Yesterday was another odd day of travel. I flew from Kansas City to Baltimore via Indianapolis. That bare itinerary does not really tell the whole story, though. :) First one must _get_ to the airport.
My flight was scheduled to lift off at 11:25 a.m. CST. Following the usual guidelines for passing through security, that meant I should get to the airport no later than 10 a.m. Given the geographical situation/distance between our house in Olathe (south of KC) and the airport on the northwest side of KC, travel time was estimated to be about 1 hour with variations due to morning traffic. :) This leads to a departure-from-house time of about 9 a.m.
At that time of the morning, my ex-brother-in-law (who drove to pick me up when I arrived) is working at his retirement job as a school bus driver. My various nieces and nephews are getting their respective broods ready for and to school. My sister does not drive 'highways', which are the most efficient routes to the airport. So, how to get there on time? :)
I did some Google research and found a limo company online that was willing to get me to the airport on time. (Refrains of 'Get Me to the Church on Time' echo here:). Cost me $85 to contract with them (no busses, no regional taxis that I could find) ... a not-unreasonable price, in my opinion. The driver who picked me up, suited with tie, came in a big black Yukon suv and was surprised when I chose to sit in the front seat beside him rather than the back. What a climb that was! The vehicle had a built-in step up to get to the seat, dead giveaway that the thing was far off the ground. Grin. I did manage to get in with as much grace as I can muster (did not need a backside boost at least:).
I never did get the driver's name ... but he was a professional in all respects, a careful and legal driver. A very entertaining chatter, too. I learned all about living in downtown KC where the 'natives' go out of town on weekends to avoid the 'crazy' in-comers. :) He did, indeed, get me to the proper terminal at the airport in plenty of time.
Kansas City's airport is a bit different than others I have visited. There appear to be separate terminals for each airline that regularly travel there; at least, Southwest had a complete terminal to itself. I ended up walking the entire length of the place and back to go through security and then get to my departure gate. Sigh. Unless I can manage to become a walker of more stamina, I foresee having to resort to wheelchair assistance in the future. :P I habitually keep track of how far I walk every day with the 'health' ap on my iPhone. Most days I manage about a half mile - some more, some less. Yesterday I walked 1.2 miles - no wonder I was tired last night! :)
I do not particularly adore Southwest Airlines ... but have come to rely on them for decent prices and brisk service. They pack the planes like cattle cars but the staff is unrelentingly pleasant and effective. I was careful to book a trip that did not require me to change planes (totally did not want to try hauling my ashes briskly around strange-to-me places to catch connecting flights). My return flight sat down in Indianapolis halfway home.
Now I have driven several times from Columbia (near Baltimore) to Kansas. I go to Indianapolis every summer (or every other summer in more recent years). I know very well how long it takes me to drive from one to the other (namely, two ten hour or so days with a stop in western Illinois). We went from the gate in KC to the gate in Indy in exactly one hour and sixteen minutes. Think about that! Yes, yada, yada, modern technology, blah, blah .... the effect on me is disorientation. The sky was clear and blue and I managed to get a nice window seat in front of the wings and watched the ground happily the whole way. None of that instinctive fear I had on the first leg outbound. Hard to reconcile to my eyes the differences between driving across that landscape and flying over it.
No matter how good your driving map is ... it is oriented to _driving_. I was seeing everything that was down there - streams, farms, woods, rivers, etc. Maybe I'm just stupid but the relationship between real terrain and roadmap was hard for me to figure out. :) And, even though I managed not to be afraid, I was very aware of the fragility of our little vehicle in all that vast sky. Every vertical adjustment in our passage, every windy bump, made me feel the true 'magic' of the process. As Jim Butcher says - we fly due to a loophole in the physics of air movement. :)
The flight from Indy to BWI was less interesting as there was hazy-to-dense cloud cover. I read most of that way. Again, gate to gate our travel time was 1 hour 24 minutes. When we got to Maryland, I _think_ we came in over the bay - at least my field of view was mostly water and coastline covered with houses and docks. We passed over a race track - not for cars as I did see the Indy 500 track which was much bigger - I think for horses and I think it might have been the track in Laurel. I am pretty sure we passed right over my house (most airplanes do - we live less than 5 crowflight miles from the airport). It was fun to get a different, 3D view of the landscape I habitually travel in a 2D world. :)
By the time I got to the luggage retrieval carousels (two sliding walkways away from the arrival gate), my husband was waiting for me. Home! Home! The past year has given me an especially poignant appreciation of the concept. :)
This morning when I woke up, there was a moment of disorientation before I opened my eyes. Where was I? LOL! THAT is the real impact of flying vs driving on me - when I drive, I can grasp the concept of moving in space and sorting out the where-am-I feelings. Flying confuses my kinesthetic senses terribly! The movement in space goes by too fast for my poor slow brain to appreciate. Grin.
Now I'm home, besides being happy to see my sweet husband and son - and my cat - I am faced with a monumental housekeeping task. Fifteen years of benign neglect in our house is coming home to bug me. Gotta face up to inept and non-existent ways and clear-clean-organize this mess! LOL!