Friday, November 8, 2013

The Celtic Thunder Cruise 2013 - Day 1

October 31st, 2013
Seattle-Tacoma Intl. Airport

As I write this, I’m sitting in the airport in Seattle. I’ve been up since 3am (it’s 4:50am now). 

The airport.

It’s been a busy morning. I was awakened by my mom, and was rather disoriented; I sat bolt upright, mumbling some surprised exclamation, and she told me, “Calm down, it’s okay.”

Despite having only gotten about four hours of sleep, I managed to wake up pretty easily. I got out of bed, and pulled on my gray turtleneck, red Ohio State hoodie, and a comfortable but modest pair of pants (Mom advised me to wear pants on the plane, as they would be more comfortable than skirts, and warmer).

Last night, right before I went to sleep, one of my professors had emailed me information I had been waiting for about one of my assignments. So I ran downstairs to print that out. While I waited for my school computer to boot up, I put on my hat and double-checked to make sure I had packed my MP3 player and my laptop.

I sent off a few farewell messages to two members of my adoptive family, printed the assignment information, and shut the computer down again. I packed the papers and spent the rest of the morning milling around the house.

Anyone who knows me can probably guess that, while I was excited… I was absolutely terrified. *wry half-smile*

I’ve never been on a plane before, or gone to the airport at 3am before, or even gone anywhere further than Oregon. So this is all new to me.

So yes; I was and still am very nervous. I felt sick in the car; not sick-sick, but anxiety-sick. I gave my mom a hug before we left; I thought she was nervous too, and she said she wasn’t. Really, I was giving her a hug to comfort myself just as much as her.

My dad drove us to the airport. I listened to Matthew West’s new album, Into The Light, while we drove; trying not to let myself lapse into a full-blown panic attack.

It seemed like no time at all before we got here to the airport; in reality, it had taken us at least forty minutes, probably more. We got out of the car and took our luggage out. Dad gave us all one last hug and we said goodbye for probably the third time.

It’s going to sound really silly, but I was fascinated by the luggage. *sheepish grin* See, as I’ve never had a reason to pack things before (except when I was six, but I hardly remember packing for that), I’m unaccustomed to the fact that the luggage has handles, and you can roll it along behind you!

Yes, I’m a sheltered homeschooler who has never experienced luggage before. XD

Anyway, we headed into the airport and checked in. Then we asked for directions, and a nice man told us where to go. Next stop—the security check.

This is one of the things that scared me the most. I was afraid the metal detector would go off for whatever reason, or one of my things would be confiscated for whatever reason—again, I’ve never been in an airport before, so my ignorance can be excused, yes?

As it turns out, I was supposed to take my laptop out of its briefcase and put it in a separate bin… but I didn’t. Because I didn’t know I was supposed to.

A security person made me put my MP3 player and earbuds (which were in my pocket) into a bin as well, which surprised me.

When I went through the metal detector, it didn’t go off, luckily. I went around to the conveyor belt to wait for the luggage…

…and then a woman came up, holding my luggage, and asked, “Do you have a laptop in here?”

I blinked, and told her that yes, I did. Mom asked her what was wrong, and she informed us that we were supposed to take the laptop out and put it in a separate bin.

Both Mom and I hurriedly explained that I had never been in an airport before, and Mom hadn’t been in one for a good twenty years. The woman was very nice and told us it was perfectly fine and that she wasn’t getting on us about it.

She took my laptop out and ran it through the x-ray again. Then she returned it to me, and I packed it back into the luggage case.

Then it was a hunt for the subway. Yes, for some reason, we had to take a subway to get to the terminal we needed to be at. We were supposed to take some escalators along the way—I opted for the stairs.

Why? Because I have a severe phobia of escalators.

When I was about nine, me and my brother were goofing off in a department store. We always used to race each other to the escalators. So I did do that, same as usual—but I tripped, and I nearly fell headfirst down the escalator. For several terrifying seconds, I was sort of flailing around, clinging to the handrail in an attempt not to crash down the steps.

