Vagabonding… but different this time.

The Philadelphia airport opens at 3:30 am. I had no idea the airport ever closed, but it does, and then it opens at 3:30am.

Some things should never be learned, or if they are, they should be learned in theory. I have now experienced the airport opening multiple times and have also learned that even at such an unholy hour, there is still a line. This line is created in large part due to the normal American’s inability to believe that rules apply to them. “No liquids. Take your shoes, jacket and belt off and put them in a bin. Please remove your laptop from your bag and place it in a separate bin. No ma’am you cannot take a gallon of hairspray onto an airplane. Sir, the alarm will continue to go off till you take your belt off. I know you are in a hurry… so take off your shoes faster”.

I have also learned that bags are faster than people. I learned this because my bags and I landed on the same plane at the same time but somehow they made it onto the connecting flight while I did not. I am told this is because they get to take a tug on the tarmac while I take a moving sidewalk through terminals A, B, C, D, skip E and take a shuttle to F.

I have learned that I like airports with rental car counters in the terminal and not at a remote location. I look for the counter and go there rather than getting my bags. Having learned this tip online I grin as keys in hand I pass the worried hordes as the drag wheeled luggage en mass to the counters to wait in line while I saunter over to pick my lonely property off the conveyor and then load it into my Malibu/Taurus/Camry/Prius because I refuse to upgrade for only five dollars.

It only takes a couple of trips like this to get the feel for it and then only takes a couple of days doing it multiple times to lose all feeling whatsoever.

I recall a visit to a castle in Germany where a guide stood in front of a suit of armor and explained that normal people used to be much smaller, hence the undersized metal outfit guarding the doors. I think planes were built in these dark ages, or were at least built for those who lived then and not for me. I do not stow my brief case under the seat in front of me because when seated in a plane I do not have room enough to bend down and get anything from under that seat without squishing my face up against the seat in front of me.

When boarding planes I have a seat and then look down the line of passengers and wait for the other largest passenger to look at the ticket in hand then up at the number on the row right above my head.  Murphy is my travel agent.

I was lucky yesterday as the man carrying the special extender seat belt sat in my row, but not right next to me. we had an open buffer seat. I looked at him and smiled politely. He smiled back innocently, stowed his cowboy hat in the overhead bin, and said, “thank you sir” when I showed him how the arm rest folds up out of the way. I’m not sure where my mind was when he startled me but he had a look of pure excitement when, leaning across me toward the window he said, “I have never been up this high before”.

His wording and his excitement made me think a little. I leaned my seat back so he could get a better view. He wasn’t chatty, he just wanted to appreciate the fact that we were flying.

He was right. I was caught up in schedules, luggage, taking off my shoes, and my magazine that I almost forgot that flying through the air is pretty cool.

Just because it is normal doesn’t make it less awesome. I woke up in Philly, went to North Carolina, slept in Virginia, sat down with a friend in Boston, and got sorta bored in Miami, all in less than a week.

So thank you large man on his way to visit his mom for the first time in fourteen years. Thank you for reminding me that though lines may be annoying and some cheap motels fail to ask you if you want a non-smoking room, flying is pretty cool.

Because it is.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Vagabonding… but different this time.

  1. Good post Dalyn. Totally agree, oft times I catch myself taking thing for-granted. I am blessed. Thanks for the reminder big man next to Dalyn

  2. I hope looking out of an airplane window never, never grows old for me. Last week I saw something I hadn’t before… flying early in the morning over both plains and low mountains – all the waterways had fluffy, curly flog sitting right down on at the surface. Like wads of cotton in river shape. No clouds in the sky visible the whole flight – just rivers of them on the ground.

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