first plane ride

The following is a series of handwritten letters my grandmother filed in a scrapbook for me documenting my visit to Disney World in the spring of 1975. She wrote the entries in my voice as if I was telling them to my parents back home. I am so grateful for this gift. I call it a blog, because it is no different than what I am doing nearly 40 years later when I archive the stories of my kids.

April 19, 1975

Karen, Grandpa, Nannie and me left for Florida. It was my first airplane ride. My mummy and Nicole drove me down to Nannie’s house. Stephen stayed in Kingston. We left Montreal on a Delta Airlines Lockhead wide body Tristar that seats 250 people.

While we were checking in at the airport the US Customs man pinned pilot wings on my coat and I was an honorary pilot. We did not get a window seats. We were in the middle. There were 4 rows of seats with 2 seats side by side in each row. We each had our own earphones to plug into 3 channels of music. I liked the rock and roll. [Airline ticket YUL-MIA in 1975: $129.33 return. Airline ticket in 2013: $443]

The stewardess brought us our brunch. Scrambled eggs, filet mignon steak, hashbrown potatoes, a roll, jam, fruit cocktail for dessert. I had ginger ale too. Then I asked the stewardess for a deck of cards. She gave them to me to keep.

We flew at 35 000 feet and 575 miles an hour. When we got off the plane it was so hot, 79 degrees.

While we were landing, I had trouble with my ears. It hurt for a little while. We landed in Miami at 1 o’clock. A mini bus took us to the car rental. We got a Dodge Dart with air conditioning. Then we drove south to our motel – Quality Inn South.

The first thing we did was put on our bathing suits and go swimming. We stayed at the pool for 2 hours. We had our supper and then went for a drive to Key Biscayne. We stopped and went down to the ocean where I found seashells. We saw lots of coconuts growing on palm trees. Grandpa helped me climb halfway up a palm tree. I found a baby coconut that had fallen off a tree.

Then we drove to Miami Beach to see all the rows of big motels. I got tired and fell asleep in the car on the way home. It was a fun day. Oh, I forgot when I got on the plane the pilot took me into the cockpit and I saw how they make the plane go. There were lots and lots of buttons and switches. That’s where I would like to sit.


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  1. Reg March 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Filet mignon? That was when flying was a luxury. And cards?…… for free??

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  6. tm December 5, 2020 at 12:11 am

    How lovely that your grandmother did this for you! My family went to Disney that same spring during a trip from Cleveland to Clearwater. We got to take a yearly vacation on the passes my dad got working for Air Canada.

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