Tuesday, August 4, 2009

On travel by air

When Charles Lindbergh prepared to take his wife flying, he weighed everything that went into the plane, including her (all 90 pounds) and some fishing line that weighed less than an ounce.

Rick Steves advises for any trip to Europe, and I quote, "Pack light pack light pack light." Or something like that.

I'm trying to keep that in mind as I begin to pack up a toddler, an infant, and two adults for a plane trip to Minnesota for a weekend wedding. Stroller and car seats? Yes. Extra book for mom? No. I'll be lucky if I get to read the safety card. The question is, can air travel be elegant now? Well perhaps, but only if you have few possessions to monitor.

My husband accuses me of having nostalgia for things I never had. He's right. One of those things is air travel without security. (Reference: See Blue Hawaii or Catch Me If You Can). Air travel seemed like it used to be more elegant and glamorous. Now it's just a matter of survival--a sort of backpacking expedition where it may be best to wear flip flops and no belt and buy a bottle of water once you get through the metal detectors.

Of course I long for porters, hard sided luggage, champagne and romance. But I think the closest I'll get to elegance on this trip is if I follow Rick Steves' advice and Pack Light Pack Light Pack Light.

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