by KALEY MCLAIN
Flight is a glorious thing. Back in the day it would take days, months, or even years to travel across the globe; commonly in which these curiously courageous explorers would most often die along the way. In today’s day in age, we never have to worry about impending winters, lethal prey, or even a band of outlaws pillaging on one’s journey. Travelling is handed to us with a welcoming smile from the flight attendant and a complimentary bag of pretzels. Yet, with all of it’s splendor and exaltation, at what cost do we silver spoon fed flyers enjoy such a brisk and satisfying means of transit?
This weekend, I was given the privilege of riding on one of these majestic birds of the sky. It was a simple task in my mind, for I was simply heading North and hoping to land in Seattle, Washington. Don’t get me wrong, I have much respect and awe in the idea that such a heavy man-made structure could easily float through the clouds, closely resembling a feather. But my latest experience has allowed me to come to the conclusion that travelling by airplane, no matter it being first class or coach, can and most likely will be as hectic and anxiety provoking as driving to one’s destination wedged in the backseat between a whining baby and the smelly dog for a long day’s journey.
So to begin this expedition, I was to wake up at the crack of dawn and drive all the way to the Fresno International Airport by 8:00am. This was not a large feat, nor was going through security; which I had presumed would be this worst part of this vacation. My father and I arrived at the gate that would take us on a trip to San Francisco where we would jump on a corresponding flight to Seattle. Or so we thought. After waiting for two hours, we decided the delay of our first flight would botch our flight plans in San Fran, and so, we stood in line, discussed our predicament to the whiz behind the computer, and eventually booked a later plane. At one point, we succeeded at actually taking our seats on the airliner, but just as the sweet taste of comfort seized our tongues, we were just as quickly asked to step off for the delay would last another two gruelling hours. We were livid; so much so that we consulted with the whiz behind the computer once again, and were able to create a completely different flight plan that would land us dead center in the backwoods of Salt Lake City, Utah. I couldn’t complain, it was a big airport which allowed me enough room to stretch out my legs and exalt my disgust on how miniature the airplane was.
From that point, we were awarded a three hour layover between flights. A layover that consisted of a loud toddler screaming in my ear about watching the planes ascend overhead, and an egotistical musician argue with a crewman about where to place his cherished guitar. At last, boarding was called to action and once again, we were climbing to the clouds, enjoying our complimentary pretzels.
We had finally arrived in Seattle to barely watch the sun descend–excuse me–the moon begin to rise in the night sky. That’s correct, an adventure that should have only lasted a total of three hours reached in record time the ultimate 12 hour period. I can’t say I was bitter, for the night life in the city was booming, only as much as I could decipher from the cab ride to the hotel. We had finally arrived to the promised land, ready to begin our vacation; that is until we had to endure the identical problem on our long-awaited adventure home exactly two days later…