Unpacking yet more of Bob’s boxes in the last few weeks, I’ve uncovered a trove of airline menus from past flights in 1st Class. Seeing these, I could say his muse was food. When these menus were new, we were airline employees, with pass riding and upgrades as part of our benefits. Before flights were packed as full as they are these days, we often got upgraded.
When menus were shiny — I don’t remember the difference in Ambassador and Royal Ambassador. Apparently it had to do with silver and gold. Or maybe it was the upstairs/downstairs of the 747’s.
Before I had Bob to travel with, I seldom stopped to eat in nice restaurants, but instead found a cafeteria or a grocery store, or got a sandwich on the go. Seeing these menus reminded me of our first trips together and how amazed I was at the time he was willing to invest in deciding where to eat. Our first international trip together was to Greece, and I remember walking up and down and around all the streets near our Athens hotel that first evening, waiting (and starving) while he read the menus in the windows and deliberated, sometimes going back to look again and compare.
But back to menus in the air:
The libations were shiny too.
And over the years the menus evolved:
A selection — I’m guessing through the 1980s.
Bob often traveled on business, so he collected menus from several other airlines too:
KLM Menus were a class act, and by the looks of it I’m guessing there were libations involved here as well.
Years later, in New York City for his cancer treatments, Bob lamented that there we were, in Manhattan, surrounded by wonderful restaurants, but chemo made him too nauseous to feel like eating. That soon changed though. After his surgery and through seven years of subsequent visits for check-ups and treatments, he got to enjoy those restaurants many times. I remember now that when I first started sorting through things after his death, I found stacks of menus then too — from his New York favorites.
But one more thing. I’m not so innocent myself. I found a menu that I saved. My friend Donna and I went to the Cafe Royale in London just to get this one. It had something to do with our favorite sci-fi novel of the moment, a Michael Moorcock time travel fantasy, where the raucous aliens partied in the bar of the Cafe Royale — picture the bar scene from Star Wars set in Victorian London.
Cafe Royal Bar – you can tell from the prices that this was some time back.
What to do with the menus? Maybe I’ll check out eBay. I did notice not long ago that someone was selling a TWA seat-occupied card. And yes, I have one of those too.
Have you ever collected menus?
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