Category: Travel Essays



It  been over two months since I had the second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

So I am presumably as protected as possible at the present time from getting infected, seriously ill, hospitalized or dying due to the novel coronavirus.

On Friday, April 2, 2021, the Washington Post reported that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (better known as the CDC) announced that fully vaccinated persons could resume travel within the U.S.

“without getting a coronavirus test or self-quarantining, provided they follow the other recommended public health measures, such as wearing masks on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation.”

The newspaper also reported that the CDC had decided that

“For international travel, fully vaccinated people do not need to be tested before their trips unless it is required by the destination, the guidance says. For their return to the United States, fully vaccinated people should get tested and have a negative result before they board an international flight back to the United States.”

The last overnight out-of-town trip I took was in January of 2020, before the pandemic began its deadly spread across the U.S., when I went to Coos Bay to see one of my films screened at the historic Egyptian Theatre during the Oregon Coast Film Festival.

During the past fifteen months the farthest away from home I’ve ventured is about 10 miles east to get pizza-to-go once a month and once 10 miles south down I-5 for an outdoor lunch last summer at a bakery favored by “locals.”

So you’ve think like other Americans suffering from long-term “cabin fever” I would planning at least a short “getaway” trip by car or a farther-away-from-home trip by air and be busy booking lodging and flights.

But I’m not. I’m staying put. At least for the moment.

Here’s why.

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9/11 Remembered: The Year of Flying Dangerously (Part 4)

9/11 Remembered: The Year of Flying Dangerously (Part 4)

“9/11 Remembered: The Year of Flying Dangerously” (Part 4)

(The third installment of Dick Jordan’s recollections of the events of September 11, 2001 appeared yesterday. The story concludes today.)

 Unhappy Travels

A month after returning from Europe we were in the air again, this time flying from San Francisco to Newark where we picked up a rental car and drove northwestward into Pennsylvania. In mid-summer my wife had gone back to upstate New York to help her 94 year old ailing aunt move into an assisted living facility located across the Delaware River just a few miles south of her home. Now we were coming to help her celebrate her 95th birthday.

(Wikipedia Commons Photo)

The health of my wife’s aunt had declined since August. She was hospitalized when we arrived, then moved to a nursing home. We bought a cake and some gifts and held a bed-side birthday party for her.

We stopped at the nursing home the following morning to pay her one last visit before driving on to the Newark airport for the trip home. But she had died sometime during the night, so we rescheduled our flight to later in the week in order to attend the funeral.

As it turned out, we might not have made it home that day, anyway. Earlier in the morning American Airlines Flight 587 crashed in Queens shortly after takeoff from JFK. Flight operations at Newark were temporarily suspended due to concerns that the plane might have been brought down by a terrorist attack.

(NOAA Photo)

Less than a month later I received a phone call from my stepfather’s brother. My stepfather had suffered a severe stroke. I flew to Seattle the following day, stayed with him until he passed away at the end of the week, and set about making the funeral arrangements. My wife arrived from California, we buried my stepfather, then flew home just before Christmas.

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9/11 Remembered: The Year of Flying Dangerously (Part 3)

9/11 Remembered: The Year of Flying Dangerously (Part 3)

“9/11 Remembered: The Year of Flying Dangerously” (Part 3)

(The second installment of Dick Jordan’s recollections of the events of September 11, 2001 appeared yesterday. The story continues today).

Arrival in Italy, At Last!

The weather had been good for flying and only a few puffy clouds floated in the skies ahead of us. We crossed the still snow-clad upper reaches of the Alps, then began our descent towards Milan.

(Wikipedia Commons Photo)

I could see rectangular patches of farmland below us.

Somewhere to the south the Po River must have been coursing its way toward the Adriatic.

The pilot banked the plane as we turned onto the final approach. Flaps were extended. Wheels were deployed.

(Wikipedia Commons Photo)

The noise of air passing by the fuselage increased.


The passengers broke out into spontaneous applause; Italians glad to be home, foreign tourists cheering the real beginning of their vacation trip. I was about 2:30 pm, Milan time.

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