Growing, Not Dying

Welcome to my insights, ponderings, and experiences. Hopefully they will enrich you in some small way, or at least make you laugh.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Adventures in Traveling....Home at Last

Last week I had the extreme joy of volunteering at another Peak Potentials Wizard Camp. This time in Ellensville, New York. The following is some of the highlights of my travel there and back. It is long and you may find it boring. However, I wish to remember and share with all those who seek comforting in their own "adventures in traveling."

It was my first time out east. I flew into the Newark Airport, landing about 15 minutes late. It took awhile to get my luggage, making it about 7:40 pm before I got outside, so I became concerned I might be keeping my shuttle waiting. I needant have worried. Turned out all 4 of my shuttle companions had delayed flights. It would be another hour and a half before they would arrive. This was a private shuttle. There wasn't enough time to run out to the location and back so we would have to wait. Rick, my driver, turned out to be a really great guy. Upon hearing this was my first time out east he kindly spent over an hour driving me around showing me Newark. It was very kind of him. We even stopped at a Dunkin Donuts. The conversation was very pleasant and we had a really great time. The planes were further delayed. It was midnight before we had gathered everyone and arrived at the hotel. It had been a long day and a short mini-adventure.

The week was fantastic. The participants were great and learned so much. It is so beautiful to watch each of them grow and change. I love when I get to play an intamate part in the transformation of a few of them. I made some new friends, renewed friendship with a couple old ones, and grew myself.

Coming home proved to be another adventure. This time I was flying out of LaGuardia Airport. The shuttle left the hotel at 8 am EST, even though my flight was at 2pm. It was a 2 hour drive. It was great having a real New Yorker with us giving us all the tour guide treatment. I saw the Bronx, the projects, Yankee Stadium, and all sorts of stuff. I got a mini-lesson on the history of he subway and how someone from Long Island "isn't really from The City, (it's kind of like a pissing contest around here.)" It was so cool. I had the great honor of hanging in the airport with one of my best friends. Although I was tired from a l-o-n-g fabulous night, it was still a beautiful day. We had a great visit about so many things. I looked forward to continueing the conversation on the plane.

When it came time to board, the crew seemed very rushed and many of the travelers seemed "stiff." Soon I found out why. Many of the passengers on this plane had been booked for the day before and had heir flight canceled. They were anxious to be on their way. Unfortunately, there was a storm coming in. We ended up not making it off the ground quickly enough. We sat on the tarmack for another 3 1/2 hours. I continued to visit with my friend, even as we realized we would miss our connections. We talked training ideas, business, real estate, families, just having a good time. Apparently we were entertaining many of those around us as they joined in after a few hours. Eventually we took off for our 2 hour flight.

Upon landing it was discovered another plane was at our gate. It would be another 20 minutes before we could dock up. Patience were wearing thing for a lot of people. I was still happy. Bothmy friend and I were able to get later connections. We were flying in different directions now so we said our good-byes. On my way to my new terminal I bought a new shirt and some food, just for fun. Arriving at the new gate, hooking up with a woman from the conference I was just at I found I was getting very "happy drunk." (I was very tired by now.) Us 2 women struck up a converstion with a fellow by the name of John in line next to us. To his credit he wasn't scared off at all. He joined in my delusional merriment, even going so far as to compliment me on both my attitude and looks. (He's the second person to tell me I look like Sandra Bullock when I smile. I don't, but love being told that!) This flight also ended up being delayed, but not so much, just about 30-45 minutes or something.

I got to sit next to John on the plane, as it turned out, and Chuck-the-very-bible-quoting-Christian. John happens to be follow the Wicca belief system and I was seated between them for a 3 hour something flight. It was very interesting. People always amaze me. Althought there were times I was a little concerned emotions might be getting tense, they ended up offereing to share a cab home. Funny. John was kind enough to let me sleep on his shoulder part of the flight as well as visisting off and on. Very interesting conversations.

