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Greetings from the USA! I'm reminded that today is the four year anniversary of my blog. On 27 August 2012, I published my very first story about my love for flight. There are a lot of words, emotions and thoughts. This is the only way I know how to write - in an expressive sense. I understand it's annoying to some, but I'm not the type of person who can ever accept the answer "just because" to any question posed, and I don't like people who can't articulate why they feel or believe a certain way. "Just because" - it's never an acceptable response in any situation, not even love in my view.

We must think about our choices in life, and understand why we are taking certain actions. This is not always easy or comfortable. It takes effort, self-reflection, and other scary sensations that most people fear, or are too lazy to battle. It's always simpler, after all, to just go with the flow. We are all a work in progress, constantly evolving, at least I believe this to be the case if you are truly living, and not merely existing.

I wish to thank all the readers who have stuck by me for four years. Many have come and gone, some of you I have had the pleasure of meeting in person, however most I know only virtually. Yet there is some sense of connection and recognition after sharing thoughts, views and opinions with you all these years.

I'm sorry I haven't written recently, there has been no motivation. I just returned from a wonderful adventure in Alberta, Canada and Montana, and in about a month will finally embark on my big expedition to the country of Georgia.

I wish you all a pleasant weekend! And thanks again for your support, loyalty, humor and always challenging me - on multiple levels! :)

Originally posted by peacetraveler22 at Gravelly Point Park Arlington, Virginia
Gravelly Point 066

Since childhood I've been fascinated by airplanes. Not in a mechanical or engineering sense, but for the possibility of exploration and human observation. To me airplanes represent freedom, innovation and emotion. On any given flight every human emotion is present. People anxious and excited to see loved ones, meet an important client, close a business deal or arrive at some exotic locale. Conversely, there are sad people leaving family or loved ones, tired business travelers and rude, grouchy people. If you look closely it is sometimes easy to see into which category a particular passenger falls.

There is an interesting and unique park called "Gravelly Point," which is located off the George Washington Parkway in Arlington, Virginia. The park is not accessible by metro and I doubt many foreign visitors even know of its existence. However, it is worth a visit because there is probably nowhere else in the United States where you can be so close to an airplane in flight. The park sits only a few hundred feet away from a runway at Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC, and even in the post-September 11 world it is completely accessible to the public.

I frequently visit the park and at all times there are people waiting to view the planes.

Gravelly Point 113

Now on to the main attraction. The runway in front of the park is both for landing and taking off, depending on the direction of the winds. Of all the times I've been here I've only seen planes land. As you can see, standing on the ground the belly of the plane is about one hundred feet above you. You feel the roar and power of the engines and the ground vibrates as the plane flies directly overhead.

DSC_0061


Gravelly Point 120

Gravelly Point 152

Here you can see how close park visitors get to the runway at Reagan National.

Gravelly Point 154

The main draw of the park is planespotting. However, on weekends people play sports such as soccer, softball and lacrosse. Very nice scenery with the Washington Monument and other DC landmarks in the background.

Gravelly Point 054

The Mount Vernon Trail, a very popular cycling, running and walking trail, also runs directly through the park. Always there will be people riding bikes and families walking or having picnics, etc.

Gravelly Point 067

Gravelly Point 096

When I'm anxious or stressed I bring a blanket to the park, sit on a bank or rock ledge and admire the beautiful scenery. On this particular day the sky was fantastic with a mix of both white, fluffy clouds and gray, ominous ones. A very dramatic and peaceful landscape. Of course I got caught in a torrential rain running back to my car but it was worth it!!

Gravelly Point 074

If you are ever in the DC area please take time to visit this park. You can Google it by name and find images much more stunning than my photographs. The park is open at night and a very romantic date spot in my opinion. Bring a blanket, some wine or other beverage, and simply marvel as the lights of the planes approach and fly directly over you in the night sky.

DSC_0007 - Copy - Copy

Safe journeys forward!

Comments

( 78 comments — Leave a comment )
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reon
Aug. 27th, 2016 05:47 pm (UTC)

Congratulations! You have fine blog!

peacetraveler22
Aug. 27th, 2016 05:57 pm (UTC)
Hello! Thank you. :)
rider3099
Aug. 27th, 2016 05:50 pm (UTC)
  Congrats ! I love your blog!
peacetraveler22
Aug. 27th, 2016 05:58 pm (UTC)
Hi Olga! It seems I lack creative inspiration recently, but hopefully my motivation to write again will return. :) Btw, I recommend that you visit Alberta, Canada! It is really one of the most majestic and beautiful places I've ever seen!

