Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Car Vs. Plane college experiment

This last week, I got to experience first-hand the juxtaposition of cross country travel by car and the reverse of the trip by aeroplane. By the way that is the same thing as an ‘airplane’, however I just ate a crumpet and my tea-stained teeth allow me to a think and feel British. Despite being literally shoehorned into my daughter’s car in the ‘shoe’ section,(which is next to the ‘party dress’ section) it was a pleasant trip back to college. I never did find the ‘study hard and save money’ section on the seating chart so I doubt one exists, though I will remain hopeful for the time being.

My daughter drives a convertible, however this trip is never as pleasant for her since she cannot lower the top for fear of losing both the shoe and party section ‘occupants’ to the wind’s fickle whimsy. I personally appreciate the protection from the sun, dirt, and hot winds in a car with a lid on it, plus I really don’t look too attractive ‘topless’. Though a 16 hour drive seems horrible, we try to break up the monotony by counting Indian casinos and sleepy truckers along the way. Amazingly, the strategy works as the drive only feels like 15 hours – Wheeee! My daughter also has the convenience of a DVD screen which pops out of the car dash so we can watch public service messages of the danger of driving distracted along with other sitcoms.

To haul all of that junk to college costs about $120 in fuel - $85 for the gasoline and $35 for the two of us in food. To fly back to St. Louis it cost about the same, but oddly, the flight attendants still would not allow me to travel topless. I did have the pleasure to be sandwiched in between two handsome women, however I think it was against their will? Given the typical tight quarters in airline travel these days, I probably should have bought one of those ‘I-Pad’ thingys rather than a widescreen laptop. But buying ‘I-Pads’ embarrasses me too much because they sound so much like feminine products (and only cost a little bit more).

Anyway, I enlisted the help of my seat partners as the lady on the left could take care of the ‘Caps Lock’ side of the keyboard and the lady on the right handled the ‘Enter’ side keys. My role in the middle was very limited as I simply had to dictate the necessary idiocy for a few bloggy paragraphs in between in-flight peanuts and tomato juice. All told, my trip home by plane took about 5 hours including my gate waits, and a few hundred extra seconds (as well as calories) from Dunkin Donuts.

A reasonable hypothesis and expectation is that you would think hands down the airplane trip is the clear winner for cost vs. time in the Car vs. Plane experiment. The truth is, NOTHING beats the chance to spend a few extra hours with the kid before she starts back at life’s grind toward adulthood. No I’m not actually THAT sentimentally sweet with political correctness - it just has become necessary since my unfortunate ‘copy-cat incident’ exiting the plane via the emergency slide. I must be just 'plane' crazy - WHEEEEEE!


  1. We considered a convertible before buying the camaro, in June. I think we are beyond our topless years, but not beyond our muscle car years.

    We are definitely road trippers. Fun times, at times. It was an interesting trip when the remember the size of our little family (it has grown through the years)...decided to take a road trip to Mackinac Island MI. We rented vans and left MO in the dead of night or wee small hours of the morning. Sixteen hours later, we arrived at the condo we rented for the week. It was right on Lake Huron and absolutely lovely. Anyhoo...on the drive back, I sneakily booked rooms, half way, when the kiddo's weren't looking. They all agreed that was a much better idea than doing the whole trip in one fell swoop.
    I am now trying to talk them into a road trip to Beaufort SC or Nags Head NC. Not getting much input though!;-)

  2. To Commentator Pat:
    I think I'll send my wife to Nag's Head, S.C.
    Or maybe just her head. (Joke -- don't hate me, ladies!)

    Welcome Back, W.C. But I'll miss Ghostwriter "Raker" a lot. I think he was actually an extremely BRILLIANT guy pretending be a jerk. He did a great job at both.

  3. I told my husband I wanted to take a road trip to visit his family, in MO, next summer. The only places I've ever driven to have been Southern California, and Phoenix. I want to see knew places and eat at all the little yummy dives.

  4. So nice that you got to have this time with your girl. :)

    AND, I love your excuse for not getting an Ipad. LOL

    Glad you made it home safe & sound and are back to your regularly scheduled postings. Unfortunately I won't be back to posting regularly -- at least for a few weeks.

    Have a terrific upcoming week my friend!

  5. There is getting to be too much stuff on the dash. Now there are full on screens? It scares me a little.

  6. Welcome back! Missed you!! :)

    Of course, the sweet comment about spending time with your kiddo makes me wanna give you a good pat on the back...instead of the kick in the butt your deserve for deserting us for a week.

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