Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Airport Lottery

Day 1

Not even ten hours out of the gate and the adventure has began. I caught the red eye flight last night with my bestest friend Marilyn... aka my flight attendant friend. Marilyn has decided to travel to Europe with me and sightsee as we haven't been on a trip together for years. We are also met up with another woman,, Megan. I just met her but she seems like a doll.

We arrived at Kennedy airport at 6am Monday morning and had no idea where we were headed from here or at what time. This is where the adventure begins. All the flights to Madrid and Barcelona are overbooked, and since we are flying standby we needed to find another way into Europe.

So there we were sitting in the middle of the airport looking at a tiny yellow sheet of paper, ripped from a tablet of flights to 18 different cities or countries we could fly into. The top choices were Ireland, Switzerland or Germany. We would then rent a car and go wherever the road takes us. How cool is this???

Well after hours of deliberation, we decided to head over to Newark Airport where we had more of a shot to get on a flight out.

Well, Marilyn, the sweet talker that she is, was able to obtain a comp pass for one of us on a shuttle. Only after did we pay and were waiting for the bus did we find out the shuttle was heading to Central Station in Manhattan and we would have to pick up another shuttle there to  the airport.

Fast forward 2 plus hours and we arrive at the airport.  We spent another hour in the staff travel office talking with a representative.

To best describe the day lets use the highway analogy.  We non- airport employees get in the car and decide which highway best gets us from point A to point B.  Airline employees talk their own language using terms like non- rev (non- revenue) and and ACT (airline control tower as described in why planes are running late), and then decide what country to go to. They discuss what their seniority level is, how many passengers are on standby and look at weather conditions and which planes are late.  It is then put into a matrix designed by the employee, and bullseye, now we have a country to fly into..

Well after a long day of trying to get on flights, and walking five miles with luggage through two airports, we ended up flying into Shannon, Ireland. Instead of touring Spain we are touring Ireland for 4 days and then I head over to school.

Since this is a day behind... More to come soon on our Ireland adventure.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Well folks the time has come... I am on my way to Oviedo, Spain.
I don't know how, but I was able to pack everything I need, and maybe some stuff I don't, into a 21-inch carry-on and a backpack for electronics and camera gear.

I am sooo excited and also nervous to be heading out on this journey of studying abroad. It didn't happen overnight. The process was long and well-thought-out. I knew when I attended orientation at the University of Utah last year that this would be my goal. The process of applications, essays and teacher recommendations was long. Then, the waiting to find out about acceptance into the program and about scholarships. After we found out we were accepted, there were meetings and lots of prep work.

But here we are as time moves by so fast. How blessed I am to have this opportunity to study language and culture in a foreign land. Never in my mind did I think at his point in my life opportunities like this would arise.

Life is funny and we need to always keep plugging even when it seems impossible, and boy do I know that feeling.

Oh by the way... good news... At the very last minute a scholarship came through, helping out the financial burden. There were less than two hours left in the day to be notified and there it was.

It is a national scholarship and one I am so honored to receive.

I am not great at keeping up on blogs or journaling, but I hope that this will give me an outlet to post pictures and an opportunity to stay in touch and for you to offer words of encouragement through the process. For all you tech geeks, the amount of SD card space I am taking with me equals 4585 frames without clearing discs. Be prepared to be inundated with pictures.

Thank you all for supporting me- I couldn't do this without you.


Paul enjoy the quiet and keep an eye on our kids for me. I love you and will  miss you so much. Friends please keep Paul busy while I am away so he isn't stuck in the house eating Chinese food every day.