Saturday, June 1, 2013

Travel adventures

I left this morning for my trip to DRC.  I had to take a bus to get to JFK (which is where I am now).  I have to laugh at the ridiculous things that have happened to me so far.  It probably all started when I realized I had 10 (!) bumbo seats to take with me.  Though they aren't heavy, most of you probably realize that they are big and awkward.  My husband was awesome and helped me.  We figured giant duffel bags were the way to go.  So, he packed them up along with some of the other donations.  I packed a roller and a backpack to carry on (all important details for later), like most travelers do these days.

All week I have found myself waffling between "I have to make the house totally clean, do all the laundry, shop, and plan all the childcare" and "I am way to overwhelmed right now, who cares about the disaster that is the house, and Mike can do laundry just as well as I can."   In my more crazy/insane worried moments, I would think "well if something happens to me, at least the house will be clean and the kids will have clean clothes!".  In my more pulling myself together with a good shake rational moments I would think "of course it can all wait until I get back, just hang out with your kids and husband."  Anyway, somehow in the craziness, I couldn't find my camera.  Which is a big deal when you are going visit a bunch of little children and women whom you support!  Sort of one of the most important things to NOT forget.

This morning I left early to take the bus to JFK (about a 5 hour trip), yes, sans camera.  That was fine, I slept through most of the trip.  My first problem arrived when I came to the bus terminal.  Which was 3 flights above where I was supposed to get another bus to take me to JFK.  And there were no luggage carts.  And no staff to help.  Though I have done a lot of traveling, I had no idea how to carry two gigantic 50 lb (well, not quite 50 lbs---important to story later) duffel bags (one of which I had forgotten to grab the big overarm strap), a roller and my back pack out of the indoor garage place I had been dropped off, inside, to the elevator, down 3 floors, outside to the shuttle.  These duffels are so big I could get it them. And no one asked to help.  I should have asked.  Instead, I dragged the two duffels through the terminal, one on top of the other while I also pulled the roller, backpack on back.  I suppose that if it had been one month ago, it (maybe) would have been no big deal, but given I have been sick for 3 weeks, I barely made it through that terminal in one piece.

After I had collapsed in the next bus that would take me to JFK, I think it took me about 15 minutes to catch my breath again.  I am so out of shape!  What happened next, is just magic.  I think I believe all those things you hear about the kindness of New Yorkers.  When I got to JFK, everyone exited the bus, got their luggage and left.  I was left on the curb on the sidewalk with my bags and no luggage carts (again).  I wasn't about to drag them across the sidewalk and face them splitting open everywhere.  I was just beginning to contemplate how long it would take me to drag them some 50 ft and then come back for the others and so on, when the bus driver who was about to take off, came out of his bus and said "wait here".  He left his bus, went across the street and down the sidewalk, paid for a luggage cart and brought it back.  And wouldn't take money to pay for the cart saying, "for you, it's free".  A bit of an angel I think.

Then, I went to check in.  Now, I haven't flown internationally in two years, so maybe I missed a big change of rules, but since when do they weigh your carry ons???  Mine weighed 42 lbs together.  They were supposed to weigh 26 lbs together.   Who ever checks these things?  So, of course, the manager comes over and says, "sorry, you need to empty out almost 15-20 lbs.  Lucky for you that your luggage is about 15 lbs underweight."  Lucky me.  So, you know when you travel and you see those poor people digging through all their clothes at the check in counter and you think that you are SO glad it's not you.  You thank God that you always meticulously weigh your bags to avoid the embarrassment and frustration.  Well, I became that person.  The poor sweating lady digging through her roller trying to get rid of heavy things.

Of course the heaviest thing I have in all of my stuff is my ancient old computer that probably weighs more than anything else I have in those two bags.  And no way was I going to throw it in those duffels. (I can now see that one of the many benefits of a smart phone is leaving the computer at home.  Alas, I am still the owner of a flip phone.)  So, as the manager is peering over my shoulder (and all the people in the line stare), I go through all my clothes and snacks and get rid of them all (into giant duffels full of bumbos).   Letting go of my snacks was almost impossible.  In the end, as I was about to pull out all my underwear in front of the whole world and put them in my giant duffels, she took pity on me and said "leave it."

So, yes, I am pulling an near empty roller through the airport, filled only with underwear.  Awesome.  Wonder what else is going to happen on this trip!  (And somehow I suspect that no one else was forced to empty their rollers!)


Bex_78 said...

LOVE IT! Praying for your journey - on so many levels. Love RAH

Mary Hoyt said...

Holly, you're there!!! So excited for you!!! Praying for every step of the way - for every conversation, interaction to be covered by the goodness of God's love for us. I wish I was there with you. Soak it all in!!! Love, Mary