As wine connoisseurship evolves, I look toward developing ways to express the aspects of wine I love the most. I recognize that wine is a product of nature and science; my goal is as natural as can be: to help make the connection between joy of taste and the bountiful pleasures of life.”

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Stalling propellers and the stewardesses émigré

If you’ve ever been headed to wine country and just wanted to get there , skipping SFO or Oakland might be something you’ll want to consider. As much as the idea of a connection is a mental drag, so too is the often jammed crammed SFO ,…not to mention its car rental program that feels like its 25miles from baggage claim. So, on the way out to Sonoma Friday I took the latter option which put me in the Seattle airport for a 1 hour layover, ( just enough time to get a great bowl of noodles and a spicy tuna hand roll). From there the service moves to a small 45 person prop plane operated by Horizion Air. My seat, probably the most noisy was however located directly across the wing mounted propeller and engine which made for an interesting ride. Most noteworthy apart from the unbelievable views and crash course in birds eye northern California topography, was the crew aboard the plane. Until the cabin door shut and we began the taxi to the runway all seemed normal, once we approached the tarmac, the fun began! Its difficult to describe how bizarre all of this was but let’s just say that if you can imagine being hijacked by a couple wild, super witty art students from Tisch or RISDE that have had a few too many cocktails then you can imagine what it was like to ride on this plane. A few moments came and when I actually had to turn around in my seat just to see if I was the only one that thought the demeanor of the stewardess was as out of control as it seemed to me. Granted many of the folk on this little commuter plane probably have been tempered by previous rides, there were quite a few folks rubber necking like I was just to get a reality check. During announcements they were humming college fight songs, bantering with the folks seated next to the single restroom, encouraging reckless consumption of an unnamed Sonoma chardonnay and local Portland micro brew, playing trivia, mocking ignorant passengers and offering up free bottles of booze to the person with the oldest coin in his or her purse. wallet… crazy eh?

Apart from the time I took a flight in Russia and was asked to stand holding a subway like wrist noose from take off through landing, this was without question once of the single most most entertaining plane rides iver ever taken. It might be worth the layover with hopes to get the crew I did. Unexpected, unruly, spontaneous, …yeah,…all words normally not associated with commercial air passage. So, while drinking my third free glass of beer, I opted to shoot the images above. One of the loony stewardess and the other of the beer itself. Take special note of the propeller. It looks like it was slowing down to a grind doesn’t it? Well, it didn’t but it sure did add to the totally surreal experience. Horizion Air if full effect. Crazy crew, free beer and wine, stalling propellers that don’t effect your altitude, and carnival games??? Modern day Twilight Zone John Lithgow would appreciate.

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