Random Acts of "Kindness"

TRAVELING COMPANIONS

I have written that I’m never alone. I don’t see, feel or hear those that are with me. In fact, most of the time I forget that I have companions. Our youngest daughter invited my husband and I to accompany her family on a short trip to Aruba. Our passport was still good, we grateful said yes.

On the trip down, we arrived at the airport three hours in advance only to learn that the ticket agents didn’t start work until after 4:00 AM. Less than two hours before our flight. I wasn’t able to confirm our tickets because we were returning on a different airline. The ticket agent needed to see our passport. After going through security, I managed to lose my boarding pass. A through search left it hidden. Thankfully I was able to get a new one at the gate. My husband had a window seat on the plane, and I had the seat next to him for the short flight to Atlanta.

We had enough time to get lunch before boarding our next plane. On the five hour trip to Aruba, the plane wasn’t packed, we had an empty seat and our granddaughter was able to join us so she could watch the Star Wars movie.

Our grandson was celebrating his birthday — the personnel at the restaurant on site blew up balloons and made a banner for the occasion. Happy birthday and a cake with sparklers highlighted the occasion.

Arriving in Aruba, my son in law asked what fish was local. The response was barracuda. He asked the concierge to inquire with the various restaurants to learn were the fish would be served. Reservations were made at the Aqua Grill, only to learn on arrival that they haven’t had barracuda in over a year. When asked what other local fish was available, we learned that they had Wahoo. It wasn’t on the menu but the chef prepared it for our son-in-law. He graciously shared — it was delicious. At a different restaurant the night we were leaving, I had Wahoo. Sadly, although expensive, it wasn’t as well prepared as the first night.

I won’t bore you with the details of our trip, only the special experiences. A Food Store was located within walking distance. My husband and I took a rolling suitcase and wandered to the store. After getting directions again after going in the wrong direction, we followed a couple down the WET, rocky, narrow path to the store. I got a thorn in my shoe. The next day, my daughter and I visited the store again. This time we found a wider path, still rocky but not wet.

The night before leaving, I got lost returning to our condo, and discovered a chapel on site. It was locked for the evening, but I stopped for a visit before leaving for the airport on Good Friday. A beautiful statue of Our Lady graced table by the window. I don’t know Her title, but she wore a crown. I said a prayer for a safe return trip. We learned that Aruba, a Catholic country shuts down to observe Good Friday. Even the gas stations are closed.

We were advised to allow three hours to clear customs, security and the gate at the airport. We needed every minute plus more. The lines went on forever. I had hurt my little toe and my knee was yelling. Standing in all the lines didn’t help. We had 15 minutes before boarding to a completely packed airplane in order to get something to eat. I didn’t have enough time to buy a bottle of water. My husband and I had seats together but our daughter’s family was scattered throughout the plane. We exchanged our seats with our daughter so she could sit with our granddaughter. I had a middle seat, but arriving at the seat, I was asked if I wouldn’t mind changing for an aisle seat so her husband could sit with her family. Surprise, the aisle seat was located right next to my daughter. Thirsty, knee and toe hurting — I remembered it was Good Friday and offered up the discomfort.

Thankfully we had time to eat and buy water before our connecting flight. Still seated in the middle but thankfully my seat companions were slender.

Easter Sunday — I found $20 laying on the sidewalk when I took Robin for a walk before going to Mass where I learned that a friend had passed on Good Friday. I wasn’t surprised that he had passed, he had health issues for years. I was surprised that I had heard — they had moved out of our neighborhood many years ago.

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