Have you ever met a celebrity while travelling?
On a Delta flight many years ago on my way to Austin, Texas, I was sitting in my seat, trying quietly to amuse my two young children, ages three and five at the time. Just prior to take-off, there was an older gentleman getting situated, handing his guitar case to the flight crew, placing his carry-on luggage in the over-head storage. He looked back and smiled at us. I was seated just behind first class, in my bulkhead row. I recognized his face, but not too sure of exactly who he was. You know that feeling? Where have I seen him before? Was he a rock star from a past generation? Sure looked it to me. He then said hello, and winked at my three year old daughter, not just a one eyed wink, but a left eye wink, then a right eye wink, which made her laugh. We all patiently sat buckled in our seats, waiting for the flight to take off as the bantering continued. Up in the air, the winks never ceased. My children found this to be very amusing! He then began to teach my daughter how to achieve this great talent. Again I asked myself “who was this man?”. I later overheard the flight attendant say “Mr. Jennings”, just then it registered with me. ‘Waylon Jennings’, the country singer, WOW! After some lengthy conversation, I realized how wonderful and down to earth this man really was. What a memory I have of the late, yet great “Waylon Jennings”.
Boarding a short flight on American Airlines to the “Big Apple” spending a few days away with just family, a much needed vacation for all of us. The flight to New York was uneventful. I took in the last few minutes of silence upon arrival. Trying to enjoy the calm before the storm, as I knew once we landed in NEW YORK, I would only hear the noise of the traffic, the cabs, tourists, all unavoidable. Combining the sights and sounds that all contribute to a BIG CITY!
When we arrived by taxi to our destination, I then proceeded to the check-in counter at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The line up consisted of many other patrons. During my wait, I had plenty of time to observe my surroundings. What a beautiful, elegant hotel, I thought to myself. There was a man playing on the grand piano in the lobby, he was dressed in a black tuxedo. The staff’s attire fit the hotel ambiance, very impressive to say the least.
After a few minutes, to my surprise, guess who’s standing right behind me in the hotel lobby? Who else, but the famous “Jerry Springer”, what type of comment could I possibly say to him? He started up a conversation by saying “hello”. I replied “hello Jerry Springer!” He then replied back by saying “how do you like my show?” My reply, “well, to be honest, I don’t!” We both laughed, as he agreed it was a trashy show to say the least.
Another very memorable flight to date would have to be one of my trips out to Los Angeles. A few years ago I booked an Air Canada flight from Toronto to LA. Because I was flying out of the country I obviously needed to check in at least two hours prior to take-off, so I gave myself plenty of time.
After all the line-ups including security, and customs, we had plenty of time to relax before boarding, get something to eat, and obviously enjoy the airport scenery! I was travelling with my sixteen year old daughter and her best friend. Leave it to them to discover a group of extremely handsome men, as I noticed long before they had, little did they know. We assumed they were not just four good looking men travelling together, they were somebody! Again, here we are playing the guessing game.
After pondering awhile, I had the nerve to ask them who they were. Low and behold, they were truly somebody, “The Canadian Tenors!” Wow, what an opportunity that was! These guys gave us their undivided attention until it was time we were called to board the flight.
Walking down the aisle of the plane, a few rows down we located our seats. You’ll never guess who was seated in the row directly in front of us?
A five hour plane ride with the “The Canadian Tenors” lead to a fascinating conversation, great company and of course, the time just flew by.
Arriving at LAX, we proceeded to baggage claim, the group followed by our side. With continued conversation, before saying our goodbyes, a few group pictures were taken. What a memory!
One last little bit of excitement. Here goes... I was travelling with my two daughters, which in itself can always be an experience! Bahamas was our destination. An entire week of uninterrupted bonding time should do us all a world of good. With an ocean view from our hotel room, the sun and the surf, what could be more relaxing?
The trip was wonderful, pure enjoyment for all. After seven incredible days, our trip came to an end. It was time to go home, back to reality. As for the ride back to the airport, no rental cars for us, the good old taxi was our form of transportation. The driver, well, not so great. It felt like an eternity in that cab, our lives at risk, but, thankfully we arrived in one piece.
Waiting at this very small airport in Nassau, with little time to spare before we needed to board the plane, we sat inside in a secluded area. The only reason we were excluded from the rest of the travellers was not because we wanted to be, but because we had no other choice. There weren’t any available chairs for us to sit on.
My daughters and I began to converse, wrapped up in our own conversation, oblivious to our surroundings. Ironically we all looked at the man seated alone directly across from us. There was this guy strumming away on his invisible guitar. His headphones attached closely to his ears, singing so quietly to himself, almost lip-syncing. He looked up, and it just happened to be, of all people, “John Mayer”. Not a word was exchanged, we tried not to stare, but what could we possibly say to someone at that level of fame?
Through your travels, whether it be at an airport, on a flight, in a hotel lobby, on a cruise ship; it really doesn’t matter wherever your destination may be, running into someone famous could just be the most memorable part of your trip.