Thursday, June 6, 2013


Occasionally, PilotHusband pries himself off of the sofa, turns off the Military Channel, and takes the family on vacation.  And, yes.... we do it "PilotStyle".  I have learned that while a Pilot can take a vacation, he can't take a vacation from being a pilot.  The same quirks, habits, and desires, follow them where ever they go.  Sooo, here's how to take a vacation like a real Pilot.

Step One.... Choose the location.  Most people might go to Disneyland, a cruise, or an all-inclusive beach resort.  Not if you're a real Pilot.  When you are a real Pilot, you take your family to the most sacred of locations; the most hallowed ground; the epicenter of the Universe.  You take your family to your Air Lines' corporate headquarters.  So we packed up to take a vacation in the homeland of Mother D: Atlanta, Georgia.

Step Two....  Decide how to get there.  It is a highly accepted fact that Real Pilots do not drive ANYWHERE.  In addition, Real Pilots like free stuff.  So, no matter how close you live to "Mecca", you are gonna' have to get on an airplane and non-rev.  I can jump in my truck, and be in ATL in four hours from my driveway... but that's just silly!  Instead we drove 45 minutes to CLT, spent 20 minutes on the employee parking lot bus, one hour through security, 30 minutes of boarding, 45 minutes of ground delay, 45 minutes in flight, 20 minutes taxiing and waiting for a gate, 15 minutes to deplane, 20 minutes exiting the airport, and 30 minutes waiting for the hotel van.  Yeah, that was so much better than driving.  (I'll let you do the math).

Step Three..  Book the hotel room.  Do NOT book a hotel room in a swanky uptown neighborhood.  Do NOT get a room at a hotel close to family-friendly attractions.  Do NOT get a hotel room with a beach, mountain, or skyline view.  Instead, be sure to get a room in an airport hotel, closest to the active runways.  Be sure to ask for a room on the airport side.  Spend HOURS of "family time" sitting on the balcony, watching "your" airplane take-off and land.  Who cares if the roar of jet engines makes any conversation (or sleep) impossible?  I'm just happy he didn't sleep out there.

Step Four...  Begrudgingly agree to some sort of family friendly activity so that your AngryPilotWife doesn't change the door locks the next time you go back to work.  However, this is only required if your wife already purchased tickets for the activity (with your credit card) beforehand.  Knowing we would need a break from our descent into aviation overdose, APW purchased tickets to the Georgia Aquarium and booked a special interactive, behind the scenes, Dolphin Experience for the family. 

Step Five...  Make some time for what makes you happy.  For PilotHusband, this meant making the family go on a forced march for about 3/4 of a mile to the Delta Museum.  Given our 6 yr old son was still worn out from the Aquarium trip, this meant APW got to walk a mile and a half, round trip, with a 45 pound child on my back.  But we got to see lots of stuff with "Widgets" on it.  Cool.

Step Six...  Steal the toilet paper.  As you prepare to leave the room each day, be sure to take every roll and hide it in your suitcase.  Housekeeping will replace it in your absence.  When your wife decides to use the bathroom before heading out for the day, and comes back out to say "There's no toilet paper... I guess I can hold it", say nothing.  Wait until you get home and she finds six rolls of toilet paper in your suitcase.  Oh how you will both laugh!  (not really)

Step Seven..  After a lengthy non-rev trip home, be sure to stop on the way back to the house to run some random personal errand.  Pick up your dry cleaning, get your oil changed, or in our case, stop by the Sprint store to spend and hour picking up your new smart phone (that you still can't use).  Its the perfect end to the perfect PilotHusband family trip.

**  All snarky, meanness, aside... APW highly recommends a trip to the Georgia Aquarium.  The exhibits are awesome!  We did the Dolphin Experience (which runs about $50 per person) and it was AMAZING!  The three of us got to spend time, poolside, with a trainer and a dolphin and pet her (the dolphin, not the trainer... 'cause otherwise that would be weird).  Interestingly, even the Dolphin knew that Pilots are a pain in the ass.  We each got to give the dolphin commands to do a trick.  APW touched her nose, and she made a vocalization.  Our son touched her nose, and she made a vocalization.  PilotHusband touched her nose, and she spit water all over PilotHusband!  I guess they are truly intelligent creatures after all.
***  As much as I hate to admit it, the view of the runway from the 10th floor of the Renaissance Airport Hotel was pretty cool.  Our son loved the indoor and outdoor pools, the hot tub, and the glass elevators... and the staff was extremely pleasant.

No comments:

Post a Comment