Thursday, February 04, 2010

Flights of Fancy

In previous years, the spring contest involving U.S. brass bands has been held in Danville, KY.  This contest, operated by NABBA (North American Brass Band Association) has this year decided to start roaming around as a way of diversifying and "getting the message out".  The spring 2010 meeting, coming up in April, is in Raleigh, North Carolina.

And last night I bought my airline tickets.
Flying on airplanes is not something I've undertaken frequently.  In the last two or three years, I've flown many times more than I ever did in all the years previous.  Our flying trip to the U.K. from November contained another set of flights inside it, even!

And yes, it's tedious, made all the more by travel safety guidelines.  I still get very nervous walking through metal detectors and having my baggage riffled.  Of course, I also get nervous when I pass through the book detector at the library, so it doesn't have anything to do with the airlines in particular.

Flying is still the fastest way to move around the country, but the added layers of protection have ensured that we (the travelers) need to arrive really early for our flights, slog through security, then sit 50 feet from the plane for an hour.  It's some sort of pre-layover, I guess.

Ordinarily, Fountain City puts together a bus to take us to Danville.  It's easier than trying to corral 30 people into the right times and arrivals.  But this year's contest in Raleigh is much further away, which makes for a much less appealing drive.  Online maps say that from my doorstep to the hotel is 1,087 miles, at a drive time of 17 hours.  We have to be there on Thursday by 9pm for a rehearsal.  But we also have a rehearsal scheduled until 10pm on Wednesday night. In Kansas City.  So...

I would have preferred to drive (or at least ride along).  It'd probably be cheaper, which I am ALWAYS for.  But I don't like having 23 hours to make a 17 hour drive.  That makes me grumble.  So I purchased an airline ticket -- one of the few times I can remember ever doing so.  And I have to check my instrument, which means a mandatory extra fee both ways. Joy!  Plus, I don't think my hard case handle is going to make it one more trip: it's probably going to detach.

I'm taking the fees from one of my students for the semester (give or take) and putting it towards a flight. If I do much more of this, I might need to actually pay attention to my frequent flier number!


  1. You are turning into the man of the world you were always destined to become! BTW, NABBA was held in Louisville all these years past, I know, I had to buy a plane ticket as well. Louisville is an hour away from me...Great American Brass Band Festival in the summer is held in Danville, KY.

  2. Right you are, Rachel. I totally got them confused. I only remembered there was something confusing about NABBA. I didn't think it through -- the first year I went, everyone said it was in Louisville, but it turned out to be across the river in Indiana.