People Watching

Sometimes I wish that it was socially acceptable to just walk up to a stranger and ask what their story is. “Hello sir. You look like an interesting human being and we’re stuck in this airport for a while. Would you mind telling me where you’re from and a little about your life philosophy?”

Since I wasn’t brave enough to do that, I’ll have to settle for making up my own tale. But really, friends – doesn’t he look like he’s been on some adventures?

Travel Delays and Making Do

Summer vacation plans are underway, causing some reminiscing about last year’s summer vacation. Being human, my brain goes straight to the negative – like the day I spent stranded in the Rapid City, South Dakota Airport because Chicago’s weather was screwing up air travel everywhere.

I found a corner with a comfy couch and an electrical outlet. From this vantage point, I could keep my phone charged while watching people without their notice.

This airport is small but has friendly staff and everything you need including a couple of restaurants. If you’re there, go through security to get to the better of the two. I did not know this and ended up eating a questionable veggie wrap with chips.

The wrap wasn’t great but I had a nice view of the rooftop garden so that made it better.

Plus there was this nice patriotic display, marking the place of American Prisoners of War and Missing In Action soldiers.

And there was this, especially poignant because my vacation pal has a daughter who is Air Force.

Yes, I did take one and yes, I still have it.

The airport also has a few pieces of nice art including this photographic exhibit dedicated to the construction of Mt Rushmore.

Life is what you make of it. The day long delay was unpleasant but it resulted in my being redirected from a layover at O’Hare where I didn’t want to be in the first place to Denver which I didn’t mind at all.

I got back to Columbus late but that gave me an excuse to spend the night with my aunt and cousin and to meet their cats.

All that free time at the airport provided opportunity to go through pictures on my camera and phone and to relax a bit before coming home.

And I tend to believe that when travel plans don’t go as planned, it’s the Universe plotting to keep me alive.

May this be a year of safe travels for us all!

Confessions of a People Watcher

Hi, my name is Brandi and I’m a people watcher.

I’m not always good at engaging with people I know but I love to sit back and watch strangers. Festivals and other public events are especially ripe for observing other humans in action and the hot air balloon festival I attended this summer didn’t disappoint.

Here are a few random observations from this day.

Few people bother to carry around cameras these days but those who do always have nice cameras and are pretty intense about what they’re doing. I rely on my phone for walking around pictures and sometimes for photos when there’s weird light because my technique isn’t so great. Taking out my dslr is a real treat. Check out this fellow working with his camera!

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Modern fashion often leaves ladies with interesting tan lines. Strappy tops, keyholes and cold shoulder tops probably shouldn’t be worn in harsh sun unless you’re hoping for interesting patterns on your skin. I saw this girl later and she was starting to burn so she probably ending up with a criss crossy tan!

But if she’s happy, I’m happy! And it wasn’t just her. I saw several women with a similar top. Maybe I’m just behind in the times and it’s a thing! I may need one of my younger, cooler friends to weigh in on this matter.

Marysville Hot Air Ballon Festival 2019 (1)

Men are taking a much more hands on approach to parenting than ever before. I’ve been noticing more and more men taking responsibility for feeding and taking care of their kids, even when mom is close by.

At this event, there were a ton of men who appeared to be alone with their kids – whether they’re single dads or just taking their kids out for the day, I couldn’t tell you but it was refreshing to see. It’s especially nice to see guys wiping a wee child’s dirty hands without looking to his wife for help. Nice job fellas!!

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On a related note, that last photo illustrates part of the reason why I love being in and near cities. Coming from a rural area, almost everyone looks like me. Pale. We’re pale. And it feels like the bulk of the people here all think alike, worship the same and well, you get the idea.

Get closer to one of Ohio’s cities (or even just go to a college town like nearby Athens) and you’ll find people of all nationalities. You hear lots of accents and languages and see different styles of dress. This makes my heart happy and it was thrilling to find so much diversity at this event. 

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People are way too wrapped up in their technology and other distractions. We already know this but I was surprised how many people were talking, texting and taking selfies – too distracted to notice the hot air balloons. The balloons were available for viewing for about a minute after we had all waited for hours to see them so I hate to think about how many folks missed the excitement.

It’s like we’re so hypnotized by the little machines in our pockets that we’ve completely lost interest in what’s actually happening in real life and all around us.

Note: in the picture above – I don’t think there was a balloon in their background. Just a picture of a cute couple.

Marysville Hot Air Ballon Festival 2019 (159)Finally, these little girls appeared to be strangers but that didn’t stop them from dancing and having a good time together. Kids know. They know that it’s a good idea to be nice to others – even if they’re not exactly like us!

People watching is the best. Are you a people watcher? What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen lately? I love a good story!