We started out from home yesterday by kissing the puppies goodbye.
I know they knew we were leaving because they usually cry and whine to go with, but this time they stayed on the couch very quiet after getting petted and kissed. As tears were streaming down my face walking out the door to get in the car, I had a horrible thought that I might never see them again, because one never knows what fate has in store. I got in the car and drove with Becki in the passenger seat, and our daughter and grandson in the back and headed out towards Sky Harbor airport….no wait! We were going to the Hampton Inn to spend the night before leaving at the crack of dawn the next day. Okay, I can do this…we all sat in silence for what seemed like an eternity until Erin said Paulie had fallen fast asleep. Of course I wanted to turn on the radio at that point but couldn’t so I dried my eyes and sucked up my sadness of leaving my best furry friends for five months and turned my attention to the start of our journey.
We arrived at our hotel, unloaded the suitcases, said our goodbyes and then went inside to check in. We got settled and then Becki said she wanted to go across the street to get some Chinese food for dinner. So we headed out to the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center and found a restaurant open for us to have dinner at. We enjoyed a tea infused roast duck, moo shu pork and vegetable chow mein over pan-fried noodles. When we were thoroughly stuffed and had our left overs put in a to go container, we headed back to our hotel.
Becki being the friendly one spotted two women who we’re taking pictures of each other around the statues that graced the entrance. Beck struck up a conversation and before you can say ” hallelujah, Jesus !” , these two ladies were holding our hands in a prayer circle and in true revival fashion were praying for our safe trip, the health of the pilots, the safety of the plane, and God knows what else….I was kind of in awe of what was coming out of her mouth, but I have to admit, black folk know how to pray! Glory!
Anyway, we parted company and made our way back across the street to our hotel knowing that we had been blessed. We watched some TV, and then turned in for the short night since we were getting up at 4AM for the shuttle to the airport.
The next morning we arrived at the First class check in counter and were told that we could not check our bags all the way through to Zagreb as we had done in the past. We had to retrieve our bags in Philly and then recheck them on to our final destination because we were flying on a split itinerary. Holy shit, Batman! Our leisurely two-hour lay over had just turned into a nail-biting expedition of can we make the next flight? We were due to land at 2:25PM but that turned into 2:50, and then when our bags took another half hour to arrive on the conveyor belt, I was beside myself as we still had to navigate another ticket counter, security, and walk three terminals from where we were!
Our plane to Frankfurt started boarding at 3:40PM, and we arrived at the gate at 4, only 15 minutes to spare before we would have missed our connection. Fortunately we had upgraded to business class so we found our comfy seats and crashed!
We finally got off the ground about 45 minutes late because of the line up of planes ahead of us on the Tarmac but that wouldn’t have helped us since the plane had pushed off from the gate. Now I am writing this after dinner and several drinks and now I will take a nap as it is 1:30AM in Frankfurt, our next destination.