November 11, 2010: Long Airport Day

I was quite tired when the alarm went off at four in the morning.  Not a fun time to be getting up.  I was ready to be out the door by a quarter after four.  So we were off to the airport.

Brian is flying American from DFW today which is what I will be flying next week when I head out to Raleigh for two days so this was a good run through.  DFW is a major hub for American Airlines so we will likely be using them repeatedly in the future as they simply have a lot of traffic here and they are the closest airport to us both now and at the new house – although the new one is closer to Love Field where Southwest flies the most.

We got Brian dropped off and checked in without a problem.  Then I drove back to the house so that I could shower and get ready for the day.  It was probably five when I returned, maybe a little earlier.  I worked from home for a while before going to the office but still got in very early.

I put in a long day today.  This next week I am going to be doing a lot outside of work so I wanted to get as much done today as possible.  Dad is visiting for a week so I’m trying my best to have time to be able to spend with him.

I am enjoying listening to the book The Essential Lewis and Clark which is almost entirely, at least up to this point, excerpts from Lewis and Clark’s journals from the expedition ready by different narrators depending on whose log in being read which is a great way to experience their writings.  I am learning a lot about the era and the project that I never new before.  It always amazes me how early, 1804, this expedition took place.  The United States was only a few years old and we had only just purchased the Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon and we had no idea what we had purchased or what was out there.  Very interesting time period that we often forget about in studying American history.  In reading the journals it is very interesting to find that they were regularly experiencing and describing new animals previously unknown to Americans.

Dominica and I have talked about taking the kids, when they are old enough to appreciate it, on a drive from St. Louis to Portland to experience to entire trek that Lewis and Clark made and study the history as we do the drive.  A great way to see a part of the country that people seldom visit and to experience history first hand at the same time.  Driving the length of the Missouri River, America’s longest river, would be pretty amazing.  I’d love to drive the Mississippi as well.

I worked kind of late then came home and hung out with Dominica and Liesl for a little while before running out to the airport to pick up dad at around eight thirty.  I had been watching his flight using a flight tracker so I could see him getting closer and knew that he was basically on time.  It is amazing that we live in a day and age when you can just see this stuff.  Flights were always such a disconnected mystery when I was young.  Liesl will never think of flights as a disconnected “black box” event where you enter on one side and hours later disembark on the other.  People stay connected during flights now.  It is a different world.

I got to the airport probably a bit too early as dad had luggage to get.  Dad’s flight ended up getting delayed as well but a little over twenty minutes as they had ended up losing their third engine (not one of the flight engines, apparently, but the one that supplies the auxiliary power.)  So I did a lot of looping of the airport.

It was about a quarter after nine when I picked dad up and we headed out of the airport.  This is dad’s first time in Texas and really his first time in the South and one of the few times that he has been west of the Mississippi.  He has been to California and Colorado before but always by flying there so he hasn’t really ever seen anything but little points here and there.  As a kid his father drove him out to Iowa from Ohio once, but that was his farthest extent in that direction and all of our trip to Walt Disney World in Florida were always by flying, not driving, so he has not been to too much of the south, even.  We did many trips to Virginia, for example, when I was younger but not to Georgia or Alabama, for example.  So this is a pretty major journey for dad – he is getting to see a lot of new stuff.

What is interesting is that my father has traveled more and driven farther than most people but has done so primarily to the north and east and has been a thousand miles or more farther in that direction than pretty much anyone that I know but to the south and west he has not done much traveling.

Dad didn’t eat all day and we had held off on dinner assuming that he would be pretty hungry when he landed so the first stop was to Waffle House – dad’s first real taste of the south.  We got our dinner to go and then drove to the apartment and we all ate dinner.

We visited for about two hours.  Liesl was incredibly excited to see her “paw paw” as she has started calling him.  She was not happy when I had to take him to his hotel for the night.

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