Thursday, June 24, 2010


Somehow I always end up in first class on the airplane when I’m in the midst of my most homeless bum moments. The last time this happened, I was on the way home from a 5 week backpacking trip in Colorado. I didn’t even have any clean clothes so I put my sweatshirt on inside out for the trip. When coach class got overbooked, I ended up sitting with the classy folks after 5 weeks of sleeping in the dirt.

At least this time I was a little more prepared. There were no frequent flyer tickets left in coach class so I had to upgrade. Still, it’s always a little disconcerting to suddenly be immersed in comfort after days of sleeping in the car. I did at least have the chance to ease into it. When I discovered that I didn’t really have a place to stay or leave my car in Sacramento the night before my 6 am flight, I had two options. Stay at a truck stop again and pay $70 for a week of parking or pay $89 for a hotel that offered free parking and a shuttle. It was over 90 degrees in Sacramento yesterday. The only shower I’d had in two days was in the sink at the Y. Every one in first class was very happy I chose the hotel.

That said, first class still feels a little odd, mostly because the seats are so big my feet don’t touch the ground. In my attempt to try to make more room in my car, I put on some clothes that I wanted to leave at my parent’s house, which left me wearing a mismatched dress and sweater and a beat up pair of flip flops. When they called the first class boarding, the businessmen all got up with their briefcases. I’m pretty sure an older lady gasped when I got up with my backpack and then tripped over my own feet on the way to the gate.

At least she couldn’t see the contents of the backpack, which at least made it through security this time. The last two times I flew I was relieved of a pedal wrench and a CO2 cartridge by the security personnel. This time there were no potential weapons, but instead a collection of random things to get out of the car- bike shoes, a pair of heels and about 20 keys that go to the random bike locks I’ve strung throughout the van to ward off any thieves. At this point, it takes so long to unlock my stuff when I need it that it looks like I’m trying to steal my own things every time I get something out of the car.

I increased my classiness later in the flight when I fell asleep so hard the flight attendant had to wake me up for landing, which wouldn’t have been a big deal if I hadn’t yelled when she tapped my shoulder. Of course I was also drooling all over the first class pillow.

So it’s off to FL in style for a week with the family before resuming the road trip. I have a coach ticket for the way home so I can ease back into unclassiness after my week of luxury! For now though, I’ll be enjoying lots of these:

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