Sunday, October 4, 2009

Travel blog.

My journey out here was a new experience. I couldn't quite say it was something I'd like to replicate again, though I'm sure at some point I will. The entire day went from 4:30 a.m. Mountain Standard Time to 9:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time ... which roughly amounts to 15 hours of total travel time.

Leg one: Calgary International to Phoenix (Sky Harbor)

The Calgary Airport is a functional, easy-t0-navigate airport. The Customs line for all international flights is somewhat reminiscent of the DMV and/or social security office ... long, winding, and seemingly never ending. But besides the hour-long drain of your life while awaiting probing questions by an over-caffeinated security officer, I do enjoy the Calgary Airport; though admittedly, I enjoy flying IN to Calgary MUCH better than I enjoy flying out.

The flight was fine, I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep as listened to a playlist on my ipod. Missing my monkey.

Note to self: Do NOT pack for a two-month gig using duffel bags. Heavy, impossible to carry. You'd think with all the flying I do, I'd know better.

PS - US Airways charges a ridiculous amount for checking bags. Ye've been warned.

Leg two: Phoenix (Sky Harbor) to Hopkins International (Cleveland)

Let me get this out of the way right now: I HATE the Phoenix Airport. I HATE it. And here's why: I landed on time, and upon exit went to look at the call board for my next flight. I came to discover that I was in the US Airways terminal ... and they had no other flights listed. So i went to the information desk, and asked how to get to the Continental Terminal. Through a garble of indiscriminate directions, I gleaned I should go down to baggage claim, exit the airport, hop on a bus, and take it to the C Terminal. Which then meant that when I finally got to the terminal I had to get to, I had to GO BACK through security. So. LAME. And unlike the Calgary Airport, completely inefficient. If you, dear reader, ever have to fly and transfer in Phoenix, my advice is to keep finding the volunteers along the way. Don't look for signs telling you where to go - in Phoenix, they apparently value human help above that of the power of arrows.

The problem with this, is that in my experience, the arrows would be infinitely more helpful.

Note to self: Flying out of Phoenix is ridiculously bumpy. Why? I don't know. You'd think that a sunny desert would be ideal flying conditions. But no.

Leg Three: Phoenix (Sky Harbor) to Hopkins International (Cleveland)

Once again, I pretended to sleep as I listened to my ipod. The flight was quite lovely. I had been to Ohio before, but never to Cleveland. There are a lot of trees in Cleveland. I waved to my friend H, who only works about 10 minutes away from the Cleveland Airport. Unfortunately, I only had a 45 minute layover in Cleveland, so visiting was not an option. I waited 30 minutes, then boarded the smallest plane I've ever been on.

Note to self: Don't buy panini's at the Cleveland Airport. Over priced, and crappy tomatoes.

Leg Four: Hopkins International to Albany International

The shortest flight on my 15 hour odyssey. Again, on the smallest plane I've ever been on. The over-head compartments didn't open and close ... no no ... there was a sliding compartment, about the size of a backpack. TINY. It only takes about an hour to fly from Cleveland to Albany. Albany is also the smallest airport I've ever been to ... and that includes the Spokane Airport. Tiny.

I love traveling. But again, I don't know if I could be prevailed upon to switch that many times again. This will happen again, I'm sure, as there are no direct flights from Albany to Calgary. Grrr.
This blog was brought to by:
Ground Hog Day
Lenox Laundry
Airports everywhere


jennifer from pittsburgh said...

Don't you find that the smaller airports are more user friendly? The tiny airfield in Deer Lake, Newfoundland was my best flying experience, despite being on an eight seater that rattled like a tubercular lung.
Enjoy your travels!

Anonymous said...

You certainly did have quite a trip! (The idea of flying east from Calgary via Phoenix, which is in the opposite direction, seems illogical, but such flight paths seem to be the norm these days.)

Oh...and when you were in Cleveland, I couldn't help wondering (as I drove home from work that day shortly after your plane took off), if I was seeing your plane flying overhead. I opted to just send good energy to the passengers of *each* flight in view.

Phoenix said...

I miss you, and I love posts like this to get me my Bradacal fix. So thank you, first off.

Phoenix does sound like it sucks the big one. Note to self...avoid the airport in the city with the cool name...

And out of curiosity, why was your blog brought to us by Ground Hog Day? The movie or the somewhat lame holiday?

Radical Bradacal said...

Jennifer - Yes, I do agree the smaller airports are more efficient and user-friendly. If I ever have to go back to the Chicago, Houston, or Phoenix Airports, it will be all too soon!

Phoenix - You're welcome! Glad I can help. ;) And yeah, the name is definitely the best part of that Arizona Airport. Ground Hog Day: The Movie. One of my housemates was watching the movie as I wrote my blog ... We don't have wireless at my house, but if I try, I can pirate some else's network ... which, while being completely dodgy and hard to pin-down, is also highly unsafe. I only make attempts on the Lord's Day. ;)

H - Thanks for your well-wishing! Someday I'll be able to visit Cleveland for longer than 45 minutes. ;) And go to the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame!

Anonymous said...

I'd love to take you to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! :)