Only Planet

One Child, One Year, One Planet. A family of three traveling around the world...

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

She's Leaving on a Jet Plane

Dylan left this morning for a one week trip to Boston to visit her cousins. She's not alone, her grandparents (Mike and Phyllis) are taking her, but it's the first time she will be away from home without her folks. There are lots of plans during her trip. A charity bike ride, a piano recital, meeting her newest cousin Oliver, a Dad's day BBQ, lots of play time and warm summer weather, which we've sorely lacked here in Portland. We expect it will be a fun-filled visit and that the time will pass more quickly for her, than us. If her trip is anything like my first trip away from my folks--it has the potential to be life-changing.

The year was 1979. Lines at gas stations were blocks long, since people were being told when they could fuel their cars. Gary Sandy & Loni Anderson were starring in the hit TV show WKRP in Cincinnati, and New York City was not hosting family-friendly performances like The Lion King, but reckoning with its reputation as a the kind of place where movies like The Warriors felt like documentaries, rather than matinee entertainment. A family friend invited my parents to send me (age 12) and my two brothers (ages 8 & 9) to visit him for two weeks--the time to be split between his apartment in Manhattan and his summer home in New Jersey. Coming from our pretty provincial town of Glenwood Springs, Colorado to NYC was terrifying, but at the same time also exhilarating, and hooked me on the idea that travel was something I liked to do.

Not only was this our first plane flight, (with the exception of that little trip I took across the Pacific when I was two) but we did it without our parents. Our strongest memory of that flight were the inedible rolls TWA served. My mom's strongest memory was leaving the airport in tears because I had complained about being hungry and while she went looking for food, our plane boarded, the door shut behind us and she missed being able to say a last "goodbye."

The trip was fantastic! Our host was friends with Gary Sandy, and we met him and Loni Anderson while they were out on a night about town. We were allowed to raid the grocery store for whatever food we wanted to eat the whole time we were there--I recall eating a lot of frozen waffles, we had a paint fight, went to a cheesy amusement park and my brother Miles, true to his name, wandered off a great distance and got lost somewhere in the New Jersey woods.

We're sure Dylan will have her own memories and tales to tell. While my trip at the age of 12 ignited a life-long case of wanderlust, there's no telling where this trip will take her mind and heart. In the meantime we plan a night at the coast, watching R rated movies before 9:00 pm and (hopefully) getting lots of little things done--like finding a job! Yes, it's summer!


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