I’m just back from a long weekend in Vegas, which I’ll write about later, but the way it started and ended should give you an idea of how it went.

On the flight there, I took an aisle seat next to a woman and her 7-year-old daughter. The kid was quiet and well-behaved, reading or drawing most of the time. The mother, however, had to get up every half-hour to use the bathroom, because she’d had a colonoscopy the previous day. Since there was no way she could crawl over me, she had to keep waking me up to stand up and let her in and out. I’d had a bad night’s sleep and was hoping to snooze most of the way, but the regular interruptions kept me from ever entering a deep sleep. You’re not supposed to arrive in Vegas bleary-eyed, but I did.

On the return trip, I took my favorite seat in a two-seat emergency exit row so I’d have the legroom I need, with no one to crawl over me on the way to the bathroom. Everything was going as planned until a couple got into the row ahead of me with their little boy, an infant who was far from quiet. He wasn’t crying, but he was “verbalizing” so much that the mother at one point looked back and apologized.  Having been in their shoes myself all those years ago, I sympathized, but I was still tired — when you start a Vegas trip exhausted, there’s little chance you’re going to catch up on REM sleep before you leave — and the kid wouldn’t shut up.

I put my Bose noise-cancelling headphone on, but they only brought the boy’s voice down several decibels, rather than completely muting him.  Restless (literally), I sat there watching TED videos on my iPhone the whole way home. When we landed, I walked out of the terminal to find my wife waiting to pick me up curbside. I climbed into her car, said I’d fill her in on the trip later, and dozed off in the passenger seat.