On the Road Again.
Most of time, when you’re actually on the move, a trip is comprised of any number of little incidents . . . some of which come without any rational explanation.
For example, my Hawaiian Airlines flight was due to depart Maui at 12:30 p.m. yesterday. Sure enough, we pulled away from the gate right on time and taxied briskly to the end of the runway. But then came a slow right turn into what I can only describe as a parking area . . . where we sat, engines running, for 35 minutes.
Of course there was an explanation . . . there had to be reason for sitting there burning jet fuel for more than half-an-hour. But whatever the reason was, no one thought to share it with a plane load of passengers.
Why does that bother me? It’s more than just idle curiosity. I find travel—any travel—interesting . . . and, I do believe a brief explanation would have been appropriate.
* * *
I am always struck by the nighttime view of Los Angeles from the plane on the last 5 or 10 minutes before touchdown. It’s solid city lights as far as you can see and you can see a long way from 15,000 feet. It’s spectacular. And it’s depressing.
* * *
I’m staying at the Hilton here at the L.A. airport. I’m a member of the Hilton Honors program and have stayed here on several other occasions. On one of those trips I was given a room ln the 15th floor overooking one of the runways and I spent quite some time watching planes landing — one every 90 seconds. I went off to breakfast, came back to the room an hour later and the planes were still arriving — one every 90 seconds. Assuming 200 people per plan, if my math is correct, that’s 8,000 people per hour.
* * *
Tonight I’m heading for Chicago on Train #4, the Southwest Chief.
I’ll have dinner on board—probably the Amtrak steak with a half bottle of red wine. I’ll crawl into my berth and drift off to sleep about the time we cross into Arizona.
What’s not to like about that?