The South

Where tea is sweet and accents are sweeter; summer starts in April; front porches are wide and words are long; macaroni and cheese is a vegetable; pecan pie is a staple; Y’all is the only proper pronoun; chicken is fried and biscuits come with gravy; everything is darling and someone is always getting their heart blessed. -unknown

Friday, May 29, 2009

Day 15 and 16, March 23rd and 24th

We began the flight from Singapore to Tokyo in the wee hours of that Monday morning. The flight was fine. I watched 4 Christmases that has Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon in it and remembering laughing out loud so many times that people were looking.



I snapped this photo in the reflection of Brent's TV screen. We saw a lot of people with masks because SARS is still a scare to many people over there. Once we landed we taxied around the airport for FOREVER! No joke, it took us 45 minutes from the time we touched down until the time we were at the gate. Here is Brent
checking his watch. Once we got off the plane we were told that everyone connecting to Minneapolis (which was us), Los Angeles, and Detroit needed to go to a particular gate. I didn't say anything, but that seemed a little strange for all 3 flights to be going to the same gate. Once we got there we found out about the Fed Ex plane that had crashed only hours earlier on the runway.

We were told that because of this crash, the long runway was closed, which meant that all flights on the big planes were delayed indefinitely. They gave us a coupon to use in the airport and a calling card, and other than that, that was all we knew. I went up to a different terminal and took this picture of the wreckage out the window. Moments later all of the screens lowered so no one else could take pictures. (It is hard to see but it is the black in the middle of the picture.)

So many questions were going through our minds. What were we going to do now? Brent called his dad, who was still in Indonesia at the time to let him know what was going on. As soon as it got to be a decent hour in the US, Barry was going to call Brent's mom and my mom.

The airline began putting all of the first class and business class passengers on other flights to the US, but "us coach folks" were just stuck.

We sat down by the gate where we had been told about the delays and just waited. We don't know what we were waiting for, but what else can you do. I took this picture of these cute grandparents with their grandchild. You could tell that they thought the world of their grandson!

Brent went and asked the gate people if their was any hope of getting on other flights to the US at this time and they didn't know. There was chaos all around us but Brent was very kind to the lady because it wasn't her fault that the plane had crashed.
About 30 minutes later the same girl he talked to came over to Brent and asked if he was the one that had asked about getting on other flights and he said YES! She then whispered for us to follow her. I grabbed all of my things and took off, stuffing things back in my bags as we went. We got on this elevator in the corner and she said (in broken English) "I hope no one follows us." She took us to another set of gates and said, "San Francisco, Seattle, or Portland?" We said we don't care. So she took us to the Seattle gate and turned us over to another Northwest employee. We were ecstatic and amazed! We truly believe we got on that flight because Brent was nice to her. When we got on the plane Brent called his dad to update him so that he could update the family. I felt bad for everyone already on the plane because they had been sitting there for over an hour so that they could make sure they got our plane completely full before taking off.

This was a picture that I snapped while waiting to take off because I was so happy to be going to the US.
We flew to Seattle and I can honestly say I don't remember much about that trip. Brent said I slept a lot. So we boarded and left around 5 pm Monday and arrived in Seattle around 12 noon the same day. It really screws up your body!
Here was a picture as we came in to Seattle.
When we got to Seattle we learned that there were no flights toward the south on Northwest nor on Delta until the next day. WHAT?
So we got a hotel next to the airport in Seattle and stayed there. IT WAS SO COLD! After being in a tropical climate for two weeks your body doesn't adjust well to the cold. We met a couple in the same predicament as us, but they were from Minneapolis so they weren't cold. In fact, the lady was in shorts.

Now on to the hard part. By this point we had been awake for about 24 hours but knew we couldn't go to sleep or we would be all messed up. We took a nap at the hotel and only limited ourselves to 2 hours. We decided for supper to just order pizza to the room. THAT WAS THE BEST PIZZA EVER! It was really good pizza plus we hadn't had cheese in two weeks. Yum!
This was our view from the hotel room. It was just how I pictured Seattle: Cold and Raining!
Around lunch time the next day we flew to Atlanta. Somehow we were "lucky" enough to sit by a woman who hadn't flown much and was apprehensive about flying. She had to hold my hand when we took off. She was a very sweet lady but she talked a lot! Looking back she made the flight go by fast.
I took this picture of a souvenir she was taking to her great grandchild (while she was in the bathroom), just so I could remember her.
So we landed in Atlanta with no problems and then got on 13th flight of the whole trip to Montgomery. I took this picture of the lights over Montgomery and almost deleted it when I saw it but I thought it was pretty. It somehow represents our trip.
Strange, Colorful, Busy, Electric, and Unforgettable. Thank you for bearing with me through all these posts. I am going to use Blurb to convert these posts into a book to remember the trip by. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.

3 comments:

Dee Dee said...

Well, I have thoroughly enjoyed being on your trip with you. Very interesting.

tamara said...

What an awesome experience! I'm sure it is a trip you will cherish in your heart forever, especially getting to go alone with your husband!

Erika said...

That was great. I'm sorry you didn't get a chance to enjoy Seattle. When we went to Alaska, we stayed there a few days and really loved it. Of course, it was clear and cool then, so that helped! Also, I'm sure being nice to that lady helped! When we went on the cruise, there was a huge line to check in. I walked into the VIP area, which was EMPTY and was super sweet to the people there and they let us go in! It's good to see that manners do stil count.