Happy to report that we reached our layover point (Dublin, Ireland) with ease and way ahead of schedule.
A couple of notes from the first leg of our journey…
- First impressions of Ireland…a lot less red hair than I anticipated, a decent amount of large families with lots of kids as expected, and really good muffins. One of the first things we passed by upon entering the commercial area of the airport was a big Bailey’s display on one side and a big Guinness display on the other. Rather cliché if I do say so myself.
- Our departure was a delayed by a bit for some additional mechanical checks/repairs on our plane. The gate attendant that announced the delay was highly apologetic, but said it was best to be “safe rather than sorry.” Fair enough…I would have to agree.
- As we were taxiing in Orlando, a firetruck sprayed us its hose as we passed by. This was a bit alarming…especially considering the “mechanical problems.” I was certainly hoping that the mechanical problems weren’t wings engulfed in flames. That would certainly have been a bad omen. Turns out our captain (Gareth) was flying his final voyage before retirement. While I was happy to learn that the plane wasn’t on fire…the captain retirement news left me a little unsettled. I could almost read the heartbreaking news story…”Aer Lingus pilot crashes to his death on final flight.” Also turns out that the Irish don’t mind a little adulation…as a member of the flight crew gave a touching professional eulogy to dear Gareth. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to meet the man himself at the end of the flight…my suspicion is their might have been a fair amount of cocktails flowing in the old cockpit on this occasion…they are Irish after all.
- Speaking of adulation…Michelle missed out on a great opportunity for some recognition. Apparently there was a medical issue during the flight with a passenger and some Irish lady (Emma) offered her professional consultation. The flight crew announcer recognized Emma over the P.A…right after the Gareth eulogy. And get this…he also gave a shout out to her husband! Needless to say I was quite miffed by the missed opportunity.
- Tried out a little electronic gaming during the flight on the plane entertainment system. Played what is undoubtedly the most difficult golf course in the world. It was a par 60 and all the par 3’s were like 300+ yards. Par 4’s were 500+ yards. Also tried out what turned out to be the most bewildering version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire ever. Must have been an Irish version or something, but it was ridiculously difficult.
- One of the male flight attendants was simply gorgeous and charming. Honestly, if Michelle left me for him I probably couldn’t have blamed her.
- There was an in flight duty free offer of 2 cartons of cigarettes for $34. Seemed like a good deal…
- Dinner was actually quite decent. Curried tofu with mixed veggies and rice for me. I was surprised by the lack of potatoes on an Irish airline. I figured maybe the potato blight was wreaking havoc again. (I couldn’t wait to use this joke here. I tried it on Michelle, but she didn’t seem to enjoy it as much as I did. I can’t see why…nothing beats historical humor).