Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Long Drive

State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,
(Photo by Jim Malas).
I'm getting on an airplane next week and heading to Fort Lauderdale. From there, I'm driving (with Lisa) to Key West.

Ah, Florida. A state I never thought I could live in but as I get older, I find I'm miserable in the winter, so why not just be hot?*

*There are deeper thoughts in regard to this, but for now, that will suffice.

Of course, road dude that I am (even if I haven't been as much of one lately), I will be sure to get a shot of the southern terminus of US 1. I only wish that they still had the colored signs (US 1 was red, as was US 19, but US 301 was yellow, 27 was green, and so on).

The whole thing is gloriously remembered here.

Yet with time being short and all, I'm stepping on an airplane.

I'm not anti-airplane, per se. Yet if given the choice, I would drive. It's just how I'm programmed. I'm not afraid to fly either. I'm largely unfazed, to be quite honest. But...given the choice, I'm behind the wheel.

As we got closer to this trip, I half-heartedly offered to drive from New York to Key West, believing that I could do it in two long days. Of course I knew this wasn't realistic, but it was fun to dream for a moment. In reality, it makes no economic sense and is a poor use of our time.

Conversely, I resent airlines. First, we all know they're overpriced. Tickets are too high to begin with, followed by the utter insult of baggage fees. Of course, if you want to fly out of Stewart or Westchester, yeah, that's going to cost you more. But now factor in the cost to get to and from the airport, or to park your car there.


Now, the schedules. Well, we all know that the airlines can't work around you or I, so that's a lost fight.

Next is security. Of course, they have a job to do, and need to keep us safe, but the airport experience isn't really a whole lot of fun anymore. At least I feel like people are watching at all times, and again, they should be.

As for on the plane itself, well, that's a personal thing. I suffered with an unexpected case of claustrophobia, and was heading for a panic attack, on a red eye flight from Los Angeles to JFK in 2011, and have never forgotten it. I felt a similar case flying to Las Vegas in 2012. Not fun. I haven't had it since then but I'm very cognizant of it, and will be for a long time.

After that, it's just boredom. I want my road. I know, we can't always get what we want. But I like the freedom that the highway affords.

In the end, it's all talk and personal preference. The bottom line is I'm going away.

And I really need to do that. Really.

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