Friday, March 11, 2011

Up In The Air

As I type this, I'm several thousand feet in the air (39,000, I believe the Captain just said), leaving DFW and headed to La Guardia.

"Excited" just does not quite cover it.

This is the first time I've flown in...years. And only the second time I've ever flown, at that. (The first time was a family vacation to San Francisco, but that's a story for another time.)

This also the first time I've ever flown alone. And the last time I flew, security checks weren't near as strenuous or stressful. I'm serious, with all the TSA agents roaming around, I was thrust back to high school when all it took was the principal looking at me to get me thinking, oh! I...I haven't done nothing wrong! Right?

I totally support the protection of us peoples here in the airport, and I definitely understand the why of it. But man, those people are so serious! I was standing in line, waiting to pour my worldly possessions into little plastic bins, waiting to disrobe and be declared not a terrorist, and I took one step too far past the line. I got a glare and had the wait-right-here sign pointed out to me. I was obviously a little lost, and I smiled (and probably blushed), promptly stepped back, and offered a nervous little, "Oh! Sorry..."

Not even a smile in return.

Now I get that these people are on their guard, but...really? I couldn't stand a job where I had to be serious all the time.

But I digress.

I managed to come through the security checkpoint with most of my dignity intact, and stopped a moment to put myself back together. I turned to wave at my parents—the only time so far I've felt anything but utter mind boggling excitement, which was only briefly replaced with a bout of separation anxiety—and then regrouped, gaped for a moment at the plethora of signs above me, and lit out to find my gate. Fortunately, it was almost literally right around the corner.

Once I had a good handle on where I needed to get back to, I decided it was high time to scrounge up a Starbucks. (That 5:45 alarm was brutal, and I was tired of yawning!)

I've never been to an airport Starbucks before, so I was a little bit excited about that. I got a tall cocoa cappuccino (a new favorite, for sure!) and a slice of cinnamon swirl coffee cake (delish!).

It didn't take me long to finish them. I was done with both before we started boarding. Which actually went really fast, at least in comparison to what I was expecting.

Finding my seat was easy enough. I shoved my backpack in the overhead compartment, plunked myself down in 25F, and commenced with staring out the window with a silly-excited grin on my face.

Thankfully we didn't have to sit around too long before we actually took off.

I'm not sure how long we've been flying now, maybe half an hour. Maybe not quite that. But honestly, so far I'm not feeling cabin fever yet. I keep going back and forth between writing this and childishly grinning as I count all the pools (EVERYBODY has a pool but ME!!!). And I love seeing all of the roads and plots of land. Very fun!

And on top of everything, the free in-flight film is The King's Speech, which I love! (Back in the purse you go, iPod! I don't need you after all!)

And now when I look out the window, I see the tops of clouds, and their shadows on the ground. So cool!

I keep taking photos with my phone (on airplane mode!). I just can't resist! Besides the flight back in a week, I'm not sure when the next time I'll fly is. That's my excuse, anyway.

I'm already working out how fast I'll be able to grab my backpack out of the overhead compartment when we land. So far, it's the coming and going that I'm anxious about. Making sure I get everything that's mine, finding baggage claim once we land in New York. And finding Matt at the airport. (I'll be the tourist gawking at everything, wearing the Texas A&M—aka the "I'm not from around here"—hoodie, Matt!)

I AM quite looking forward to stretching my legs once we land. Hopefully they're still with me when I stand up.

(Ooooh, turbulence!)

You know, when I first arrived at the airport, I really anticipated being nervous on the plane. I was just sure that take-off, that any little bump, that watching the wings tremble against the wind would have me on the edge of my seat, just praying we'd land in one piece and not on fire.

But actually, I'm not really nervous at all. I'm just excited. Beyond excited.

(Now the clouds are no longer sparse! I gotta say, it's awesome to be ABOVE the clouds. It kind of looks like snow!)

(And HEY! I just saw a plane way below us! It looks like a toy!)

Now that the movie's over, I feel free to assume that we've been flying for t least something like two hours. The time change is really throwing me off. We took off a little after ten, and now it's 12:41, but we haven't hit that magic time-change line, so even though we should touch down in...well, less than an hour, since we haven't skipped an hour ahead yet, I'm still thinking man! 2:25 is a long ways off! Fortunately that isn't true!

You guys won't get to read about my adventures in La Guardia in this post because I'll have to put my iPad away by then, but I'm sure I'll share it with you eventually. At the end of my trip, I'll have a whole other three hour stint being strapped to my chair, which means plenty of time to begin recounting the weeks events.

The Captain just came on and said we're about 35 minutes out!!! The excitement, she builds!

You know, I just had an epiphany. Of course my phone isn't going to recognize the time change. Not until it has some signal coming to it, which it doesn't. Neither does my iPad. (Airplane mode still!) so 1:12 might as well be 2:12, which means we are definitely ALMOST THERE!!!

The clouds have opened up again, there aren't too many now. Great view!

Captain says prepare for landing!!!

Ill see you guys on the other side!

Location:Somewhere in the Texas sky.


Samantha said...

Thanks for this, Sarah! I haven't laughed this hard in a while. I felt like I was on the plane with you--excited, nervous and giggling (looks like a toy!). I'm always nervous about flying alone (I've done it 2x from KS to Wash, D.C.). I tend to run like a manic to my gate (even if I'm super early) and spend way to much money on silly magazines to pass the time. On Wednesday, I'll be flying to FL (YEAH!!!!!) but I'll be going with my hopefully I won't be nervous about the take-off and landings then!


Kaori said...

I can literally feel your excitement jumping at me through your words! Great post! I know you're having a blast, can't wait to read more!

PS: I think your cellphone, at least, should automatically adjust to the new time zone ;D

Debbie said...

Am enjoying the trip with you. Waiting to hear more.

polly said...

I'm glad you weren't nervous. Thanks for sharing your journey. It was like being there with you.