I got up this morning at 6am struggled around to pack up Kim's sleeping bag (I hate leaving it everywhere...) and got the rest of my personal things together. Put on some clothes and went to say goodbye to Kim. She got up, which really took me by surprise, but it meant a lot to me that she came to the airport with me to say goodbye there. Then we loaded up the car and headed off. The airport was decently busy with people. The typical morning hustle and bustling about of people with far too much luggage to handle normally and TSA security officers at every turn. The longest wait was probably for security. I really didn't care. I had plenty of time before my flight and wasn't concerned about getting through immediately. Then, knowing that my gate was C21 (why so far???), I began to mosey my way down the C concourse towards my gate. I, of course, took all the walking sidewalks I could (which are actually moving, not walking, because as we all know, sidewalks, don't actually walk of their own volition). Stopped at Wendy's for breakfast, contemplated coffee, but oddly enough, decided against it. Then I continued to mosey on over to the gate where I waited for about 10 minutes before boarding.
The flight wasn't actually that bad. I managed to sleep through a good portion of it. Strangely waking up just as we flew over Bend, again over the Steens Mountains, and then again over the Grand Canyon (that was a surprise, haha BAM!!! canyon!). Phoenix is hot. Need I say more? Yes. It's hot. And it's dry. It's pretty, but in a really different way. I liked it, but not in the sweater and jeans I was wearing from the previously drizzly Portland.
The Phoenix airport is quite a bit larger than PDX, and I always manage to forget this, still not sure why. Anyway, had to walk from the A gates to the B terminal, which wasn't that big of a deal (more walking sidewalks). Got lunch and boarded my flight pretty much directly without any additional waiting. I found out post getting completely on my flight that we were supposed to check our bags that were of normal carry-on size and only keep our "personal" items with us, but I just managed to walk past that dude and got both my bags on. Really, I didn't really realize it and also, I guess it may have crossed my mind, but I basically didn't care. My duffle bag still fit under the seat *boosh* which was an exciting discovery. That flight seemed to be longer. Maybe because it was hot in the plane, I was hungry (ate my Quizno's), and generally done with flying for the day. Plus, the sun was super reflective on the wing of the plane into my window, which was lame.
I did take a few pictures of the first flight. I was basically too lazy after awhile to even just struggle with my bag to get it out. No worries, I'll try not to let that hinder my picture taking again.
After getting to Omaha, I got my bag and waited for about 15 minutes outside the airport for Jan and Jim to arrive with their relatives whom they were getting a ride with (unfortunately, the car they were using to get their other car fixed with, broke down on their way to check up on the one still in the shop. most unfortunate).
So it was Nancy (sister-in-law to Jim), Robbie (teenager), Jan, me, Jim, and Rachel (7-9, super fun, adorable, and obsessed with reading, cats and dragons) in the van. Nancy and Robbie had Karate there in Council Bluffs, but on our way, we stopped at The Mall of the Bluffs to get some food at Panera, no less. Then we stopped back at HyVee (which is like the mid-west version of Winco, I've decided) and got some groceries. On our way out we got some pizza. $1/slice. I got italian sausage. I swear, it tasted exactly like the pizza we used to get at MidValley Market after doing our laundry (with coke slushies). Such a memory trip, and so good.
From there (around 8:45pm) we headed down to Shenandoah, which is about an hour drive, or so. The quintessential giant, dark red sun set to the west. It's flat, yes, but it's pleasant. Maybe that's because I've decided that I'm doing to enjoy this trip, but maybe also because I've been away from anything like this for so long and have readied myself for a change. But I guess you could also say that I really needed something different. Long stretches of road, gentle rises and falls, endless corn, millions of deciduous trees. Every thing is super spread out, and huge. Between the parking lots, the roads, and the buildings themselves. Massive. Because they have the space. But also? the roads are beyond crappy. Especially in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area. If you were in Oregon, you would wonder if you got lost on a weird back-alley that's really someone's old driveway. But no, that's the interstate.
On the drive back, I noticed what appeared to be a lot of roadside reflectors. 'Must be for the ditch or something,' I started thinkin--- NO!!!! those are FIREFLIES!!! If you would have seen me, I'm sure you would have laughed your head completely off. I was literally staring out the windows, jaw dropped for a good 20 minutes.
Once we arrived at the house in Shenandoah, Jan showed me that she had already gotten the air mattress set up for me in the side bedroom. Super sweet of them. Their house is kinda in a sad state, currently, because of the moving thing, but that's the way moving always seems to be. I know it was that way for me just a few days ago (and yeah... the upstairs is still a mess). Then we had some chicken salad (oregon-style... you know, lettuce, chicken, and cheese with dressing? not some weird mid-west craziness of chickeninwhatlookslikepotatosalad) out under the carport with some candles.
Also, with two dogs upinmygrill all the time, I've decided to get over my college pet-less whatevers and be completely covered in dog slobber and hair 24/7. It's going to happen no matter what I do anyway. Not that I really mind though.
After salad, Jim and I took the dogs out for a run on some coaster bikes and rode out to the farmhouse. Due to some official house-closure issues, I think the move-in date has been shifted til the 26th orsomewherearoundinthere. But I can't complain, and I'm not upset in the slightest. I'm glad I can still help them move, although I am sure it is awkward all around for everyone living in a mostly-packed house, and with me being a guest in it. The farmhouse is super cute. It's really nice, dark, and quiet out there. Just across the street from the airport with lots of room for the dogs to run around and do whatever they please. Plus, with it being dark and away from the city, there are 10,000 fireflies
(well, that's awkwardly too large for the blog window. oh well. just listen that's the purpose of it)
Then after the bike ride, I watched a movie about this tragic climbing event on Mt Everest with aunt Jan. It made me really cold. Didn't help that my jeans and converse were already wet from walking around the wet grass in the future garden area of their farmhouse property. (my feet are currently still cold, for the record, as i write this).
OH!!! might I say that it's hot an humid here? Not quite as humid as I was expecting, but then again, it is only what, day one? yeah... and only June. I'm not letting myself think anything but hot-and-humid thoughts, haha.