Cleared For Takeoff
Experience has taught us that the best day to fly during the Holiday Season is on Christmas Day. The airports are not nearly as crowded. You can get a seat in any airport restaurant without waiting or having ten thousand other travelers (and their carry-on baggage) crammed in next to you. On the plane things are not as crowded either. We can stretch out a bit and the Flight Crew is generally in a better mood.
On the other side of that coin it still takes just as long to get to the airport and everything is still subject to the same array of delays that make flying one of those things I’d just as soon do without. Kinda like a Colonoscopy.
At this time of year the whole process of Air Travel is fouled up by the nastiness of weather all over the country. We got hung up in Charlotte, NC once because of a snowstorm in Massachusetts – and there’s not a darn thing that can be done about it. Even if you owned your own airplane you’d be stuck. Weather trumps everything else. You are not flying out of Chicago if your plane is sitting on the tarmac in Denver covered with ice and two feet of snow.
All that we are going to be able to do is hope for the best when it comes to our plans.
One thing that I have tried to do when it comes to travel is to adjust my mood. Because so much of traveling is beyond my control I have learned to smooth out the bumps by slipping into my very own “Travel Mode.” It’s sort of a meditative thing, Sort of, Kinda, Maybe.
I take a few deep breaths, wriggle into whatever seat I can find, and just accept the fact that I will not be getting to my destination any quicker than the Pilot. They may call me a Passenger, but in reality, I am nothing more than another piece of luggage – except that I get those little packs of peanuts from the hopefully pleasant Flight Attendant.
The time before boarding is the perfect time to slip into my luggage mode. Give me a half hour and I can close out all, but the most important parts of the world around me – that would be Dawn, Alex, and the location of the nearest Restroom.
Flying has become a necessity. I can’t drive to Ireland and I don’t want to spend two days driving to Texas. I enjoy driving, but I no longer enjoy the Marathon Treks. When I was younger going 500 miles or more in one day was fun. It’s not fun anymore. These days, anything longer than the distance between home and the end of the driveway requires too much planning. I need to know the location of every Rest Stop along the way.
Because of my dwindling tolerance for the hassle of it all I will get through our travel to Texas and back by descending into my Zen-ish cocoon and eat my peanuts like a good little piece of luggage.