TRavel was challenging this week

Winter travel can be challenging. We all made it to Tampa (the one in Florida) from Georgia, Wash?ington state and Kansas, but not without delays, especially from Kansas.

In fact the Kansas group, which included Nancy and her mom and me, were delayed almost a full day?our Christmas Eve flight was canceled. They told me the plane couldn?t get to Wichita. As we found out as time went on, their stories weren?t adding up, which I will explain later.

To avoid the disappointment of delaying our departure to the next day, I tried to get us there another way. I learned we could go to St. Louis, then to Chicago and then to Orlando and, if lucky, we could rent a car and drive the 80 miles to Tampa.

That option was soon discounted, and we opted for the early flight on Christmas Day leaving at 6:35 a.m., which meant getting up at 3 a.m.

As a side note, we thought we would be missing the first Christmas Eve program at our church since we moved back to Hillsboro in 1977. But we made it there, so our record is intact.

We boarded in Wichita early Christmas morning, then sat in the plane for an hour while they de-iced the wings. The pilot said since the plane had sat in Wichita since early afternoon the day before it was totally iced up. That was the first thing that didn?t make sense.

Then in Dallas we were told the pilot claimed fatigue and we would need to wait for another one to show up. Then they said they needed to replace the seats from the cockpit, which made for another delay.

I wasn?t the only one who wasn?t impressed with that reason for a delay. When we finally boarded, the guy right behind me looked in the pilot?s cabin and said, ?Nice seats.?

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While we were waiting for the plane to depart Dallas, we decided to eat a sandwich at Subway. I chose American cheese in honor of our airline.

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We stayed in a house right off of Madeira Beach south of Tampa. There is a boardwalk just across the street right next to John?s Pass. The boys and I took Wolfie the dog for a walk and observed dolphins swimming in the bay. Lots of sea life to observe in these parts.

We also saw a pelican catch a fish that was too big for it to swallow. There are problems we didn?t even know existed. After watching this dilemma for a long while, we left and thought we?d go back and check later. The poor bird was gone, so we don?t know how that turned out. A half dozen other birds were waiting for the pelican to cough up the fish so they could have it.

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?Sponge Bob Square Pants? is the only decent show left on Nickelodeon, according to the boys. They said that network is trying to imitate Disney more and more, and it isn?t working for them.

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We were sitting around the house on Sunday afternoon when suddenly the alarm went off in our rental car outside. Turns out Wolfie walked across my lap and stepped on the remote control.

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It is great to get together with family, and the time always seems way too short. The best part is they are well and happy, and we couldn?t ask for anything more.

I?m looking forward to the new year and what it might bring. I wish a happy and prosperous year to all of you.

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