Here are some random thoughts encountered during my recent airport terminal visits and flights:
Luggage Overload – Mindful of the fact that I’ll be lugging my suitcase up and down stairs in places and over cobblestones and of the current fashion for luggage surcharges, I always try to pack lightly. Not Rick Steves’ “lightly” mind you – I still use a 26″ rolling suitcase and a carry-on bag – but I try to keep the suitcase down to 35 lbs. I noticed at several airports that my concerns aren’t shared by everyone. Some folks travel with amazing amounts of overstuffed luggage. Maybe they’re moving to a new home? Maybe they’re richer than Croesus? They’re definitely not loved by everyone waiting in the “Bag Drop” line…
Loving the Takeoff – I love travel and never more so when it begins with a thundering run down a runway. As the plane goes from zero to 180 or so mph in 20 seconds, I always tick off “V1” (when the plane has enough lift for the nose wheel to come up) and then “V2” (when all wheels come off the ground), usually while listening to some rousing music (The Indigo Girls this trip). Then a bit later when the “flaps” are retracted and the ride smoothes out, I’m happily on my way, marvelling at the utter magic of flight.
Craft Beer on Virgin Atlantic – I was delighted to see my favorite beverage appear in the menu on my flight. Among the offerings was something from Old Busthead brewery in Gainesville, VA, where one of my work colleagues performs occasionally in a band. Good beer, that. These are bottled beers only so, sadly, no Mad Fox brews for now.
ORLY vs CDG – I flew from London into Paris Orly airport, rather than Charles deGaulle airport, for the first time on this trip and it’s a much nicer experience. Orly was the original Paris airport and is still very much in use but it’s smaller than CDG and less hectic. The OrlyVal automated rail shuttle takes you from the airport to the RER B rail line for a fast ride into central Paris. Give Orly a thought for your next flight into Paris.