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FYI... I just got online at 945p, so I'm about to update several entries from today... so check back soon
1229pm... So, its technically Day One, I guess, because our flight leaves at 435, and we're actually supposed to meet up at Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship) at 2pm, so its like Day One... but I'll call it Day 1A, with the real Day 1 being tomorrow.
Anyway, make sure you read the blog intro by clicking the link above, otherwise, you won't have a clue what this website is all about.
And for those out of the know, at 435pm today, myself, The Lovely Steph Leann, Jason, KT, Philip, Jill and their two kids will be flying to Newark, NJ, then onto Hartford, CT, where we'll spend the night, then drive to Stamford, CT, tomorrow morning to start working with Encounter Church.
Anyway, The Lovely Steph Leann just hollered out to me that "...you need to come pack, because I want time to unload and load the dishwasher!", meaning that she wants ME to unload and load the dishwasher.
I'll give a shout out from the airport in a few hours.
416p... We're here in the airport in Birmingham, and lucky for us, we got here early! We're sitting here at Gate B2 since 334p, ensuring that we are ready for our 445p flight.
Just so you know, there is jack to eat once you go through security. The Lovely Steph Leann and I had to leave Gate B2, go back out to the little food court, snag an overpriced personal pan pizza, then wait in line again for security. There's nothing cuter than The Lovely Steph Leann suddenly popping out with "No blades... no bows... leave your weapons here" (if you've seen "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves", you'll get that joke)
Jason, who has been sick for a few days, is feeling much better now. The bad news, though, is that KT is not feeling so hot. She's feeling pretty shabby at this time, though we aren't sure if she's caught what Jason had, or if its just that she's really tired, because she and The Lovely Steph Leann went to see "27 Dresses" last night at the $1 theater--at 955pm.
More to come
509p... For the first time ever, I'm blogging from 30,000 feet in the air. We're aboard the Continental Air Express (which makes me think of Chris Walken on SNL), a small plane, headed to Newark, NJ. They just came around and handed us the official snack of the flight.
Jason referred to this as the John McCain Snacktime. I think it was the POW on the wrapper.
When I was a kid, we lived in Texas, and every summer, we would fly down to Florida or fly up to Virginia to visit my sister and her family. I loved those summer flights, and heck, I even loved the airport visit. And I still love airports and airplanes... I would love to open up a Starbucks at the Birmingham International Airport. Put it on a college campus, and get Ashley Judd to fund it, and you've got a dream scenario for me.
Anyway, I mention that only to say that this is my third Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship) mission trip to the New York area... and the third time I've gotten a wing seat. I either have to lean way back to see whats in front of the wing, or lean way up to see what's behind the wing. There is no "wow-look-how-far-up-we-are" simple glance out the window on these trips. I have to re:IMAGINE the ground below.
I'm sitting on the left side, in a one seat row, while across the aisle is Jason and KT, who just pulled up a blanket, leaned on the window, and zonked out. Jill is behind them with two munchkins, while Philip is right behind me. I'm seated in 15A. Who is seated in 1A, you ask? That would be The Lovely Steph Leann, who joined the trip late, and therefore had to get a seat not with the rest of us. She doesn't care, though, she'll pull out a book and be gone for the two hour flight.
There's the wing. And there is a beautiful, God painted sunset just for us, at 30,000 feet in the air.
1012p... We're in Newark, NJ, at the airport. Our flight was actually supposed to leave at 945p, but we got an announcement from the flight attendant that our arriving plane was on time, but our flight had a different flight crew, one that was coming from Greensboro, NC, and wasn't going to get here until around 1020 or so. Making our flight to Hartford, CT, departing around, oh, 1045 or 1050p.
If you're thinking to yourself "What does Newark's airport look like?", then wonder no more.
We've been here since about 830, with our own plane coming in a little early. So, for two hours, we've just been enjoying the sights and sounds of Newark's premier airport and plane depot.
Most of the little shops around here have prepackaged crappy food, and overpriced drinks, but I managed to get a little snack out of some cheese sticks and some yogart from Miami Subs Grill at the north end of the terminal. Its never a good sign when you bite into the cheese sticks, and the entire stick of solid cheese comes out of the breaded crust. And the yogart was clumpy. Not good times, bad times, bad times.
There is a Starbucks here. Its terrible. Its not a corporate owned Starbucks, mind you, its a licensed store--that means, like Barnes & Noble and Target, that location isn't operated by Starbucks really, its operated by the airport food services here, carrying Starbucks products. The coffee brewers were dirty, there were 9 carafes of milk set out on two condiment stations, the counters were gross, the pastries had expiration day markers (day dots, as we call them) showing to the customers (always a no-no)... The Lovely Steph Leann bought a pastry and a frappuccino, but I declined.
We went into a little shop that had a sign posted "Store Open 24 Hours". We were both contemplating a smoothie, I think... until Habbib the store owner told us "Thastorizclozed". I nodded, not understanding him, and thinking to myself how good a Strawberry Coconut Smoothie would be. Again, he shouted "Thastorizclozd", which I figured out was "the store is closed". I pointed and said, "The sign says the store is open 24 hours". And then he replied, "Thesod ldu apdhheodo nja[pdioh aep ha[dj". I think he said something about oranges, Owen Wilson, Dido and the theory of evolution, but I'm not sure. We left. Found out later Jason ran into the same problem.
We passed by this on the way to the crappy Starbucks. Think we'd find one that said "Christian Prayer Room" if we looked hard enough?
The moving sidewalks are good entertainment, though. An alarm just went off nearby and my ears are bleeding. And now we wait for the flight crew to arrive, so that we may board and go to Hartford.
I'll update at least once more tonight, probably writing some on the plane.
1114p… We’re in the air! After we finally boarded, we were informed that we would be traveling the length of a Friends episode—about 27 minutes. “Due to this short flight time, we regret to inform you that we will not be serving beverages in-flight”. Darn. No crap trail mix.
It was also rather humorous that the flight attendant let us know we were free to move about the cabin, but when in our seats, please keep our seatbelts on as protection for any unexpected turbulence. Like we are having right now. Anytime we have a flight that gets a little bouncy, I always think one thing… “When planes go down, no one expects it, and it probably always starts like the bumping we’re having now.”
Of course, I think remind myself that I’ve stored up treasures in Heaven, and that my Jesus is waiting, just in case. =)
By the way, we read letters tonight from Little Sister Ashley and Garrett “Rainbow” Cheney. Thanks guys… they were both amazing, and thanks to Barney & Liz for their encouragement via email as well. And while we’re at it, big ups to Tebe & Tiffiany, Brett & Lindsay, Matt & Ginger and the Turnbows, as well as everyone else who committed to pray for us every day. This trip will, in fact, rock.
1159p... So, all in all, its been a good trip thusfar. We get off the plane, do the usual stuff (baggage, rental car, so on and so forth). We ended up with two vehicles, with the Waters getting some sort of Hyundai or something, while the Roberts & $s end up with a two door Chrysler Sebring convertable. Which would be great if the trip were in May. Seeing its March, it might be a little too cool to throw the top down.
We're here at the Windsor Locks Comfort Suites (Windsor Locks being the name of the town, as Hartford is actually 20 minutes away--so says Slightly Accented Mark the clerk at the desk) and all in all, its a nice place. KT is simply exhausted, though feeling better, while the rest of us are really tired too.
And... you'll hear from me Saturday night, if not before.