Oh the magic of modern flight. Jet planes to whisk you away to exotic locales. Images of efficient schedules, beautiful destinations, pleasant experiences. The illusion gets shattered as soon as you encounter the security checkpoints, flight delays and crowded boarding procedures. Everyone has those precious possessions to lug onto the plane as carry-on, size rules or no. You shoehorn yourself into a seat, surrounded by strangers that you hope are friendly. It takes a while for everyone to get stuff stowed, and seated. Then, the spiel about what to do if the plane crashes in water, or on land. And a final reminder to fasten seat belts. Then the take off. A few bumps and away you go.
Once you get to cruising altitude, you are served free soft drinks. You can pay extra for peanuts or something more substantial, or alcoholic drinks. Then, the advertisement for extra miles, or to sign up for their special card. The whole flight can seem like one long infomercial. You try and read with the overhead lamp, and find they don't work. But at least you arrive on time, safely if not very rested.
Instead of driving for two or three days, you have flown for a few hours, and covered the same distance. Despite any minor irritations, you saved a lot of time. And you feel happy to be at your destination.
Later, you read about the rarities. The turbulence that injured five people, some severely. Or the plane crash that killed 28. And you feel even happier at being there without mishap.
Vacations are fun, and most of the time, the trip there and back can be part of the enjoyment. Mine was no exception. Palm Springs was exceptionally beautiful in February. Balmy temperatures, flowers everywhere, great service, friendly people. Many wonderful sights: everything from expensive cars flocking the streets to unique art shops, to a tramway up an 8,000 foot mountaintop. Lots to see and do, and I did as much as I reasonably could. I feel lucky and honored to finally make the visit there. Thanks for reading.