Thursday, July 2, 2009

Down To The Gulf Coast

Here are the first of my posts about our trip:

We flew out of Atlanta on last Thursday evening, I picked James up from work and the airport is a quick 15 minutes up the road from his office. As you know, the airport here (Hartsfield-Jackson) remains the busiest airport in the world. THE busiest, in the WORLD. If you've never been there, it's a maze of many concourses and lots of people, long lines, overloaded parking lots. I personally love airports, and everything about flying, even with all the long waits in lines, and I wish we could fly more than the few times a year that we do. We were leaving from Concourse A, so instead of taking the tram and the moving sidewalks, we opted to walk. I try my best to keep up, but James always ends up carrying one of my bags for me, usually the one with the flowers and pink bunnies, and he looks so cute with it! Along the walk, there are displays of African-influenced sculptures, and this one was my favorite, so I had to stop and take a photo (plus catch my breath).

We arrived with enough time to stop and sit down at the Budweiser Brewhouse (below), where James had a huge nacho plate that was delicious (so he said) and I tried to stick to the diet and got a gross, stale, dry turkey sandwich which I only ate half of. Blech. Our flight was running a few minutes late, and while we meandered around at our gate (full flight, nowhere to sit there), we watched the overhead TV to see that MJ was at the hospital. No sound, just read the captions on CNN or whatever channel it was, and it said he was in a coma. By the time we got on the plane, other passengers were saying he was dead. I couldn't believe it, I had to call my dad quickly before we had to turn off the cell phones, and he confirmed it.

Taking off at Hartsfield-Jackson is no small task, we waited in line forever only to be told we were still fourth in line for take-off. And as anyone who flies knows, they usually shut down the air while waiting to taxi, so we were miserably hot until we got up in the sky. Here is a photo of the planes waiting behind us to taxi down the runway. Our plane was small, three seats on the right, two on the left. When we book our flights we always get seat assignments in advance, so we took the two on the left. I like the window seat, James prefers an aisle, but we want to sit together, so it suits us perfectly.

We were flying to Sarasota, which is a quick flight, not much over an hour. We haven't taken this short of a flight before in a long time. When we fly, I pack my big purse as though we are going to be in the air for two days, with iPod, snacks, paperback, magazines, puzzle books. You would think I was trying to keep a five-year-old entertained, with all the junk I bring. Here is James, doing what he does best when we fly. No folks, he's not sleeping, he's just resting his eyes.......

The photos below are our destination, the beaches of my hometown of Bradenton. This is where I grew up. Not on this tiny stretch of sand, but close enough we could ride our bikes there- if I had the energy. Paradise to some, home to me. Retirement heaven to James.

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