Ordinary Times and Travels: Christmas, post 2 (the trip)

I can’t say that I really love airports. They often have associations with travel difficulties and anxieties that I don’t care to rehearse, but yesterday I had a “moment” of niceness. It will probably moderate the moments that have not been so nice.

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is so huge that going from one concourse to another, even on the tram, can cause a time crunch. Last night was different and I had time to spare and not a long way to go, so I walked instead of taking the tram. I came to a section of the walkway that was, well… a delight. I was strolling along looking at my phone for messages when I became aware of faint noises, like you might hear walking under a forest canopy alive with birds. The hall was dimly lit from the ceiling with gold and green leaf-like layers. Simple, calming and somewhat magical and exactly what one would like to experience in a busy, oppressive environment. For a moment, I was taken away from it all and totally immersed in the sounds and sights.

the approach to the walkway
I should have thought to make a recording – it was so relaxing…

So far on this trip, my major airline has cancelled my desired flight, and rebooked me on a late afternoon flight across the country which ended  up being delayed two hours.  All in all it was 12 plus  hours from my departure from Sarasota until the time my head hit the pillow in Seattle. It was a long day/night trip.

I did see more security personnel on duty in my first airport. Other than that there was very little to remind me of the dangers we hear about in our world today. The flights were full. People were in a good mood with full expectations of reaching their destinations. I read a book, the whole thing and did a lot of thinking. Travel these days is really an impressive thing. In spite of some inconvenience, here I am thousands of miles from where I was, in just one day. Our ancestors who crossed the nation in wagons pulled by horses would certainly think this was a different planet.

Seattle daughter pulled herself out of bed to come get me at 1 am, for which I am soooo grateful. We traveled up to West Seattle, Alki Beach area where she set me up for the night in her lovely Airbnb bedroom.  Feeling tired, feeling blessed. Day 1, completed.

A to Z Challenge: A is for Atlanta

this is not snow
this is not snow

There was something white on the trees, and on the ground in Atlanta this week – and it wasn’t snow, it was petals from the flowering dogwoods and other gorgeous trees.

this also is not snow
this also is not snow
Atlanta was wet, cloudy and lit with a subdued daylight that made the grass and trees fairly glow with green-ness. Rain makes Atlanta smell fresh and woodsy in spite of the thousands of cars emitting fumes on it’s frighteningly busy throughways. The parents and I were there this week for the graduation of a special niece who now holds a doctorate of chiropractic degree from Life University.wpid-20140328_123533.jpg Kudos for sticking it out girl, and creating another do-able family event for those of us within driving distance. 

We journeyed there by car on Thursday and met at the motel that evening.  Family breakfast on Friday morning sustained us through the graduation ceremony in the afternoon.  The after celebration at Darwin’s Burgers and Blues introduced me to the Memphis Burger. Who knew that putting bbq sauce and coleslaw on a burger would make it that good? Watching my brother and his family celebrate their eldest daughter’s accomplishment was a heartwarming family experience. Someone who not too long ago was a crazy kid is now an adult with a plan and a purpose.

Okay, and here is what really proved that to me.  Being in the “older” group of celebrants, I and the parents didn’t stay up for the 2 am (and later) partying but went back to our motel to prep for our early morning departure.  Elissa asked us what time we were getting up and when we were having breakfast before leaving town.  She wanted “family breakfast” again and said she would be there at 7:30 to have it with us. Mind you, I was not sure this could be accomplished… the girl is not typically a morning person and I wouldn’t really have blamed her for crashing in the wee hours.  Was she there?  WAS SHE THERE!

She was there!
She was there!

Yes, yes she was!. Family breakfast was eaten and a good time was had by all, even the sleepy ones.  Thank you Smiths for a meaningful, family memory of celebrating in Atlanta, beautiful Atlanta.