Posts Tagged "airplane"

The Airport Has a Welcome Center?

Dear Kid,

I was at the airport last night, and while I waited for Pi’s plane to land I thought, “We have a really nice airport.”

This is not a thing one generally thinks at an airport.

Generally, when one is at an airport, one is thinking about where one can find a bank to loan one enough money to buy a small bottle of water. Or one is thinking about how one is going to find a way to get from where one is to where one wishes to go without using the airplane one had originally planned to ride. Or one is thinking about why one is using the word “one” so often.

Whatever one is thinking, it is generally not “Wow, this is a great place.”

But that’s exactly what I was thinking last night.

I think part of the reason was that I wasn’t trying to go anywhere. I was just there to retrieve a child, and I was pretty happy to have her back home. Also the drive to the airport had been easy breezy beautiful (no, Cover Girl did not pay me for that). In the garage, I parked in the Ultimate Parking Spot. And I learned that CVG has a Welcome Center.

Rosie Red inviting you to the Welcome Center at CVG. And to the 2015 All Star Game.“Meeting someone?” asks a sign held by Rosie Red (yes, the airport is mildly decked out for the All Star Game). “Follow the signs to the Welcome Center”

Welcome Center? We have a Welcome Center?

I went inside the terminal. “This way to the Welcome Center” I took the escalator down. “Welcome Center” said another sign with an arrow indicating a U-turn. (I want you to know I executed the U-turn flawlessly.) Then (after walking the length of two escalators) I was there: at the Welcome Center.

The Welcome Center consist of two lovely areas with café tables and chairs where one can wait for whoever it is you feel like waiting for. The walls are glass so you can see who’s coming and decide whether or not to greet them. The food and beverage options consist of several vending machines which is less than chic, but since you don’t have to go through security you can bring as much of your own beverage as you want so it’s not a big deal.

Pi landed and in short order (that is not a height joke) came through to the Welcome Center, where I (being the kind of mother I am) welcomed her.

In a serious breach of union contracts, her luggage arrived quickly and (after hugging everyone six or seven times) we climbed into the car, left the Ultimate Parking Spot, and headed home.

Really, it’s a lovely airport.

Love, Mom

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Perspectives on Travel

Dear Kid,

Have you ever noticed that traveling looks wonderful and invigorating in television commercials and magazine ads?

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.  ~St. Augustine DearKidLoveMom.comI can only assume that this is because the actors have a) all traveled first class to get to their destination and b) have had several days to rest from said travels.

Or because the ad was filmed on a sound stage which required a commute time of 27 minutes.

Or because there is something magical about the hats the actors wear (you know, the huge brimmed hats that make the women look like movie stars). Of course, the magic called “retouching” and “photoshop” help too.

Real life travel is not advertisement-quality travel. Unless by advertisement-quality you mean it’s flat and tasteless.

Real life travel is tiring. It may mean delayed (or canceled) flights. It may mean driving through rain and hail in places like East Nowhere, PA. It generally involves meals that sit awkwardly in your stomach like a misplaced bowling ball (looking at you, Cracker Barrel). It inevitably means (for me) too much caffeine and too little sleep.

Also it does bad things to my hair. You don’t have this problem, I know. But I do. I don’t know how some women manage to travel with their own cadre of hairdressers, but they look fabulous while I look like mice found lodging near my scalp.

The good news is there is often good stuff at the other end of travel. Like family. And borrowed puppies. And sometimes warm weather.

And travel, no matter how wonderful, always makes us appreciate home just a little bit more.

Love, Mom


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The Germanwings Crash and Mom Thoughts on Gender

Dear Kid,

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about the crash of the Germanwings airplane in which 150 people were killed. No question, it’s a terrible tragedy and We the Public very much want the big WHY question answered.

The media has been reporting every real, hypothetical, and speculative aspect of the story. And We the Public have gobbled up every morsel of actual news and every droplet of idle speculation and commentary.

What I’ve found most interesting is that in all the reports I’ve heard when people talk about pilots in general, they talk about them as all being male.

I (sort of) get it. The majority of commercial pilots are still men. But there are plenty of women winging through the friendly skies (and you know one of them).

And yet when the media interviews a Random Traveler about their opinion (it’s not news, it’s not relevant, but it fills airtime), and Random Traveler (a woman) says, “I always want to interview my pilot. I want to know if he had a fight with his wife. I want to know if his dog died…” I find it jarring.

