I don't fly much. (Unless you count what I do going down Rahling or Dorado Beach when we are running late.)
Anyway, I don't fly much, so I was struck by several things on the 6 flights I was on this weekend.
1) The mountains are as amazingly beautiful and majestic when you are looking down on them as seeing them from ground level. They kind of took my breath away. And I love the desert mountains--so different from the tree covered ones I'm used to. Here is a shot I took from the window of the plane. I was such a nerd oohing and ahhing and snapping pics with my phone. You would think I don't get out much . . . oh yeah, I don't
2) I believe that flight attendants have very different personalities than those we used to ascribe to them. At least the 12 I had over the course of my flying did. Most seemed to be a cross between a strict librarian and aspiring stand-up comic. (Not that they were all able to pull off the latter.) One of them had me sweating. Another 2 reminded me of my kids because they would race through their stuff to try and be the first one making announcements. And not like they were being silly about it, they really and truly were trying to beat each other to the old fashioned phone to talk first. That amused me.
3) TSA agents enjoy their power. I think day one of training is all about maintaining the scowl while you scan the license and boarding pass and then compare the ticket holder's face to his/her ID. It was almost comical . . . like they were hoping to be promoted to Buckingham Palace Guard. I'm all for being thorough, but seriously, a smile isn't going to soften our national security.
4) There is a series of emotions that I observed passengers going through from check-in to boarding and it goes something like this:
- excitement- we're here! it's trip time!!
- mild anxiety- will we get checked in on time? do they have our reservations? do i have my id? does my bag weigh too much?
- relief and impending dread- (sigh) got our boarding passes, got our luggage in (hope it makes it), now I have to pump myself up to quickly undress and hope all my liquids are in the right containers and pray that there is no overly friendly patter-downer working today
- panic- shoes off, cell phone in, jacket off, belt off, laptop out, purse sideways, bag on, lipstick out, jewelry off, walk through, don't hold up the line, don't make it beep, get redressed in .4 seconds
- irritation/relief- finally through security, but where the heck is my gate and do I have time for a snack and a magazine? and will I ever cool off from that safety routine/fiasco? and I cannot wait to take a nap on the plane, that was like a marathon
- restlessness and fear/hope- wait, wait, wait, wait, line up, wait (Dear Lord, please don't make me sit next to that person . . . or that one) wait, board, find seat, find place for overhead storage, try to gracefully sit down, covert observation of neighbors, get over disappointment/start practicing holding your breath, try and get comfortable
5) For all the work and stuffed fears of crashing, it is SO WORTH getting to go places. And so fun to people watch. (And so interesting to wonder if you are being people watched. Josh pointed that out.)
19 hours ago