Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Flying Home

Traveling to Southern California during winter is such a pleasure for me, because I always have a good time.  Whether I’m eating delicious food with family and friends, antiquing at some of my favorite spots with my younger brother or just spoiling the niece and nephews, Los Angeles County and Orange County seem like a second home to me.  One is never bored when visiting the vast urban areas of this part of California.  However, it’s nice coming back home to my house, my immediate family (including kitties of course) and the familiar spaces that bring me comfort.


Flying cross country from Los Angeles to Philadelphia is quite a journey, and if you happen to be traveling by day, the views of this great country of ours can leave one in awe.  The terrain changes drastically from coast to coast.  I have been fortunate enough to have made this journey by plane dozens of times and by car once many years ago.  However, by air it can be something else.  

While sitting on my assigned seat toward the front of the aircraft, I kept the camera ready to photograph anything that caught my eye.  In between some light reading and lunching on airline food, I took a few photographs during the 5 hour flight back home to Philadelphia.  It’s 5 hours heading to the east coast because of the jet stream, but it is 6 hours going to the west as we fly against the current.

Take this flight with me and see how my journey back home took no time at all.


Here I am in seat 3A looking forward.  The flight attendants had already instructed us in the safety procedures of the airplane and had strapped themselves in for take off.  That compartment at the front of the aircraft is the main galley.

Being told that we were #1 for take off, the Airbus quickly taxied onto one of the busiest runways.  Los Angeles International Airport is the 6th busiest airport in the world, serving over 63 million passengers each year.  That is a lot of people!  You can see some international airlines in Terminal 2, such as Air Canada, KLM, and Air New Zealand.

Runway 24L (left) was our gateway for take off.

As the airplane straightened out and the pilot asked asked the flight attendants to please be seated, the engines roared to full throttle.  One can see the new control tower and the famous Theme Building which houses a bar and restaurant overlooking the entire airport.

This small building in the middle of the photograph is the original control tower.  

Our aircraft quickly accelerated westward on the runway and just past the hangars where airplanes get serviced, the airbus began to rotate: meaning our plane was lifting off the ground.

Lifting off the ground and climbing toward the Pacific Ocean, the day was absolutely gorgeous.  It was a bittersweet moment for me because I was leaving this wonderful weather, beloved individuals, yet I was heading home to my own family and pets.

The beach was simply spectacular.

As we banked toward the left, heading south, the mountainous peninsula of Rancho Palos Verdes was visible.   

Here is a broader view of the Los Angeles basin.  On a clear day one can see for miles towards the mountains.

As you can see here, our flight path took us over the vast sprawl of southern California.  The Long Beach airport is visible.

The skyline of downtown Los Angeles.  

Here we are flying over Mt. San Antonio, which is part of the Angeles National Forest. 

Can anyone guess what city this is?  It's Las Vegas.  Although I've never had the pleasure of visiting Las Vegas, I know many people who love vacationing here.  

This was a spectacular site.  Flying over Monument Valley, Utah, the red mountains went on for miles, with the meandering Lake Powell cutting through rock and earth.

Icy, snowy, yet truly breathtaking are just some of the ways to describe the Rockies in Colorado.  Minutes after this photograph was taken we flew over Colorado Springs.

Then it was lunch time!  Don't knock it.  The food was tasty and satisfying with a glass of white wine.  After eating this, however, I had absolutely no room for dessert.

This is Kansas.  Plot after plot of land perfectly portioned out and planted is how this country feeds its people.  With winter clearly in our midst, the landscape is dormant for now.  Not too far from here is an area full of windmills which provides power to many of these farms.  I was impressed with the sheer number of them.

The mighty Mississippi River in Missouri is a sight to behold.  To think that this enormous river cuts through the entire country from north to south is quite impressive.  

At this point, I took a much needed nap.  

When I woke up we were over the Ohio/Pennsylvania border.  The pinkish hue of the sunset was really beautiful.  It stayed this way for awhile.  

Finally!  Our plane cut through the clouds as we began our descent into the Philadelphia area.  The Delaware river is the dark space on the upper right hand corner of the photograph.  

Luckily we were on schedule and I arrived at home to greet my kitty cats at a good hour.  These past few days for me have been about cleaning, doing laundry and putting stuff away.  Although I never return to a chaotic home, I still enjoy placing items where they ought to be and cleaning up those dust bunnies that seem to accumulate by the dozen.  I'm not sure what it is about airplanes, but every item in my luggage has to get aired out or cleaned to remove that odor of stale air when I unpack.  It's inevitable.

It’s so nice to be back!

7 comments:

  1. I am glad that you had a good time away and a good journey home again! Lovely to have you back David!

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  2. Thanks, Amy. Its good to be back, but we now have 12 " of snow on the ground! YIKES!

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  3. Seems like a wonderful vacation :) I'm quite envious of the Californian climate - here in Scandinavia, it's a freezing winter wonderland.
    However, it is nice to curl up in front of the fireplace with a book, cup of tea and m'n'm cookies. I tried your recipe this week, and they turned out relly well :)
    Loved the way you presented them on your photos, with that polka dot table cloth!

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  4. How nice, Anette, that you baked some of my cookies!! I do love to curl up with a good book too under the covers on cold wintery days, so I understand completely.

    I hope you're having a wonderful winter!

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  5. Love your recap of the flight and so agree... the aerial view of our great nation is truly a sight to behold.

    We've driven from Virginia to California twice and once from California to North Carolina. Each time stopping at every souvenir shop and tourist-trap I was awake to see along the way! Ha ha!

    I wish everyone a wonderful trip experience like you had and welcome you home with all my heart!

    xo


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  6. How wonderful, Janet, that you've traveled this great country of our by car! Isn't it just amazing??

    Hey, those souvenir shops are a must if you're traveling by car. We did it as kids with mom and dad! :)

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