Day 1- March 8.
So here's the story so far.
I woke up at 4:45 this morning, ate my yogurt, got dressed, and waited for mom and dad to show up. We got to the airport and got checked in ok. Just an FYI- US Airways charges a crazy amount. Twenty five bucks for the first checked bag, and another 90 because it was overweight (only by 9 lbs, which is impressive considering how heavy the thing is.)
Mom wanted to take a selfie with me before I left. : )
I headed off to Charlotte and slept during most of the flight. When we landed, I had to struggle to get to my gate on time. I was miserable- carrying my heavy purse and my carry-on luggage to the other side of a very large airport. Charlotte seemed nice, but I barely had time to look around. I did notice there were rocking chairs, lots of windows, and a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (aka heaven.)
When I got back on the plane to JFK, the flight was full and they were checking carry-ons. They told people not to put jackets, purses, etc. in the overhead bins, but folks did anyway, so I had to put my luggage a few rows back. Something fell out of my pocket and t he lady across the aisle handed it back to me. I acccepted a glass of water from the flight attendant, but mainly chewed on the ice. I started feeling yucky, so I tried taking a nap. When I woke up, they said we'd be descending soon. I looked over and noticed the lady across the aisle (the one who picked up the paper I dropped) holding a Compassion trip guide! I yelped "hey! We're going to the same place!" and we talked until we landed! Her name is Tammy and she's on my craft team (I knew as soon as she said who she was!) She's very friendly. We navigated the JFK airport together and it was nice to have a buddy. Lunch was crazy expensive- a sandwich, a banana, and a Mt. Dew cost almost $14. And there was only one place to choose from (Au Bon Pain.)
I ran into some drama when we were finally able to start checking in. The average charge for the bag was cheaper, but the girl swiped my card wrong and refused to do it again (I saw her swipe it backwards- sometimes it happens because my card is completely flat and doesn't have letters, so people don't pay attention.) I had to use the majority of my cash to pay for it, and then I had to wait 10 minutes for the girl to go get my $5 change because they don't keep cash at the desk. It was really, really stressful. Then when I got to security, I realized she didn't tag my bag as approved carry-on luggage (my purse, not my carry-on bag- they were too heavy as a combined weight, so I had to check my carry-on, and then count my purse as a carry-on!) so I had to run back around get it tagged while everyone else moved forward through security. After checking in, I found an ATM and got more cash (my card worked fine, thank you very much.) There was a nice candy store near our gate, but I didn't buy anything because there was no room in my bag!
Now we are on the plane. Heidi gave me a hug when she finally made it to the airport, and that was nice. It was good to finally meet her in person! I've enjoyed meeting my craft team members, and my family group leader, Joyce, reminds me a little bit of Mrs. Landingham from The West Wing. It's fun hearing the flight attendants speak Dutch as they talk to each other across the aisles. We have little TVs in our seat backs. I'm really excited about the stuff on there. I've already watched the episode of Frasier they have available ("Good Grief"), which is one of my favorites. They also have The Office and Community. I had the chance to browse the children's movies and I'm so excited! They have Ratatouille and The Little Mermaid, which are two of my favorites. Plus there's Wreck It Ralph, Monsters University, and other good stuff. This is such a relief- the thing I was most worried about was the long flight. I thought I would get bored with whatever I brought, and then I'd get antsy and panic. This is a really nice provision the Lord has made to ease my mind. : )
Day 2- March 9
There hasn't been much to say. The flight was long. We had a break in Amsterdam, and now we're on another long flight. The Amsterdam airport had some pretty cool stuff. There was a mini museum inside, with about a dozen paintings by famous Dutch artists. The gift shop was really nice. I bought a Van Gogh print purse. There was a small display of them (they were on sale) and I walked up to them at the same time as a bunch of other ladies. We bought all the purses at the same time! I think the sales clerk was pretty surprised. The bag works pretty well because now I can use it as my real purse, take out the things I really need from my other purse, and then pretend like the other one is my carry-on luggage, since it is marked as such! We did find the cheese shop, but it was closer to our gate, and therefore we found it at the very end of our time wandering the airport. So I didn't get to visit it. We passed the chocolate bar, too, but I didn't really look inside. We visited one big souvenir shop, which had lots of cool stuff like flower bulbs and tons of tulip items, and a bookstore so Joyce could buy a postcard. I took a picture of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. It was fun to see all the different covers for familiar books that I see all the time at the library- only printed in Dutch!
There's also lots of Miffy stuff at the airport. Miffy is like the Netherlands' answer to Hello Kitty, except Miffy is a rabbit, and she has a mouth. They had those Delft blue patterned china items everywhere, and it was funny because there was some china with Miffy on it in the museum gift shop!
Here's what I've seen so far on the plane:
The Swiss Alps
The coast of Italy (I think Heidi got a picture, but I did not.)
And now outside my window, I can see the Sahara desert! I never imagined I'd be seeing any of this stuff- I don't even mind that it's from the air! It's so beautiful!
The Sahara desert, with its floating, shadowy clouds