Friday, March 5, 2010

Thailand trip -- March 2-11, 2010

I am interrupting the blog here about my Africa trip to post about my Thailand trip that I am currently on. I will finish the Africa trip soon.
I forgot my camera cord so can't upload pictures until I get back.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Can I ever go anywhere without adventure? Of course not. So here we go.

Today we started out on our trip to Thailand. It turned out to be an interesting day. It did not go exactly as planned but in the end it all turned out ok.

My plan was to not let Isaiah take a nap yesterday so that he would be dead sleepy by 8pm and then I could be in bed by 8:30pm as soon as the other little kids were put to bed. That plan went beautifully, all except the part of of me going to bed at 8:30pm. After tying up loose ends that kept popping into my head, I finally made it to bed around 10:30 pm. I was exhausted. I had hoped I would sleep but my mind would not shut off and my feet and legs would not stop hurting. After 2 nights already of barely any sleep because of leg and foot pain, I was ready to sleep. Sleep evaded me. By midnight I was exasperated, my toe was pounding from an infection. I got up and put some medicine on it, took some tums and returned to bed praying for sleep. I think close to an hour later I drifted off to sleep after prayer for sleep. Around 1:30 I awoke to the light touch of Isaiah standing by my bed. He crawled in bed with me and decided it was time to talk. I coaxed him back to sleep and then a little later put him back in his bed.

From then on out I never totally went back to sleep as the Rita Springer song, “Oh, how he loves me” kept playing through my head. I must have drifted off again as the alarm announcing it was 3am scared me awake. I forced myself out of bed, groaning. I quietly got my clothes I had set out days before and headed to the shower. That woke me up a little and before I knew it 3:45 had rolled around and Eddie, my pastor was there to pick me up.

As we left the neighborhood, Eddie made us do passport checks. Mikki couldn’t find her bag that hers was in so we pulled into Fred’s to get her bag out of the back. She found her little passport purse and we headed on our way. I had almost asked everyone to physically show their passport but I didn’t.

We arrived at the airport in good time, chit chatting on the way. It had started to rain and snow as the temperature had dropped. Huntsville was calling for 1-3 inches. Eddie unloaded us and we went in to the check in kiosk.

A few of our bags were overweight so we had to switch some things around. The agent was real patient with us and with that completed we headed up to security. Sarah told Mikki that she would need her passport at this point so Mikki went to retrieve it. It was no where to be found. We stepped aside and looked in everything. It was not there. We prayed for God to supernaturally place it in her purse and he chose not to. Mikki finally got hold of Eddie and the boys and they found it in her copier! He had made copies and had left it there by mistake. She urged us to go on so we would not miss our plane. We waited as long as we could and went ahead and boarded. There were only about 10 people on the plane and the stewardess moved us to the back of the plane for weight distribution. By this time it was snowing pretty good and snow was starting to stick to the plane. We sat at the gate for some time and then pulled out and sat some more waiting for the de icer people to come. I watched out the window as the de icer men covered our plane first in pink goo and then green goo. I smiled as I thought Graham would love this. Mom’s plane got slimed! I made a mental note to tell him about it later.

After hearing from Mikki on my cell, she first thought she was on a flight to Frankfurt then Bangkok and would meet us there. She called back and said it didn’t work and she was headed home and would fly out on the same flight and get there a day late. We were all disappointed. Sarah and I wondered if we should have stayed. We decided that when we got into Chicago that we would see if we could change our flight to the next day as well so Mikki would not have to fly that 20 hour flight all by herself. We ended up leaving Huntsville quite delayed and arrived in Chicago an hour late.

After we left snowy Huntsville, we climbed above the clouds and it was the most beautiful sight. The clouds were all flat and it looked like fresh fallen snow. The sun was shining brilliantly and the sky was the prettiest blue. As we neared Chicago, we started our descent and it was pretty neat to watch as if we were going to land on the clouds. As the fluffy, white blanket engulfed our plane, I was intrigued by the wings of the plane cutting right through the layers of moisture. I asked myself questions, such as “I wonder if this sorta freaks the pilot out when he can’t see in the clouds, is it like driving blind? “ “ I wonder if the plane wings actually cut the clouds and reshape it?”

Sometimes questions such as these randomly just pop into my head. I wonder if anyone else does that?

As we descended, the clouds turned a little bit grayer and soon the snow covered landscape of Chicago could be seen below. Incredible neighborhoods with large houses were everywhere. An interesting large rock crater filled with a frozen lake lined the back of one neighborhood. A train yard with dozens of train cars linked together spanned a large area. I thought of how all the cars in the parking lots looked like matchbox cars all lined up in neat little rows.

It was right about then, that I saw it and I smiled. There below was a Butterfinger factory. Those my dear friends are my favorite candy bar.

A few minutes later we landed, only to wait a little longer because another plane was at our gate.

When we entered the gate, we headed for a United Counter. The lady there was very nice but wasn’t sure we could change our tickets. She told us where to find a service counter but told us that a human wouldn’t be there to man it until 10am but we could use the phone to speak to a representative. We found it and were told there was some availability on the plane but we would need to either call our travel agent or speak to a person later at the counter to get it changed. We tried to call our agency but they were on pacific time so we had to wait. Finally, 10 am rolled around and after being on hold for a while I got hold of an agent with the travel agency we booked our flights through. I got this really nice guy who was from Eastern Europe and who really wanted to help me but couldn’t so he continued to inform me in ways I might could get it changed all the while reading his entire flight scheduling manuel to me or so it seemed. It all boiled down to that I needed to talk to a United Agent. Sarah and I had already started walking towards a kiosk and finally I had to firmly interrupt the poor guy and thank him for his help and tell him that I was with a United Agent and we could get help now. I hung up with the guy wishing me well and he hoped that United could get me on the flight with my friend.

In the end, we ended up getting the ticket changed with the lady helping us herself and we were told she couldn’t do it but we had to call the international number. She charged us only one ticket fee and gave us a voucher for 50% off of a hotel. She rerouted our baggage so we did not have to retrieve our bags. I gave her one of my art thank you cards and she really liked it.

Happy that we were going to see Mikki in the morning, we headed to our hotel and took a nap, got soup and salad downstairs for dinner and watched a movie before heading off to bed.

The next morning, We went to pick up Mikki at her gate but got lost. We finally found her. We went back to the room and ate breakfast that I had ordered. We chilled out until it was time to head back to our gate. We are off to Thailand!

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