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Thinking of a Midnight Flight? Maybe Think Again

moonlight san diego

Despite being known as the red-eye, a midnight flight may sound pretty groovy. You get to drive to the airport long after rush hour. The check-in and security lines are less hectic, the airport less crowded and the wait less harrowing.

Once you board the plane, all you need to do is plop on your noise-cancelling headset, put on a meditation CD, and quickly fall asleep. Sleeping will be easy, you say, since it’s during your normal bedtime, right?

You may as well start laughing now. Better yet, start crying, which is something that will happen anyway if your midnight flight goes anything like mine did.

An Easy Start

I tried a midnight flight from Arizona to Florida. Nonstop was not an option at any hour, and midnight was the only flight that didn’t have a layover of at least four hours. Let’s try it, said I, see what happens.

The drive to the airport was smooth, as were the check-in and security lines. The airport was kind of creepy-cool without its usual hustle and bustle. The plane boarded easily and on time.

A Rocky Middle

Then the real fun began. I plopped on my headset, inserted meditation CD, and was drifting blissfully off to sleep when BLAM!

The woman behind me decided to use my head as some kind of kind of support shelf for standing up. Her entire forearm meatily landed across the entire top of my skull, knocking my headset asunder and any bliss right out of my mind.

She had apparently lost her balance or something and apologized immediately. But the damage had already been done.

A Horrific End

Sleep was lost, but I could at least still meditate, no? I continued to breathe deeply as instructed by the meditation stuff I’ve always read: in through my nose, out through my mouth. In through my nose, out through my mouth. Deeper and deeper, in through my nose, out through my mouth, as the Hemi-Sync CD played on.

At about the fifth inhale, I noticed a rancid stench permeating my nostrils. At first I thought someone just had gas and the odor would fade away. But instead it got stronger. Stronger. And even stronger. Inhaling through my nose at all was no longer an option, deeply or otherwise. Even breathing through my mouth was making my eyes water.

It ended up the kid next to me had pooed his pants.

By the time the parent woke up and took the tot to the bathroom, more damage had already been done from this one. Not only to the air around us, but also to the airplane seat. The kid, alas, had been beyond diaper age so the seat had no protection. The parent came back with a stack of airplane bathroom towels to cover the seat for the duration of the flight.

Although the odds of getting smashed across the the skull and permeated with poo smell may be slim on subsequent midnight flights, the flight can still be a painful experience if you don’t get any sleep. And based on the potpourri of pitfalls available, the chances of not getting sleep may be extremely high indeed.

Bon voyage!

Looking for something to pass the time on any flight? Snag one of rynski’s books today!

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How Not to Go Crazy Missing Your Dogs while on Vacation

belgian tervuren gigi and me

There’s a reason our family frequently heads to San Diego’s dog beach. It’s because two of our family members happen to have four paws, and traveling with the dogs is the ultimate vacation. But no matter how spectacular it is to travel with the dogs, there are trips where they just can’t tag along.

Like on extended flights to Florida. Medium flights to Michigan. Or that trip to New York you’ve been planning in the back of your head for the past nine years or so.

Dogs on the plane aren’t going to work in all cases, and tragedies can happen even when dogs are allowed on board. Road-tripping more than 1,000 miles can leave you spending more time on the road than at your destination. We dog moms have to face it – there will come a time when we simply have to leave our hounds at home.

Yes, it’s brutal. Yes, it’s heartbreaking. But no, you don’t have to let missing your four-legged kids consume or ruin your whole trip. During my travels without my pooches I’ve picked up a few tricks for enjoying myself immensely, sans guilt, even without my dogs in tow.

Make Sure They’re in Good Hands

If your dogs are safe at home with your significant other, you have this first base covered automatically. Otherwise, look into a trusted pet sitter that can come to your home to keep your dogs in a familiar environment.

Dogs that may be too apt to chew that environment without mama around may do better at a pet boarding place. Pick one that has solid reviews, room to ramble, and the word “resort” in its name. You want a place where your dog can hang out with other pooches and have fun, not stand jammed in a crate on a shelf somewhere.

Knowing your dogs are safe takes away the worry that could otherwise invade your mind as deeply as missing them.

Keep Photos Close

With all the pix stored on your smartphone, tablet, laptop and Facebook feed, you’re likely to have zillions of photos of your darling dogs. This gives you ample opportunity to gaze lovingly at them throughout your trip. Just don’t gaze and weep. Gaze and smile, thinking about the sheer glee you’ll feel when you’re all once again reunited.

Plan a Rollicking Reunion

Dog park, anyone? Plan a perky homecoming activity where you and your dogs can celebrate your grand reunion. Of course, this activity comes after the initial homecoming ritual which involves being knocked flat on your back in the middle of the kitchen floor with your face licked and glasses ripped excitedly off your face.

Snag a Few Souvenirs

No matter where you travel, you’re sure to run across a few dog toys, treats, bones, or other goodies you can bring home for the pooches. Snagging souvenirs for your happy hounds can make them even happier. Besides, if your dogs are like mine, they won’t let you back in the house without them.

With all the dog photo-gazing, souvenir-shopping and other adventures during your trip, you’ll be back home with your pooches before you know it. And yes, they’ll remember who you are. So get rid of that thought, pronto, even before you board the plane.

Want some dog-happy reading for your next trip? Go for the Rynski Doggie Dictionary

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