February 17th, 2009 – by: pearcetoyou
Barely in from the rain and we're already drinking wine!
Is there anything truly more alluring than the sensation of arriving at the airport? Oh, sure, there are countless other titillating experiences that appeal to our senses; but in the context of travel the airport is our first small step into the larger world around us. It’s a little like stepping into the ambience of our favorite restaurant…the sights and the sounds and the smells are merely whetting our appetite for the main course! Yes, we may complain and fuss about the security check points, the flight delays, the stipulations of what you are allowed to pack, the lack of free wifi--at some airports, or perhaps even getting strip-searched in a private room in customs, but we’re never discouraged from coming back (okay, the latter never actually happened to me, although it had crossed my mind once in Nairobi when a beautiful lady with immigration greeted me into Kenya with the friendliest smile!).
All the inconveniences aside, the airport remains one of the most fascinating places to visit, particularly if you are there to take that step into the larger world.
The combination of travelers from every place you might imagine; to huge jets gliding through the skies and taxiing the tarmac; to an assortment of duty-free shops (what the hell are those, anyway?); and even down to the smell of the terminal’s Starbuck’s or the exorbitant cost of having a Bailey’s in one of the bars….they all play a role in dressing up one of my favorite places to “make the scene”! Admittedly, if I was not flying, the airport wouldn’t hold the same allure…it would just make me envious of the people who were flying.
Traveling to foreign destinations undoubtedly carries with it a higher level of excitement, but even domestic flights typically keep me up with anticipation the night before. And my flight to Sacramento was certainly preceded with anticipation.
I left the ground in KC with temps around 15F and sunny skies, but my connecting flight in Salt Lake City found me in an entirely different weather system. It was near blizzard conditions and we were delayed from taking off for the better part of an hour so that the jet could be de-iced. On the first leg of the flight I was fortunate to sit next to a gentleman who happened to be a professor of African History and Independence. We immediately struck up a conversation when he learned that I had been to Africa several times. It’s so nice to have good company while you fly, especially when it is someone who can engross you with an engaging dialogue.
The second leg of the flight was considerably shorter, which proved to be a good thing since the guy sitting beside me was utterly absorbed in his sudoku.
Arriving in Sacramento, we took a zigzag approach into the airport in order to avoid the hanging rain clouds. And yes, it was raining fairly heavy on the ground. So I went from cold and clear, to cold and snowy, to warm and rainy. The Sac airport was a breeze getting through. I texted Erin I had arrived and then waited for her to pick me up curb-side. And here she came…in her little white Prius!
Welcome to Sacramento!!!