Author Topic: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much) Better Half  (Read 31326 times)

Offline AJK

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AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much) Better Half
« on: February 16, 2013, 10:28:55 PM »
Without further ado, as promised, I introduce my wife (with limited explanatory comments from me throughout):

The week was a busy one.  I had four people coming for dinner Friday night and an additional four stopping by for dessert. AJK had mentioned the previous week that he may have a huge surprise in store for me on Saturday night.  [I told her to expect it on Saturday night so as not to have her inspecting my every move in the days leading up to the actual surprise.]

Though he offered me some hints, I refused, as I was pretty certain that he had booked a nice hotel in the city for us to go to.  The week was made crazier by the fact that AJK seemed completely overloaded at work.  He came home every night no earlier than 11:30 and some nights even much later than that.  He seemed completely out of things and seemed to be on his computer and phone at every moment.  However, this is not an altogether unusual occurrence during the busier weeks, so I dismissed it completely. [I was busy at work so that I could get everything done by Thursday afternoon so I could leave for the weekend.]

Although, I normally would do all my Shabbos shopping on Wednesday night or Thursday morning, this week AJK offered to do it with me when he got home from work on Thursday night. While I appreciated the offer, I knew that it would mean doing all my cooking late Thursday night, so I tried to graciously say that I could do some of the shopping without him so at least I could start my cooking. After all, I didn’t want to discourage this display of husbandly help but I definitely didn’t want to be up till two in the morning cooking. In response, AJK seemed very disappointed at the suggestion, so figuring that he must really want to go to the grocery store, I quickly backtracked and said that I wouldn’t dream of going shopping without him. [I offered to go shopping with her to ensure she wouldn’t start cooking for 8 guests she wouldn’t end up having!]

After a long day of running errands on Thursday, I was so exhausted that I fell asleep on the couch.  At about 6:00 p.m., AJK walked in the door and seemed particularly excited for our trip to Shop Rite.  Completely taking me by surprise, AJK announced that I needed to quickly pack a bag because instead of going to the grocery store, we were going to a lodge in upstate PA for the weekend—a place we had once been before for an extreme zip-lining course.  I was completely floored.  I wasn’t expecting any sort of surprise until Saturday night.  My first response, though, was that it would be pretty awkward when our 8 guests came over the following night and no one was home.  I was promptly informed that all of our guests had known we were going away since the past Sunday and none of them were expecting to come to us.  [Each time my wife invited someone, I immediately left the room and uninvited them with the explanation of what I was planning.] I was dizzy with excitement.  I love surprises and this was a big one.

Apparently, as AJK explained, he had found a deal coupon for the penthouse of the lodge which had three floors, was recently renovated, had an indoor and outdoor pool and usually cost $3000 a night.  AJK went further and added in some details such as telling me that lots of wealthy people from Long Island rented out this penthouse for their families when they wanted to get away. I rushed to pack for our little getaway. [I made this lodge part up, with all its attendant details, to get my wife to pack for the weekend without thinking we were actually leaving the country.]

As AJK was putting his things into his duffel, he nonchalantly mentioned, “You know what we could do? If you want, we could stop by JFK on the way to the lodge and watch some flights landing and taking off.” While this may sound to some people like it has the entertainment equivalent of watching paint dry, to us, this is a really fun night. [During the weeks prior, both of us had discussed going to an airport for this activity, so I knew it wasn’t going to be that much of a stretch to get her to go along.] Both of us love planes and, according to my husband, there is a very cool lounge past security with a great vantage for watching the large jumbo jets land and take off.  He also said that, in order to get access to the lounge (which is past security), he had booked one-way refundable tickets to Hong Kong. Then, when we were done watching the planes, we would just leave the airport and he would cancel the tickets.

AJK was quick to tell me that if I wasn’t up for it or was too tired we could just do this activity a different time.  [Rule #1 in surprises: make it seem like their idea!!]  It sounded really neat, so I assured him that I was up for it.  I told him that I would pack everything for the weekend and then we could just leave it in the car while we went into the airport to make things easier. [This comment I did not anticipate and therefore didn’t plan for, but I had to think quickly on my feet.] “Actually,” AJK responded, “the security agents may get suspicious if they see people travelling internationally without any luggage, so let’s just bring our bags in with us so we don’t get stopped.” [Yes, this is a bunch of baloney, but I needed some excuse to have my wife believe we needed to take our baggage through security with us.  My wife would love being surprised, but would not love it if she had no clothes while AT the surprise!]  I was so excited that I thought that made sense, so we finished packing, got in the car, and we were off to the lodge with a quick detour through JFK.

