So, what did you do yesterday? I spent a good portion of my afternoon at LAX in Los Angeles, waiting for a plane to arrive. I know Whatever readers like photographs, so I shot a few for you while I waited. (Pro tip: all photos can be clicked to see a gigantified version in my Flickr stream.)
An unusual part of my airport adventure was that I was actually waiting on the runway, at the far end of the airport from the main terminals. For most of the day my view looked like this:
A pretty dull view, made even less attractive by the marine layer that has been plaguing Los Angeles for a month. It’s rolling in from the beach, about 1/2 mile from the left side of the frame above.
Activity eventually began to pick up and about 30 minutes before the plane I was waiting for arrived, three large Marine helicopters landed and staged off to the right behind the building.
In addition to the large transport helicopters, two smaller passenger helicopters arrived, as well.
Here’s something that never seems to happen when I’m on a plane. The flight I waited for arrived 40 minutes early and headed directly for its gate, no runway delays.
If you haven’t guessed yet which flight & passenger I was waiting for, click past the jump for more photos. Heck, even if you have guessed, click for pics…Did you guess? The plane that I was waiting for was perhaps the most famous 747 in America, Air Force One.
The pilot did me the courtesy of parking about 50′ away, directly in front of me.
It always looks like there is just one passenger on that giant plane. The secret is, he’s the only one who uses the front door, but about 75 people spill out the back.
I was hoping that the President would approach for a few questions, but at the bottom of the stairs he hooked a quick right and headed for his waiting helicopter, Marine One. I knew I only had time for one question.
“Mr. President,” I shouted. “Cake or pie? It’s too loud to hear your answer out here, so if it’s cake, just give me a wave.”
Having stated his support for cake, President Obama boarded Marine One…
…and headed out for an evening on the town in L.A.
Total time the President Obama was on the ground: about 10 minutes. Still, a pretty exciting afternoon. One doesn’t often get that close to the President of the United States, and literally stand under the wing of Air Force One. 747s are a lot more impressive when you’re on the ground and they’re towering over you; particularly this one. It was nice to get a definitive declaration on that whole cake/pie issue, as well.
Of course, you know there had to be the obligatory snapshot with the plane, right?