Courting someone who lives 3,000 miles away is no small proposition, even for someone like John Travolta.
Travolta - who revitalized his career with "Look Who's Talking" and its sequel, lives in Daytona, Fla. His fiancee, actress Kelly Preston, lives in Los Angeles.Fortunately, Travolta keeps a Lear Jet-24 in his back yard.
When John wants to see Kelly, he hops into the sleek jet and flies to his love in four hours. Some dates take longer to get to on the Hollywood Freeway.
The long-distance courtship is necessary because Travolta loves having his plane only 15 feet from his back door and because Preston is enjoying a career in movies.
John lived for years in Santa Barbara, an hour or so up the coast from Los Angeles, commuting to Hollywood to make an occasional movie. The rest of the time he spent flying planes.
For years he dreamed of having an aircraft in his back yard. But there were no such real estate arrangements in California.
"For five years I contemplated moving to Florida, where it's possible to keep your plane nearby," Travolta said with a happy smile. "The weather is great for flying and the terrain is flat. But my assistant didn't want to move and neither did my co-pilot.
"Then I decided to do what I wanted. I moved to my present home in Daytona in a country club setting where all the homes share a mutual runway. About 100 of us have planes. Mine is only one of three jets in the neighborhood and I fly every day. It's a thrill.
"I loved Santa Barbara, but something was missing from my personality. I didn't feel fulfilled. I didn't like being a half-hour away from my plane. As soon as I had my jet close to me, I calmed down."
Travolta has logged more than 2,250 hours as a pilot, about 1,900 in jets. If ever he gave up acting, he could seek a second career as an airline pilot. He thinks he would have little trouble qualifying.
Travolta met Preston three years ago when he was starring in "The Experts" and she was playing a supporting role. At that time Preston was involved with another man, so Travolta settled on admiring her from a distance.
"A year ago we met again in British Columbia, where we were both making pictures," Travolta said. "I was doing `Look Who's Talking Too' and she was in `Run.' She wasn't involved and we began dating.
"After that we spent almost four months together in Los Angeles where I was making a new movie, `Shake It Up."'
Travolta proposed to Preston last New Year's Eve in Gstaad, Switzerland, where they were enjoying a skiing holiday.
"I've never been married," he said. "While I was doing `Look Who's Talking' I got interested in children. After getting to know Kelly I decided marriage would be the icing on the cake.
"Since New Year's I've spent four days in Los Angeles and Kelly came to Florida for eight days," he said. "We're going to be married in May in New York City. There's something kind of romantic in that. It feels right.
"My family lives in Los Angeles and Kelly comes from Hawaii. Everybody will be in New York for the wedding."
In addition to his eight-passenger jet, Travolta owns a British Vampire jet fighter - also kept in his yard - which he uses for sports flying.
Almost every day he flies to Clearwater, Fla., 125 miles distant (a 17-minute jaunt) for Dianetics services.