I'm in the midst of planning my trip to Dallas for the Nationals in May. I honestly loath flying. I cant stand it. No matter how much preparation I put into getting mentally ready for the flight something always goes wrong. The airplane GODS don't like me. Trip #1. I was 16 years old and I was plain ole SCARED. I could not figure out how in the hell a huge *** airplane was going to lift off the earth and take flight. I was too young to drink so I sat there praying all the way from Tulsa to Seattle. When I landed I swore I'd never EVER fly again. Trip #2. The thought of flying into Reno Nevada was not that scary to me since I felt it was a safe flight. Short and to the point. But no one warned me that there would be turbulance so powerful that it felt like a giant basketball player was using the plane for a ball. I was told it has something to do with the mountains. I remember on this particular trip I was sitting with my father and childhood friend Donelle. Every time the plane hit a bump I'd grab hold of their arms with such force that they both had bruises when we landed. The flight home from Reno was no better. I requested that everyone in my area close their windows so that I didn't hve to see outside of the plane. The plane never reached the correct altitude and our cabin pressure was off. So everyone on the plane was sick and doubled over. The stewardess' were strapped in, one was even strapped in to the back of the plane in some contraption. I think I kissed the ground in Seattle when we landed. Trip #7 My best friend and I decided to go to Mardi Gras and stay in New Orleans for 11 days. I was fine with flying up until a month prior to the date of departure. I started having nightmares. I would watch planes flying by my house like it was the first time I'd ever witnessed it. I was scanning the news hoping there were no reports of planes crashing. Then it happened. Alaska airlines crashed. I was to fly out in 3 weeks. I was petrified. But my best friend is 3 years younger than I am and although she knew I had a fear of flying I told her I was cool, so the day of the flight I acted really calm. We arrived at the airport 2 hours early, checked in, and then found a bar close to our gate to have some drinks. I was actually feeling pretty calm and figured for the first time ever...I'd be happy to fly. Then we heard the call for our flight so we paid the tab and went to the gate. Do you know these fools told us that the door seal was broke and that they would have to fix it before we could take off?? I was like...how in the hell are you going to test drive the plane first to make sure everything is OKAY before our flight? I went in panic mode. My HIGH from my drinks WAS gone. I was ready to go back home but just then I heard the magic words... EVERYONE WHO IS TRANSFERRING PLANES IN HOUSTON WILL BE TAKING UNITED AIR INSTEAD SO THAT YOU WILL NOT MISS YOUR CONNECTION. I was saved!! But I could not get my high back in time to take off. That was the longest flight of my life. Trip #9. May 2003. I had to fly to Fort Lauderdale for our annual convention and Bowling Nationals. I have to tell you that this is the flight that convinced me that I am not meant to FLY ever! Seattle to Houston was pretty uneventful. I booked United which has a good track record for NO CRASHES and felt pretty safe on the flight. This time my boss gave me two valium which was supposed to put me to sleep. I was supposed to take one going to Florida, and one coming back to Seattle. But I forgot to take it in Seattle so didn't feel a need to do so once we were in the air. My cousin was flying with me and we had a few glasses of wine which relaxed me. The flight from Houston to Ft. Lauderdale was nothing nice. The first 2 hours was smooth sailing and I was very pleased and relaxed. My cousin was sleep and I was reading a novel by E.Lynn Harris. Then all of a sudden this little 12 year old girl in front of me starts screaming. She yells to the stewardess that there is fire coming out of the engine. My heart starts racing and I think I'm going to have a stroke. I stand up just as the stewardess comes over to look out the window...the stewardess even looks alarmed. But she tells the little brat that there is no fire coming out of the engine. My cousin has no sense and can get very LOUD. She starts telling the girl's mother to shut the little "b" up or spank that *** as the girl is putting everyone on the plane in panic mode. Things finally calm for a bit. Then the captain says we are 20 minutes from landing in Ft Lauderdale. Well if you think landing in Nevada is bad, landing in FLORIDA is WORSE. That plane bounced the whole way down. I kept looking out the window seeing nothing but CLOUDS...I was really stressing because I just didn't see the GROUND yet although we'd been in descent past the 20 minute mark. I seriously started sweating. I told my cousin that there must be a problem. I questioned why it was that we were not getting close to the ground yet. When the captain says we're descending in SEATTLE, you can practically see my house from the plane. I was going crazy. It took 45 minutes total from the time the captain made the announcement until we actually landed!! At that time I thought it might be a good idea if we got a rental car to go BACK home, since I couldn't see how I'd ever get back to Seattle. The return trip was no better. Florida to Houston was cool. But Houston was having bad thunderstorms and stupid ME...I thought there is no way we're taking off in all that lightning...BUT we did. Now...forgive me people....but the little white boy across from me is excited. he keeps saying....OOOOH, DID YOU SEE HOW CLOSE THAT LIGHTNING BOLT WAS TO THE WING?!?!?! I'm like WTF?? I look in my wallet and take BOTH valium pills with two glasses of wine...said a prayer and went to sleep. Didn't wake up until we landed in Seattle. So needless to say I HATE flying. I've flown my 9 or 10 times and have never enjoyed the experience. So I guess I answered my own dilemna...I better rent a car for my trip to Dallas in May...flying is just not an option.