If possible, the pandemic made flying more of an ordeal

If possible, the pandemic made flying more of an ordeal

In our past life, before Covid, we would travel at least 2-3 times a year to California to visit with our son who moved out there about 15 years ago.

Travel was relatively easy then, no panic about germs and easy going passengers just trying to reach their destination without any drama. The last time we flew to Los Angeles was a few months before Covid hit this country.

We have seen our son several times since then, but he has always flown to us. The world as we knew it will never be quite the same — many jobs have become virtual, prices have skyrocketed in stores and many people have taken early retirement feeling anxious and weary. Having worked in the medical field for the past 40 years, I was very reticent to return to working with patients in the beginning of the pandemic. At this point a very part-time position would suit me fine.

We decided to bite the bullet and plan a trip to see our son this spring. We felt we needed to do this now while we are well and able to travel. We are cautiously optimistic about flying, but travel itself is not as easy as it was 5 years ago and we are 5 years older — which makes a difference when you reach your late ‘60s.

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There are more things to pack in the “just in case” category – we will bring masks along just in case we are seated next to someone who may be sick, and we have carefully chosen our seats in close proximity to the front end of the plane and on the aisle. We are also taking the first flight out in the early morning.

I am not an easy going flyer and cannot tolerate turbulence. I have packed a few magazines, knitting projects and my iPad to watch a movie or two to occupy my flying time and reduce my anxiety. Even so, we do look forward to visiting all our favorite haunts, restaurants, farmers markets, oceans etc.

April should be a nice month to fly anywhere but living in Buffalo one never can predict the weather. Several years ago, we flew to California in April and could not return as planned because of a freak snow storm happening here that shut down the airport.

Another year, the plane was overbooked and we were bumped to four different flights before we could arrive at the wrong airport in California — only to find out our bags went elsewhere. At 1 a.m. it was near impossible to hail a cab from the airport — no Uber back then. That trip aged us. We’re keeping our fingers crossed this time that we have smooth sailing coming and going.

Despite all of our concerns, we are very much looking forward to relaxing at our favorite hotel, visiting the restaurants and attractions in Calabasas and seeing our son. We may hit a few parks, do some fun outdoor shopping and travel up the coast — just to enjoy the scenery and take in the peaceful ocean views which I find the most restful of all.

This will be a much-deserved peaceful vacation in a predictably warm part of the country where every plant is already in bloom. When we return to Buffalo hopefully it will be time to plant our vegetable garden, which we enjoy tending to all summer.

Here’s to a warm summer in Buffalo and great weather to travel in: fingers crossed!

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