And here's the not-so-lovely view from my Houston hotel room.
I think I like the view of the California coastline better.
Was it really this beautiful when we lived there?
Tomorrow morning at 4:00 AM, I'm leaving our house, for a flight that departs at 6:15, for a week long trip to the Northwest Territories of the Canadian Arctic. I'm most excited about seeing tundra for the first time and meeting a Polar Bear Hazer. For those not in the know, a Polar Bear Hazer is a professionally trained person who will accompany us on our trip and will have a "Four Point System" for stopping any rogue and ravenous polar bears from attacking. From what I understand, the first point is a bull horn alarm; the second is a bean bag shot; the third is a tranquilizer shot; the fourth is a lethal shot. While I'm not at all excited to actually see or have them use any of these four points - I am certainly intrigued that the very, very (very, very) slim chance exists. I'm also glad that I know I can run faster than at least three of the people who will be accompanying me, should it come to that.
Later this month, I'll be traveling to North Carolina on a business trip and then next month I'll be back in Texas. Within the fourth quarter, I'm slated to be in at least six other US states, Europe, Australia and Canada - again. Outside of my trip to Hawaii in 1993, I've never left the North American continent. Whenever I crossed the border to Mexico or Canada, I'd beg them to stamp my passport so it would at least appear like I've done some international travel. But in my limited experience, our neighbors to the north and south don't even stamp passports. So when I just submitted my passport for renewal, the only stamp that I'd received for the past decade, was a stamp from our trip to the Bahamas in 2003. On a clear day, I think you can see the Bahamas from Florida, so I don't think that really counts as exotic travel.
I just wish there was some way that I could bring Charlie and the children with me on all of these adventures. But I suppose with all the traveling I'll be doing between now and the end of the year, I'll have accumulated enough frequent flier miles that bringing them with me could be a real possibility, next year. Until then, I'll just fly around on my own and hope with every fiber of my being that the plane (and pilot) does exactly what it / they are supposed to do upon take off, flight and landing.
For as much as I love the thought of travel and adventure - and even though I've passed my 38th year relatively unscathed - I'm still a very nervous (and palm sweaty) flier and after my trip home from California last week, where we were two hours late departing out of our connection in Denver because of the weather and then hit such bad turbulence that people around me were praying and grabbing and filling their air sick bags, I've solidly decided that flying definitely isn't one of my favorite things to do. Especially when I can see the wings rattling and fully expect to see one of them SNAP OFF at any moment as we fall 37,000 feet down, down, down.
Let's just hope that doesn't happen on any of the eight flights I'm scheduled to take over the next five days. On a happier note, I'll rake up almost 10,000 frequent flier miles this week alone and I'll be that much closer to flying and freaking out with my precious family!!