Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Blogging from 36,000 Feet

I don't know where to begin. (Other than at the "create new post" page on the Blogger dashboard.) How one's life, one's outlook, one's perspective, can change. In a weekend. A day even.

Friday morning, and Thursday night for that matter, I was somewhat of a nervous wreck. I had never flown. It wasn't so much the flying that freaked me out. I was more worried about finding the airport, the terminal, my gate, etc. Once I was seated at the gate, waiting to board, I was fine. Sure, the flight attendant had to caress me with my head in her lap until we got to cruising altitude. (That's a technical aeronautic term (TAT). Don't concern yourself with it.) But really, that was more of a "hot flight attendant" thing than a "Bone's trying to open the cabin door" thing.

I flew American. And I was very pleased. Of course, I have nothing to compare it to, but everyone at the airport and with the airline was very friendly and helpful. When we left DFW for California, the pilot said we would be flying as fast as possible to make up time just in case there might be smaller planes that would slow us down once we neared our destination. And I was thinking we're flying. Why not go as fast as you can all the time? There's no speed limit. It's like one big aerial autobahn. Floor it, man!

Is that a Seinfeld bit? I think it may be, partly. I know this is... "They show you how to use a seat-belt, in case you haven't been in a car since 1965. Oh, you lift up on the buckle, oh!! I was trying to just break the metal apart! I thought that's how it works. I was going to attempt to tear the fabric part of the belt. I thought if I could just get it started..."

So anyhow, I liked the airports. $3 for a 20 ounce Coke. You can't beat that. And DFW had a Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop inside it!! So I got a long-sleeved t-shirt. I wanted to take pictures of the planes outside on the tarmac (again, TAT), but no one else really was. Then I didn't want the security to think I was taking surveillance photos or something for Branch-Davidian East. I love people watching. And listening. Observing. An airport is a great place to do that. Walking through the airport, bag slung over my shoulder, suddenly I could see myself as a world traveler.

A couple of people mentioned that for my first time flying, it would probably be a good idea to fly with someone who had flown before. And that is good advice. But now, having done it alone, there's an even greater sense of accomplishment. The feeling you only have when you do something on your own. I know this probably sounds silly and insignificant to most of you. But for me, this was huge. It's not that I had ever refused to fly anywhere. I just had never had a reason or felt the need or really thought about it. Still, there were these walls, which I had unknowingly set in my mind, that seemed so humongous and insurmountable. But now, after the fact, they seem only like small stepping stones.

Flying is amazing. Looking down on the tops of clouds. Seeing God's creation from this perspective. Going from DFW to California, the pilot said we'll be passing over the Colorado River, Mohave Desert, and other places. I thought to myself, it's like a real-life maps.google.com up here! Hope we don't zoom in though.

I think I will stop there, lest this entry become like the reign of a two-term President, and go on for far too long. I will probably write more about my trip later. Maybe tomorrow.

Monday morning, I was sitting in a French restaurant, at a window table for two, looking out at the Pacific Ocean. Monday night, I was home, piling clothes from my suitcase into the washing machine.

Friday morning, I had never been on a plane. I had never been west of Texas. Today, all I want to do is take plane rides to other places. Oh, and get massages.

Life is amazing, ain't it.

"In the mornin' I'm leavin', makin' my way back to Cleveland, so tonight I hope that I will do just fine. And I don't see how you could ever be, anything but mine..."


  1. Wow Bone! It sounds like you had a fantastic adventure! One that I'm sure proud of! In today's time, it seems hard to think that there are people who haven't ever been on an airplane. I'm glad you've 'crossed over' so to speak. Wanderlust can be a dangerous (and expensive!) mistress. But, it's a big world out there! So much to see and do and experience and taste and touch and hear. If I ever win the lottery I'll probably never be heard from again because I'll be lost somewhere in darkest Peru.

