Sunday, June 14, 2009

10:55AM- On the Bus to the O’Hare Airport in Chicago
The Excitement and nerves of traveling have not yet set in. I’m sitting here on this bus surrounded by my friends and their parents. This is going to be a fantastic trip, I can already tell! I neglected to eat breakfast and so I have already broken in to my supply of snacks!! Oh man. I have a two hour bus ride ahead of me until we reach O’Hare; the first long bus ride of many. I’ll write later, once we pass customs and such.

2:08 PM- Terminal B17 Lufthansa
We’re all through check-ins and security with no major incidents. Haha, that’s really, really good. Kera, Bubba, and I got lunch at the American Bagel Bakery. It left a lot to be desired, but what can I say? It is airport food!
I have to admit, traveling feels very different this time around. When we went to Italy, I was all nerves; now, not so much. I just feel calm and excited. Can one be calm AND excited at the same time? Maybe calm isn’t the right word…
Every now and then I hear the rush of another plane taking off. I want to know where the passengers are headed. Melissa asked me if I ever wonder where all the people around us in the terminal are going. Of course I do! Every person’s trip has a unique story and every story somehow connects to the story of that person’s life. It intrigues me.
Our flight is at 3:45 PM, so we have quite some time to just sit and chill. Some of our group members are terribly nervous. Jake Pelley won’t show it, but I can tell he is WAY out of his element. Jessica Stinette is very concerned as well. She keeps calling her mother on her cell phone and glancing around the terminal with a worried look. She went for a walk with Ms. Webb, so I’m sure that will calm her down.
I’m considering taking Kera and going off in search of paper. I feel the urge to make something! I’ll write more later.

4:30 PM Chicago Time- At 34,000 Feet, Lufthansa Seat 48 F
I’m jamming out to the in-flight radio: Channel 24, it’s Arabic and blowing my mind! Very different. I ended up sitting next to Kera, Melissa, and Bubba. We are in the center aisle of seats, Kera is on the far left aisle seat, and Melissa is next to her, then me, then Bubba on the right aisle seat. It’s a pretty good set-up if you ask me. Our whole group is scattered throughout this plane and this thing is HUGE!!! I’m glad that everyone got through the take off okay. There were no freak-outs that I know of, although I don’t know where Jessica is sitting. People have been shuffled around several times and it causes confusion.
Seven and a half hours ahead of me until we arrive in Frankfurt, Germany. It’s going to be a whole new world when we get off the plane. German! I can’t even begin to understand that language. I’m horribly excited; it’s going to be crazy.

7:35 PM or so it says on my Chicago Time watch, uhm….where are we?
Dinner on this flight was actually good and it surprised me! I had chicken, rice, vegetables, bread, cheese (along with my Wheat Thins I brought), fresh fruit, and an apple cobbler thing. I’m….full! Again, surprised. It’s starting to look like sleeping time here on the plane. I hope I get to see the sunrise in the morning.
I took a brief walk around the plane with Bethany and Melissa. We are really packed in here like sardines! Again, I wonder, how many people are going home? How many like us are leaving home? How many have traveled before? How many what to do? How many don’t? It just makes me so curious. I’m spending eight hours of my life with these people and I don’t know their stories at all! I know Melissa’s and Bubba’s and Señora’s and Alec’s….but all these other people? Nothing. I only know whether or not they want chicken and rice for dinner.
I’ve seen several couples asleep already. It makes me wonder even more. Are they married? Does he love her more than he can ever say? I think the one thing I really get from any traveling experience is that there is so much life in this world. So much to see, so much to do, so many people to meet, so many stories to hear, so many stories to write. Traveling kind of makes me step back and take a look at the magnitude of options there are in life. How can someone go on living knowing they made the wrong choice? Because life is so short, I feel almost required to choose correctly every time. It’s not that I am not allowing myself to make mistakes, it’s just that I don’t want to make so many that I run out of time to make the right choice. Life is so beautiful; such and intricate tapestry of all these ways we interact with other people. It’s intense, to say the least…the very least.
Kera has been zoning out for pretty much the whole flight. I’m kind of worried about her. I think she’ll be fine but still, I’m concerned. I don’t want her to get sick on this trip, too!!!
Earlier, before dinner, I had made (with the help of Kera and Melissa) books out of magazine pages. It was pretty wonderful. We all wrote stories for each other and they were so funny!
Okay, I think I need to TRY to sleep, at least. Tomorrow is going to be beastly, so good night for now.
According to my I Pod, It’s 3:08 AM in Paris right now. Joy.

Much Love,

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