Airplanes with a View: Headed Home

We’d reached the last day of our vacation. As the pattern had been set, we slept in and had breakfast at the hotel and then checked out.

The trip back to the Flagstaff airport was uneventful but it’s always a surprise to check into a small airport. The distance from the rental car return to the plane itself was a couple of hundred feet at best. We arrived a couple of hours early as is the norm for larger airports. The flight before ours hadn’t yet departed so we had a bit of time to kill.

We stopped into the coffee shop and had coffee but it was served in a mug instead of the usual styrofoam. Security lines were at most 3 deep. Did I say lines? I mean the security line singular. Our Dash 8 sat on the tarmac waiting for us. After we checked in through security, it was surprising to see that one had to leave the secure area to go to the restroom. But getting back was no big deal.

Seat assignments were a bit unusual. Seats were assigned sequentially. Keith was in 6F, Betty was in 7A. It was a short flight but just seemed unusual. Both had window seats but they were in different rows on opposite sides of the plane but that’s not very far apart in a Dash 8!

Seated next to Keith was a woman with a European accent. She saw him taking pictures out the window and asked if he would snap a couple for her. He obliged and probably took about as many with her iPhone as with his camera. You’ll see the results from his camera below.

We changed planes in Phoenix to another Airbus for the crowded flight to BWI. Current protocols for flights cross country involve selling food from a center aisle cart which starts up front in business/first class and those in the last few rows are limited to whatever wasn’t sold to the front half of the plane. We ended up with the snack packs but it got us home.

When we arrived in Baltimore, it was raining lightly and late in the evening. We got home around midnight after retrieving the car from long term parking tired but satisfied that this trip of a lifetime had been rewarding.

Ratings wise, the bed at our house was a world better than the one in the hotel but after a certain time in life, that is to be expected.

Maryland to Arizona!

Welcome. This is the first post to this blog of our travels — even though I anticipate there will be posts with earlier dates as we consolidate our other posts and pictures in one spot.

So anyway, this is the beginning of our trip to see the Grand Canyon. All the research was done via internet, friends’ recommendations and especially the good folks over at

Through the assistance of online travel sites, we booked two seats on USAirways from BWI to Flagstaff. We procured six nights’ lodging at the Comfort Inn and rented a car from Alamo (a 2011 Dodge Avenger).

At BWI, an attempt to send a text message lead to the discovery that my cellphone (later diagnosed as a defective SIM card) had died. Our choice of aisle seating was not available so we both got a center seat, one on each side of the plane. On the bright side, we both got separate seatmates who contributed to the recommendations of what to see and do on the trip.

Our one firm goal was to see the Grand Canyon as Keith never had and Betty had not in a number of years.

Keith suffers (literally) from most air travel as the available space continues to contract. Theoretically, I supposed I should be able to bend my legs differently but the knee is the only joint between my ankle and hip. A great destination generally cures the problems soon enough.

Our flight from Baltimore to Phoenix was onboard an Airbus 319, standard 3 seats on each side. How anyone who has flown on one and still marvel at me in a submarine is a wonder. Submarines are MUCH roomier and more comfortable.

The flight from Phoenix to Flagstaff was a Havilland-8. Wings above the fuselage, 2 seats on either side of the aisle, total capacity about 40 and a big prop on each side. We walked across the tarmac (when’s the last time you did that?!) and up the steps which folded up into the plane so you could still see the steps inside. The props spun up and we sat and sat. Then the props spun to a stop and the stairs folded back to the ground. From inside the airport, two men came on board and asked for two passengers who de-planed and they closed the ladder and we were off again. The flight attendant explained that she had never heard of this happening but the two passengers had some discrepancy in the check against the “do not fly” list. It was apparently an issue with their birthdates matching something although they had flown to get to the airport on another USAirways flight. Does this make you feel secure?

Although it was dark, we would later discover that the wings over configuration made for great sight seeing. Relatively comfortable seating, too.

We arrived at our hotel around midnight (eastern). 9:00 local and asked for directions to an open eatery. The deskclerk suggested the local Denny’s and asked us to pick her up an order of fries to go. We walked to Denny’s, had dinner and brought back the fries, then headed for bedtime.

Picture is at Flagstaff Airport of Havilland-8