I'm not sure if John has any pictures of our trip from the plane onwards, so I've taken the liberty of putting up secondary pictures. I hope you can live through them since you have been spoiled with such great pictures up to this point. : )
Jeremy not feeling too well. Resting before we leave for the airport.
Just before we left for the airport, many of the group took a final walk in the park. I guess there was a maze of low hedges in the park so people went through it.
A shot off the park that Christopher took and wanted me to put in the blog.
Christopher in a pensive mood as he prepares to leave for the airport.
Ron trying to get some much needed sleep.
Airplanes basically are not designed for sleeping.
One of Christopher's MANY airplane shots.
Katrina gave Christopher and myself a card when we got home.
Sarah completed this wonderful plasticine artwork of a golf course while we were away. I am amazed at the detail in her work.
So, it's Saturday evening now. I'll assume that most of the team has showered off Lima's sand and sweat and are fast asleep now, though I've been trying to get Christopher to bed for some time now. He's too wound up about the trip and telling his mom about it to go to sleep yet.
I wanted to get the details of our trip home on the blog before I forget them, so here they are.
As you know we were delayed for an hour in Lima. Based on the blog comments I have now seen, it seems that some people assumed we didn't make our connection. I'll get to that in a minute.
Before we pushed off of the gate, and after I posted the blog from last night, I observed many things. First, all of us were VERY tired. Well, some of us were. The younger of the group played cards for a long time, and then Leah and Hannah talked with some stranger for the longest time. I'll have to ask them about that conversation later.
Bea and Kellina were busy journaling
away, as were Holly and Ashlyn
(though they still seem to believe that they can't journal for some reason). Cindy, well, she just looked plain old TIRED, but she wasn't going to go sleep until getting on the plane. John fell into a DEEP sleep and got a startling wake up call when it was time to leave. I think he must have been dreaming about life back in Ottawa, and woke up to realize that he was sleeping sitting up in the Lima airport.
Wilma gave Marg
some foot therapy since she continues to have pain in her foot and the swelling just doesn't seem to want to go down.
I had a bit of a conversation with Harold and Bea about our trip, and bugged Holly, Cindy, and Ashlyn
JUST a wee bit as well. Thanks for putting up with me. : )
We pushed off the gate at 2:50 a.m. your time and took off with no mishap.
Most of us settled in for some sleep time. I think I got about 4 hours worth off and on. I understand the Jeremy and Wilma did not have a good night and were attended to by Carmen. Faithful to the end she was.
We arrived in Toronto at 11:00 a.m. and as we approached the airport the talk began to simmer as to whether or not we'd make our connection. 1 hour between flights seemed a bit tight based on how long it took us 2 years ago to connect our flight.
It was interesting to watch the different dynamics. Those who began to panic, those who didn't seem to care, those who seemed to think I had the divine answers to this dilemma
we seemed to be in.
Well, we touched down, and the "amazing race" began. First it was off the plane for a brief Passport check just outside our arrival gate. Then it was to customs, which was not busy at all thankfully. Only took 5 minutes to get through there.
Then, down the escalator to grab our luggage off the carousel. It seemed to come off fast at first, but it ended up that there was a bit of gap in the end and Jeremy and our (Ron and Christopher's
) luggage came off pretty much last. Kevin stayed behind to make sure that he could take Christopher through the rest of the process in case we were too late for the plane. Everyone else was way ahead of us in the race.
Once our luggage was in our hands, we sprung into action. It's hard to run with a heavy computer bag and two pieces of luggage trailing behind you, but I managed. We dashed down some corridors to present our immigration cards. Then one minor issue. Kevin and Kellina had filled in one card, but Kellina had gone through ahead of us, so Kevin had no card. It took a couple of minutes to convince the officer that Kevin was good to go and that Kellina had surrendered their card. I think having us all wearing the same soccer shirts helped.
Then we scurried off down the halls to drop off our checked luggage on another conveyor
belt for our flight. Our adrenaline was rushing as we rushed to the doors, only to see Marg
and Sam standing in a short line to get to the belt. It was a race I didn't want to win, as I wanted Marg
to make the flight too. We were ushered through very quickly once the guard realized our flight number. We threw our luggage on the belt (wheels up of course0 and as I was about to dash off, Kevin raised the call of HELP. He asked me if I had a thumb to lend him to get his bag zippered up. We got it done tute-
suite and were off once again.
Only 10 minutes left. After that we dashed off to security to get rechecked through the x-ray
machines. Not sure why we had to do that since we never left the secured area of the airport. A fun aside here. As I approached the x-ray counter, I asked if they wanted my computer out (standard procedure) and then if they wanted my shoes off, which the also said yes to. I took them off, and then realized that I hadn't changed socks in more than 24 hours as the pungent aroma of my cuticles
wafted heaven words
. I muttered something like "Boy do my feet stink" and the woman viewing the x-ray machine burst into laughter. Hey, I just laughed with her and she understood once I mentioned how long we had been travelling, etc.
Jeremy's carry on ended up getting searched, which delayed things even more, but eventually we were set free. A right around the corner and there was the rest of the team in their soccer jerseys waiting to board the plane. We had made our connection.
As the adrenaline ebbed away in our bodies, some in the group asked me if I thought we'd make our connection. I said I had no worries (but I did). Thank you Lord for letting us make the connection.
We boarded the plane and were off in the air very soon afterwards. A 30 minute flight and landing in Ottawa. It was good to be home, yet sad as well.
We offloaded and made our way down the escalator to waiting families and friends. It was a fun time of reuniting. Relieved and thankful parents and siblings. As we picked up our luggage off the carousel, I began to have a deja -vu (? spelling) experience
. My family was supposed to be at the airport to greet me, but they weren't there. Neither were the Berti's or the Kubanek's
. I waited and waited, talked and joked with families, and still no family. Eventually I made a call home and guess who picks up the phone....my lovely wife.
As you can see from the previous days comments some people figured we didn't make our connection, and they expected us to call them to let them know we had arrived. I confess that I couldn't read my wife's mind to inform her that we arrived on time : ) . Wilma and Carmen also made calls and their
families came to get them.
As I was waiting, I discovered that one not so nice thing did happen at the end of our trip. Holly's luggage did not come off the belt. They ended up making a baggage claim. I do hope she gets it soon.
So, two times in a row my family has left me standing at the airport waiting for them. Not sure what to make of that : )
But, all in all, it was a long, but good travelling time. We all made it home safely. We hope that the Vlamings
and Van Dyks
are having a good time in Lima still.
On Monday a final posting will be forthcoming with some final thoughts about the trip, and comments about each and every member (to satisfy those who felt their offspring may have not had enough mention during the week ) : )
I hope you have enjoyed the blog entries as much as I have enjoyed preparing them for you with John. THANK YOU John for all your pictures. It was truly a joy working with you this week on this project. I hope that you were able to endure my grammatical and spelling errors. If you couldn't, well, next time come along as my editor and chief, but you'll have to stay up until at least 1 am each evening : )
Stay tuned until Monday.
BTW John, if you have any other pics you want to post, just title them MONDAY and I'll add to it.