  2. Glad you made it back to Alabama. SoCal started crying when you left (the rain!).
    And I'm with OC Girl. You came to SoCal and didn't email us SoCal'ers for a get-together?

  3. Welcome home! Glad your trip went smoothly, especially for your first flight. It's an amazing feeling to wake up in one place and have a meal then later on be having dinner on the other side of the country.

    Flying can get old though. On one trip to the Philippines, I had a non-stop flight from Tokyo, Japan to Chicago. Talk about a long flight!!! I think it was 23 hours. That sucked.

  4. First of all, that is my FAVORITE song right now!!! Gives me goose bumps!!

    I flew for the first time on my 23rd birthday. I'm scared to death of heights, and there was NOTHING in this world that was going to get my on a plane!!! Then I kinda felt like a lot in my life was changing, and I really wanted to see my high school friend, so I hopped on a plane and off to San Diego I flew. IT WAS SO FUN!!!! I won't tell you that I may have grabbed onto the guy next to me as we started our descent though ;-) Anyways, I'm hooked now. I've flown a couple other times, and I love it! I'm really glad you had a good experience, and I'm glad you had fun! Can't wait to hear more!!!

    BTW, nice to have you back and blogging. You were starting to worry me with your silence.

  5. Lass: It was wonderful. I do need to reign in my spending a bit though. For awhile anyway. Starting after my next massage. Maybe.

    Xinh: Yes, I caught some of the rain and thunder. I kinda like the rain once in awhile. I will try and catch you all if I ever do the Blog Reality Tour ;-)

    J-Mo: Thanks, bro. Wow! 23 hours. I'm sure it's like a lot of things. It's cool when it's new, but probably gets old quickly if you have to do it often.

    Brunette: Yeah, I like that song, too. And thanks, it's nice to be back and blogging. I was starting to worry myself. Just a dry spell, I suppose.

  6. I fully understand the concept of doing something you've never done-alone! I have been contemplating going to Paris over Thanksgiving. My Paris class at school is going, but I don't want to stay with them...that means going on my own. I'm a wuss. I've been there before...a couple of times. I'm still a wuss. I know I would have a great sense of accomplishment, like you said, but I'm a wuss. You have made me want to go back to L.A. What a great place! So glad you had a wonderful time.

  7. Welcome back! I'm so happy to hear that you had a great experience and feel better. As someone who recently flew for the first time too - ain't it amazing?? All the fear and anxiety goes away after you've done it (well, except for during the banking in flight). Kudos to you for doing it on your own.

    I laughed out loud at the reference to google.maps and hoping not to zoom in - very funny!

    Glad you're back and glad all is getting better.

  8. Glad you enjoyed our great state.

    I love airports and people watching. I always get teary eyed saying good bye and watching others say good bye.

    My favorite part of the in flight speel (TAT) is the "cushion as a flotation device" part, especially when you will be flying over nothing but land and mountains!

  9. Lovin' these longer comments...

    Carnealian: Paris?? Really? I wanna go!

    Cindy: Thanks. It's so not a big deal now. But it was before I did it, you know?

    Erica: Ha ha. Yes, I thought of the same thing, too. And even if it is water, am I really still going to be conscious once we hit the water? They might as well put a Band-Aid on the back of each seat.

    Goodbyes... yeah.

    Wow, I didn't realize how many of the bloggers I link to live in California.

  10. Get 'cher passport, I'm ready when you are!

  11. I've never flown yet either. But I have cruised now! That was amazing, so I guess I'll have to try flying next! Probably won't compare to having my bed made for me and my laundry done every day, but what the heck! =o)

  12. For the past several months, we've been discussing going on our Blog Reality tour, and visiting as many of you as we can!

    Hopefully we can get to that real soon!


  13. Did you get to see the Hollywood sign?

  14. Yes, I've thought about going on a cruise. Sounds like fun.

    I did see the Hollywood sign. Got a couple of pics. Will try to post a few of my pictures at some point.