I know that “he” is the gender neutral in the English language, and I’m quite comfortable with that—but I’m pretty sure Random Traveler didn’t mean it that way.

I saw our friend the pilot this morning and she assures me that the piloting industry is not a particularly friendly place for women and the percentage of women pilots hasn’t changed in decades.

We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.

Sending our condolences and heartfelt sympathies to all those whose lives were touched by the crash.

Love, Mom


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Hallelujah! And Other Great Things About March 23rd

Dear Kid,

While you were busy waking up and I was busy making coffee, March 23rd was busy celebrating its awesomeness. Because there are so many cool things about today that it takes an entire 24 hours to enjoy. There is no sleeping in for March 23rd.

Way back in 1066, Halley’s Comet made its 18th recorded appearance. Apparently, it had been appearing for a much longer time but nobody thought to make a note.

In 1490 on March 23, the first dated edition of Maimonides “Mishneh Torah” was published.

In 1743, Handel’s Messiah premiered in London. The king was so moved by the Hallelujah chorus he stood for it. That’s why we stand at performances of the Hallelujah chorus to this day.

In 1775, Patrick Henry proclaimed “Give me liberty or give me death.” He was speaking in favor of Virginian troops joining the Revolutionary War. (They did).

In 1836 Franklin Beale invented the coin press—so apparently we can thank Ol’ Frank for us having to carry pennies around.

Then on March 23, 1839, the Boston Morning Post used OK (oll correct) for the first time. And that’s OK with me.

Just a year later, Draper took the first successful photo (which was really a daguerreotype) of the moon.

In 1857, Elisha Otis (of the now famous Otis elevator) installed the first elevator.

In 1861, the first tramcars began operating in London.

In 1881, gas lamps set fire to the Nice (France) opera house. This is the first known instance of people being sung to death.

In 1903, the Wright brothers get a patent on their airplane.

In 1912, the Dixie cup was invented.

In 1922, the first airplane lands at the US capitol in WDC. Which is pretty cool considering how recently the airplane had been invented.

In 1929, the first telephone is installed in the White House. It is black. And it’s weird to think DC had the plane before the phone.

In 1994, Joey Buttafuoco is released from jail. Absolutely no one cares. Also Wayne Gretzky sets the NHL record with 802 goals scored. Lots of people care.

And it’s today. Happy today!

Love, Mom

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Airline Travel Then and Now

Dear Kid,

Airplanes are interesting places.

As you probably know, the size of the seats has shrunk by 408% over the last few years, while the size of travelers has expanded even moreso. This does not make for a delightful travel experience (and by “delightful” I mean “roomy”).

I feel like an accordion trying to unsquish after a night of crazy polka music. I can’t imagine how people who are less vertically challenged than I am manage it.

In addition, the in-flight beverage service has slowed to a crawl. By which I mean that while I brought water on board with me, I didn’t bring a diet coke, and quite frankly this is a flight that requires diet coke. The flight attendants seem more concerned with the flight operation than with my personal particular need for a diet coke. Clearly a case of misplaced priorities.

Being the lady that I am, I am sitting here stoically, waiting calmly. Not fussing. Just fading a little on the inside.

Fact: There is no place on an airplane to charge an electronic device

Airtravel used to be much more elegant... DearKidLoveMom.comAirplane travel used to be an elegant(ish) experience. One would dress up for the occasion. Stewardesses (in those days they were all female and called stewardesses) seemed to live only to bring joy and beverages to passengers. (There was no such thing as diet coke in those days, but I can’t figure out how to fault the airlines for that.)

In those days, you weren’t just given a drink. You got a Full Meal. And snacks. And refills.

On the downside, there was a smoking section in the back of the plane (and by “back of the plane” I mean the entire cabin smelled of smoke) and if you wanted to go to the restroom you had to walk through the blue haze of accumulated cigarette smoke to get there.

On the plus side, in those days you could recline your seat more than a quarter of an inch without ending up in the lap of the person behind you.

And the seats were designed for people (rather than sardines) to sit in.

Do I sound nostalgic? I can’t quite decide whether I miss the Good Ol’ Days or whether I’m happy in jeans and a t-shirt.

Perhaps once I unfold and regain my more-or-less-normal shape, I’ll decide.

Love, Mom

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