Edited at 2016-08-27 05:59 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - rider3099 - Aug. 27th, 2016 06:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
theodorexxx
Aug. 27th, 2016 06:00 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to see you! Did you leave your job ? In a week you will be "a new English teacher", won't you?
peacetraveler22
Aug. 27th, 2016 06:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :) The way forward with Georgia is still uncertain. I was offered the position, yet decided against it until I visit the country in October to see whether I like it, and am willing to live there for a year, so far away from family. But, the offer remains open. They need teachers, as I don't think many Americans know about this program, or perhaps they still view Georgia as some type of shithole, not sure. :) The people in charge of the program in Tbilisi will work to accept me for a teaching position during the winter term, if I so desire.
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Aug. 27th, 2016 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 27th, 2016 06:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Aug. 27th, 2016 06:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 27th, 2016 06:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Aug. 27th, 2016 06:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 27th, 2016 06:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Aug. 27th, 2016 06:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 27th, 2016 06:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Aug. 27th, 2016 06:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 27th, 2016 06:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Aug. 27th, 2016 06:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 27th, 2016 06:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Aug. 27th, 2016 06:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 27th, 2016 06:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Aug. 27th, 2016 06:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 27th, 2016 06:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Aug. 27th, 2016 07:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 27th, 2016 07:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Aug. 27th, 2016 07:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
nar_row
Aug. 27th, 2016 07:01 pm (UTC)
Four years... I'll be damned. :)
peacetraveler22
Aug. 27th, 2016 07:02 pm (UTC)
Yeah! Time flies when you're having fun! This is a common English expression, do you know it?
(no subject) - nar_row - Aug. 27th, 2016 07:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 27th, 2016 07:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nar_row - Aug. 27th, 2016 07:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Aug. 27th, 2016 08:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
tori_latvia
Aug. 27th, 2016 07:13 pm (UTC)
Congratulations, Shannon! :) I like your travelling stories very much.
peacetraveler22
Aug. 27th, 2016 07:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I hope you're doing well and having a nice summer! :)
zhang_fei
Aug. 27th, 2016 07:43 pm (UTC)
Don't run away to Georgia, you can still make America great again, just elect the right person. Trump 2016!

Edited at 2016-08-27 07:44 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Aug. 27th, 2016 07:45 pm (UTC)
I can't live without your wit and humor! It provides motivation to start writing in the blog again. :))
(no subject) - zhang_fei - Aug. 27th, 2016 08:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 27th, 2016 08:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
nkhaba
Aug. 27th, 2016 08:02 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on the 4th anniversary! Hope there will be many more interesting and thought provoking posts to come.

Btw, regarding the 2016 elections mentioned in the comment above - if you go to Georgia to work will you be able to vote there?
peacetraveler22
Aug. 27th, 2016 08:05 pm (UTC)
If I decide to work in Georgia, it will not be until after January, or next summer. :) So, I will be in the USA for the elections, and there will be no problems with voting. However, I'm almost certain a vote can be mailed in, or processed, no matter where an American is on election day. But not sure of how to do it, as I've never been faced with this dilemma. Thanks for the congrats! :)
(no subject) - nkhaba - Aug. 27th, 2016 08:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 27th, 2016 08:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nkhaba - Aug. 27th, 2016 08:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 27th, 2016 08:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nkhaba - Aug. 27th, 2016 10:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
alexis_nature
Aug. 27th, 2016 08:05 pm (UTC)
Congratulations! I read your blog. I´m a Russian. I am interested to know about the US and Аmericans from themselves.

Do you like airplanes. You're not afraid to fly them? I mean, all of a sudden accident happens.

Sorry for my bad Еnglish. I studied in the Soviet school. Then the quality of education was poor. :-(

Edited at 2016-08-27 08:07 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Aug. 27th, 2016 08:09 pm (UTC)
Hello! Your English is not bad. :) I'm not scared of having an accident in an airplane. Statistically, it is much more dangerous to get in my car and drive in rush hour traffic to work each day. There is a greater probability of death in this case, yet people still drive every day, and don't think much about it. I think the main issue for people who are scared to fly is that they feel they lack "control", which is true to a certain extent. Our faith is placed in the pilots who fly the plane, and get us from Point A to Point B. :) But the same is true with driving, or walking. Our faith and trust is placed in other humans to obey traffic rules, and drive with care, so we survive in our shared spaces such as roads, sidewalks and zebras. :))

