Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Heading South

I'm rushing around trying to get everything ready to head to Florida on Friday. I'm driving, of course. Everyone always thinks I'm nuts because the kids live clear down in the Keys. I take three days to get there and three days to get back.  I drive for two reasons.

The first is that I love the on-the-road part of the trip as much as being there - motels, restaurants, up close regional scenery such as cotton fields,  or the occasional side jaunt to visit a historic site, like Hank Williams Junior's grave in Montgomery, Alabama . I like getting off the highway to go through small towns in Tennessee and Georgia and Mississippi which all have their own distinctive personalities, unlike the generic fast food alleys you find at the end of the interstate exit. I enjoy eating food that is associated with a particular area. Barbeque in Georgia, chicken fried steak in Texas, grouper in Florida. I like hearing southern accents and getting into cowboy hat territory.  I look forward to all these things as much as I do reaching my final destination.

The other reason I drive is....flying. I hate it. I hate the anticipation and the airports, the take off, the landing and the actually being 30,000 feet in the air. I don't think human beings are meant to see clouds when they look out their window.

I know you are more likely to get killed in a car than a plane. But if I do get killed, I want them to be able to bury more than my left molar.

I've never used the bathroom on a plane, not even when I flew from one coast to the other. I'm afraid if I redistribute my weight, I'll cause the plane to tip over. I've never slept on a plane, considering it my duty to stay awake and worry while other inconsiderate passengers sleep. I can read a whole book on a plane and not have the slightest idea what the main characters name is when I'm done.

I'm never totally carefree during a vacation to a location reached via flight because even at the moment I win a jackpot in Las Vegas, there is a little piece of my brain that's under stress knowing I have to get back on the plane the day after tomorrow.