Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Baltic Cruise - Getting there.......

The Baltic Sea, the northern coast of Europe for many.  Bordering Scandinavia to the north, Germany and Poland to the south, and Russia to the east, along with a few other countries.  Even though all border the same body of water, the cultures are very diverse.
Out of the ordinary, for this cruise we departed from Ft. Lauderdale's airport.  There were no good flight connections to Copenhagen from Miami in Europe, so why go the extra distance to fly to Atlanta to change planes.  While changing terminals in Atlanta, we passed a friend of mine that was heading to Ft. Lauderdale for a long weekend.
On the plane, my roommate an I were across from each other, almost to the rear of the plane.  I was in the center section and he was in the aisle seat and next to him in the window seat was a woman that had never been to Europe before and was a little on the 'hippy' side.  In front of him was a family of 6, dad/son, two daughters and across from them was mom and another daughter.  In front of me was a woman with a young baby, and at the other end of her row was a couple that appeared in their 60s.  Of course, one would expect the baby to be the most disruptive, it actually did not make a sounds during the whole flight.
As the front of the plane filled up the couple in the row in front of me, but the other end settled in for the flight.  The wife had one of those spring loaded hair clips, but it was stuck on the side of her head, I figured it was there since she will be resting her head during the flight.  Out of one of their carry on bags come red satin sleep masks.  Before the plane has left the gate the husband is snoring, it is going to be a LONG flight.  The flight crew conduct the pre-flight instructions, accompanied by snoring, and then the the plane leaves the gate.
Taking off is probably the part that scares me the most, but all went well and the plane heads to Denmark.  We climbed to cruising altitude and the pilot turns off the Fasten Seatbelt sign and people start to move around the cabin.  Most are retrieving items from the overhead bins.
The father seated in front of my roommate, gets up and heads to the rear of the plane.  The only things back there are the restrooms and the galley for coach.  The daughter turns around to speak to her father and sees and empty seat.  In a panicked voice she says 'dad's GONE, where could he be?'  With this mom turns around, then jumps out of her seat and both mother and daughter go looking for dad.  After a few minutes the return to their seats without dad, then mom goes looking again.  I wanted to tell her he might have gone down to the Lobby Bar, or maybe the pool, but decided to stay quiet.  Mom returned to her seat, then a few minutes later so does the father.
Dinner was served somewhere over the east coast, and the passengers settle in for the long flight.  The flight attendants pass through several times offering water to the passengers.  Sometime during the night, the woman of the snoring couple needs to get out of her seat.  Since her husband is in the aisle seat, it presents a slight dilemma.  My mother would have woke my father up and told him to let her out, but not this wife, she was very considerate.  I look up and there the woman is climbing over her husband.  I hit my roommate's arm and point.
The red satin sleep mask is on her forehead, the aforementioned hair clip is stuck on the side of her head, a plastic cup half full of water is clasp in her mouth.  She is straddling her husband, hands on the back of his seat above his head, and each foot is on an armrest.  Of course the commotion does wake her husband and he helps her to a perfect dismount of the airplane seat.
The rest of the flight went quietly until our approach to Copenhagen's airport.  As we descended, large wind turbines appeared in the shallow water just offshore, row after row of renewable energy.  Then the in flight entertainment began again.  The man in front of the mother had a bottle of duty free bourbon in the overhead bin, and the bottle broke.  Bourbon started dripping on the mother's head, the guy gets up to retrieve it, the flight attendant joins in to the group.  She takes the broken bottle in its bag and everyone returns to their seat.  As we left the plane the flight attendant hands the man the remains of his bourbon in a plastic water bottle.

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