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And the Winner Is...

Explorer B
I've always enjoyed watching the Academy Awards on TV, and have even been known to plan my schedule around them. The clothes! The tears! The speeches! The drama! Everyone has their favorites -- Hollywood legends and legends in the making gathered in one place for their annual celebration of excellence in film. The only thing that gets more buildup and hype and covers more time on the calendar than awards season is a national political campaign. So here I am, after weeks and months of exposure to the coverage on the nomination announcements, interviews and feature stories -- I've even managed to see some (not quite all) of the nominated performances and movies -- and this year I'm going to miss the live broadcast. The night of the Oscars, I'll be out of town. The very special distinction of this particular trip, and about the only reason I'd miss the show, is that for the first time in nearly 40 years I'll be vacationing with my Dad and my four siblings. All of us together again, not in the back of the Ford Country Squire station wagon of our youth, but on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. The clothes! The tears! The speeches! The drama! I hesitate to tell them that they're all equal beneficiaries of my Southwest savings plans. Let's just say that I plan to keep a respectable distance from the railing. Seriously, I'm looking forward to this trip, for which we've spent the last 13 months preparing. Nothing beats time with my family. And having the freedom to travel is just one of the many benefits I enjoy at Southwest. As Spring Break season approaches and more families come to the airport to set off on their vacations, I hope that all of them are excited about their trips together; to hearing their Dads tell the same stories one more time, and to having new stories to tell. Just as long as no one tells me who the big winners were at the Oscars before I watch the tape!