Heaven on Earth - Fall 2006 travel blog

airport panorama

Anthony's Fish Bar

Vancouver from the air

In olden days flying somewhere was a much anticipated romantic adventure. These days it feels more like taking a Grayhound bus cross country with a cattle call of security precautions thrown in. However, our flight to Seattle went smoothly. Although I had an illegal tube of lip balm in my pocket, fellow passengers had removed all offensive gels, lotions, and liquids from their carry-ons and it took me much less time to go through security than to repack my carry-on afterwards. Even though our flight took about four hours, free food was no longer part of the equation. No one sitting around us popped for either the $5 omelet or the $10 entertainment system.

In the olden days airports used to look pretty much the same. You would hear stories about people boarding the wrong plane and ending up in the wrong city and not realizing it until they hit the taxi stand. I am happy to report that these days airports are making an effort to reflect the community they serve with a much less generic look. The food court included some of Seattle's finest sea food restaurants and the gifts shops overflowed with smoked salmon and carvings made of driftwood. Floor to ceiling windows overlooked the runways and an artist's rendering of a school of fish floated over our heads. Massive wooden rocking chairs near the windows were a soothing place to pass the time between flights.

Our ultimate destination was Vancouver and for that we took a small puddle jumper. All the flights left from the same gate and it would have been very easy to end up in the wrong city. In the two hours we waited to leave, Horizon Air only had one on time departure. One flight was missing a pilot, another a flight attendant - there only was one per plane. Our delay was caused by a lack of fuel. As we waited for the truck to arrive, we began to wonder if Horizon Air had paid its last utility bill!! However, Horizon Air did offer free wine and beer. How much can you drink in a fifty minute flight?

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