Friday, December 28, 2007

And so this was Christmas


Descending toward Bradley International airport after almost 19 hours in the air I was anxious to land…but not that anxious! Listening in on the planes communication channel plus the dramatic increase in turbulence confirmed the Nor'easter had beaten us. The air traffic controller calmly reported wind gusts of 60 mph and snow falling at rate of 10” per hour.

A brief pause…and I thought about knocking on the cockpit door and telling the pilot I had only been a dad for 72 hours, and I could use a lot more time. The pilot confirmed he was redirecting to Dulles Airport.

My sis worked for Independence Air a small, low cost airline based at Dulles (since gone bankrupt) and her spacious home was only five minutes from the airport. We spent our first Christmas as a family there in 2002 and have gone back every Christmas since.

This year we drove, as three plane tickets would have set us back $900, leaving Amherst on Christmas Eve and stopping first in New Jersey to stay overnight with Donna’s brother. His house is almost exactly the halfway point to Washington, so it broke up the travel into two manageable legs.
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The Air and Space Museum located at Dulles Airport, like many attractions in DC is government owned and operated, meaning We The People are shareholders and as a result there’s no admission charge.

The modern building is really just a giant hanger with one monstrous door that opens to the outside so airplanes could enter fully assembled. My sis said that the entire airport practically came to a standstill a few years back when the last remaining Concord flew in and took up permanent residence.


Gazing on the Enola Gay, a B-29 that delivered the first atomic bomb, it’s easy to imagine why we won the war. And the Space Shuttle Enterprise demonstrates our industrial, technological edge continues fifty years later.


We left DC for home on Thursday stopping in Manhattan to break up the drive. Dinner at an Italian Restaurant in the heart of Little Italy.
then a dessert from a bakery in nearby Chinatown. Donna has been taking Chinese lessons for a while now and managed to understand when the two women who waited on her called Kira “beautiful”.


We zig zagged around Times Square taking in the light show but police were everywhere keeping traffic moving and blocking off Rockefeller Center to autos.
Now the tallest manmade object in the Big Apple, the Empire State Building stands like a proud beacon...


Left the City at 7:00 pm and pulled into Amherst at 9:30 pm.

3 comments:

O'Reilly said...

Christmas is for family. Thanks for sharing part of yours with us.

Such a metropolitan holiday for the Kelley's! First, our nation's capital, then the Big Apple with dinner in lit'l It-lee. You guys did it up right.

All the best in the new year.

Mary E.Carey said...

Great photos of Chinatown, Larry!

Tommy said...

Congratulations on your blog receiving praise in Local Buzz! Too bad it's not online but you can pick it up in print downtown.