I left off my previous post (Our amazing trip to Israel – Part 1) discussing what it took for me to finally board the airplane. So there we sat, relaxed and comfortably ensconced in the metal container that would miraculously (recklessly?) fly about 35,000 feet above solid ground. No problem….
As my wife and I chatted, and laughed about the crazy preparations that went into this unbelievable adventure, the head official of the airline crew suddenly appeared, with his eyes looking dejected, and his head lowered to the ground. He reluctantly informed us that there was a mechanical problem with the plane. It became necessary to ground this plane, and to locate another plane to carry us to our destination.
So here I went again – another transfer from my airline seat to the tiny transfer-chair provided by the airline. Followed by yet another transfer from the transfer-chair to my own power chair. At least there were no passengers impatiently waiting for me to complete this lengthy procedure!
We were delayed for two hours in the Toronto airport. With $10 food vouchers in hand, we aimlessly roamed the airport. Before long, we came upon a food stand. To our amazed delight, the store contained an entire array of fresh Glatt-Kosher meat sandwiches!! Coming from Ottawa, this certainly threw us for a loop!
So we found a place to sit, and thoroughly enjoy our scrumptious Kosher meal – provided by courtesy of Air Canada! Sometimes it pays to “fly the friendly skies”!!
The time seemed to fly by, and before long the passengers for our flight to Israel were called up to the gate. However, THIS time we were not graced with a prior boarding. So we had to squish in line with the other passengers, and conduct the manual transfers with our fellow passengers all around us! No problem….
This time, the transfer to my airplane seat did not go as smoothly as the first. But it worked – AND WE WERE OFF!!!
My job was to stay awake as long as possible, because I definitely did not want to wear the mask with the clumsy BiPAP machine. Unfortunately, I only lasted about two hours, and as I blissfully fell into a peaceful sleep, I put on my mask, closed my eyes, and fell into a deep sleep…. dreaming about the pending adventure of a lifetime. The last two hours were definitely the longest of the entire trip. Emotions such as excitement, anticipation and disbelief flooded all around me! I still could not believe that we were soon to touchdown in ISRAEL!!
Truly, nothing less than a dream come true!
As we landed and taxied on the runway in Israel, we broke down in inconsolable tears; tears of gratitude mixed with excitement….yes, indeed – we had done it, we were back again, at LONG last!!