We arrived in JFK and got on the Air Train from the parking lot to the airport, but were dismayed when it stopped after just one stop, and the conductor announced that it was undergoing construction and passengers would need to transfer to bus service to the airport.  I was quite carefree and kept remarking to AJK that it was lucky we didn’t actually have a flight to catch that night because otherwise this detour could be quite stressful. [Little did she know! Meanwhile, I had been checking my watch constantly.]

After much chaos of packing onto a bus, with what seemed like hundreds of other passengers, and having it crawl at the rate of a handicapped snail to every single terminal, we finally arrived at the Cathay terminal.  We walked to the check-in counter where I was quite nervous that they would catch on that we weren’t actually planning on flying to Hong Kong that night. However, the ticket agent just handed us our boarding passes and pointed us towards security.  At security I was very relieved that they didn’t choose to question us about our one-way, refundable tickets and we walked right through and straight to the lounge.  In the lounge, AJK explained that when they called our flight we would have to leave the lounge and pretend to go the gate.  In the first class lounge they personally inform you when your flight is departing so it’d look rather suspicious if you accept that information and then continue to sit there sipping on your ‘livit 15 on the rocks.  About twenty minutes later, we heard the boarding call for flight 889 with service to Hong Kong.  We reluctantly headed out of the lounge as we had just been informed that we could have Kosher food made for us by the Executive Club chef!

As we walked out, instead of leaving the airport as I thought we would do, AJK mentioned that we should go to the gate and let them know that something had come up and we wouldn’t be on the flight.  Apparently, because the refundable tickets he had booked were in first class, they would repetitively page us and may even hold the plane for us until we showed up, especially since they knew we were in the lounge at one point. [I had to tell her something to get her to the gate!]

When we got to the gate, AJK simply handed the boarding passes to the gate agent...but made no mention of us not getting on the plane!?  :o

I discreetly asked him what he was doing, and he responded “I’m really desperate to see what the first class cabin looks like on Cathay Pacific,” he said. “Let’s just go on quickly, look around and then I’ll tell them I had a work emergency and we’ll get right off.” At this point, I was incredibly nervous about that idea. I mentioned that I didn’t think they would refund our tickets once we actually checked in for the flight, and I was also petrified that they wouldn’t let us off the plane once we got on and then we’d be the proud owners of $10,000 first class, one-way tickets to Hong Kong. [I told her, “Don’t worry, first class passengers can do whatever they want—even get off the plane if they need to. Ha!]

AJK, however, seemed gung-ho on this idea and quickly started off down the jetway. While I’m up for any adventure, I wasn’t certain this was a smart one, but I dutifully followed him. I did, however, mention that should his idea to get off the plane before take-off fail, I was going on the record that I had warned him against this course of action and would not be held responsible for us ending up in Hong Kong.

As we got on the plane and took a left to first class, no fewer than three flight attendants descended on us and started offering us drinks and warm towels.  I, however, clutched onto my coat and carry on as they tried to take and stow it.  I kept darting nervous looks at AJK as he gaily snapped pictures of the first class seats (which are the size of small sofas), and the area around the seat (about the size of 4 regular economy rows).  Then he actually sat down, allegedly to “see how the seats feel.” As the flight attendants hovered about, I whispered out of the corner of my mouth, “Now! Tell them right now that we have to get off this plane.” He begged me to just sit down, to try and enjoy the experience before we had to get off the plane. Then, my worst fear was realized: the pilot’s voice came on announcing that we were about to pull back from the gate and my heart stopped.

“AJK!” I whispered furiously, “let’s go right this second!” I gripped my coat and bag and charged into the aisle. At that point, he grabbed my arm, pushed me gently into the seat and says, “One second, we’re actually going to Vancouver, which is the stopover this flight makes on its way to Hong Kong.” My heart actually stopped then. I was floored. My brain couldn’t even process this change in plans.  Three hours earlier, I had been asleep on my couch. Then, I had accepted that we were going away for the weekend. And now, instead of being trapped hostage on a plane to Hong Kong we were actually willingly on that flight and going to Vancouver one of my favorite cities in the entire world….what?!

