Thanksgiving Travel…Step One

I’m getting ready to do something I once thought that only the stupidest or most desperate people do- I’m going to fly from California to New York on Thanksgiving weekend. Now, I’ve always happily been both stupid and desperate, but that has nothing to do with flying in a plane. It’s still kinda odd that I’m flying anywhere all; before this year, my last flight was in 1999 or 2000 and I was fine with that. I’m a driver by both genetics and inclination. But this as been an odd year all around. Friday’s jump will mark my ninth cross country flight since January, not to mention one drive across in an RV towing a Jeep. Thus it is when you’re relocating.

I’ve been trying to get back to Syracuse since September, but something just kept getting the way…mostly the plans and permits for the new house. You see, this year, California adopted a whole new set of building codes and if anything was ever designed to stall a recovery in housing market, the 2007 California Building Codes are that very thing. The changes are vast in scope and neither builders nor permit officers really seem to have a handle on them yet. My simple plan for a 1,300sf ranch house on a slab foundation now stretches to more than ten pages long, not counting the dozen or so pages of engineering details. But my doctor kindly doubled my Xanax prescription and I’m finally almost done.

So, after two months of false starts, I found the earliest time I could leave was Black Friday. Two weeks ago, I checked airfares…they wanted $540 bucks, plus fees and taxes, for a one way flight. Last week, that same flight was down to $175, taxes and fees included So I took it and now find myself flying on Thanksgiving Weekend. It’ll be interesting.

After a few weeks in Syracuse, I’ll load up a truck and drive back…my second cross country road trip this year. Humping a cargo van and trailer across the US in December will be interesting too, I guess. Since 1977, I’ve driven across the America and Canada five or six times, not to mention a twenty thousand mile train trip. I’ll have to tell you about the train trip some time; any statute of limitations has long since run out and I do want to tell Cliff Black of AMTRAK I’m really sorry.

This time I’m gonna try and send in reports from the road…you know, Travels With Chuckie. I’ll describe in excruciating detail the endless hours of mind numbing highway travel, the bad food, the shrieks of terror as Toyota mini vans cut me off and all the stupid country western songs I tend to write when I’m driving long distances alone. You’ll love it, I promise. But until then, enjoy your Tanksgiving turkeys. Oh, and have a nice dinner too.