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On Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Posted in Don't Quit Your Day Job, Waxing Philosophical by unboundpage on August 10, 2010

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

You may be wondering, “What in God’s name were you doing in Atlanta?”

Well, you see, I am generally in great need of a vacation of one sort or another by this time of year.  In 2008, a certain hurricane was nice enough to pay my hometown a visit, try to wipe it off the map, and in the process get me a month off of work.  Barring further hurricanes, I’ve opted for taking a long weekend in the Smoky Mountains at my parents’ house.

In early August, the tiny town of Burnsville, NC, puts on a craft fair, where its adorably traditional town square is transformed into a veritable Mecca for people who appreciate hand-crafted goods.  The streets were lined with hand-blown glass, pottery of every possible shape and size, jewelry, and pretty much anything else that can be made in those hills.  The wood work was especially breathtaking this year.  I met a guy who was a master joiner, recently retired from ship building, who was selling stunningly elegant boxes.

Between the scenery and the craft work, I was in heaven.

My aunt came up for the weekend, just so she could watch me shop.

I take these vacations very seriously.

Unfortunately, the cheapest airfare between here and Asheville required a stop through Atlanta.  Then the airline decided that my hour-and-a-half layover just wasn’t long enough, and bumped that up to four hours.  On the plus side, I had no need to hurry to my gate at the far end of the terminal, and had plenty of time to enjoy the spectacular view of at least two of the airport’s five runways.

I’ve always been fascinated by the Dance of the Giant Flying Machines that plays out at major airports.  When I was little, I wanted to be the guy with the brightly-colored wands that directs the plane into the gate.  Now I just satisfy myself by sipping on a Frappuccino and pondering the technical components of continuously shuffling over-sized tin cans off the ground and safely back down again.

Hartsfield-Jackson, known alternately as the World’s Busiest Airport, or the Traveler’s Scourge, provides ample entertainment.

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