A crowd gathered. :P Luckily, I was fine, but I have had a phobia of escalators ever since (I call them metal death traps). Once, Mom went to that same department store when I was about eleven—I panicked and started sobbing in the middle of the store. She and my brother went up without me, thinking that would force me to follow.

I didn’t. Luckily, a very kind man offered to hold my hand on the way up, and I managed to get up the steps without much trouble.

So yes, that’s why I took the stairs. We reached the subway soon after, which fascinated me because I’ve never seen one before. I wanted to take a picture, but the camera was packed away. *pouts*

The subway arrived, and me and my family boarded, along with several military men and a few other people. Mom and a few guys took up the few seats that were in the subway, so my brother and I (along with another woman and a guy from the Air Force) stood.

There were handrails, just like in the movies! And I had to hold onto one of them! XD Yes, I’m intrigued by the simplest things.

When the subway started moving, I was surprised at the backwards momentum it had; I had to hold on tight and struggle not to fall over. Me and my brother were grinning, and my mom made a few random remarks—I giggled and played along, probably sounding like a complete moron to the people with us, but too tired and anxious to really care.

We got off, and headed towards the terminal we were supposed to go to. On the way, there was another escalator. I again took the stairs.

But then, there was yet another escalator… and there were no stairs.

I panicked. :P My breathing got all shaky and rapid, and I started to tremble a little. Mom told me I would be fine, but I wasn’t able to think straight.

My brother was very sweet and offered to take my luggage as well as his own, so that way I wouldn’t have to hold any heavy luggage while I went up (he could tell I was panicking; he knows quite well how terrified I am of escalators).

I thanked him shakily, and he headed up the escalator. I had the sudden desire to hold Mom’s hand, but she had her luggage and couldn’t. So I took a deep breath, waited a few seconds… and stepped onto the escalator.

The whole time, Mom tried to lighten the mood by saying, “Don’t look up! Don’t look down!” (She was quoting a movie in which a character is on a bridge and tells another character, “Don’t look down!”)

I told her that my immediate reaction was to look up or down, and that made me very dizzy. I asked her to please stop. She did, thankfully.

We made it to the terminal without any more escalators, and sat down in a waiting area of sorts. Mom went into the restroom to fix her hair (she hadn’t before we left), and I rummaged through the luggage to find the camera.

I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I started to panic. When Mom came back to find me pawing through the luggage, she reached into a little pocket in the luggage and extracted the camera, saying, “Why didn’t you just ask me?”

How was I supposed to know she had moved it and repacked it in a different place without telling me? XD

Anyway, I then switched seats to one next to the… whatever-they’re-called. The things that you can plug your laptop charger into. Electrical outlets. Whatever. XD

My mom and brother looking out the window at the SeaTac airport.

And then I discovered free WiFi, and decided to look around for friends while I typed this journal entry. Most people are asleep, but I did, to my shock, get a hold of a friend I thought I would never speak to again, after he joined the Navy. *smiles* That was a lovely surprise.

Oh, it’s 5:36am, and I should pack up my laptop and get ready to board the plane. I shall type up another update as soon as I can.



October 31st, 2013
Atlanta Intl. Airport

I’m sitting in yet another airport. I’m disgruntled to find that there isn’t free WiFi; well, there is, but it only allows you on the airport site. So I’m sitting here typing this instead, while I wait for my next flight.

The flight was uneventful. I was quite nervous for a while, but, praise God, I didn’t have a panic attack. Thank you all for your prayers, by the way. *smiles*

When we entered the plane, I was shocked that something so huge could be so utterly tiny inside. As we walked down the aisles that were just barely wide enough for me to walk through with my luggage, I couldn’t stop thinking about how airplanes are apparently the opposites of the TARDIS—the TARDIS is small on the outside and huge on the inside… and planes are huge on the outside and small on the inside. *wry grin*

We hadn’t expected there to be a little television in front of us, but there was, and my brother discovered Cartoon Network, a channel we’ve not watched since we were five or six. For the several hours of the flight, we switched from watching Scooby-Doo, to random documentaries on Discovery Channel (one on ghosts and one on mysterious things like Bigfoot and UFOs).

