Since Papa and I are a bit grounded right now with no specific travel plans in mind, I visited the cache of my Mama’s Empty Nest posts from years ago, Maybe, I thought, I could resurrect one of those that highlighted a trip we embarked upon during the early years of blogging for today’s Tuesday Tour.
The following is a post I wrote in April 2011, so if it seems a bit dated, well…it is. But my thoughts from over a decade ago remain the same for the most part.
Airline tickets for $39. That ad attracted my attention for about a nano-second.
I used to love to travel by plane; now I’d rather pull out my own toenails. In the past, I thought there was no better way to travel than flying.
Jump on an airplane on one coast of the country, be on the other coast in six hours, as opposed to driving for six days? No better way to go, I used to think. I know because I’ve done both.
Flying used to be enjoyable, an adventure I willingly embarked upon even with three small children in tow.
I loved the sensation of lifting off into the air, peering out jet windows to catch glimpses of wispy, cotton candy clouds floating beside me, observing the patchwork of fields, mountain tops, or rambling threads of rivers and roads beneath us thousands of feet down.
Equally enthralling was catching the breath-taking view of a city all aglow in brilliant lights outlined in the dark of an inky black night sky. Glorious.
Landing thrilled me even more! I loved the sensation of gradually making the descent, feeling your ears pop, watching the ground get closer, closer, closer until you felt the bump of the plane’s tires touching down.
Then came the amazing part for me….flying on the ground, traveling at such a high rate of speed you wondered if the plane would ever be able to stop, but finally brakes grabbed hold and the plane came to a halt. Exhilarating!
For certain, flying used to be fun. Now I’d rather avoid it at all costs. Unless there’s a dire emergency, you’d have to pay me to fly. I’m not afraid of flying; instead I fear and loathe everything prior to and in between the actual flights.
“If God had really intended men to fly, he’d make it easier to get to the airport,” someone named George Winters apparently once said. Well, Mr. Winters, times have changed. Now I believe it’s actually easier getting to the airport than it is getting through the airport.
I understand the necessity for security; really in today’s unsafe world, I get that. But given the choice, after my last flying experience, I’m done with that mode of transportation. (However, I did fly two more times since I wrote this post – both trips to Arizona without any issues.)
My last venture by airplane occurred before the rash of outrageously crazy TSA screening stories that you watch on internet videos or hear about from a neighbor. You know, the ones about 3-year-olds getting stripped and frisked and people having to remove prosthetics or endure some humiliating ordeal.
Flying just isn’t in my plans; I don’t care how low air fares drop. I’ve got my own crazy story which sealed the deal when it comes to my disdain for air travel, and I haven’t flown since then. (But we did fly in 2018 and then again in 2020 right as the you know what hit.)
A few years ago, I flew south with oldest daughter for a weekend. Her career necessitated a move there, and we embarked upon an apartment finding quest.
Our flight departed late in the afternoon, and we had no time for dinner. The only sustenance we received on our short flight to our next lay-over was a glass of water. No individual bottle of water. (This was, of course, before the pandemic.)
The flight attendant rolled down the aisle with a large communal bottle from which she poured water into a plastic cup for those of us thirsty travelers. No food, of course – not even a tiny little bag of peanuts.
We ran to our next flight at our layover. Again no time for food; and again, no food on the plane. Arriving at our destination close to midnight, we were starving when we checked into our downtown hotel, where the only hot meal we could find was a vending machine Hot Pocket warmed up in a microwave.
Our trip on the ground was successful – she found a great apartment, we explored the city a bit, enjoyed our meals and one delight for me was sipping Southern sweet tea.
Because of all the waiting in line necessary for security screening and because we needed to turn in our rental car, we arrived at the airport very early Sunday morning for the airline’s first flight out to our home destination. That Sunday unfolded as one of the longest and most aggravating, weary days of my life causing me to vow not to fly again.
(But you’ll have to tune in again next week for the Tuesday Tour that tells that story.)
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” ~ J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan