This is my new weekly installment of Throwback Thursday, where I revisit the very trips that were so special to me, and to remind me of why we want to raise our kids to be world explorers themselves.
When I was 12, many years ago, my parents decided to take me to Costa Rica for Spring Break. Not only did I not know where it was, but I was sad we weren’t heading to Panama City, Florida, like the rest of my classmates. When they said I could bring my best friend I was more excited, and away we went, to this mysterious land in Central America, confusing everyone in the 7th grade.
Our week in San Jose and Manuel Antonio, long ago before it became overtaken with tourists, was amazing. We sat on beaches and watched monkeys swinging from trees, we saw sloths crossing the road, we saw spiders bigger than you could ever imagine and had experiences that we would never forget.
But none of these things were the highlight of our trip. That came on our flight home.
As we took off from San Jose, headed for Miami, we excitedly chatted about our trip, thinking about what we would tell our friends. We were headed towards the ocean when suddenly the plane made a sharp turn, heading back towards the airport. The pilot came on and calmly said the following.
“Hi folks, just wanted to let you all know what is going on. We are heading back towards the airport because we just received a phone call that there is a bomb on the plane, and we will have to make an emergency landing”
Cue silence, followed by gasps and shouts and crying. My parents, trying to keep two 12 year old girls calm, said if there was a bomb it would be an altitude bomb and that is why we were flying so low. For years I believed this and didn’t realize my dad made it up, which was pretty quick thinking on his part!
We landed, safely, in a field, far away from anything, on the off chance the plane exploded when we touched ground, and there was a lot of commotion. We watched as some stairs were driven out to the plane, only to find out they were too short. One of the flight attendants completely panicked and pushed the buttons for the slides, and of the two one flew completely off the plane, leaving one slide for all of us to go down.
They repeatedly told us to leave all our bags on the plane, calmly walk to the front, cross our arms and jump. The first guy that jumped flew off the bottom and broke his leg, and was carried away on a cloth stretcher. By the time we got to the front we forgot the fear of what was going on and reveled in the excitement. I remember crossing my arms, jumping, sliding and at the end, with a pretty big distance between the bottom of the slide and the plane, someone grabbed me and sort of pushed me towards a fence a ways away. We had to run to the fence, and wait until everyone was off the plane, and then we all claimed our luggage, I guess with the thought being that if something was left it could be the bomb.
At this point my dad decided we should get pictures, as only my family would do. Now, this is brave of me to do. These pictures? They are rough. It was the late 80s and we did not look good. At all. Please overlook that and instead take in the excitement of what was going on behind us. It was pretty awesome in retrospect.
We were all taken to the airport, where we had to wait all day for another plane to fly down from Miami. We never did find out what had really happened, but it didn’t really matter, especially not to us. We came back to middle school and we were rock stars for our amazing spring break story.
Do you have a memorable vacation from your childhood? Share it with us!
This is part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby!