Air travel can be a wondrous thing. For the leisure traveler, the smell of diesel fuel and the roar of a jet engine hold the promise of adventure - or, at least, of something different from the day-to-day grind.
It's too bad that, in our post-9/11 world, air travel is now synonymous with cranky security people, long lines, cancelled flights, increased (or all-new) fares, and *shudder* taking off your shoes in a public place. In very short order, the airline industry has gone to shit and taken all the pleasure out of getting on a plane.
I'll admit that a lot of things were wrong with air travel prior to 9/11. Flying to one's destination had become as commonplace as commuting to work. Airfares had dropped to the point where anyone could fly and, as a result, everyone did. This brought us the era of flip flops, sweat pants, and giant shopping bags acting as carry-ons. Planes got smaller (somehow) and service got crappier. However, we still loved the anticipation.
Through it all, I've managed to retain that thrill of flying and I've been anticipating my Labor Day weekend trip for days. It helps that I'm excited about my destination and that (so far) my experience with AirTran has been great. But I still mourn the loss of the air travel of my youth. I miss hot, delicious meals served on china with a real knife and fork. I miss smiling stewardesses handing out plastic wings to clip on my lapel. I miss dressing up to get on a plane. Dressing up meant that the trip was something special. We could wear our pajamas when we travelled by car, but we wore dresses on an airplane.
Regardless of the sorry state of air travel, I'm grateful that I have the means and the time to take a trip. I'm pleased beyond belief to be headed to the great city of Atlanta to visit friends and attend Dragon*Con. And I'm thrilled to have hours of captive time to work on my dragon scarf. (You never thought I'd get there, did you??)
Here's my progress to date: I have two sequences of "spikes" left to do before I transition to the body pattern. I can't believe how quickly this one has come together compared to the purple one I made for my friend. I think that, with concerted airport knitting, I might just get this thing done before the convention actually kicks off on Friday morning! Keep your fingers crossed.
Oh...and wish me luck tomorrow morning. I'm flying standby and I have to be at the airport at 5a.m. It'll be interesting to see if I can keep my sunny outlook about flying in the face of that.