In my former job, I traveled a lot. 60 roundtrip flights each year, leaving at the crack of dawn Tuesday morning, walking back in my own front door around 11 PM Thursday night. I became a *pro at packing the carry-on bag, including how to fold a suit (see footnote).
I was used to running from gate to gate but I remember this particular trip to Salt Lake City vividly. One, because I flew out of O’Hare (I prefer Midway) and I had 15 minutes notice to change terminals, which may as well have been changing cities in trying to race through one terminal to catch a train to another terminal, and all of the seat assignments were now worthless because we had a smaller plane. I was stuck next to the woman who had her cat in a carrier shoved under the seat in front of her. The cat howled (painfully) all the way from ORD to SLC. I remember thinking “who brings a cat….on a plane????” Flash forward to me, a year later, moving to LA and hauling Destiny, the Little Black Nightmare Cat onto Southwest, but that’s another story.
The second reason I remember flying into Salt Lake City was looking out the window and thinking we were landing on another planet. It was twilight, and the sun was going down, hitting its light on the ponds and canals across the area. It looked as if we were about to land on Jupiter, with the green swirling waters, twisting across the stark white land. I ignored the rising mountains in the background and focused on capturing this alien-like aerial view from the plane.
Then we landed. I found out that our gates had again changed. I escaped cat lady only to race from Terminal A to Terminal B with only 8 minutes to catch my connecting flight. The only saving grace from that trip was the magnificent 6 minutes of descent over these amazing views, and my only experience of Salt Lake City so far, in my travels.
*Within a 5 day trip, I once flew from Chicago to meetings in Phoenix (Day 1); Phoenix to meetings in San Diego (Day 2); more meetings in San Diego and then an Amtrak to LA (more meetings) to a flight into San Francisco (Day 3); meetings in San Francisco and then drove to Napa for more meetings (Day 4) and then spent an extra day in Napa, drove to Sacremento, flew back to Chicago (Day 5). I packed one carry on that included 5 dresses, 3 workout outfits, jeans, sweater, jacket and “cute top for wine tasting”.