Saturday, February 15, 2014

Traveling without eyes my trip across the country part one

After I lost my site, I never would have thought that I would do much traveling. I especially thought it to be true, that I would not travel by myself. Nevertheless, that is exactly what I find myself doing. Well, I guess I should speak about it in past tense, since I have already returned safely. At 30 years old, I made my first trip across the country as a blind person. I should note that I did not die, so the trip was a success if you ask me. Although, I cannot say it was flawless. There was plenty of debacles along the way.

My plane left at like 6 AM Standard Pacific time. Yes, you heard right. 6 AM comes awfully early when you're nervous the night before and cannot sleep. Did I mention it takes an hour to get to the airport from where I live? This means I had to get up even earlier. So I guess I should correct myself. 2:30 AM comes awfully early when you're nervous the night before and cannot sleep. But I digress

My wonderfully supportive parents told me that they would watch peanut. This was perfect. If it wasn't for them, I would not have been able to make the trip. Princess will stay just about anywhere. She is at that preteen age that says Hell, as long as I'm not with my parents I will be anyway. Peanut however, has serious separation anxiety. She does not like to be away from mommy at all. She is only five, but despite her anxiety has the mental maturity of a 12-year-old. She is insanely smart and once she discovered that I would be gone for more than a day she was displeased. My parents do well at distracting her from her mommy longing periods. In fact, I do not think she would have stayed anywhere else for the length of my trip. I know I was not gone that long, but still.

Anyway, she and my mom were fast asleep when my dad and I left for the airport. I was surprisingly awake and alert during the drive. One would have thought that I would pass back out and got a little extra Shadai before take off. No, my mind was racing. The train was moving down the tracks of its own volition and I did not any control over it. I was so excited to see Ryan. He really is the love of my life and to my girls of course. The prospect of the trip hadn't completely something in. I was nervous, but not entirely sure what to expect. This both helped and hindered my box for the long coming day of travel. Okay so I know this is not the first auto correct air from the dictate feature of the iPhone for this post. For those of you who are not familiar with what I'm talking about, for right now I am blogging from my iPhone. I have to do so using the blogger app as well as the dictate feature which allows me to talk to my phone and give you the information you are currently reading. This error however needed to be pointed out because it made the sentence just sounds ridiculous. When I informed you that Ryan was the love of my life this was of course true. But the rest of the sentence is where the train wreck started. It was supposed to inform you that he is the love of my life and to my girls meaning they are also the loves of my life. Okay now that I have fixed the air and inform all of you newcomers that my dictate feature sometimes does not accurately depict my words, I can continue. I suppose I should first let you know that because it does not accurately depict my words, I cannot fix the errors. It will not let me go back due to an excess ability problem with the blogger app.

When we got to the airport, parking was not terrible. This made me hopeful that the airport would not be crazy busy on this morning. Boy was I wrong! It was packed full of people. Security was quite busy. I would have thought choosing an early flight such as I did, I would have missed some of the Podesta tree in traffic 

Once through security, and once I received my cane back. Okay pause, I should probably explain what I mean by get my cane Mac. I was not referring to when you put your items into the tote tray and then simply grab them back out when you were done. I was referring to The man who helped guide me through the metal detector giving me back my cape. He did so after evaluating the material and deciding whether or not he should send it through x-ray. Can I just tell you how ridiculous, absurd and completely obnoxious I found this to me? I am not completely unreasonable. I am perfectly aware that in the past our country has experienced seriously horrible times. I understand the need for caution. I also understand that sometimes people go to extremely drastic measures to get there terroristic ideals into the public. 

In taking that into consideration though, I ask that you take my next appointment consideration. I would like you when you're done reading this post, to please go to your favorite search engine. I would like you to then type in the words blind terrorist, blind serial killer, wind criminals. Then carefully look down the list of results. I am pretty confident that no matter which one of those terms you decide to search for, you are not going to come up with much. There is a reason for that. Can you guess what it is? Well, in case you can't, I will let you know.

Blind people make really crappy criminals!!

