Over on his blog, Charles talked about his recent trip to Santa Fe and how it left him with a bit of wanderlust. Wish I could say that my last trip to Austin, back in February, had the same effect on me--but every time I fly somewhere, it makes me that much less eager to fly ever again.
I used to love to fly hither and yon; at one point in the 80s/early 90s, Susan and I participated in an Eastern Airlines promotion (I believe it was Eastern, anyway) in which a different city would be chosen as the weekend destination each week, and you could fly there for a bargain price if you were willing to travel on the spur of the moment. Lots of fun, but that was at a time when the airlines seemed to genuinely desire the business of travelers, and they made the experience pleasant.
Air travel nowadays seems to be managed by the same people who designed the DMV driver's licensing system; it's laborious, unaccommodating, and uncomfortable. A two hour flight becomes an eight hour ordeal when everything else is factored in; seating is intolerably cramped and poorly designed; and worst of all, there's absolutely no appreciation for passengers and their business.
I wish Atlanta had major rail service to other cities--but once again, Atlanta is sorely lacking as a major city. So I'm stuck with flying if the destination is too far to comfortably travel by car. I love the idea of going somewhere else, but I hate the process of getting there by air; I'd generally prefer not to go at all if getting there requires flying.