All My Bags are Packed, I’m Ready to Go

Photo from darryllang.com

I want to say thank you to @travelmagnolia via @wangandthecity for the wonderful post that led me to these memories.

Stores, restaurants, and photographs. Music, books and paintings.  Am I talking about a museum? Or a library? Or a mall? No, I’m talking about one of my favorite places to visit–Denver International Airport (DIA). For me, going to the airport is like an extra special adventure, and it doesn’t matter to me if I’m going somewhere or if I’m just stopping in for a few minutes to pick someone up.  I don’t mind paying for the parking, or circling the lots to just find one small space to leave my car, because I am just too excited to even be there–being at the airport means that something special is happening.

Traveling was not something I got to do much when I was younger because my parents simply didn’t have the money.  So my joy was hopping into the car to rumble down to the old Stapleton Airport to pick up my Grandma Doe whenever she visited from Albuquerque.  That was back when a person could actually walk up to the gate to meet someone or linger a few minutes before sending them off.  I could grab the latest Stephen King novel and just wait for two hours until Grandma got there, or I could grab a burger and fries and watch people hug and kiss each other hello.  Oh, it was wonderful. (Love Actually has always been a favorite movie of mine because of the various clips of people meeting in the airport.)

Soon, Stapleton did not have a good enough infrastructure to handle the growth and the air traffic that Denver was starting to receive, and plans were made for DIA.  Instead of an airport right near the city where, if you were lucky, your car might drive underneath a bridge, beneath a taxiing plane, there would be a new, and improved airport 20 minutes out into the middle of farm land.  But did that extra travel time matter to me? Oh, hell no!  This new airport would have a train, and a huge white teepee for a main building, and restaurants, and a small museum, and on and on and on…

By the time the new airport was up and running, I had to make the trip just to see it.  Beautiful artwork, bright lights and tons of people.  People going here and people going there.  “Where do I get my bags?”  “Where is the rental car pick up?” “Where’s dad? I told him to wait for me right here!”” No, we can’t stop at McDonald’s, we can eat when we get home.” I breathed it in and I breathed it out and it felt so good to be there. I dreamed that someday I would actually take my own trips, and my people would drop me off and give me hugs and cry when I was leaving for parts unknown.

DIA has been officially open since 1995 and I still love it to this day.  My little family travels several times a year and we still get excited when we have to go to the airport (okay, the hubby tolerates it, but the boy and I have a blast).  When I fly home from somewhere I’ve been without them, they will make the effort to park and come inside to greet me when I get off the train.  It’s like a jolt of adrenaline to my heart.  My airport experiences have changed a lot over the years but I still treasure the moments of leaving to places I have never been and coming home to people that love me very much.

© DRB 2015

Want to comment?

27 Comments

  1. I love this! I’m a Coloradan and remember driving down tree lined Monaco to get to Stapleton. I loved that street and those houses. I dreamed I’d live in one someday. (I don’t)

    My dad still gets TCBY at DIA every time we go to the airport. Ah, airport traditions!

    Next time you are there, check out the historical display of Denver airports going into the A terminal. My kid loved it when we were there yesterday.

    Like

    1. Awesome! I used to live in Commerce City near Monaco but now I’m closer to the mountains. The only tradition I have at DIA anymore is getting chips and salsa for the plane ride from a little Mexican restaurant. I think it’s in Concourse A. I will definitely keep an eye out for the airport display. The last time I walked through there I believe it was Native American artifacts and beautiful pipe music playing. Nice to be able to talk to a fellow Coloradoan. Isn’t it crazy to see how much the Stapleton area has changed?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll have to take your word for it….it seems that every time we land there it’s a sprint to make the next plane and of course it’s at the very other end of the terminal! It would be nice to take a stroll through it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like me at the Miami airport!

      Like

  3. And here I was, thinking I and my kids were the only one’s with that love for airport runs 🙂 whether to pick up, drop off or to catch a flight, we get all excited and compare airports.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s just something special about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Call me old-fashioned, but I love rail stations. One of my happiest memories is of being in the station in Rome and watching the departure boards displaying the names of all the European cities the trains would be passing through.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I would like rail stations too. I’ve only ever been to Union Station in Denver (which has just been re- done) and Central Station in New York.

      Like

      1. Is Central Station the same as Grand Central Station? I was there many years ago. The things is, being in New Zealand I have to do long haul flights to get to a lot of places, so once there I prefer to travel by land. I’ve noticed Kiwis and North Americans have a different attitude to travel. I think a road trip of 400 miles is long – my American rellies (relatives) say it’s nothing. They think a 12 hour flight is long – I say, that’s nothing, wait till you’ve done about 26 hours to get to Europe!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yep, it’s the same place. How funny, I do think a 400 mile trip isn’t that long! The longest plane ride I have ever made was to Ireland from Colorado and it kind of drove me crazy!

        Like

    2. I think I would like rail stations too. So far I have only seen Union Station in Denver and Central Station in New York. Central Station was majestic.

      Like

  5. I think the Orlando airport is the most efficient and easy to navigate. The Nairobi airport wouldn’t be at the top of the ‘best airport’ list, but you can find your way around, just not your luggage!

    Like

    1. Ouch. I have been lucky enough not to lose any luggage yet. Darn it, I probably just jinxed myself!

      Like

  6. So fun to meet a “fellow traveler” 🙂 (Although I have been stuck spending the night at DIA more times than I would like.)

    Like

    1. I haven’t had the privilege of staying the night at DIA. I’m pretty okay with that!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Travelers coming and going, exiles from some place.

    Like

    1. …and I love it! 🙂

      Like

  8. Aweee, I do remember this airport, and it is HUGE!! This airport also reminds me of Detroit Airport, which is long and wide from one end to the other … Glad our shenanigans bring back some fond memories to you. Let’s see which airport we all should hit next!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, I love Disney World, so I guess Orlando Airport is up next…

      Liked by 1 person

    2. SFO because the city was not far away….

      Like

      1. San Francisco? I almost had a heart attack landing there. I can’t believe how close the ocean the planes get!

        Like

      2. I miss San Francisco, my home town …

        Liked by 1 person

    3. I have not been to Detroit, ever. I would like to see it someday. I also like the Lihue Airport in Kauai because it’s small and you can smell the flowers like crazy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aha … A good excuse to hit Hawaii!!

        Like

      2. Just one of many excuses to get to Hawaii…

        Liked by 1 person

Please feel free to comment. I would love to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s