Day One – aka The Longest Day

Posted: April 8, 2009 in Trip to East Asia

It was a rainy and dreary morning, which could have alerted me of what lay ahead if i looked for those sorts of signs. My alarm went off at 4:15 and i reset it for 4:30. Not sure what i think an extra 14 minutes of sleep is gonna do for me, but anyway. After i showered and packed up all my toiletries i went downstairs to eat some breakfast and get all my gear ready. Steph was on the couch still. I tried not to wake her, but it was impossible. We talked for a few minutes. She was feeling better but still weak and tired. She was beautiful as ever. Josiah was sound asleep. A few minutes before it was time to leave i went upstairs and gave hugs and kisses to the girls and woke them up to tell them how much i love them. They were groggy and did not get out of bed. Micah didn’t budge despite numerous hugs and kisses and “Hey buddy”s. I’m sure he was dreaming of superheroes. I went back downstairs and opened the door to open the garage. The girls heard the door chime and ran downstairs crying because they thought they had missed me! We hugged and kissed several more times. I gave Josiah a kiss and he began to wake up. He looked at me and smiled the same way he did yesterday before i left for work. I hope he doesn’t forget me in ten days. Do babies forget that quickly? Steph and i embraced and traded several “I love you”s and “I will miss you”s. Micah slept.

David and Charles pulled up at 5:30 AM and we loaded the baggage and pulled out. Steph, Em, Grace and Jo Jo waved and blew hugs and kisses through the guest bedroom window. I caught them and blew some of my own. I will miss them terribly.

We swung by to pick up Jamie and were on our way. An hour or so later, after stopping at David’s dad’s house so he could drive us, we arrived at the airport. It was becoming real now. Charles made some comment about it being the last time we would set foot on American soil for 10 days. He would come to regret that statement! Checking in was no problem. Security was a breeze. Had Arby’s for breakfast?? Hung out in the Crown Room for 30 minutes or so (thanks Greg) and then headed to our gate. Everything was going smoothly. We took off on time with all of us in aisle seats, Jamie and Charles across the aisle from each other and David and I directly behind them. Things were looking good.

About 3 hours into our trip we heard of a medical emergency. Didn’t think much of it until about an hour later when we looked at our flight map and saw that, after having made it up to the Hudson Bay, we took a left turn and were headed back to Minneapolis. Apparently an 80 year old man who had a stroke two months ago was having complications. We had to land in Minneapolis to take him to a hospital. After landing in Minneapolis they told us that federal law prohibits flight crews from working too many hours in a row and that we would have to fly BACK to Atlanta and spend the night. We would then leave the next morning at the same time for Beijing. Yep. We arrived back at Hartsfield Interanational Airport at 7:45 PM. Ten hours after taking off we were back to square one. So, they put us up at the Comfort Inn North, a dump of a hotel but we didn’t care that much. We went to eat and have “our last glass of water not from a bottle” (Charles’ words again, he seems to not have learned from the previous day’s comments).

Day One’s Accomplishments: Watched two in-flight movies and accumulated 4000 Delta Sky Miles. Ten hours of travel time. Still in Atlanta. It felt like some time-space continuum.

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