Edited at 2016-08-27 08:10 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - alexis_nature - Aug. 27th, 2016 08:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Aug. 27th, 2016 08:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
qi_tronic
Aug. 27th, 2016 08:18 pm (UTC)
Like! ... where are my Facebook buttons of convenience? :)
peacetraveler22
Aug. 27th, 2016 08:21 pm (UTC)
:)) Yeah, FB is good, but this format is better for a lot of pictures and text. I just wish that the overall intelligence level and themes promoted on LJ would shift away from all the banal and yellow topics. It's depressing, esp. for a female writer, to see what draws the attention, focus and discussion of the masses. It definitely was not that way when I first started writing here.
elena_88888
Aug. 27th, 2016 08:21 pm (UTC)
Hah! Congratulations!
Waiting for the next six years for the round anniversary :))
peacetraveler22
Aug. 27th, 2016 08:23 pm (UTC)
Omg! By then, I will be almost 50 years old! Scary. :))
(no subject) - elena_88888 - Aug. 27th, 2016 08:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
alexanderr
Aug. 27th, 2016 08:28 pm (UTC)
greetings from the golden US of A!!

and congrats on 4 years!

I always enjoy reading your posts, great fun

I used to visit DC every April, for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, it starts and finishes near the Washington Monument

question: why do you think Washington Monument is so abstract? Should it be more like a man on a horse,
or something? He was a general, after all
peacetraveler22
Aug. 27th, 2016 08:38 pm (UTC)
Cherry Blossom time is the best time to be in DC! It's really beautiful, not too hot, and the smells are intoxicating. The bad part is all the crowds, but this is the price you pay for living in a nice, green and pleasant city. :) About the Washington Monument, well I must say it's one of the most phallic images to me. I drive by it every day on my way to work, and used to stare at it directly from my bed in my old apartment. Somehow very distracting! :)) I don't know the rationale behind the design...
pani_yulya
Aug. 27th, 2016 08:33 pm (UTC)
Congratulations! I'm Yulia B-va from FB))) I don't know why I haven't commented here before))
peacetraveler22
Aug. 27th, 2016 08:39 pm (UTC)
Hi Yulia! :) I like your FB posts, photos and thoughts! I'm happy an intelligent woman like you reads my blog!
e_g_o_r_i_u_s
Aug. 27th, 2016 08:34 pm (UTC)
Shaaannon :) You are a honest, very curious and observant personality, and this is what makes your blog interesting to me.

...I personally enjoy flying very much. I'm going to visit Latvia and Lithuania soon and I've discovered that Air Baltic flies between Riga and Vilnius using turboprops - and this is exactly what I always wanted to try: a smaller aircraft with lower speed and altitute which is presumably tossed with air flows more intensive than bigger jets :) Interesting! I immediately booked a ticket to this attraction.

Shannon, I've got a question unrelated to your today's topic. It is well-known that the USA is a quite religious country and for example an atheist cannot be elected president these days. What do you think about this last fact? Is it... "right" so to say or you are indifferent to it or think it is something that needs to be changed? Can one notice discrimination of atheists in any other sphere? Have you personally been discriminated on any occasion for being a non-believer?
peacetraveler22
Aug. 28th, 2016 05:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, the turboprops are definitely a unique adventure! It sometimes feels like a roller coaster, and they aren't meant for those who are scared of flight. Much less stable ride, and it's a bit claustrophobic in such a tiny space. I hope you enjoy the journey! :)

All polls indicate that the majority of Americans still identify as "Christian." I've never felt any discrimination for being a non-believer, in any context. I try to surround myself with tolerant and open-minded people. In the event people grow hysterical due to divergent viewpoints, I often distance myself. Life is too short to mess with such humans, as they aggravate your nerves and harmony. :)) This is not to say that I don't have friends, and even family members, who are much more conservative than me. I have plenty of them, yet they are still rational and this is the key difference. I'm not sure if an atheist could ever be elected President of the USA in the near future...it would be interesting to have one run for candidacy to see the outcome and public reaction.

Thanks for your kinds words about my blog, and my personality! Have a nice evening. :)
allanyan
Aug. 27th, 2016 08:35 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on the anniversary! Good luck and good flights!
peacetraveler22
Aug. 28th, 2016 05:19 pm (UTC)
Another flight is only about a month away! It's always good to have something to look forward to, right? :)
dorli87
Aug. 28th, 2016 04:25 am (UTC)
Congratulations! I like your blog very much. Thank you for your work.
peacetraveler22
Aug. 28th, 2016 05:18 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! It is nice to hear that people enjoy my stories!

Edited at 2016-08-28 05:19 pm (UTC)
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