Safe and easy arrival in Miami!
#1 Pay to check an additional bag rather than carry 40ish pounds of textbooks onto the plane and around the airport (especially when also carrying a laptop and a cat).
#2 When the flight will offer you your first glance of the Atlantic Ocean, select a window seat. Miami is fascinating from an aerial view.
#3 Allow for time in planning to drive to Walmart to buy additional cheap duffle bags. ‘Tis cheaper to check excess baggage than it is to pay oversize and excess weight fees.
Truly, one meets the most fabulous people when working in ministry. The O’Rear family of Lamp International have been extremely kind. They have stored our four trunks of Sensational Supplies until I could (finally) come to Miami to escort them to Bolivia. Meanwhile, with LAB having delayed my flight by 22 hours, they graciously invited me to spend the evening in the guest apartment of their house – beautifully and comfortably set beside a Miami lake. In just a but I’m going to go exploring, as per their recommendation.
Yesterday was a Very Good Day. Kristin, Katherine, and I relaxed from our Intense Stresses (wedding planning, thesis writing, and trip prepping, respectively) in the best possible way – informal tea party and random movie watching. We had a Phantom of the Opera mocking session, introduced Katherine (and Kristin too, but she’d seen bits of it) to Doctor Who, watched the first episode of the new Robin Hood, and Katherine and I were introduced to Monarch of the Glen. Most effective! We avoided stress and tears throughout the day and evening quite successfully.
My direct stress began this morning (Sunday). I woke up a half hour later than planned, just a few minutes before my father called at 4:00ish to make sure I was awake. I gave Katherine her wakeup call at 4:15am, the poor girl. I’d spent last night doing much of the last of the packing, and finished it in the morning – stressed over whether they’d accept my Clearly Oversized Duffle bag and other Clearly Overweight Pod at the airport. They did, for an extra $115.
Katherine was incredible. She’s housesitting this weekend so she couldn’t crash at my hotel, which meant she got up even more disturbingly early in the morning than she might have otherwise needed. She drove me to the airport and helped cart my insane luggage from the parking garage to the check-in counter and waited until I was all set. I truly couldn’t have managed the morning without her. So, with Katherine’s assistance and Extreme Measures of Caution Laden with Heavy Doses of Wisdom, I made it through Kansas City without having my wallet/passport stolen.
Kansas City to Atlanta – easy, fast flight with AirTran. Spent 5 hours in Atlanta. They have these handy little subway trains that go from terminal/concourse to terminal/concourse. Handy though they were, they made balancing whilst carrying a 40-50pound textbook TimBuk2, a laptop case, and a Cat that much more difficult. Not the most convenient airport. I arrived in Miami without any problems, though – the flight was even 25 minutes early!
Miami really is a very pretty city into which to fly… at least for a midwestern girl. My first glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean were caught through a half-open airplane window behind a sleeping girl’s head. Palms and terracotta rooftops, inlets of land and curling channels of water. I wasn’t the only one looking around; on most flights on which I’ve been there have been only a few of us with our heads anxiously angled towards the windows, but today an audible rustle of shifting bodies and excited murmurs indicated the active interest in the new view.