Friday, December 26, 2008

Philadelphia and Denver?? And a very WHITE Christmas...

The last 5 days of our Christmas tour had us based out of Philadelphia. We even had a performance in New Jersey-- giving us a grand total of 7 states that we visited. Not bad bragging rights for a group of kids from Ukraine! They loved adding to their "state" count along the way. I managed to get a quick tour of the city

before we flew out on Tuesday night. A nice young man took me on a quick 3 hour blitz tour, showing me the city's highlights- including the steps that "Rocky" ran up (yes, I ran them too) and the Liberty Bell. Then it was off to airport with our group of 20 people and 40 perfectly (so we thought) weighed bags. Over weight bag charges are crazy these we were determined to make every bag weigh in correctly-- and these kids had a lot of stuff! One bag was 3 kilos over and the guy was was going to charge us $150- until we pulled the "orphan" card on him and he finally let it slide (and really, guilt is not one of my favorite tactics...but that is what we did--please forgive us). Thank you kind Lufthansa man for your baggage mercy.
After we went through security I departed from my sweet kids and traveling companions of the last 3 weeks with promises to visit them in Kherson once I get back to Kiev in January.
I then headed to my own gate for my flight bound to Seattle......via Denver. I had been a little worried about getting there with all the bad weather out in Seattle lately- but little did I suspect that it would be a broken lavatory and not snow that would become my problem. The hour and half delay fixing the lavatory caused me to have all of 5 minutes to make my connecting Seattle flight. Of course I'm at the back of a very full plane, making getting out a challenge. I go running to my gate and see my plane---thinking- yeah- I made it! But no, they had shut the door and were letting no more late people on. What?? It's Christmas!! I try and plead with the gate lady to let me on--but this time I don't have the orphan card to pull and there is no mercy to get me on the plane. Bye bye Seattle...hello Denver! :)

This little mishap however turned out to be a BIG blessing. I have a group of friends in the Denver area that have become very dear to me via email- but I had never met them! Kris and Clarke Stoesz are a part of a ministry called Ukraine Orphan Outreach and I have worked with them and others over the last year to bring groups of kids to the US for a hosting/camp program. They are a great couple and I communicate with them a lot-- but had never met them, and my missed flight allowed us to finally meet. They were so sweet picking me up at the airport at 11:00 at night and bringing me to their home and then getting me back at 7:30 the next morning for my flight. Thanks Kris and Clarke!! You guys are wonderful and it was a blessing to finally meet you both!
I made it home Christmas Eve morning to the whitest Seattle I've ever seen. Where my parent's live it is like a mountain pass. We have over 2 feet of snow...and we had even more falling this morning. It is pretty...but it isn't allowing us to go anywhere! So Christmas was a little different today as we weren't able to see my brother's family. I did feel a bit like a kid today though-- my mom and I went sledding and made a snowman!

My mom and I with our Snowman Jose

We had our I'm ready for it to go away!! :)

I pray you had a wonderful Christmas!!


Rolan, Eileen, Josh and Ransom said...

I'm jealous of your Seattle snow! I've heard so much about you! you sure are loved out here! I heard you like Celestial Seasonings Tea. I live very close can I pick you up a flavor? I thought perhaps you could give me some ideas of what I can bring for gifts. Heidi brought makeup but I don't know much about makeup. What else would go over well?
Hey, my Birthday is Jan 19th. Wanna party with us? eileen

Annie said...

Once again....I am amazed every time I check in on you - how you get around! Wow!