I have had so many emotions and thoughts since I left home. The Thompson family picked me up at 3:45 AM on April 30th and we headed for McGhee Tyson. It took a little bit to get through the check-in and security. Man, are things different since I flew 16
years ago! Once we got on the plane (which was smaller than I thought it would be), we pulled out of our terminal only to have the pilot come over the intercom and tell us that there was a problem with one of the sensors on the plane (egads!). But I will say, the peace God has given me for this trip has lasted. I never batted an eye. I figure it was God’s way of keeping us on the ground just a little longer, kind of like when we get behind a slow vehicle on the road. You know He has every minute planned, right?
I made the comment many times throughout the morning that I felt like I was an autopilot. I kept waiting for this big aha! Moment when things would finally seem real. At the ticket counter, the gentleman politely asked, “Final destination: Manila?” and that about did it. Wow, just wow.
The flight to Houston was smooth. I am in awe of our beautiful mountains. I think I stared out the window the whole flight. I love watching the topography roll, the dimples and ridges where God’s fingertips pinched up the soil and formed our lovely Smokies. I took some pictures of my kiddos and my cousin’s kiddos’ Flat Stanleys, Stellas, and Staceys as we flew over.
As we neared Houston, I found the geometry fascinating. Stories ran through my head about the people who created those square and rectangular farms. About how from the ground it looks so different.
In Houston we ate and rested a bit. Recharged our cell phones and prepared for the next leg of the journey. Our plane to Tokyo is huge and has so many amenities. Though I’m not gonna lie, the toilet is a bit intimidating. It’s rather loud and you can feel the air sucking through it when you flush it. Okay, so maybe that’s more details than you needed, but this country girl has never pottied 30,000 feet above the ground.
I’ve managed to nap some, though comfort in these little chairs isn’t exactly forthcoming. Oh! Passing over the Rockies was spectacular! I don’t think I quite fully envisioned the grandeur and grandness of the scale of this amazing place until today. And now I get why westerners who are used to the Rockies laugh when we easterners say we have mountains. Ha!
As I type, we are a little over halfway to Japan. I’ve not seen much of the ocean. There is an almost palpably thick layer of clouds below us and the sun is blinding! So the entire plane has their windows closed. There is this really neat feature on the tablets in the backs of the chairs in front of us, though. It’s a live feed camera from the front of the plane. So I’ve been watching the horizon on the screen and wishing I could see the waves out the window. Maybe on the way home! The plane is not crowded and, in fact, I have an empty seat between me and my row mate. He is a neat older Japanese man who doesn’t speak much English, but his smile is great.
I didn’t quite think about the fact that I would be in the air when day one of our trip ended. So I guess I will post day 1 on day 2 and day 2 on day 2 too. I’ve worked on a little planning for my next book, developing Griffith Andrew Humphrey’s character. Strange that he is coming to me first. Usually it’s my heroine. But, hey, I’ve also never brainstormed in a giant sky bus either.
This is long, so I will finish up by saying I’m so thankful for His blessings. I’ve managed to fight off any headache and nausea with a few medicines, the food has been good, and, as my dad would say, “It’s all been better than a sharp stick to the belly.” I miss my family already, but I know they are in good hands, and I cannot wait to share my experiences with them when I get home.
Feel free to leave any comments or ask me any questions. I’d be happy to answer as I’m able and I’d love to know you’re reading along with me.
DAY 2–I honestly have no idea where day 2 went! We flew all day today and never saw a sunset last night. It was so strange! We are in Manila for the night at the Red Planet Hotel. Showering, crashing, and then back to the airport in time to fly to Naga City tomorrow.
I hope to add pictures tomorrow. Fingers crossed!