|MA & the Invisible Man|
Our journey home started at 6AM Saturday morning, Barcelona time. That's 11PM Friday night here in Texas. We gathered our bags, got them downstairs, had a quick breakfast and caught the 7:45AM hotel shuttle to the airport. We were booked on Continental scheduled to depart at 10:45. The lines at the airport were long as we waited to check our two bags and pass through security. Something to note, you don't have to remove your shoes in Europe when going through the security checks. We had time to grab some coffee upstairs before boarding.
The Continental flight from Barcelona to Newark was on a Boeing 757, our least favorite of Continental's fleet. We paid extra for the bulkhead row because the seats in this airplane are so close and passengers are so crowded that any extra room is a luxury.
As the doors closed and we settled in, the pilot announced that we had missed our takeoff slot and that we would be put back into the lottery for takeoff assignments. Our new takeoff time was now 12:05 PM and we would be sitting on the airplane at the gate for at least an hour. Immediately we realized we would miss our connection from Newark to Houston.
The flight across Spain and the Atlantic was uneventful. To kill the time I watched some classic movies: Dr. Strangelove and Casablanca. We arrived in Newark and got through passport control. Our bags were the last to be taken off the plane and we gathered them and went through customs and right back to Continental check-in to see what the next available the flight to Houston would be. It was to leave in 45 minutes and we hustled back through security and were the last to board, this time on a Boeing 777, a beautiful airplane with leg room too.
We had MA's cell phone but the battery was out of juice and we couldn't call Susan about our flight changes. A Continental Captain noticed our plight and was kind enough to loan us his.
Finally, we got off the plane in IAH, 20 hours after that quick breakfast in Barcelona (!) and got down to Baggage Claim. After waiting until all the bags had dropped down on the conveyor belt it became painfully obvious our bags did not make the flight. I filed a claim with Continental, who promised prompt delivery.
We were very happy to see Susan and Jacob. Jacob had great news about the St. Mark soccer team. They are undefeated and won a tournament while we were gone. Both of us thought Jacob grew at least an inch during the time we were gone.
We got home, dropped our carry-on bags on the floor and called it a night. I vaguely heard the phone ring around 1:30 in the morning and it was a Fedex delivery with our bags. I went out to the gate and let him in. I think I was asleep when all this happened because both bags were in the garage when I got up this morning.
MA and I went to church this morning to worship our Lord and give thanks for His protection and safe travel. It was especially good to see Dr. Young back in the pulpit after months of recovery from open heart surgery. His new series is on 1st John, a small book in the New Testament with a powerful message. It answers the question, "What is God like?" We gave HIM thanks for all that He has done for us.
We ran into MA's Bible study co-teacher, Paul Bice. MA asked for her "job back"! He seemed glad to see us both!
As I look back on our travels surely we have seen some remarkable historical sights and some of the great beauty of this world. But most of all we met some wonderful folks along the way. Truly God has made a beautiful world for all to appreciate and enjoy.
Houston! The Wendels are glad to be home!
|MA & WW in Eze over looking Monaco|