Sunday, May 29, 2011

enthusiastic traveler

Traveling to Europe, or any place overseas, is a long journey. You can't always plan for things and you have to just roll with the punches. I rolled with many a punch yesterday. Of course "rolling" is a whole lot easier when kids aren't involved and I was traveling home from Stockholm alone. I must add that I was so excited to get home to David and Zach that I literally skipped through the airport! (Only to be completely let down). Here's what it takes to get back to Texas (with several punches along the way):

4:30am wake up in Stockholm
5:15am get a ride to the airport
7:15am flight from Stockholm to London
11:15am flight from London to Dallas
11:00am problem with plane, 2 hour delay
1:30pm board new plane
2:30pm new plane also has a problem, heart sinks as the captain cancels the flight
3:00pm de-board plane, go through customs, collect baggage, get back to ticket line to find a new flight
4:00-6:30pm wait in line to see what flight they can put me on
6:30pm realized I didn't have to wait in line since I was flying business class
6:40pm (David prays for a miracle when I told him it would be another 2 days before I could get home) a miracle seat on the next day flight opens up as I'm considering going to both of NYC's airports and spending the night in one
6:45pm Alana calls me from her new London number and offers to let me stay with her
7:30pm eat dinner at the airport
8:30pm finish dinner and look in the mirror for the first time that day
10:00pm get on Piccadilly line to meet Alana and her boyfriend, Jon, at King's Cross
11:15pm arrive at King's Cross
11:30pm meet up with Alana and Jon, change clothes, go out to the pub and the bar (2 different things in London as Jon explains)
4:00am leave the pub
5:30am go to sleep
7:30am wake up and return to airport
9:30am write this blog
....and if all goes well, I will be home with my boys this afternoon after a 10 hour flight.

Wow. That's a whole lot of traveling. I was so so excited to see Alana at her flat that she just moved into a week ago and meet her boyfriend. I lived with Alana in college one year and we also spent a summer in Hawaii together taking summer classes (but mostly just partying)! She is such a great longtime friend and we call each other Ma, which Jon thought was very very strange. Silly Americans!

Alana and Jon had been in Cambridge having a fancy dinner and Jon said, "there's always a wanker in a suit", referring to himself (with his British accent) and it just made me laugh. Other things I learned were words like punchy, as in "How's this bar? Is it too punchy for you or do you like it here?" or, alternatively "Look at that punchy girl whose skirt is too short." Speaking of British accents, I'd be happy to only hear that accent for the rest of my life. I think it's quite lovely really. I try to say things now like "quite lovely" because I just love the way the British arrange their words, always sounding polite and endearing. And I may have just learned a whole lot of British slang and curse words from Jon (which I enjoyed because even if all you say are curse words, they sound quite lovely and charming when they are spoken with a British accent)!

Jon continuously commented that I was the world's most enthusiastic traveler and he just couldn't get over the fact that I was awake, with energy, smiling, and completely excited to be in London with them for the night. I thought that comment was interesting and I know my immediate family will as well because I actually really hate traveling and I especially hate airports and airplanes. But, when push comes to shove, and David is praying, I guess I really was the world's most enthusiastic traveler yesterday. I woke up this morning with a smile and gave them hugs goodbye and Jon again said I was just impossibly awake and upbeat for going on no sleep. Alana said it must be because I am used to sleepless nights with Zach. I would say she hit the nail on the head. I have become the world's best morning person as well since Zach was born.

I guess I realized that happiness is a conscious decision sometimes. I chose to be happy. I chose to look at the bright side. Even when I realized I had stood in the wrong line, for no reason, for 2.5 hours, I realized that things could be much worse. I met a nice guy from Mexico and we talked throughout the entire 2.5 hours, keeping each other company, joking around about all the pissy people around us. He was skeptical about things not getting any worse yesterday but I quickly made him realize that, yes, things could be much worse. What if you had to go pee and get out of line after standing in it forever. What if the airline lost your suitcase. What if you had a crying baby or a wild toddler in that line. What if you were going home to devastation and heartache. He agreed.

I hope I can choose to be happy a lot more often. It's so easy to let little things frustrate you. And I know that being away from my everyday life makes it a little easier to choose happiness in less than ideal situations. Why is that? I think its like having your own kids versus taking care of someone else's - everything is more emotional and personal. I hope that I can remember that choosing happiness makes everyone feel better and will give me and my family a good view on life, keeping the wordly disappointments in perspective.

I believe that none of the passengers on my flight yesterday were meant to leave London that day. What are the odds of two planes having technical issues. Slim. I believe in the power of prayer. I believe in happy accidents (which really aren't accidents at all when God is behind you). Had I not stood in the wrong line, I wouldn't have been able to leave until Monday or Tuesday, I would have gone to a hotel, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to spend a night out in London with Alana, and I wouldn't have learned British slang. Ok, that last one really isn't important.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. sounds like one crazy crazy adventure! p.s. your header picture is so adorable :)

  2. God has a plan!! Wow, so cool you got to see Alana!! and happiness SO often is a choice. so true!

  3. I also looooooove the British accent! It's beautiful...and it makes them sound so smart, too! :0)
    Lucky you for getting to travel, but bummer about the way it all panned out on your way home. How awesome that you had a hubby praying for you, and that you had such a good attitude about it all. That must have been God giving you what you needed to get through it. :0) Hope you're safe at home now!