It’s been 28 years since I’ve travelled outside the U.S. As I type, I’m on an Iberia A -321 airplane heading to Rome. It is 12:35 p.m. here, which means it’s 6:35 a.m. back in Bolivar. Our trip started in Springfield where we experienced about an hour and a half on the tarmac before being cleared to take off for Chicago where they were experiencing bad weather. We said more than once yesterday, “Thank ya, Mona,” (referring to our travel agent Mona Coleman) for allowing a nice cushion of time in Chicago. We weren’t one of the people on that delayed flight we heard frantically talking on their cell phones as they rebooked themselves on different flights.
Once in Chicago, we enjoyed the last little bit of unlimited internet service we’ll have for the next two weeks. I’m not sad about the trade - seeing some of the sights of Europe verses unlimited internet is a definite win. It’s just going to be a change.
Then, off to Madrid. We took Kerrick, seasoned traveller, Tweedy’s advice and immediately put ourselves on Rome time. It as 11:45 pm, then. So, as hard as it was for me because a dinner was about to be offered, I took my Lunesta, arranged pillow and blanket and tried to sleep. It felt a bit fitful to me, but Lou said I looked like I was out of it - code for - mouth slightly open. (He loves me anyway). He actually had to wake me up because breakfast was being served, so I guess I did sleep better than I thought.
Two events highlight our brief time in Madrid’s airport. First, I got my passport stamped! I’m a bit like Sandra Bullock’s character in “While You Were Sleeping” in that, I really, really love to get my passport stamped. Second, we had a really good cup of Espresso. And I felt very European drinking it, cute little cup and all.
Lou is looking through a DK book on Rome next to me. He has been the man with the plan. I feel like I have my own personal tour guide. I can honestly say that I love my tour guide.
I also find myself really looking at people - as they board the plane, as they sit in the airport, or as they pass us walking in the airport. They all have a story to tell.
It also feels very a-God. Not anti-God. Just very much like he is non-existent. Like no one’s even thinking about him at all. Like he doesn’t figure into any equation anywhere. I don’t know what I expect, really. You have all these transient people shuffling through buildings en route to some place else. It’s not like relationships are being built. It may be just a time and a place issue. Or, I’m tired. But I don’t love that feel.
We are an hour from touch down in the Eternal City.
To say I feel grateful for the chance to take this kind of trip is an understatement. Praying that God is glorified in all we do!
Posting this just as we get to our hotel, before an evening walking about. Here's a few pics that are essentially pre - real trip :)
|Nothing to check|
|Outlets few and far between in Chicago|
|Hannah took a passport pic, so we did too|
|Our view en route to Madrid|
|The heavens declare the glory of God|
|Sweet architecture in Madrid's airport|
|Got it stamped!|