I didn’t fly much before I went to college. In fact, I rarely left the state. So every opportunity to ride in an airplane was a treat, and this probably explains why I am such a fan of flying today. For the first couple years after I started this habit, I was very fond of window seats and stared outside for most of the trip, trying to recognize things from above. Now that things have become a bit more routine, I’m happy with an aisle or middle seat as long as there’s nothing special out there (most inter- and transcontinental flights), especially when traveling with Megan--who loves the window seat. Just look at the amazing weather from a trip I took a couple weeks back.
One of my favorite routes, for which I still insist on a window seat (port side both ways, please) is Seattle to San Francisco. There’s just so much to see along the way that brings back familiar memories. Like how much I hated the retreat near Tacoma that my graduate program would take us to each September. The people weren’t bad, but the accommodations and food made college look like the Ritz.
I have a little trouble spotting anything specific north of San Francisco, though I can still tell when we’ve crossed the border from Oregon into California. The first landmark I can consistently recognize is Clear Lake, which was not very clear at all the last time I was there for a weekend boat trip.
The real gem was reaching San Francisco, where the weather was like this every day of my trip. I only spent a couple hours there while I was at Hipmunk’s offices, but it was absurdly pleasant given what I’d just left in Seattle.
And further south you can easily pick out Stanford University and the Googleplex.
Lucky has had an ongoing series for a while now of reader photos around the world, mostly of airports, cities, and other venues at ground level. But I like spotting things from the air. Anyone with me? A little more challenging, sure, but also that much more rewarding. Feel free to submit photos by email along with what you can see (or think you can see) from the air. You can take pictures at any altitude you like, and I’ll share them as part of a new series: “Head in the Clouds.” The only rule is that the plane’s wheels must not be touching the ground. If you expect you’ll be flying over something interesting on an upcoming trip, don’t forget to check out FlightAware.com for some statistics on the likely route your flight will take, allowing you to choose the correct side of the plane for optimal viewing pleasure.