So let me first say that I am really enjoying my trip. My parents are (as always) awesome, their new house is really great, and it’s a blast being able to actually hang out with my roommate-who-I-barely-run-into-at-home, Christine. We’ve got some fun plans that I’m really excited about, and Christine and I spent a full two and a half hours last night failing miserably at ping-pong but really enjoying each other while we did it.
I say that to clarify that I am having a great time, so you, dear reader, may rest assured of that fact before I relate the following story.
You recall that I am on the NightWatch at IHOP-KC. The Nightwatch is a fantastic schedule for the prayer room. I love it. I wouldn’t dream of switching it. I’ve been on it for four years. But it can be a mite inconvenient when you travel. Normally, I try to stay on nights anyway, but for this trip, there were a number of reasons why that wasn’t practical. So, for the first time in four years, I decided that on Thursday I was going to stay up all day (when I would normally be sleeping), fly out here to PA, and then be able to sleep like a normal person when my plane got in at 11:00pm. That was the plan.
Well, step one was staying up. That actually wasn’t quite as horrible as I anticipated it to be. It was a bit rough, because I had only achieved four hours of sleep the day before (thanks to my glorious 1pm onething staff meeting), but I felt better than I expected to, and I was reasonably coherent. I even had a business meeting at hour twenty-six of awakeness, and I was able to say intelligent things and make mental notes. It was like a miracle.
Step 2 was to get to the airport. There was some slight confusion about that, but we made it there on time, got our luggage checked, and got our boarding passes. We then stopped for a bit of airport lunch (which was oh so appetizing… heh), checked that our plane was still leaving on time, and went through security.
After I retrieved my cell phone from my carry-on after putting it through the X-ray machine, I saw that I had a text message from my Dad. Our plane had just been delayed an hour. Did I mention we had just finished going through security? Where there was nothing to do? Thanks to KCI’s free Wi-Fi access, though, and Christine’s availability and willingness to talk to me, I was able to stay busy enough to keep myself awake.
At last, our plane left (with us on it) — two hours late. We had a layover in Chicago, where they had been experiencing some storms and heavy winds. We were assured onboard that, unless we were flying to London, Ontario, we would definitely make our connecting flights, because everything was delayed at O’Hare. This was not happy news, but we decided it was okay because at least we would have some time to eat, and we wouldn’t have to run to catch our plane.
We ate some really greasy food at a “Chili’s Too” in the airport, where it was late enough that the only place they would seat us was in the bar area. There was a baseball game on TV, and apparently it was a really good one, judging by the volume and enthusiasm of the college-age guys sitting around the bar with their politely tolerant girlfriends. After a really, really long time (the one waitress on shift had her hands full), we finally got out of there and made it over to our gate. To our excitement, and yet to our harm, there were signs posted around the food court stuff saying that, due to all the delays, there were three shops in the airport that would be open that night 24 hours — three Starbuck’s, to be exact. One of which was situated right across from our gate, where we were due to spend the next two hours.
Chai latte, anyone?
Christine worked on some writing while I listened to Mike Bickle on my iPod, until at long last, they let us board our plane. At 12:00 midnight. Which was an hour after we were supposed to land in Philly. And by midnight, I do mean midnight Thursday night/Friday morning. Have I mentioned that I woke up at noon Wednesday??
We finally make it to Philadelphia, where, immediately off the plane, we both were in urgent need of the ladies’ room (thanks to the aforementioned 24-hour Starbuck’s). We half-ran down the corridor… past two ladies’ rooms that were both closed for cleaning, which we decided was highly unfair. We finally found one that was open, praised the Lord, did what we needed to do, and headed back on our way to the baggage claim.
We were there met by my ever-gracious, ever-patient parents who were now themselves out of bed at a quite unreasonable hour (almost 4:00am). Miraculously, Christine’s and my bags were one of the first off of the plane, and we left. We got to my parents’ new house, which is quite cool, and had the grand tour and did a bit of chatting.
So I actually got in bed at around 4:30-5:00am. Which, for anyone who hasn’t recognized it yet, is basically a NightWatch schedule. All that I had managed to do by staying up for nearly 48 hours was simply skip a night of sleep. For no apparent reason.
So I am a bit of a space cadet, but I’m happy to be here. Pennsylvania is beautiful and things are very quiet in this particular area. I’m writing this blog post from my parent’s sun room, the prettiest room in the house with lots of big windows and two skylights. The leaves are just starting to turn in the yard and the morning sun is bringing out their color. And it’s 8:00am and I’m actually awake and ready to go for the day. Now if you all will excuse me, there are Dunkin’ Donuts on the counter and I believe they’re calling my name.