First task on the list for this year's Christmas break: make it to Julie's wedding.
That might not sound very difficult. I mean, I bought the tickets, I packed my bags, I took the train to the airport the night before my flight and "slept" there, so you'd think that it would follow quite easily that once I was through security I'd have no trouble getting to the wedding. Of course, if you really think this way then you've probably never flown anywhere. Especially not internationally.
After saying goodbye to Mark in the security line I hurried to my gate and looked at my boarding passes. Now I've always known that the departure time and boarding time are not exactly the same, but generally I'd expect when you order tickets they'll offer you flights that you can actually make. This time, however, as I looked at my tickets I realized that my arrival time was ten minutes after I was supposed to begin boarding my next flight. Having never flown into the Warsaw airport I had no idea if I would be able to make such a tight schedule, and when our flight was delayed by ten or twenty minutes my worries escalated. Fortunately, there were at least ten or twelve other people on my current flight booked on the same flight to Chicago, and it was the same airline, Polish Air LOT. All the same, I was nervous, and spent the whole flight reminding myself that God is in control and I am not and there was nothing I could do in the meantime. To make matters worse, we were on one of those little planes that they land far from the gates and then you have to take a bus to get to the terminal, so even though we were first off the plane we had to wait for everyone else to get off anyway.
You should have seen the group of us running through the Warsaw airport. We pushed it for sure, rushing through passport control and through security to get to our gate, only to discover our next flight had been delayed so we were in good order.
The good things about this fact:
1.)We got on the plane
2.)Our luggage also had a chance to make it on the plane.
The not so great things about this:
1.) Our plane left about an hour after it was scheduled to leave.
2.)The two hours I was supposed to have between landing and boarding in Chicago were reduced to about an hour.
Now an hour might be enough time in general between flights, but this was an international flight. That means that, after arrival we had to reclaim our bags, go through customs, recheck our bags, go on a train to a totally different terminal (mine was the farthest possible from my starting point) go through security once again, race from the front of the terminal through the underground passage and then to the far end of the terminal. Needless to say I was a bit out of breath. Especially since my luggage didn't arrive until the 3rd little burst or bags which had about a five minute delay in between. All the same, I did make it to my flight on time. It too, had been briefly delayed. Sadly it wasn't delayed quite long enough for my bags to show up in Portland when I did arrive at last. (sigh)
It was great to be greeted by Janet, Ryder, Tyler and Jack at the baggage claim from which I did not claim any baggage. After filing my claim and giving them the address of the hotel I was going to be staying at we continued out of the airport and off to Taco Bell, my joyous return to stateside dining ;)
My first night back in the US was spent at a lovely Salem hotel, no doubt the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in, celebrating Julie's last night as a single woman. It was nothing crazy, but it was great fun to be with her and Jessie and a few of her other close friends. Jessie went home for the night, seeing as she has motherly duties to attend to, and the rest of us talked until around 2 AM. So crazy to think that little Julie, who I have had the privilege to know since she was 14 and sometimes the annoyance of knowing from the age of 6 (ha ha ha) is now a married woman. What an amazing thing. I've seen her grow up from the little six year old who bit me into a truly amazing woman who I am blessed to call my friend and little sister.
I woke up around 6 and went down to see if my bag had, indeed, arrived. Sadly it wasn't there. After a call to United, they assured me it would be there by 11 (which was consequently when we needed to check out of the hotel.) We had a lovely breakfast in the hotel, and then people started getting ready for the day. My bag did show up around 9, so I was able to have a dress to wear to the wedding after all. Jessie came back to join us and then we headed over for Julie's hair appointment. Then it was off to Jefferson, with a stop at Dutch Brothers on the way where I got a most scrumptious candy cane mocha.
The wedding was a truly lovely affair. I was there for all the hug support that Julie needed, as well as checking on little details, like placement of corsages and boutonnières, making sure that the mix of music I made for the event was ready to be played, adjusting the blanket and petals for Citlati and Dylan's wagon, and telling people to head on inside so we could get things started. It all turned out fabulously.
The wedding was lovely, and the reception was a lot of fun. Janet and the boys were there as well so we sat together and just enjoyed the festivities. I helped with some of the clean up, then we headed back to McMinville where I crashed out by 9.
Here are a few pics to commemorate the occasion.
I give you the happy couple: Chad and Julie Granum!