I'm discussing airports tonight. I had to pick my mom up at Washington National tonight and she was incredibly late getting in, so I got to walk around and shop. I like the new portion of that airport, it reminds me of a train station with coffered ceilings, but with a modern twist, since it's all steel beams and glass. They've got lots of good stores too. National Geographic, Borders, Crabtree and Evelyn, Brooks Brothers, not to mention Cinnabon! They also had this cool stationary and small gifty things store, Poetry and Prose? I think that's what it was called. That was a dangerous store, so many cool journals and cards and random things that I live to waste money on. I bought this little $1 book of Travel quotes, it was great. I'd share some, but it's downstairs and I'm too comfortable to go get it. I also got this mini art kit, with one of those wood poseable mannequin/dolls/drawing aids, a pencil, paintbrush, paper, and mini water colors. And finally, my last minute impulse buy (and when I say last minute, I mean it, he was closing the store gate after me) was a mobile with little clips for pictures. It's probably good that the stores all closed, I might have bought more. I used to have this BRIGHT yellow National Geographic messenger bag that I bought at that airport. I used it throughout high school and it's disappeared subsequently. Overall though, I like National. It's so small and cute and efficient.
I really miss the Orlando airport. It's cute little future-y tram (copying the one out at Disney?) between the main terminal and the two gate concourses. Plus I like the hotel that's inside the airport. It has these weird balconies that remind me of a beehive for some reason. They have a really nice christmas tree every year as well. And out in the parking garages, they have these little oases with waterfalls and pools that are totally useless but really pretty. Random side note, Thursday afternoon is a really good time to fly in and out of Orlando, there's hardly anyone ever there.
The Airport I hate with a freaking passion is Dallas-Ft. Worth because it is 8 miles long and invariably you come in on the exact opposite side of where you need to make your connection and you have to haul ass through all of humanity across that distance in basically 6 minutes, forget your bag ever making the connection as well. One time I hailed one of those kamikaze cart drivers to transport me across... I feared for my life the entire time and I'll risk missing the connection from now on unless some enterprising soul sets up a stand for motorcycle helmets and protective gear for the cart rides. The one good thing I can say about Dallas is one time when I could actually make my connection with spare time, I ran across an old acquaintance from high school (oh alright, I had a massive crush on him and he was incredibly hot). He was passing through on break from the Air Force Academy and we had a nice little chat. That shouldn't really count though as a good thing about Dallas, that's more a compliment for fate or something.
I'm not a fan of the New York airports either, JFK or La Guardia. La Guardia feels like a time warp trip back to the 70's. Not to mention they're a bitch to get to on time from anywhere in Manhattan.
Atlanta is one that I've spent considerable time in, and sadly enough I can tell you where most of the good stores and food places are... like specifically what concourse... example: Ben and Jerry's on concourse C, best dessert in the airport. I really like the subway thing too. I used to despise all the different terminals, but now since I'm more familiar with it, it doesn't bother me. Plus, hide and seek in the airport is way fun since it's so extensive. Another fun game while waiting for your flight is to ride the subway all the way around its circuit. When it goes around the bend part, don't hold on to anything, see how good your balance and subway surfing skills are.
As for international airports, I really loved the Singapore airport. It was so clean and airy and bright and you could outfit an entire IT company with the massive stock of electronic equipment available for sale there.
Charles de Gaulle in Paris blows a big one. It's smoky and convoluted with no signage and no one willing to offer directions (even if asked in French). Good coffee though.
you saw CRUSTACEANS at the dallas airport!? that actually sounds like a familiar story. oh memory.
my favorite airport is still ontario international in san bernardino. it is the very definition of no-frills. you'd have to walk outside and up one of those moveable staircases for every flight. and it was INTERNATIONAL! that still blows my mind.
i'm with you on the national-love (THANK YOU for not saying the r-word). i think dulles is the best d.c. airport in terms of outward aesthetics, but it is seriously lacking on the inside. i recall once hanging out with you at national before a flight and it was lovely. i think you were going to see noelle?