2 dudes, 2 countries, First Class, and NO PLAN! Part 1...

Good morning! But I digress....

So after all that pontificating on "Black Swans" its time we return to our regularly scheduled programming. This story involves a trip to Europe with my best friend and college room mate Billy. But what makes this travel story different than any other I'll possibly ever tell is that it was all done without a plan. To get the full effect, we need to start from the beginning...

About 5 years ago, Billy and I decided that we wanted to take a trip, the problem was we really didn't know where to go.
What had made this trip possible in the first place was the fact that we possessed two "Buddy Passes" for Delta. We were having a hard time deciding because, well, we could go anywhere and it was all free! Sort of like when you win a free breakfast sandwich during McDonald's Monopoly, you go for the Sausage McGriddle cause its the most expensive, well we wanted the most "bang for the buck." First we were going to go skiing, then we were going to Vegas, then we decided to get the best of both worlds and go to Lake Tahoe. About 3 days before we were due to leave, we both came to a realization...We were thinking small...

See the passes weren't just limited to travel in the U.S., we could go anywhere in the world, but there was just one catch: we had to fly standby. Well the planner in me was not comfortable with the concept of standby. There was no way I could do this. I needed a confirmed flight and seat number. What if the flight we want is full, where do we go then? What if we get there, and every hotel is booked? Or worse, what if we get there and then we can't get home? In short, I was freaking out at this idea, but the allure of a free flight to Europe was just too strong, and the planner eventually relented. And by relented, I mean shifted into planning overdrive...

I studied the flight schedule and learned that the first objective was to get to Atlanta. Once there, we had our choice of about 8 flights to different destinations across Europe. The first flight was to Amsterdam, followed by London, Paris, Rome, and Barcelona and all about a half hour apart. Our "plan" was to start with the first flight to Amsterdam, hope to get lucky, and if not, move on to the next gate. Again, the planner in me was freaking out, but it was the closest thing to a plan I was going to get...

The biggest thing I couldn't handle was the idea of getting to a city in Europe and having no place to stay. Billy was not the least bit concerned, and more or less told me to chill. Eventually I convinced him to let me book us a room for the first night in Amsterdam. If we made it great, if not, I was only out a few bucks. He eventually agreed, but still thought I was being neurotic. He didn't know the half of it, as I had also contacted a hotel in London and they agreed to reserve us a room with no penalty if we didn't show. So now we had two tickets to somewhere in Europe, and two hotel rooms in two different cities. This was starting to come together quite well...

The departure day was upon us, and we arrived at the Gainesville airport early. There were 2 flights to Atlanta that would get us there in time, and we were lucky enough to get on the first one. My nerves were going crazy, as there was definitely no turning back now. We landed in Atlanta and headed straight for the gate for the flight to Amsterdam. The gate agent told us our chances were good, but we'd have to wait till the end of boarding. I knew this was normal for standby, but the suspense was killing me. Then we heard those magic words: "Passenger Brown, Passenger Jones, Check the gate." The wonderful gate agent who I could have kissed at that moment handed us our boarding passes. After close inspection, I was quite certain these were the same tickets St. Peter must use when granting access to heaven...seats 1A and 1B. First Class. Holy $hi+!

We board the plane, take our nice leather seats, and the flight attendant approaches. Right then I could see my dream of first class disappearing, as surely there was going to be some sort of problem. "Gentlemen, we have a problem." Here goes.. "The pilot has informed me we are overweight, and you two are going to need to drink as much alcohol as possible so we can land in Amsterdam."

This was going to be some adventure.....

~Insert Dude-like Closing Here~

Deej