My flight out of Houston was delayed several hours by a fog so dense it made the morning drive look like the funk from a Stephen King movie. By the time we boarded, I already knew I would miss the last ferry over to Utila, my island destination near the Honduran coast. I would be stranded, alone on Roatan island for the night. The thing is, I didn't mind. There was something magical happening on the plane. I can't speak for the rest of the passengers, but our three tiny first class rows must have been dosed with joy juice. Maybe it was a side effect of the creepy fog, or perhaps it's because we were all heading to a place that looked like this:
Either way, the good vibes were contagious. Smiles abound, passengers helped each other stow bags and the morning's conversation encompassed the entire cabin. It was one of those rare flights that felt more like a private party among friends. I ordered my usual inflight beverage, a Bloody Mary, prompting my seat-mate (water) to call out "You know what, I'll have one of those too."
Let the salt juice flow!
The flight only got better when meal service began. Lunch consisted of a cilantro chicken wrap, peppery corn chowder, fruit salad and a chocolate brownie.
Continental Airlines passengers take note: the chicken wrap is the single best thing I've ever eaten on an airplane. I know cilantro is one of those herbs that people either love (me! me!) or hate, and this burrito-style wrap is chock full of it, along with tender chicken, melted cheese, rice and plenty of spice. The airline even gets extra foodie points for the accompanying packet of chipotle pepper sauce. Crazy good! I can see myself stocking the freezer with dozens of these babies. I know that scoring the same tasty meal on a future flight is like winning the tray table lottery, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.
The great vibes (possibly fueled by the great meal) continued as we touched down. Even though I was technically stranded, I suddenly had a group of new best friends offering their assistance. My seat-mate? She runs one of the best bars on the island. Pax 2E was also stranded without a ferry, so we decided to stick together. It turns out 2F runs a high-end hotel on the island; he helped us locate lodging for the night.
So that's how I found myself "marooned" at a beach-side bar, staring down the setting sun with a cold beer in hand. Sometimes we need to take the small inconveniences (like flight delays) in stride and accept life's detours. Sometimes the destination isn't as important as the flightpath. So, enjoy the awesome chicken wrap. Enjoy the Bloody Mary. Enjoy the whole damn ride.