So since our break-neck trip through Europe (that we've affectionately entitled Storm Normandy), I've been on hiatus from this here blog. Until now, that is.
The next seventeen or so posts, I hope to somewhat tastefully recount the happenings of this great voyage of ours. You might not, but I do certainly hope that you enjoy.
After a nearly sleepless night, I awoke to the incredible smell of eggs and bacon. And fire. As the smoke alarm went off violently I heard the flustering attempt to turn it off. After a moment or two of silence, it would sound its melodious alarm again, alerting the household of our impending doom. I stumbled sleepy-eyed from my room and saw JJ smilingly making breakfast for me and Sam in our rustic, retro kitchen. It was a most pleasant way to wake up indeed. I then ran out to take care of some last minute errands before our departure, only to find that Armageddon had struck nearly every single road in the greater Elgin area.
I quickly found that I couldn't turn down a single street without being redirected down five other streets. Literally. It was quite the event. I finally returned home, threw some things in a backpack, and we were off to the airport. Now it will be useful to note that Sam was meeting up with Zach who had flown in to Chicago from South Carolina just a couple hours earlier. I, however, was on a separate flight all together that left an hour later than theirs, from the same airport. So after we dropped Sam off at his terminal, JJ and I circled the airport a few times, and then I was dropped off as well. Upon entering the airport I realized that there was literally no one in line at the check-in, which of course led me to the suspicious belief that I had missed some enormously critical detail and was going to miss my flight, if I hadn't already. But the infamous Simkins luck was not at work here thankfully, and I simply had a remarkably hassle free check-in on this fine 89 degree Chicago day. I was quite early, but eager to enjoy some prime people watching.
Airports may be the very best place for the rapidly fading pastime of people watching. Individuals of every shape and color, in almost every state of human emotion, and from every corner of the earth can be found in this strange gathering place. When you’re by yourself you can observe so many surprisingly human interactions. The slick and smooth businessman who makes certain that you know he's a frequent flier by his brash attitude and cool indoor sunglasses, or the middle-aged man with the fanny pack and neck pillow that he wears all around the terminal, even into the bathroom. Or the mother who decided that it would be a fun and educational experience to fly with her thirty-seven children. I find them each so interesting.
I finally boarded the first flight to Philly where I would later catch my connecting flight to Dublin. Because I was attempting to function on only 3 hours of sleep however, I don't remember much of the flight at all. I do remember, during one of my brief waking moments, that the view of clouds outside my window. They looked like a sort fantasy world where the ground was made of whipped cream, and the sky was made of powdered sugar. It would only be a “fantasy” if you were not diabetic, I suppose. Apparently the heavens aren’t. But as the sun burst through the scattered powdered clouds above onto the sea of thick white swirls below me, I couldn't help but think of this as a different world all together. When we descended below the landscape of smooth and gossamer moisture though, it was obvious that it is certainly not always sunny in Philadelphia. The view from the ground was gray, grim, and dark. I saw a bright and shining sun in Philadelphia today, but most of its residents did not.
It's fascinating what just a few thousand feet can do to one's perspective.