Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Day 1- Hell Frozen Over Feb.15
Of course I started to pack at 6:00 pm the night before my 6 month trip to Europe. After downsizing switching suitcases, downsizing, switching suitcases, my wonderful girlfriend Whitney, whom I have been dating for close to 4 years, coming up with clever ways to pack things, and then switching suitcases once more, i finally got done at 3 in the morning. Just a little side note, Every 20 minutes or so Whitney and I would take a kiss break and give each other a kiss. I think we were both dreading the thought of not being able to touch for 4 and a half months. So that also hindered my packing process. Anyway with two checked bags at about 45lbs. and one carry on at about 30lbs. After getting 3 hours of sleep I had to get up and do chores, since my dad had shoulder surgery a little over a month ago. After working in the hog barns and in the heavy snow for a couple of hours, it was time to come in and get ready to go to the airport. I took a shower, woke Whitney up, made breakfast for the two of us and my dad, and finished all of the last minute things I needed to do. We got the bags in the car and headed to the airport, in the snow. Stopped by Walgreens and got my last minute H1N1 shot with my Dad, who stripped down and was walking around the walgreens with his shirt unbuttoned until he got his shot. After driving about an hour we got to the airport. Addison, my buddy through this adventure walked in right behind me as if we had left Walgreens at the same time. We meet the family, normal small talk, and get our 4 bags checked. We have about an hour to waste so we decide to have dinner with our families. We ate and then went to the security checkpoint, where I tried to steal as many kisses from Whitney at the last second as I could. Whitney slipped me a book that I had wanted to read that she had put some memories of us in. She told me not to lose it. After saying my goodbyes to my parents, and me getting as many kisses in as I could at the last minute, Addison and I took off through security and started walking to the plane, only to hear Addison’s name being called, we were late. We made it to the gate, and got on the plane, but all of the overhead bins were full, so we had to gate check our bags. I forgot about the book in the rush and left it in the bag. Nevertheless we got on the plane and got in our seats. Did I mention it had been snowing all morning? Because of this our plane had to be deiced. So after about 25-30 minutes of a man, whom I am guessing was being paid by the hour, spraying the plane with a water hose we were off. Right?, wrong. Washington, which we were flying through, was at a ground stop because of the snow. So we would get another update in 40 minutes. 40 minutes later we were getting off of the plane, because it had been extended for 1 hour and 45minutes. So we waited, I tried to get us booked on another connecting flight, but of course there was only one person working at the gate and I waited in line for the hour and a half we were out there. Meanwhile, my parents, Addison’s parents, and Whitney, were waiting in the airport to see if they would have to take us home while a fire alarm went off, causing them to evacuate into the freezing cold snowy winter day. They got back in from the snow and we started to board again. After another lazy deicing we were off down the runway. It was hard to see anything out the window through the snow, but what we did see was a 747 stopped in the middle of the runway with its stairs down. REALLY reassuring. We take off. WOOOOHOOOO. We land and have to walk outside to the airport. FREEZING. After walking to the other end of the airport, what seemed to be like 10 miles, we come to realize that we missed our connecting flight. Imagine that. SOOOOO we turn around and start walking back to where we came from. We got in line at a costumer service desk, waited about 30 minutes, then were told we needed to go to the other end of the airport. We have stared walking with three 40some year old army guys from Camp Atterbury. None of them looked like army guys, but they were nice. So after another hike across the airport and a quick train ride to another terminal we make it to the right costumer service desk. GIANT LINE. After about an hour waiting in that line I am about ready to drop of exhaustion. Remember I am running on 3 hours of sleep and have hiked what seemed to be the entire AT, indoors. Anyway we get to the desk and find out we are staying in Washington over night, and we weren’t going to get our accommodations paid for. We were offered a free room with one of our older army friends, but I am pretty sure a trip to the strip club was involved in the event from the way he was acting in the airport. I was too tired to even look at boobs that night. So I called my good friend and brother-in-law, Cody, who works at Marriot to see if we can get a deal at a Marriot nearby. He hooks us up and it is time to try to find the spot that the bus picks us up to go to the hotel. We get outside and see that it is at the other end of the ground transportation area. OF COURSE IT IS. After another hike we wait in the cold for 15 minutes and the bus picks us up. We get checked in call our parents and are in bed in minutes. That’s how our trip, started. I’m not complaining. It was a good experience to have to work through it, so when I have to do it in a different language it won’t be as bad. I just hope we don’t have to run into it too many times. So until tomorrow for now.