ONLY BIRDS SHOULD FLY

We have to fly to Minnesota. To the degree that arrangements for old people with “issues” can be made, they have been. Wheelchairs, because neither of us can walk any distance (me even less than Garry). Special seating because Garry is deaf and they need him near the front so if they need to talk to him, they can. The Delta lady was exceptional nice about moving us to better seats. Instead of being buried in the back on the inside (window and middle), we are in the first row right after the “comfortable” section.

Photo: Rich Paschall

They now charge for any bag other than a carry-on. The size you are allowed is 22 X 14 inches. That doesn’t sound so bad, but they include handles and wheels. So our carry-ons were, with wheels, each two or three inches too long.

We packed. Then, I measured. I should have measured first, but I was so sure our bags were okay until I reconnoitered wheels and handles.

We found our oldest bags and packed everything a second time, discarding anything we could. Neither bag has wheels. Mine is basically a big gym bag and Garry’s is his oldest but his favorite carry-on. I remember when he bought it sometime during the early 1990s on Martha’s Vineyard. I thought it was a crazy amount to pay for one overnighter — even in red leather — but he has been using that same bag for more than 30 years and it isn’t done yet. I guess he got what he paid for and then some.

We wouldn’t need so much luggage if I didn’t have to carry so much medication and Garry didn’t need to carry all his hearing equipment. And electronics. My Kindle and speaker. Garry’s iPad. My computer. Phone charger. Mouse. Nothing is big or heavy, but collectively, it adds up. So my wheelless bag is heavy. Good thing we’ll have wheelchairs. Roll on, roll on.

It would also have been easier though far less entertaining, if the schedule were less interesting and varied. We are going to a concert where Anton is conducting. Church where I’m counting on hearing a great choir. A couple of nice dinners. Garry can throw a blazer over jeans and look cool. It’s a bit more complicated for persons of the female persuasion. I still have nice clothing half of which is years old and still has its original tags. I feel I ought to wear it.

Photo: Garry Armstrong and that is the camera I’m taking (lens, too)

We have to be at the airport before 7am. Alarm is set for 5am. We are bringing just one camera (mine), the Pen F with the 25-200mm lens — but I snuck the 25mm f1.8 lens into my bag in case I’m shooting indoors and need the extra stops. Otherwise? A couple of spare batteries, no charger, two spare SD cards. I almost didn’t bring a camera at all. I’m not expecting a lot of events where a camera will be needed, but I’d feel pretty stupid if I turned out to be wrong. Besides, I’m not sure I can go on a vacation without a camera. That just feels wrong.

It took us all day to get this done, including changing seats, printing itineraries, measuring and re-measuring those carry-ons. We’re tired — the perfect way to prep for a mini-vacation, right? I always feel I need a vacation to rest up from a vacation. This time, I need an advance vacation to rest up so we can take the vacation.

Birds should fly. People should not fly. We should stay home in comfort. I hope this is a great little vacation because I don’t think anything in the world will get me on another airplane.



Categories: Airplanes and flying, Anecdote, Photography, Travel, Vacation

Tags: , , , ,

24 replies

  1. After reading it all, all I can say is ‘oh dear….’
    You really got it all (from the bad..). Luckily the concert proved to be top. And the brothers got together after a long time. Sacrifices must be made.

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    • This is going to be a disaster interwoven with other great stuff. It has been so bizarre it could be a movie, but the concert was wonderful. Our motel room came with ear plugs because the train passes by all through the night — and the coffee machine is broken. Oh and when I put water in the fridge the whole inside of the door fell off. And they had to replace the smoke detector. It wouldn’t stop beeping REALLY loud.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When my mother was older she talked me into a Greyhound trip to Nashville, run by a tour operator. I really did not want to do it, but it was actually rather relaxing. I have often found the Lufthansa bus from Frankfurt to Strasbourg to be better than the flight to Frankfurt. Boston to Minnesota would be a long bus ride, however. At some point, the flight is a necessity.
    John wants to take a long trip. He has not talked me into it so far.

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  3. safe journey, hope it has gone smoothly and that yesterdays huge winds didn’t impact things. Enjoy the music!

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  4. I have a friend who talks of flying as going on a Greyhound Bus with wings! I think he has a point!

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  5. It’s a lot of hassle but I bet once you’re on your way you’ll start to get excited for the trip, and once you’re there and enjoying everything you’ll forget the hassle entirely!

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  6. You will be glad of the wheelchairs and hopefully helpful airline staff to help you get from place to place. I haven’t flown in four years and the last time I didn’t enjoy it. I prefer almost any other type of transport to flying. I can’t understand why boarding has to be so difficult with everyone climbing over each other to find their seats. Why can’t they get people to board it seat order I always wonder? I can’t reach the overhead lockers to stow my bag and if someone does it for me, I know it will have moved and I’ll have to ask someone to get it for me when we arrive. I prefer to put it under my seat so I take as little as possible as carry on. I hope you will have priority boarding and avoid some of that.
    I can’t imagine travelling without a camera either. I didn’t take one when we went to Launceston on Monday because I thought we’d just be shopping and I’d have to carry it all day; but we left early and had time to stop at a cheese factory on the way home. All I had to take pictures with was my stupid phone.

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    • This was the ultimate bad flying experience. When things go wrong enough, the become funny, though I’m exhausted and we still have dinner AND. concert — and we’ve been up for 13 hours already. I hope we are done with things going wrong. I think we may have run out of possible go-wrongs. When I’m home on my other computer ,,,

      On the up side? They are NOT expecting a tornado tonight. Yay!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hope you enjoy the concert and the visit. Glad there are no tornados.

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        • The concert was wonderful. Anton is a great choral conductor and a great teacher. I’m so tired I can barely stand up and I’m sure tomorrow will be interesting too. But I think we really ARE too old for this. On the other hand, the three brothers are really enjoying being together again. It has been a long time since all of them were together for more than a few hours.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I am sure you will have a great time. I also saw that you now have to pay for luggage and for pre-booking seats. Flying has become an expensive business.

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  8. I hope you both have a wonderful time.

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