Willow and The Professor are home from another adventure. We are, as always, excited to go and happy to come home again. We flew Long Beach, CA to Phoenix, Arizona to Detroit, Michigan. Then we flew back again the same route. Going both directions we were delayed, mostly by weather which often happens when one travels in the winter. When we arrived in Detroit at our hotel, it was 5am. We had missed the whole night's sleep. Maybe that's the best way to quickly adjust to the three hour time change. When we returned we were late leaving Phoenix because, while the plane was there, the crew was not. And you can't fly a plane without a pilot.
Normally we fly in and out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). This trip we drove a little farther south and flew out of Long Beach Airport. This airport looks just like airports did in the 1950s. In fact, if you watch a movie made to look like it was set in the Fifties or Sixties, and there is an airport, you will most likely see Long Beach Airport. There is one small waiting room on only one level, outdoor-only baggage claim. The staff is friendly and helpful and the atmosphere is a little more low key, more laid back, sleepy town. High powered flyers don't fly out of Long Beach.
Detroit was cold! The Professor and I lived in Illinois for four winters so we do know about cold and snow. But we are Southern Californians now and our bodies just aren't used to freezing temperatures. The Princess is a Southwest girl and she had never seen it snow before. We felt so sorry for Big Boy! Snow on his head and icicles on his ears!
There had been a storm on New Year's Eve that dropped twelve inches of snow on Detroit. I had forgotten about how the snow plows remove the snow from the roads and parking lots, but the stuff has to go somewhere until the temperatures rise enough so it will melt. I remember the winter of 1985 in Illinois when the city of Chicago simply gave up plowing most city streets and kept only the main roads plowed because there was so much snow.
I had also forgotten that midwest houses are mostly made of brick. I tried to take photos, but it's not easy when you are in a rental car driving along unfamiliar roads and peering through the snow. There were lovely brick houses, covered with snow, looking like they were waiting to be featured on next year's Christmas cards. I even caught a glimpse of a picturesque red barn, perched on the hillside, a brilliant cardinal sitting in its nest of white fields, but I didn't have time to even point and shoot as we whizzed by. Another thing I had forgotten was the stark black and white landscape of a midwest winter. Black, white, gray, brown. Especially when it's cloudy and there is no blue sky to add a punch of color.
No green lawns or green leaves. No green palms waving in the breeze.
Just ice, snow and brittle branches.
The reason we went to Detroit in January was Chaplain Dan. Sending him off at the airport helped prepare our hearts for this separation. It was something we could do for him, for The Princess and for ourselves.