced dozens of times while he was training. Prick! I should have dumped his ass then and there.

  2. And this is why I have a no want to fly even though almost every place that I want to visit require it. The layovers, the people sitting next to you, and don’t even get me started on losing my luggage. Sorry, but I have some travel stuff I have to have. There’s not reason why it should go missing/lost.
    But Karma is horrible. Your friend got it bad because of the baby. But I hate that said friend embarrassed you. It’s uncalled for.

    1. Oh, I know. Travel sucks big time!! But it’s so a necessary evil. Eh. I wasn’t too embarrassed. I’m still laughing about it, so it hasn’t traumatized me too much 😉😜

  3. Oh that is glorious karma. I cannot believe your friend wouldn’t let you sit with him. What a shame he had to put up with a vomiting toddler the whole way. I think the only nightmare flight I had was travelling back from the Maldives and our flight was delayed by over 24hrs and just as we finally got back to lovely England- they decided we should all get off at Heathrow (we were flying to Manchester) and change planes and we were further delayed there by several hours. Arrived home two days later than expected 👍🏻 Brilliant holiday though.

    1. I think we were both SO SICK of the sight of each other by then. But, still. What an ass 😂😂.
      OMG. A delay of that magnitude is one of my biggest travel fears!! GAH!

  4. On my fight night home from Iceland I had a window seat. We took off during a snowstorm, no big deal it snows in Iceland during the winter. Winds were a bit rough though. Once we were airborne I thought I’d sleep but it felt like the the plane was flying in circles. I happened to glance out the window and saw flames coming from the engine. Yep, there’s a problem.
    Once we landed, and it was a rough landing, we found out the brake system was damaged and the pilot was circling the airport waiting to catch the wind storm head on to help with breaking during landing.
    It gets better.
    After waiting hours in the airport for a new plane when it came time to board, I saw it was the same plane. We were assured repairs were safe but I remember barfing over the Atlantic because I was worried I’d drown if the plane went down. I couldn’t swim.
    I was such a dumb ass, worrying about drowning in the Atlantic in December….the crash would have done the job.

  5. I don’t know which would be worse for me. I mean, bodily fluids majorly disgust me and make me want to claw all my skin off. But, having a plane full of strangers know that I desperately need to poop would probably make me die on the spot.

  6. Hilarious!! My new favourite blogger!
    One time I was flying with my friends with Norwegian Airlines to Lanzarote, we’d just got in the air and had been flying about half an hour when we were told the auto pilot wasn’t working and so we had to turn back to Heathrow! So after half an hour circling Heathrow to empty enough fuel we landed, only to be told actually we’d had engine failure in the air and they didn’t want to panic us! Terrifying but hilarious because we were none the wiser 😂

    1. Awwwww! I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed this!!
      OMG! I’m sooooo glad they didn’t tell you they had engine failure! I think my heart would have given out!! 😱😱😱😱😱

  7. I just flew to Vietnam a few days ago and had four glasses of scotch the night before. Something I’ve done many times and never had an issue, but I had never done it the night before boarding three planes.
    I do not recommend it!
    I was miserable all day and just praying I wouldn’t have to puke. Once I got there, I was fine. I flew home completely sober. It’s sad that I should even have to explain that.

  8. I sat next to a 12 year old kid that would sift though all the movies on the plane, find the sex scenes, RECORD them on his iPad in the least conspicuous way I’ve ever seen anyone do anything. I mean he was moving it up and down to get the perfect angle for a prime viewing experience. This kid was in the isle! No one else saw him doing this! Do flight attendants not spy on all of us? That’s a missed opportunity.
    Anyway after he collected his “material” he would put the iPad under his shirt and then go to the bathroom for like 10 minutes. And come out and do it AGAIN.
    On a flight from Korea…to Detroit. I wanted so bad to say something to him but…what do you even say to a horny 12 year old that’s clearly unashamed of anything ever. This kid is some sort of shameless stealth lacking mutant.
    Although I still would’ve rather gone through that again than sit and endure eons of plane-poop anxiety. That’s the WORST. Hilarious post as always 🌞

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