I can't think of many things worse than a cross-country, red-eye flight that gets in at 5am. In order of crappiness, I rank Continental's SFO-Houston flight first, and AA's SFO-Miami flight second. Both of these flights get in between 4am and 5am, and with a 3-hour time difference, it makes me feel like it's merely 1 or 2am, which is normally before my bedtime. So here I am in Miami, and my computer clock is telling me that it's 2:33am. I still have 5 hours to wait before I board the 50-minute puddle-jumper to Freeport. I was upgraded to first class for the leg I just flew, and as always, it confused me. I'm am pretty much always in cattle class, and when I get to sit up front I am often not sure what to do: during a 5-hour red-eye, do I sleep, or do I stay up to eat?? I feel like I should eat to get the most "value" out of the flight. But how much is a good nap worth? Ahh, decisions.

Despite the crappiness of such itineraries, early mornings on aircrafts have presented me with some of the most beautiful images I've ever encountered.

I woke up midway through our descent into Miami. The plane was in the middle of a slight bank to the right, and when I opened my eyes, the oval window presented only blackness, with only the the slightest suggestion of movement from a dark texture I couldn't quite see. A pale cream sickle moon wandered into the frame from the right with an impossible smoothness, an illuminated arc created by the slow yawing of a large object. Barely high enough in the sky to suggest a celestial origin, she cast a shimmering pathway upon the water below -- inviting, but impossible to follow.