Airports, Airplanes And Another Adventure: Mississippi Day One
As with most of my better qualities and many interests, I have to thank my dad for my love of airports, airplanes, and adventure. He would take me and my siblings to the small Hazleton airport, located a few miles from my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania after work and on Sunday afternoons. He loved watching the airplanes take off and land. I remember my first visit when I was around five years old.
We were a poor family so we were not able to vacation or travel much. However, dad would encourage me to read and watch television shows about travel and the beauty of nature that is found all over our small planet. I did not fly commercially in an airplane until I was 30 years old, when I took my mother to Medjugorje in then Yugoslavia. However, since then I have been fortunate to travel all over this planet, having visited all seven continents and having flown in and out of airports in six of them.
I love airports. I am writing this blog at the Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport as I wait at the gate 5 for my flight to my next adventure. I just drove the 40 miles from my home and walked through security with my TSA pre-check. So much less stressful then my drive to Newark and the lines at security for my international flight a few weeks ago.
I love airports. My attitude changes immediately upon entering. I am in a different world. All of the worries and stresses of home disappear. I am on an adventure. I feel like I am young again, that feeling of exploring I first had exploring my backyard, then the woodlands around my home, then Northeastern Pennsylvania, , and now the world. Airports are the gateway to a whole new world of flora, fauna, history, culture and new people. Okay. I am now at Gate E at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. I boarded my airplane in Wilkes-Barre on time but we had a 1/2 delay to de-ice the wings of the airplane. Better safe than sorry and this is to be expected in Northeastern Pennsylvania in December.
We were soon on our way for the short, for me anyway, 2 hour flight to Charlotte. It was a little uncomfortable wearing a mask but no one complained and , again, better safe than sorry. I was able to get my window seat. The first hour of our journey was in the dark so not much to see.
Once the sun rose I enjoyed either the passing scenery 30, 000 feet below. At times it was the cool cloud formations I was admiring. When flying, I always remember my childhood, and how, when I saw or heard an airplane flying overhead, I would think about where the flight was going, who were so lucky to be aboard the plane, and where they were coming from. Many a Little League game I was paying more attention to the skies than to the ballgame.
On this flight, and all my flights, I now wonder about the folks living in the cities and homes that pass below me. Are they old or young, waking up to go to work or school, are they happy or sad, sick or healthy. So many questions as I speed by at 550 mile per hour. The flight went quick, and we were soon descending into the Charlotte airport.
We arrived early, even with the delay, allowing me time to write this blog. Leaving the plane we were quickly reminded of the pandemic that has caused so much upheaval in all our lives, and especially for those of us who travel. However, this is a minor inconvenience compared to the poor folks who lost loved ones to the virus.
I made my way to the terminal and I am now ready to get some coffee. I still have a half hour until boarding. While typing this I am also engaging in another of my favorite airport activities, people watching. I enjoy watching the interactions of folks from all walks of life, all religions, races and cultures interact and co-operate toward a common goal, arriving safely to visit, or return to loved ones.
It is 3 a.m. when I continue this blog in my hotel room in Pascagoula, Mississppi, after a very exciting and exhausting day. More about that later, now back to my trip here. After my people watching I boarded my next flight to Mobile Alabama. It was a small plane and our carry on luggage was tagged and stored.
We were soon descending into Mobile and I saw this large football stadium which I learned was on the campus of the University of Southern Alabama. I never heard of the University before but it is a pretty big school I hear.
began a most pleasant 35 mile drive to my destination, Pascagoula Mississippi. I was first pleasantly surprised to see that most of the trees still had their leaves, I loved the many old live oaks growing along roads.
And the scenery on the roads was beautiful. Their were small modest, and well kept home, farms, ranches and a lot of trees. Churches were everywhere. I even saw cotton fields. The roads were well maintained. And there was almost no traffic.!! It was like driving into the 195o’s. My drive took me first through Alabama and then Mississippi.
I stopped at a little local restaurant. They are the only ones I stop at. I haven’t eaten fast food in 30 years. Aunt Nita’s was packed with locals, always a good sign. I enjoyed a fried catfish sandwich with fried okra, It was delicious and filling. I also had pleasant conversation with my waiter and the owner. I was already loving my decision to visit this area.
I ate and drove to my hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn. I was tired but that didn’t stop me from doing some exploring. But that will be in my next blog post. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my travel to Mississippi. Mississippi Day One airport travel December 1 2021.