I’m writing this while on my way to Florida – again. This time it’s with Helaine and Stef, and this time it’s a more pleasant occasion – my mom’s birthday.
Because of where Steffie goes to school and because you can fly to West Palm Beach non-stop, we’ve opted to fly from Islip’s MacArthur Airport on Lawn Guyland.
This is an interesting airport in an interesting place. It is hemmed in on all sides by the sprawl that Long Island’s become. In that way, there are similarities to Midway Airport in Chicago.
We found our way to the remote long term parking, right on the airport grounds, and waited no more than a minute for the shuttle. The terminal was another minute or two away.
From a distance the terminal looked large. That perspective remained as we pulled up, except now it reminded me of the airport in Rockford, IL.
Stick with me on this.
In Rockford, the airport is large, but usage is not. Same here. Judging by the TV screens, nearly all the flights are operated by Southwest. The few USAir and Delta flights smelled of commuter plane routes. This is an airport where 737’s share the taxiways with Cessna 150s.
As we pulled away from the gate, I saw all six Terminal A gates and jetways. They were all vacant. It’s a shame (though nearby Islip residents might not agree with me on that).
Our flight headed southwest down Runway 24, took off and turned east. We flew over the center of Long Island. Off to the south was Fire Island. North was Long Island Sound and Connecticut.
I don’t know that much about Long Island landmarks, but I was able to pick out Brookhaven Airport, an abandoned Naval airfield and Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach before we turned south, heading over the Atlantic in the general direction of Florida.
The flight was a non-event until the last few minutes. With towering thunderstorm clouds on either side of the plane, the pilot came on the PA. The rest of the flight was going to be “very bumpy.”
On went the seatbelt signs. The flight attendants were asked to take their seats. We headed down.
It wasn’t as bad as the pilot let on. It wasn’t too smooth either. We landed 15 minutes early.
It’s nice to see my folks, even though it’s only been a few days since I last saw them. Florida, as it turns out, has changed. It’s much more humid. Much.
For dinner tonight, we headed south to Boca Raton and a place called Stir Crazy. I forgot to bring “Clicky.” A shame, because this was a very photogenic place.
Basically, you choose your protein and vegetables and then watch as your dinner is stir fried while you stand and watch. Pretty cool. Very tasty.
4 thoughts on “Back To The Sunshine State”
“In Rockford, the airport is large, but usage is not.”
Actually, when I left Rockford, they were desperately trying to change that. They’ve billed themselves as the “alternative” to going to Chicago or Milwaukee.
See http://www.flyrfd.com for what they’re doing.
The politico’s in Chicago have figured out a way to get more money from the FAA. Rockford is now known as Chicago/Rockford International Airport. It’s not just a alternative to O’Hare anymore…
I go in there often for training flights. If you happen to fly in after 9pm it is BUSY with cargo flights. Not as busy as Memphis, but you don’t want to get in the way of one of those DHL ketchup and mustard planes….
If you liked Stir Crazy you will probably also like Fire and Ice in Boston. Very similar concept.
Fire and Ice is also in Providence, in the mall. Same idea, although their quality has declined over the years.