The boring part

There is nothing especially exotic about the act of traveling itself… at least when you have to travel like this. It’s all about the “getting there” at this point.

This is a better tray table, I’ll tell ya!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. David Andrew says:

    I recognize that first pic – “De-toilet” Airport (DTW).

    Best part of that is the acid-tripped tunnel that runs to the other terminal.

  2. TA1275 says:

    Ahhhhh…. the beautiful Detroit airport. My last experience there involved sprinting from gate 2 to gate 73 to make a connection. It was quite the sprint.

  3. JL says:

    Detroit’s never been great, but it’s light years better than the pre-renovation design. Hope you weren’t stuck there too long; that sort of thing happens with amazing frequency.

  4. Mike says:

    We take flying too much for granted. As one comedian recently put it: YOU’RE FLYING, you’re sitting in a chair up in the sky – how amazing is that?!

    The way things are going, we may not be able to much more of it in the future, so let’s be grateful for being able to cross the U.S. in 5 hours when only 80 years ago it would take months.

  5. AS I WAIT ON THE NEXT PLANE: As far as airports are concerned, DTW is pretty good. However the amusing fountain is OOO and some panels in the LSD Tunnel of Groovy Love are… doin’ their own thing… which seems right, somehow.

  6. The only issue I have had with the Detroit Airport is that the food is terrible!!!

  7. Lindsay says:

    We took our first train trip this past Spring. By far the best way we’ve traveled. Costs more than driving; so, still cost prohibitive for a family, but it was infinitely more “civilized” than air travel.

  8. Ohio Annie says:

    I went through DTW all the time from Mpls. to TFGreen and back. I liked the arcade with the tire-shaped door. And the moving walkways were tres cool. I recall everybody was very nice to me at the airlines too. Ah, those were the days. I haven’t flown since spring of 2001, no place to go anyway. I drive to the Adirondacks and St. Meinrad for downtime now. 8-)

  9. Ohio Annie says:

    And you are right, Mike, we take our new miracles for granted. Drugs that help us live better, transportation anywhere we want to go, telephones we can carry in our pockets, hearing aids, the list goes on and on.

  10. JohnE says:

    Obviously those tray table pictures are from the empty row ahead of you. Otherwise it would be quite impossible to take such a picture without some sort of extreme zoom-out feature — and still you’d get plenty of knee blocking the shot.

  11. Ohio Annie says:

    So, what does the well-dressed priest wear when he travels? Cassock? “Lutheran business suit”?

  12. Cornelius says:

    I agree that flying is border-line miraculous – crossing the Atlantic in 9 hours when
    it took our ancestors weeks or months.

    The trouble is that expectations and the pace of life have also increased to
    account for the fact that you can cross the country in 5 hours. People
    think nothing of expecting your presence on the other coast by the next day.
    The net result is that modern life as a whole is a lot more stressful.

    It’s like computers: back in the typewriters and white-out days you were allowed
    two typo mistakes per page. Now that you can re-generate your document with a
    few keystrokes, everybody demands perfection and editors think nothing of asking
    you to completely re-design documents 20 times over before going smooth.

    Whew. Give me the typewriter days. I did my Master’s thesis on a manual
    typewriter. It still got done.

  13. Frank H says:

    As a former Michigander, my favorite place to eat in the Detroit airport is the National Coney Island. You just can’t find coney island hot dogs like that in any other city but Detroit! (Especially the very poor substitutes they call by the same name in Cincinnati!)

  14. Father Totton says:

    Some of my earliest memories of airports were DTW. We didn’t fly back then, couldn’t afford it. But we had a wealthy babysitter – at least she was married to a businessman, so we assumed they were “wealthy”. Once we had to go out to the airport to meet the plane of some of his associates. I remember being fascinated because they had a bank of lounge chairs with built-in B&W televisions. If you put in enough quarters, the television would come on and you could watch – for a little while – not much on back then! Funny the things we remember. I always like driving past the giant Uniroyal Tire on I-94 as you headed back to the city. My dad worked in Dearborn, so we always thought it was neat to drive through the city where he worked.

    I think the first time I actually flew into or out of Detroit, it was during the brief period in the late ’80s when Southwest began passenger service into DET (the old City Airport). It was convenient but sure seemed dangerous driving through Hamtramck in an open Mustang Convertible.

    OH, as to the well-dressed priest on an airplane, I generally wear a Roman Catholic Clerical Suit. I rarely see Lutherans dressed in this manner, and when I do, I don’t consider them particularly Lutheran-looking because of their suit – unless of course it is of a color other than black or perhaps pin-striped.

    I have flown in the cassock before, and I have seen other priests dressed in the same fashion (once I was on the same flight to Rome as an FSSP seminarian who had just received the cassock – I thought he was SSPX until we were visiting in baggage at FCO) but I take exception to the notion that a priest is somehow “less Catholic” when wearing a clerical suit, especially when travelling.

    Let’s be careful the gnats we wish to strain!

  15. JohnE: No. Those were definitely my tray tables… in the upright and locked position.

  16. I want to echo the commenter that mentioned the train. I greatly enjoy traveling across the country via train. It’s relaxing, there’s (more or less) good food available, and you usually have time to visit with those around you. While it takes more time than flying, you can get up and walk around as you’re not stuck in your seats as airline passengers are. Also, the long distance trains usually have a lounge car in which to relax and enjoy the scenery.

    For the record, since someone asked what priests wear when traveling, I wore a clerical shirt and black pants when I rode the train as part of my vacation. I will be wearing the same on the return trip on Monday. I’m a bit more casual than other priests that comment on this illustrious blog, but I still wear my collar when traveling on vacation. I had some wonderful conversations during meals in the dining car because of it.

  17. Amy H says:

    Don’t knock the good ol’ fashioned tray table latches, Father!! I flew alone on more flights from ages 7 to 18 than most people ever have (I’m talking average non-business-or-Vatican-vocations-folk here) and those little switchy thingies holding the trays in are fond old friends of mine. If you can imagine a seven-year-old on 6-8 flights a year by herself… children are easily amused!

    Speaking of the wonder of flying, that was (second to tray tables) my most delightful part: landing. Taking off is exhilarating, but landing is when it really hits you you’ve been in another world for a couple of hours. In my (bored and) imaginative little mind I would watch the rising ground intently and imagine the whole plane was really just inches away from a teeny tiny model train village — you know, the kind with working trains and streets with streetlights and broccoli-trees — and we were just cruising along, always about to tip our wing and scrape a couple of matchbox cars off the plastic freeway. I still try to do it, if I can! Maybe that’s kind of the opposite of really understanding the feat that the plane is accomplishing, but it’s in the same order of wonder, I think.

    Another good trick, if you get into some really beautiful clouds mid-flight, is to imagine that the acres and acres of cloud-tops you’re seeing are the whole world — no earth, just skating across cloud-scape doused in the glow of whatever gorgeous degree of sunrise/sunset you’ve popped up into.

    I don’t care what you say about flying; even the LSD madness of airports can’t dim that. As long as you can get your hands on a window seat! ;)

  18. Margaret C. says:

    I don’t believe it…y’all are trashing DETROIT?! The worst airport in the USA is Chicago O’Hare…hands down. I will book almost any combination of connections to avoid it.

Comments are closed.