In July I posted that my son had gotten married in Dalian, China. He did. But the wedding was scheduled for September 10, 2011. My childhood friend, who is my son’s godmother, and I were able to fly there for the wedding. She had enough frequent flyer miles to fly for free. My son loaned me the money for my ticket. It seems he chose the same summer that my air conditioner broke down and had to be replaced and hail damaged my roof to the point it needed to be replaced as well. The wedding fell in the middle of those two events and part of the foundation needing repairs due to the drought, a new crown needed for my tooth due to a cavity underneath it, and a dented car door. Life goes on!
I didn’t sleep much the night before I left. I never do. I was all packed and ready to go. I left my home at 6:00 a.m. to get to the Park and Ride. I can park my car for free and enjoy a relaxing back seat ride to and from the airport in comfort. I followed the mapquest directions until I came to the Belknap ramp split. I forgot to stay to the left until it was too late. I took the road to the right.
Instead of entering Belknap Street, I found myself wandering around an industrial area of Fort Worth in the predawn dark in an area I had never had any reason to visit. The streets were narrow and semi cabs were strewn along them. I presumed they were filled with truckers waiting for their loads. I came upon a freight train parked across the road. I had to maneuver my car around in a U turn. Next I came to a dead end road and again had to turn around.
I’m not certain how I did it, but I finally managed to follow my Garmin directions and pulled into the Park and Ride at 6:40 a.m. I thought I had been told to be there by 6:30 and was worried I’d be late. I was told the driver would be there to pick me up by 6:55. I sat down in the waiting room to let the morning’s adrenalin work its way out of my system. By 7:05 the driver appeared.
We said our good mornings and he took my bag to load into the van while I entered and buckled myself in. He sat in his seat and was just about to pull out when I realized I didn’t have my carry-on bag. Just in time I told him to “STOP!” and explained. He turned off the motor. I reentered the waiting room and found my bag right where I had left it. Thank goodness. Of course, except for the attendant I was the only person there so the bag was perfectly safe.
One must not be prone to anxiety attacks when driving from Fort Worth to the airport. One must leave at least two hours ahead of time to allow for traffic. I knew that. I knew my flight did not start boarding until 8:30 a.m. Yet it was difficult to keep that in mind as we inched ourselves the twenty five miles in bumper to bumper traffic along TX 121. Actually, the wait in the van equalled the wait I would have had at the gate. Check in and security were relatively fast and I was cleared to board. I had no more than fifteen minutes at the gate before I embarked on my newest adventure.
My friend and I met up with each other in Chicago. She had to start out even earlier than I. She flew from Florida to Houston and then to Chicago. Fortunately, she flew into Terminal B on Continental and had to find me in Terminal C. We originally thought we’d have to find our way to the International Terminal M, traveling by train, but luckily United had all its flights in the same terminal.
By the time we found each other, (thanks to cell phones) we had fifteen minutes to spare after having our visas checked (along with 500 other passengers). We once again boarded for our thirteen hour flight to Beijing.
I did not include my diary on this trip so I can’t report day to day but I’ll continue with the highlights of the rest of the trip tomorrow. Namaste. Attic Annie