On Air
Dubai, Cape Town, Chicago & the Airbus A380

AIRBUS A380-800. I've flown the Chicago-Cape Town route a fair share of times across various carriers, and this experience by far tops the list. Aboard a once-off test flight of the magnificent Airbus A380-800 from Chicago, O'hare, I couldn't help but marvel at the beauty of this massive plane. It's like a cross between a goose and a spaceship.

Though commonly flown to other cities, this was a special flight to Chicago and a pretty big deal among the airport people (they spent months updating the gate so it could accommodate a plane of this size). I was super pumped about the spacious seats. Here's a tour. 

I should say the A380 made me feel a lot better about airbus. A previous flight during a winter storm with an overloaded overhead bin had made me wonder a bit (the whole top of the plane wobbled during takeoff, as though the plane was made of jelly.... one of the scariest moments of my life, btw).  So it was somewhat cathartic as well. 

The rest of the time was spent wandering airports, as one does when one travels alone. Here's a rundown. 

CHICAGO O'HARE. Ah, the preflight selfies. It seemed a good way to pass the 2+ hours between security and takeoff. I also bought a nifty Chicago T-shirt and photographed this mosaic from Petra, Jordan, the city which served as a namesake for a Merman character. Inspiration is everywhere.

Also in O'hare was this very large sculpture entitled Male Sin. I didn't really wonder about it as much as I could have, but there it is. 

DUBAI INTERNATIONAL. Nothing tempts the wallet quite like a long layover and Dubai airport's duty free... I bought a camel, which was a surprisingly big hit back home. Not a bad life choice, it turns out. 

FLYING IN THE NORTH. Snapped these photos while flying somewhere between Greenland and northern Canada. I wonder if the ice is supposed to be broken like this. Hmm....

CAPE TOWN. And finally, the giant beaded giraffes of Cape Town International. Nothing quite captures the touristy spirit of home like sculptures of ungulates and a fashionable baobab.