I fasten my seatbelt and peer out my window as we taxi down the runway. I love the liftoff, and I equally hate the landing at the other end. I always find myself wondering, are all three wheels going to touch down together, or is the plane going to land just a little off balance and we'll skid into the gate on one wheel and a wing. You know the wing and a prayer thing. I'd be the one praying. I always give a big sigh of relief when I hear the pilot announce, "you can take off your seat belts.
It's a sunny fall day as we walk into the terminal in my favorite city - San Francisco. It is also my favorite city to land in. As we approach the airport the plane seems to become one with the bay as we glide so close to the water you can almost smell it. I let myself dream that as the wheels come down they skim the water just before touching down on the runway.
Our days in San Fran are always filled with visits to Golden Gate Park and the Japanese Gardens for tea and cookies, driving down the crooked street, wandering Union Square, the farmers market on the wharf, shopping at Pier 39, dining at our favorite restaurants and taking pictures of the fancy bellman in his red suit and top hat at our hotel. And of course a visit to the "City by the Bay" wouldn't be complete without a "hot fudge sundae" at Ghirardilli.
I get caught up in the energy that fills the air in this city, the cultural diversity, yes, even the crazy street people that make me wonder if I should view them from a distance. The locals that look like they just stepped off Wall Street mixed with the tourists in their San Francisco sweatshirts. Each in their own way adding to the ambiance of the city.
All too soon it's time to head home. As our plane takes off and lifts us above the clouds I look forward to returning to my little cottage on top of a hill near my own little "City by our Bay".