AJK was almost delirious in his smugness at having pulled off the greatest coup known to mankind. He had actually gotten me on to the airplane without me knowing that we were even going anywhere. Apparently, he had been planning this feverishly for the past week. The whole charade of feigning nonchalance about whether I even wanted to go to the airport was a piece of acting that definitely deserved more than a nod at the Oscars. I collapsed into my oversized sofa-seat as the fluttering flight attendant buckled me in. I sat there for a good few minutes just trying to process what had just occurred.

A few moments after take-off, when I had finally collected my jaw from the floor of the airplane, the flight attendant asked if we would like to eat dinner at AJK’s seat or mine. Now, if one is not accustomed to flying in first class this question might make no sense at all. However, the way the seats are situated in first class, they open up a table in front of the main seat and there is another seat for a guest across the table. They set our table for us with proper linens and brought our meals.

Now, there is a certain look that comes across the face of every flight attendant forced to serve kosher meals in first class. It is the same grimace someone would give if they were forced to make up a futon for someone staying in the penthouse at the Ritz. It is the grimace of someone who is serving frozen, slimy, half-baked food, wrapped in so many layers of saran wrap you need a machete to get through it, to someone who ostensibly has paid $10,000 for the privilege of being served in your first class cabin. You can tell they are embarrassed to be giving this to you for dinner, and they try everything in their power to try and make it more appealing for you. They beg to serve it on their china, or they place napkins in your lap and bring you wine glasses.  Or, in this case, they just bring you so much Jonny Walker Blue Label that they are hopeful you won’t notice that you are eating prison food while the person across the aisle from you is having filet mignon, lobster bisque and Dom. [I think I may have finished half a bottle of Blue Label by the time dinner was done. Though, I must say, the Kosher meal JFK-YVR was of the best Kosher meals I’ve had on a plane.]

After having a lovely meal across from each other, looking out the windows at the sparkling lights 25,000 feet below, the flight attendants offered pajamas (designed by a famous Hong Kong tailor no less), and escorted us to the first class bathroom. Upon returning to our seats, our whole area had been converted into a flatbed made up in beautiful linens and the lights were turned to a calming glow.  The beds were wide enough for two people to sit next to each other and therefore were quite comfortable when you were sleeping on it. Once lying flat in bed, your television screen could pop out of the wall and be angled for optimum viewing. [An amenity sorely lacking on LH’s 744 in F with a separate bed.]

We both slept for a few hours [me hoping I wasn’t going to have a hangover] and when we awoke it was time to land. While in the bathroom changing out of our pajamas, the flight attendants unmake your bed and clean up your area before your return. As the plane slowly glided into Vancouver International Airport, I was sad that the flight was over but filled with unspeakable excitement at being in Vancouver.



Couple of points:

1) I hope you enjoyed, and 2) No, my wife doesn't call me AJK ;)
« Last Edit: September 09, 2015, 03:33:19 PM by jj1000 »
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Offline Yaalili

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Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2013, 10:43:53 PM »
Awesome!! Maybe a mini-report of yvr too? Any surprises there?

Offline elikay

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Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2013, 10:51:42 PM »
VERY cool thanks Mrs AJK!

Offline Centurion

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Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2013, 10:55:09 PM »
thanx for the report!
+100
you can only make a first impression ONCE

Offline eliteflyer

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Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2013, 10:57:09 PM »
Thanks for posting!

Offline Devorah

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Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2013, 10:58:16 PM »
Awesome!! Maybe a mini-report of yvr too? Any surprises there?
+1
Your wife has a way with words.  I actually LOL'ed several times.

Offline Mikeoracle

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Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2013, 11:03:58 PM »
Awesome report! thanks for posting

Offline Tzfas

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Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2013, 11:17:17 PM »
The report is great, thanks for sharing.

Offline Saver2000

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Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 11:18:44 PM »
Nice report! Thanx for taking the time to write it up!

Offline Cholentfresser

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Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2013, 11:20:37 PM »
Awesome!!
In order to understand recursion, you first need to understand recursion.

Offline mmermss

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Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2013, 11:34:37 PM »
It's not about the quantity of your posts.  It's about the quality.

Offline sam28

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Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2013, 11:41:04 PM »
Very well written, thanx! Waiting to hear (read) more but let your wife write it.

Offline Nitantnel

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Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2013, 11:50:04 PM »
Wow, amazing and well written!

Offline smurf

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Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2013, 12:00:21 AM »
Wow!

Offline ZCN

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Re: AJK's YVR Surprise: A TR by His (Much Better) Half
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2013, 12:37:16 AM »
By far the most exciting trip report I have read....can't wait for more!