Not to worry, this is not another series, just a post and a relatively short one at that as there is only one rule: Dress nicely and be polite. Now, I am sure that my fine readers (and ps. I had the chance on my trip to meet some folks who complimented me on you all) know this and put it to practice. But we can all use a little reminder now and again.
Did I get upgraded, or surclassé on my flight home? I sure did. When I heard "Will Ms. Heather Robinson please come to the desk for a new boarding card?" I thought a silent "Yippee!" but kept quiet and did my best Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday imitation as I casually approached. True, at the initial check-in, I had begun with "Good Evening," concluded with "Thank you so very much" and avoided making any kind of desperate, wishful comments upon learning that Economy was full. As for being polite, well, as someone who worked in luxury hotels in my younger days, I know that 85% of people are nervous when they travel. And nerves do not a polite person make. Those other 15% are like a ray of sunshine. So, Keep Calm and Carry On.
The attendant had already given me a quick once-over immediately at check-in and was well aware that I was not wearing sparkly bunny slippers on my feet (as was one of my fellow passengers, I kid you not) nor a velour tracksuit marked with embroidery across the derrière. I have to say that I am at a bit of a loss as to when and how it became the norm to wear such attire in such a situation. Now, don't get me wrong, I am (a little wistfully) not of the hat and gloves generation but really, I have respect both for myself and for the act of travelling itself, which is nothing short of miraculous. Black stretchy jeans will do just fine in a pinch along with a simple sweater (ok, and my beloved pashmina didn't hurt). And do you really need to carry on your bed pillow? Methinks not.
Call me a little punchy with the jet-lag...I am! But at the time I was très, très contente to sip a 2006 Saint-Estèphe as I zoomed over the Atlantic as well as to have been given an adorable little gray patent vanity kit (you have to love that term) with socks, moisturizer, etc. (pps. On long haul flights when I am in economy, I always look to snag an untouched one from Business on the way out--brushing one's teeth does wonders for jet-lag). True, that feeling was nothing compared to the real happiness that surged up into my throat as I descended the escalator in Marseille and Remi and Ben slid into view.
I had a truly wonderful trip. Nothing but great moments. And just so much love from my Mom and Sister. It was like being swaddled in the finest silk every single day. Except better. As usual, I took far too many photos as I really think Ann Arbor is a fantastic town so I will be doing a bunch of short posts (please don't feel pressured to leave comments!) once I get unpacked and there is slightly less fog on the brain. It feels good to go, good to come back. I love travelling.