This is the most amazing experience and I have only just begun. Here I am in Prague.
To set up The First 24 Hours: It is 2 days before I am set to leave, I have officially, finally, begun to pack. I have suitcases everywhere, everything I own, everywhere. The garage is full and a mess, Ed has just put even more of my stuff into his storage for me. (Thank you again Ed!!) My entire wardrobe has been folded and laid out on the bed for me to look over and decide what not to take. I can’t choose. What if I need this? What if I need that? What if I get there and I need it and I don’t have it? Why should I spend the money to buy something again if I already have it? Is it better to ship it if I need it? Buy it or bring it? What if I don’t need it at all?
If I don’t need it at all there, did I need it at all here? What does that say about my choices now? Who am I really? Am I just stuff?
Yes…. I was absolutely going through all this in my head while staring at my clothes, after having paid off David to take care of the stuff in the garage because it was too overwhelming to me. I was finally having my panic moment. But it wasn’t about leaving. It wasn’t about whether or not I was going to be safe. It was about what crap I should bring and what I could bear to part with. How freaking ridiculous.
I brought it all. Oh heaven to Betsy, I brought it all; 50 pounds in a large rolling suitcase, 46 pounds in an overstuffed backpack and 37 pounds in a smaller rolling suitcase. The smaller suitcase was so loaded down that the one wheel broke at the first airport. Uh huh, I had to carry that bag, while lugging the backpack through the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport – across 3 terminals and on the Sky Train. Yes, it hurt. A lot.
But, let’s backtrack a little bit from that point to begin The First 24 hours.
After many non-graceful moments of packing, unpacking, repacking, and starting over again – I got everything that I could possibly fit into each bag,
obviously forgetting the important things in order to fit random stuff I might need in.
In a moment of sheer genius Jamie got me and David and my bags into her car and off to the airport EARLY. Yes, you read that right, early. I said I wanted to be there no later than 3:45 and we were there by 3:15. Perfect.
Until the lady at the check-in counter asked who was flying because the ticket said Mari, but the passport I handed her with my driver’s license and flight information, was David’s. Jamie is in fact a great friend, great friend because the second she heard the lady say it was David’s she was off and headed back to the house to grab mine – which was sitting safely where I thought David’s was supposed to be – no questions, no hesitations. The Universe was watching out for me that day, because had we not been early I may have missed my flight altogether with that little fiasco. Thank you again Jamie!!
Luck truly being on my side the flight was also delayed by almost an hour. I was able to calmly sit in the terminal for about 50 minutes, exactly how long the flight had been delayed.
And so we meet up with where we were before – : too much luggage, one broken wheel and 3 terminals to go in order to make my connection flight to London, which was running early. Again, fortune blessed me as I met a very nice man that was also headed to that connection AND most importantly knew where to go! In the hustle and bustle of trying to get on the plane, I was forced (thankfully) to check my smaller suitcase with the broken wheel. We were in such a hurry that I forgot that my boarding pass to the next flight was in it … along with all my medications, flight information, important phone numbers for the next couple stops, and the only outfit I had packed in case something happened to my checked luggage.
Never fear, I still had a 46 pound back pack full of useless stuff! I would be fine 🙂
I have been so blessed through this whole adventure and I can honestly say I was equally as excited to meet up with Rodney and Lisa for a plate of fish and chips and a pint in London, as I was to get to Prague!! And I was rewarded with a wonderful visit. I will put pictures up here as soon as I can get my computer to recognize my phone as a device.
Rodney met me at the airport once I got the connecting flight boarding pass situation taken care of. Gratefully, it was an easy fix and the rep was very kind. I got through customs having had a pleasant conversation with the passport guy about who Rodney was and why he should seek out a show. We got on the subway, aka The Tube, and headed for South Kensington where we met Lisa and the baby at the Natural History Museum.
After some more time on the Tube and some fast paced decisions in which I was a definitely a tourist with no idea, we found an authentic, fantastic, exactly what I was looking for English pub. I ordered fish and chips and a pint of Guinness. Ok, I know that Guinness is Irish, but it may be the closest I’m getting to Ireland for a little while yet. Not a long while, but possibly a little while. It was delicious and I enjoyed watching the little one poke around. She has two great parents : )
Once I got back to the terminal, having ridden the Tube on my own this time (yes a little patting myself on the back for that one!) I went through customs in a breeze, showed them my new boarding pass, got onto the plane and promptly fell asleep.
I woke up to a pretty good Coronation Chicken sandwich and only 20 minutes to arrival! Yeah 😀
And so much sinus pressure that I was not sure what the hell someone had done to me while I was asleep. That’s what I get for going from mile high altitude to sea level altitude in just a few hours of pressurized cabin air… One crazy cab ride later, a few HEY’s and hugs from the new roomie, an hour or so of slightly unpacking, eating a candy bar because everything else was closed, and taking a new kind of shower,
I went to sleep for 12.5 hours.