Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ireland Trip - Day 12 Time to Come Home:(

Sunday, March 25th.  What a brutal day.  My room mate Mary was on flight 1 which meant she had to do her wake up calls at 2:30 AM.  Once she was awake, so was I.  She tried really hard to be quiet as she could, but once I'm awake, I can't fall back asleep.  I was worried I'd sleep through my alarm.

I was on flight 2, which meant wake up calls for me began at 4:30 AM.  No one got much sleep that night.  We had our closing ceremonies the night before which meant  a late night to begin with, then on top of that, Sunday was daylight savings and we all lost an hour of sleep.  We were in Athlone which was about 2-hours from Dublin.  We had to check out of our hotel (Sheraton Athlone) by 6 AM.   Flight 1 already departed.  They had to check out at 4 AM.  Making sure about 75 students were awake, fed and out the door by 6 AM was extremely challenging.  But we did it.

As we were trying to leave the hotel, there were a few very drunk Irishmen trying to get on our bus.  They were getting a bit physical with our bus driver.  The driver almost had to call authorities because these men were pushing their way on.  Our driver was trying to tell these drunk men that this was a chartered tour bus and not a city bus.  They were just too drunk to understand.  That was actually the first time on the trip that I saw anyone that drunk. 
We had now been on the bus for about 15 minutes we were just getting on the freeway when I noticed that Keven Alred the Pipe Band instructor wasn't with us.  Most of our travels he sat right behind me and I can't believe none of us noticed he wasn't on the bus.  I usually sat up front since I had to take attendance.  Sitting up front also helped with motion sickness.  I made the comment quite loudly, where's Kevin?  Everyone looked around and then we realized we had left him at the hotel!    

Our principal was on our bus.  He was going to extend his stay for another 5 days since he's from Ireland and had family to visit.  He rode with us to the airport, and then would rent a car and go about the rest of his trip.  Mr. Hagarty (Pat) called one of the teachers from flight 3 and asked her to give Kevin a wake up call.  Needless to say, she wasn't happy about getting woke up either!  Flight 3 were the sophomore's.  They got to stay an extra day since they arrived a day later then the rest of us due to state testing. The call was made and Kevin was woken up.  Needless to say, he will never live this one down.  Turning a huge tour bus around isn't easy.  The streets in Ireland are so narrow and many are one-way.  It was challenging getting back to the hotel to get Kevin.  We were already on the freeway and the next couple of exits were closed down to construction.  We had to drive about 10 miles before we could get off the freeway and head back to Athlone to pick up Kevin.  He was waiting sheepishly in front of the hotel when we arrived about 30 minutes later.  Once on the bus, we all said, "Good morning Kevin" and then...everyone went silent.  Kind of a joke.  Trust me, it was hilarious!

We still had a 2-hour commute to get to the airport, check in, go through customs and depart at 11:15.  By the time we arrived at the airport at 8:15 AM, I had already been awake for 6 hours and we still have 3 hours before our flight left.  Checking in and going through customs took forever.  THEN, on top of that....I was the unlucky one that was pulled aside for a strip search.  Okay, not a full strip search, but no one else got that special treatment.  Why me?  Do I look like a terrorist? seriously!

Our plane before departing from Dublin.  It was indeed a beautiful day.  We all over dressed and regretted it.  11:15 AM depart Dublin for Philadelphia US Airways Flight #723. 
After everyone loaded the plane the the door was closed, the stewardess was in on our joke.  She got on the intercom and said, "Is there a Kevin on this flight?"  We were all laughing, clapping and just enjoying the harrassment.  Poor Kevin. 

We finally get on the plane and for 7.5 hours back to Philadelphia was the longest flight of my life. It was extremely rough flying over the Atlantic. No one could sleep, passenger's were very nervous and for once I sat through 3 movies just so that I couldn't focus on the flight itself. The $5 for ear buds was the best money spent on the entire trip. I just kept praying we weren't going to crash. All I could think about was getting back home to Ryan and Rocky.

Have arrived safely, (barely) to Philadelphia at 1:55 PM.  Just gained 5 hours back.  Now we have a 4 hour layover before leaving Philadelphia for Seattle.  US Airways Flight #78.  (There's Kevin looking at me)

Students frantically trying to finish 8 days of homework before going back to school tomorrow.  Yes, Kyle was one of those students.  We had just called Ryan at this point to inform him we were at least state side now.  It was early morning for him.  He was getting ready for church I believe when we called. 

Long wait at the airport.  Everyone is over heating.  Many students wore their new Aron sweaters because they were too bulky to pack.  Everyone was sweating. 

We finally board our plane and yet another 6 hour flight back to Seattle.  This flight, we all slept.  Just about every person on the plane.  I was surprised that I could sleep that long without waking up in those uncomfortable seats.  We arrived back in Seattle at 9:07 PM, just gaining 3 more hours.  Between daylight savings and going through a couple of different time changes, my body couldn't really tell what time it was.  Was just glad to be home safe to Ryan.  Rocky rode with Ryan to the airport.  Rocky was so excited to see me.  He was crawling all over my body and kissing me.  It was awesome.