I am about 99% sure that my people will not be responsible for the takedown of any government or any other type of public forum. The reason being is how the hell are we supposed to get away? It is not as though we can do the deed and then take off running. Well, I suppose we could, but we would not get very far before the takedown. So what would be the point?

Anyway I apologize I got distracted by a shiny again. I get a little emotionally attached when it comes to this subject because I just do not get it. I suppose I should calm down however it really isn't that big of a deal I suppose. If nothing else, he did give you something to think about that right? Even if not in a serious context, I bet they gave you something to consider in a comical one. Just picture that blind person running down the jetway trying to make away and shoot past all of the security. Don't forget they probably do not have their cane because it blew up on the plane causing a terrible explosion in the airplane toilet that nearly took out an entire roll of toilet paper. The blind person almost didn't get away because the damn flight attendant did not tell them they had to turn off the light in order to get let out of the bathroom. It was a near miss but they were able to get out in time thank God LOL. By the way, getting locked in an airport that Larem on an airplane, not fun. That will be described later on I promise

So anyway… Dot…

Before my flight, I decided it would be a good idea to purchase some soda and possibly something to eat on the plane. I was not sure if Southwest offered or sold food, but I figured if they did, it would be insanely expensive. I stopped at a minute mark style vendor and purchased 220 ounces of Pepsi. Normally these cost only about a buck 50. In the airport however, you can expect to pay $2.50 for one bottle of 20 ounces of Pepsi! This was highway robbery. If it was not for my extreme need for caffeine, I would not have purchased two of the delectable beverages. By the way, yes I noticed that in the beginning of this paragraph the dictate feature has decided to tell you that I purchased 200 some odd ounces of Pepsi. This is of course not true in case you were wondering. I only purchased two bottles of 20 ounces of Pepsi. Now you know

That was the minor debacle number one. Now we move on to minor debacle number two.

I figured it would be the easiest to pick a food place that was near by my gate. Near my gate for things such as McDonald's, big town hero, a few Mexican restaurants and a random café. I figured a sub sandwich would be the easiest to take on the plane. First, it was still in the wrapper. Second, it did not matter if you need it warm or cold it still tasted the same upon calling the day before, I was informed that all of these places would be open at 4:30 AM. This may have been true, but even still, at big town hero there was no one at the counter. The lights were on but no one was home. In my sleep deprived state I thought about stamping my foot and causing a ruckus. Luckily Justin time, I thought better of it. I was still holding my cane after all. I wouldn't want people to think that the crazy blind girl was about to go on a terrorist rampage.

So instead I settled on McDonald's. I ended up getting a couple of sausage McMuffin. Not that you really care, but you should know that after a while on an airplane, sausage McMuffin's do not taste good a arbitrary. Plus the bread does not want ballpark. So I felt like I was savagely eating one of my sandwiches on the plane. The poor old lady next to me probably wondered if she was next. Needless to say I never ate the second sandwich. And just so you know I am well aware of the spelling errors in this paragraph, but there are a couple of them but I do not even know what they are supposed to be so I'm just going to leave them alone. Consider this your English lesson for the day you can edit and revise at will. Ask your credit points will happen if you decide to not judge me for the mistakes LOL

The people at the Southwest counter where amazing. They were very friendly and very nice. They helped me to the gate where I said goodbye to my dad. That was a little weird. We had never had to do something like that before other than when I went to guide dog school, but that was a little different I suppose.

It took me a little bit to figure out how to fasten my seatbelt. These are not much like one in a car. They got that weird flat thing that pops up and it kind of got the better of me for a second before my brain finally switched onto hey I'm not really stupid mode.

The old lady that I mentioned earlier, was so sweet. She sat next to me in the middle chair. Her husband who just happened to be a retired pilot, took the window seat. I did not put up much of a fight there since I couldn't really check out the view anyway. She was very helpful throughout the entire flight process. Once the plane started moving she informed me when we were getting closer to taking off. By the time the tires under the plane left the ground, my heart was racing hard enough to propel the plane on its own. The build up was phenomenal. I felt like we were at the climax of a very cyst suspenseful movie. I was completely terrified, but totally excited at the same time. I have only one once before this easy. But I was under the age of nine and really had absolutely no memory of the experience other than the fact that it was cool and I haven't done it.