Insted of flying home I was flying into Los Angelas to pick up a car my siser left me when she ran off to meet "Mr. Perfect" in Finland. My original itenarary had me landing at 8 pm PST. It was now getting on close to midnight PST, or 3am EST. I had instructions to get the car, of which I had never seen before. Lot C, Section E slot 503. Should be easy enough. Caught the shuttle over to lot C. Hmm...there is more than one section E...20+ in fact. Well, 503 might mean it is in section 5. Got off the shuttle. Walking towards section 5 I notice...there are no numbers on the slots. Hmm...maybe she meant level C at the parking garage? Back to the airport. Over to the garage...nope no numbers there either. OK. By now I am done. I am sorry to say my cheery chipper self collapsed. Stress began to build and I wanted to cry. Out of the past 45 hours, I had maybe 4 hours sleep if you added everything on the plane with the night before and I was done. I called my loving husband and begged for ideas and help. I went and asked security if there was an office I could go to. Closed for the night. I called my Honey back and cried. He comforted me, we prayed, for a miracle basically. I steeled my nerves and headed back out to lot C.

Waiting for the shuttle, still on the verge of tears, a kind older black man came out and sat at the station with me. He was getting off work. He was so reassuring and comforting, the first of the angels I would run across that night. Back at lot C, I began wandering around, searching for someone who could help me. I finally found a securiy guard. She had no answers but directed me to a sleeping shuttle driver. He was so kind. Once he understood my problem he quickly switched mental gears to trying to puzzle out where the car might be. He figured on a close by lot and even offered to take me there. Sure enough he found the right lot, dropped me off, unloading my luggage and left before I could even tip him. I was so happy to find that car. Then I still had about a 30 minute drive to the hotel another friend had arranged for me. There the clerk informed me they were crowded and had to bump me out of my room. Insted he moved me to a full suite with a king size bed, for rate discounted off the smaller room rate. I got the suite for less than half price, plus he checked me in faster than any clerk I have ever seen! I was in bed sleeping in minutes. I got over 5 hours that night.

You might think I was done, but no, I still had a 16 hour drive home! The following morning I had planned to meet with one of my mentors for an hour or two. We met, visited and he invited me back to his house to meet his wife and have lunch. DEFINATELY! We ended up spending the whole day together. I left there after 5 pm PST. About 30 minutes shy of Las Vegas and 10 pm I knew I was going to HAVE to stop for a nap. Well, there was an accident just at the edge fo town. 30 minutes of stop-and-go traffic as we funneled 3 lanes into one. I got sleepier and sleepier. Now I knew it was urgent I stop. It was becoming a struggle just to stay conscious. Apparently I was losing more than I thought. Lights flashed in my rear view mirror. I jumped as a light flashed in my eyes and the officer asked, "Have you been drinking, Mame?" I could not believe I was being pulled over for drunk driving. Well, it turned out my sister had neglected a few details before taking off for her trip. She left me the title to the car, but not signed over. Nor did she leave a bill of sale. The registration was expired...over 6 months and there was no insurance on the vehicle! I tried to explin the situation, but I am not sure I made sense, even though with all the adreniline in my system i was sure I must be wide awake now! He informed me he really should impound the car and haul me in, but insted was kind enough to let me off with a ticket and instruction to the nearest hotel. Yes sir! I went straight there, he followed the whole way. I walked into the lobby and just about collapsed as they were checking me in. I don't even remember getting bed. I set no alarm so I could sleep till I was done. It was obvious my body had finally just surrendered. This night, I slept almost 10 hours.

The next day was long, but fortunately mostly uneventful. I stopped in Salt Lake to see my step-dad and grab a 15 minute nap. I was so anxious to be home. I had planned on being home sometime Saturday. Now it was Sunday. It was almost 11 pm MST by the time I opened the door and stepped into my wonderful husband's arms. After kissing all the children as they lay sleeping, I cuddled up with Mr. Wonderful to enjoy a wonderful rest. After all, I would need the energy to catch up on laundry, dishes, floors, ect. the next day. *sigh* Welcome home.

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