Friday, November 12, 2010

Now or Never

Back when we made our bucket lists as part of a grad class assignment, many of my co-workers included "taking a team trip" as part of their lists.

At the time of making those lists, they were envisioning an all-inclusive resort at a tropical destination.  But, with Tiffany soon getting married and possibly moving away and Steph thinking about having another baby, we realized that there wasn't much time to save up for and take a trip of such magnitude.  So, we decided to settle for a domestic trip.

Because we knew it would be now or never.

About a month ago, one of them (it all happened so fast, I don't remember whose idea it was) threw out the idea of going to visit Russ in Texas.  So, we picked a weekend that worked for everyone and booked our flights.  It just so happened that it was Steph's birthday weekend, which was an added bonus.

Steph is becoming notorious for having really fun birthdays.

We planned very little for this trip.  Until a few days before we left, we hadn't even decided whether or not we would be sleeping in a hotel room.

On Thursday after school, we drove down to Kansas City.

Tiff was kind enough to drive...

Steph was kind enough to make some cookies for the ride down...

 which were quickly devoured...

We stopped at a Dairy Queen in St. Joe to get some dinner, but we left after we saw that the menu had very few choices:

That's it.  Hot dogs (with any combination of chili and/or cheese) and BBQ.  Neither of which sounded appetizing to us.  So, we went to Mr. Goodcents instead.

After a few short hours, we arrived at the airport.

Since Starbucks was conveniently located right outside of our gate, I couldn't resist.

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 8:45, but when we arrived, we learned that the plane was running late.  Apparently, so was the plane that was supposed to leave at 7:40.

After sitting around a while, a man asked us if we wanted to get on the 7:40 flight (which was, at this time, an hour behind schedule).  We told him we would, but also noted that we had already checked our luggage for the 8:45 flight.  He made a few calls and then told us that we were good to go with the earlier flight (which was to leave at our originally scheduled flight time).

He then told us that he recommended that we run in order to catch that flight.

So, we ran through the Kansas City International Airport.  It felt kind of like Home Alone.

As it turns out, there was no need to panic.  It was a game of "hurry up and wait" as we waited in line at our new gate for fifteen minutes as we waited to board.

After we boarded, all went well.  The flight was smooth, and I was able to get some reading done.

When we landed at Love Field in Dallas, TX, we waited for Russ to come pick us up.

He showed up in a small pick-up, which he had borrowed from his friend.

It was a tight squeeze, but we made it.  The plan was for us to drop off our things at our hotel and then return this truck to Russ's friend.  From there, we would take Russ's car, which he agreed to let us drive for the weekend.

Unfortunately, Russ's friend was not answering his phone or his door when we showed up there.  We needed him to answer so that we could get the keys to Russ's car.

So, we all piled back into the pick-up and drove the twenty minutes back to Russ's to get the spare key to his car.

It was a tight squeeze.

After another thirty minute drive, we arrived back at Russ's friend's apartment and got the car.  That was followed by another thirty minute drive to get Russ back to his apartment ad then another thirty minute drive to get back to our hotel.

Thank goodness for Wanda, our GPS navigation system!

As we pulled in to our hotel parking lot at about 1:30, we realized that because of all that us took to get us to where we were going, it may have been faster to drive all the way to Dallas.

Oh, well.

The room ended up being pretty perfect for us.  I have come to really love SpringHill Suites by Marriott.  They have two beds (complete with awesome pillows and down comforters) plus a sleeper sofa, so you can comfortably sleep five or six people.

They have a kitchenette for storing and preparing quick snacks, and the shower heads in their bathrooms put other hotels to shame.  Also, they have a free hot breakfast complete with make-your-own waffles, sausage, eggs, bacon, and various bread products.  This hotel chain has become my family's default when we travel, and I'm glad that my co-workers were willing to give it a chance.

We didn't waste time going to sleep, as we knew that we would have a busy day ahead of us.

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