I was enthralled by the view from the plane window. I took a ton of pictures of the sky and plane wing alone. I have a few pictures of the glow from the sunrise, and a lot of cool photos of clouds; I also got a video of the landing here in Atlanta.

I became extremely restless halfway into the flight—not moving for so long made me want to get up and walk around. I couldn’t though, obviously. I was thirsty, and fortunately the flight attendants gave me a cup of ice water at one point and a cup of apple juice at another.

When we were around one hour from landing, I finally got bored of watching TV (there’s only so much one can handle of the exact same Scooby-Doo plot in each episode, or overly-dramatic ghost nonsense).

Instead of writing like I should have, I decided to turn my MP3 player on and try to take a nap, as I was very tired; not only from so much anxiety, but also because of the fact I hardly slept last night.

I couldn’t get to sleep though, and soon we were about ready to land. I had a grin on my face as I looked down at the ground below; so this was Georgia. From what I could see, it was quite pretty. I found myself wishing that I could visit my Lizzysis while we were here, and feeling a little wistful that I couldn’t.

Finally, the plane landed (and I got video of it!), and after a long time of waiting for the crowded aisles to thin, my family and I headed out of the plane with our luggage.

Then we wandered around the airport in an attempt to find our terminal. And that’s where we are now. I just ate a cheese sandwich my mom packed for me, for lunch. It’s mind-boggling to think that at home, it’s 12:30pm, but here in Georgia, it’s 3:30pm.

Well, it’s almost time to get ready for the departure of our next plane. I’d better shut this laptop down and start packing up. I’ll hopefully be able to get online when we reach the hotel!

(Added note: Here's a bunch of the best pictures from the first flights. :) Enjoy!)

Our plane (the one leaving SeaTac for Atlanta).
The glow of the sunrise over the plane wing.


More of that same sunrise, glowing on the clouds.

Clouds and glowiness. XD

The screen that shows our altitude, tail wind, etc.

I loved the sunrise. Can you tell? ;)

The screen showing our progress across America.

Beautiful sunrise skyline.


Yeah, I was having a ball with the camera. XD

Glowing airplane wing!

Utah, I believe.

Mountainous area.


A weird, lone, white cloud of fluffiness. XD

More mountains.

Annnnd more mountains.

Annnnnd more mountains! XD

Yeah. More mountains. :roll:

Ish such fluffy cloudses! :D

Gorgeous view of mountains and clouds.

Clouds. XD

Snowy mountaintops.

.... I think this was Colorado. XD

See that shiny line? It's a river, I think. XD

Guess where this is. Yeah... Kansas. XD


An update of that progress-showing sscreen.

Prettttty cloudssss....

The plane wing and more clouds.

So fluffy. o.o


It's a herd of clouds! XD

Entering Georgia...

And here be Georgia!

Random solitary white cloud. XD

Preparing for landing...

More of Georgia, as we get closer.

In the Georgia airport! Here is two pieces of our luggage.

These things, plus my Bible, is what I brought to keep myself entertained.

Flying into Fort Lauderdale now. The sunset was BEAUTIFUL.

The back of my brother's head and the clouds from the airplane window. *snickers*

This is probably the most gorgeous photo I've ever taken. Sunset, clouds... wow.

Sunrays and clouds...

The plane wing again.

Absolutely beautiful.

Another similar photo that I'm very proud of.

It was like a fairy tale land...

Sunset casting gold light on clouds.

Fort Lauderdale's landscape. Swamp, fields, and cities. :P

Another snapshot of Fort Lauderdale's landscape.

*loves sunsets and sunrises*

Arriving in Fort Lauderdale...

The view of the sunset after landing.

Another favorite sunset photograph of mine.
[Links for the next six days coming soon. Also, there will be videos added to all of these later, so check back in!]

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