The first time the plane hit turbulence it bumped a little. After-the-fact talking to you now, I can admit the bumps really weren't that bad. At the time, I thought the entire plane was going to fly apart. My butt practically left my seat. I put my hand on the old ladies arm hopefully not leaving any bruises. What was that? The words came quick from my lips my breath was short and my heart was in my butt. She left a little removed my hand and then had it gently like a grandmother would. It's okay dear, she informed me. That is just a little turbulence. It means we are getting some when that's all. Nothing to be afraid of.

Right, right, I said trying to catch my breath. Just a little turbulence, no big deal. Right, then why was the damn plane still bumping. Does the pilot not know how to look for air because not have speed bumps? Is that not a part of their training? And if it is not part of the training process, should we the passengers not be informed of this? I did not receive any type of memo about said turbulence. Okay well maybe I am being a little dramatic, but it really was scary. I did feel slightly stupid once I realize what it was. I have heard of turbulence after all and I am perfectly aware that I was not going to die although for a second I kind of thought I was.

I wanted to listen to my audiobook, I was terrified that I would miss something if my headphones were in my ears. The plane was too loud to just have the one in and I knew just knew something would happen if I obstructed my last sense of knowing what was happening in the outside world. I decided I would wait until I could tell that the plane was on level air. More turbulence no more lifting just smooth flying. Once that happens, I would be free to read at my leisure. Until then I needed to diligently pay attention. Nothing was going to cut catch this blind girl offguard no sir.

The flight staff was all amazing. They periodically check on me, help me get my bag down from the overhead compartment anytime I needed and even assisted in taking me to the bathroom. Or I guess I should say the laboratory, as they call it on an airplane. Which by the way, I find to be a little silly. It is not like you are conducting science experiments in there. And if UR I do not want to hear about them.

I would totally recommend Southwest for your traveling needs whether you are a senior or you are a blinding. Okay now that was a dictate debacle. That is not at all what I was trying to say. I meant it to say whether you could see or you are blind you will like flying with Southwest. That is all

The rest of this part of my trip went well. I landed in Phoenix for my layover. That as well as the rest of my trip across the country will be in the next post. Not to give you any type of cliffhanger or anything because I know you're just so incredibly at the edge of your seat and all. It is just that I need to go for now. This post is getting longer than I had anticipated. So in the next post, you can expect to hear about Phoenix and the rest of my flight across the country.

Also coming soon is a series about travel while you're blonde on the YouTube channel. This will be accompanied by my own personal experience as well as the experience of my boyfriend Ryan and hopefully from a few other blind people that I have connected with recently. Be sure to check that out in the near future. It would be a great idea for you to not only subscribe to this blog but also to the YouTube channel. This will ensure that you will know all of the information as it becomes available and public. Plus it shows the support of fellow blind person which is always a prosperous endeavor. The more people subscribe the more the word gets out and the more people learn from all of these ridiculous debacles.

If you have not checked out the YouTube channel already, you can find it by clicking on the link in this blog. It will take you to the YouTube channel directly. You can also find links to my Facebook pages from this blog as well. I would please ask and encourage you to like those pages and share them with your friends. And always remember look before you leap

Disclaimer, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for any spelling errors in this post. I take great offense to having these errors in my writing posts. I am an author for Hells sake. This should not be happening. I worry that it will eventually ruin my reputation. Or at least make me look stupid if nothing else LOL. Please remember this is the doing of the dictate feature on my iPhone in conjunction with the use of the blogger app on the iPhone. Again I apologize for any convenience that these errors may have caused you. I hope that you have not suffered any permanent damage as a result to but missing and indulging in these errors. If so, you can leave a comment down below and I will take each predicament under advisement I assure you.


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