Blog for Thursday, March 17 (Happy St. Patrick’s Day)
Our trip officially begins today! We stayed last night at the Comfort Suites in Kansas City, KS and started our journey this morning there. I woke up around 5:15 and could not get back to sleep. Excited – nervous it was a recipe for a sleepless time. We got up, got ready and headed to breakfast in the lobby. I was so glad we chose a hotel with hot breakfast – the waffles and sausage really hit the spot and we knew it was going to be a pretty long time before we would get another meal.
After breakfast, Sara picked us up at the hotel and took us for a quick Wal-Mart run. We, being the smart ones that we are, didn’t bring an alarm clock – too used to relying on our cell phones as alarm clocks. So, we purchased a battery-powered clock and some AA batteries. As we were driving toward the airport I finally read the box containing the clock and realized it required AAA batteries – genius move.
Check-in in KC was pretty uneventful. We met up with the other four people in our group – Josh, Tabitha, Hannah and Rocio – and Josh worked his magic and made it so we didn’t have to pay for our checked bags even though we were technically taking a domestic flight. We got through security and waited for our first leg of the journey.
Our flight to New York was on a fairly small regional plane. There were two seats on each side. I sat by Tara in the last row of the plane. This was Rocio’s first plane trip ever and the flight attendants even gave her a pair of wings. Ironically the flight attendants were named Sara and Stephanie (the names of my sister and Amanda’s sister) – just a little fun fact!
We mated it to NYC a little earlier than planned…by almost half an hour. It was fun to see some of the skyline was we landed at La Guardia – knowing exactly one year ago I as in NYC for the first time, watching the St. Patrick’s Day parade, visiting Central Park, going to Phantom of the Opera and seeing the Top of the Rock. When we got off the plane, we found our luggage and called for our ride to JFK. What an experience that ride was! We saw the new Yankee Stadium and had some interesting lane changes, but we got to JFK in one piece. We got our tickets and joined the long security line at the Delta counter. We had a small snafu at security…Amanda was trying to sneak through some squeeze cheese – how dare she?! She made it through the KC security check with it, but those wily agents in NYC caught her – 8 whole fluid ounces, well over the allowed 3!
After the security check we decided to find a place to eat. We settled on Chili’s and had a nice, relaxing dinner – with some fancy entertainment for St. Patty’s Day. There was a singer named Ami (yes, with an i) someone or another. She was a decent for an airport singer. The people at the restaurant went ALL OUT for St. Pat’s day with glow necklaces, beats, hats, etc. for the patrons. It was our first real food (besides pretzels on the plane) since breakfast, so the chicken wrap really hit the spot.
After dinner we had about an hour and a half until boarding, so we walked around, read some – today’s first picture – and then it was time. We got on the plane…and started our trip to Italy. This plane is obviously much bigger than the first plane we took. There are two seats, an aisle, three sits, another aisle and then two seats. Because we are sitting alphabetically, I am smack dab in the middle of the plane.Rocio and Hannah are sitting to my right (the second picture) – then Amanda, Tara and I are in the middle – with Josh and Tabitha to our left.
The plane offered movies, but “luckily” we were in the section that wasn’t working properly…we were really excited because you could choose the movies you wanted to watch and you had complete control, but our movies kept freezing – so we stared at the screens – which were very welcoming (haha) and watched the flight path, but didn’t get to watch the movies. We also had dinner – some pasta, a salad, cheese, bread and a brownie…which wasn’t bad for airplane food. I’m pretty sure I will have a tough time sleeping, but hopefully i can just rest a little.
I really can’t believe I’m actually on my way to Italy. I’m on a plane, headed for an exciting and memorable experience. I can’t wait to share it with you!