Thursday, February 25, 2016


We are back after a very long and very hard trip where everything seemed to go wrong.  But God is good and saw us through it all.  And there was a LOT of good that happened during our trip south.  There is too much to tell in just one entry, so I will tell it in parts and hope you don't mind reading a lot as you go along.  And be prepared for picture overload.

We got up early and headed for the Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown.  By driving for two hours to Allentown we saved $600 each on our tickets as opposed to flying out of Philadelphia.  The flight from Allentown back to Philadelphia was 16 minutes and we got on the exact plane we would have paid the extra money for.  Fortunately we were able to sit together both flights because I was scared!

Here is Joe pushing the luggage cart from our car to the main entrance to the Lehigh Valley International Airport.
 Since neither of us have flown since the 90s, we weren't sure what to do or where to go.  The ticket agent was so great.  She showed Joe how to use the kiosk and got us boarding passes.  She checked in our baggage and told us where security and the gate was.  The TSA were great too.  So nice and helpful.  Of all the airports we were in this week, Allentown was by far our favorite.

We had a little bit of a wait, so I was taking pictures in the waiting area.  Here is the control tower seen out of the window.

We were laughing about this and I really took this picture for my brother, Larry.  This used to be a bank of pay phones, but now everyone has their cells.

I got a water and Joe got a soda while we were waiting.  We really wanted something to drink but carrying those bottles around and on the planes was a pain.  We hadn't eaten breakfast so Joe got a muffin and I got a bag of chips which I didn't finish.

Watching the planes.

This was our plane and I was standing at the window watching them load the luggage.  Yes, we went down to the tarmac and climbed the steps into the plane.

I was pointing out to Joe that they were loading our bags.  Everything was going up a conveyor belt into the belly of the plane. I had just said, "There's mine."  I saw Joe's bag behind mine.  They all went in easily except for his which go caught in the belt and fell to the ground.  I started laughing and he took this picture.

Here's Joe in the plane just before take off.  We were sitting in the last row of a very small turboprop plane.  I was scared, but the takeoff was smooth and actually the best one of the four.

Allentown, PA from the air.

I thought it was cool seeing the clouds up close and personal.

There was snow in some places in Allentown and as you can see most of the Lehigh River was frozen.

Limerick Nuclear Power Plant.  I've never seen it from the air before.

We made it to Philly.

Here is the plane we flew on.  Tiny with propellers.  There was a lot of turbulence when we were landing and I got sick.  I felt as if I were on a roller coaster.

We still hadn't eaten except for that little bit, so we stopped to get some food.  Joe had a bagel.  I told him with his hat he looked like a little Jewish man.  He liked that!

I had a fruit cup which was delicious.  I didn't have time to finish it, so I ate the rest of it at D.J.'s house.

We took off from Philly.  This time in a jet.  It was a much smoother ride.  I was hoping to see some of the country we were flying over, but it was very cloudy and stormy so we flew above the clouds where it's always sunny.  I thought it looked like heaven at first, but later decided it looked like a snow field.  I was disappointed not to see the ground, but it was nice.

We landed in Memphis and it was a much smoother landing than the one in Philly.

Welcome to Memphis!

The airport was filled with beautiful fountains.

 D.J. was supposed to meet us at the airport but our cell phones didn't work in the airport and we couldn't find him.  We went down to get our rental car.  We just got in the car when my phone rang.  I answered and it was him.  He and his girlfriend, Danielle,and Danielle's baby Brantley were in the airport and had been there an hour looking for us.  I told him where we were and then both of our phones went out again.  Joe went to find him and as he rang for the elevator the doors opened and there they were. 
All of them were surprised.  I was sitting in the car waiting for them, but I would have loved to have been there to see their faces.

D.J. drove the rental car back to his house.  He insisted we stay with them and not get a hotel room.  I think he wanted his dad close.  So we stayed in Danielle's oldest son's room.  He was with his dad.  We had our own bathroom.

D.J. gave me a tour of the house and it is beautiful.  He is fixing it up so there are a lot of "projects" he is in the middle of, but you can tell how nice it is going to be once he is finished.

We had to go to Walmart to get some things we hadn't brought with us.  Since we were flying we decided to buy things when we got there rather than be stopped when going through security.  The Walmart there was huge and beautiful.  Besides getting our toiletries we each got a St. Patrick's Day t-shirt for $3.  I also got a gray and black purse for $8.  The only purse I had with me was a pink quilted one and I thought it would be better to have black or gray.  I've been looking for a new purse and this was was beautiful.  The prices were so different than up north.

We went back to D.J.'s and Danielle's mom came over with dinner for us.  She brought us salad, spaghetti and garlic bread.  Everything was yummy.  Her name is Sandra and she was so sweet and nice.  People kept coming over and bringing food.  That seems to be the thing they do there.  We used to do that here in Philly, but I don't know anyone who does that anymore.

After a lot of haggling, Joe was able to cancel the hotel reservations and since we were beat we went to bed.

The end of Day 1.  More to come.



  1. Glad you made it safe and sound. Enjoyed looking at your pictures and the ones to come.

  2. Yea! You made it there and back!!
    It fun to read about your trip. Looking forward to the rest.

  3. Sometimes travel can be very difficult but I am glad everything worked out for you two. And I am all too familiar with the crazy way airlines work. I sometimes think they go out of their way to make it hard for us. And I love the pictures from the plane. The turbo prop may be small and a bit scary but gives you great photo-ops.

  4. Love the photos! Your blog made me feel like I was there with you. Great hearing you are safe & well.Airports are very interesting places to 'sight-see'. I enjoy seeing the clouds from a plane. It almost looks like you can walk on them.Can't wait for part 2!

  5. WHat a disjointed way to get where you're going---I think you half expected the Caterpillar or Cheshire Cat to get off that elevator!

    And yes, that IS what we do there! It's just normal to hear of any kind of sadness or need, and go get started on a casserole. Maybe with all our gardening and canning and such, we're just inclined to show our love and concern with groceries---a bag of homegrown tomatoes across the fence, a jar of still-warm jam on a Summer afternoon, a 'Nanna puddin' carried into the kitchen and put into the fridge with the familiarity of family.

    I'm so sorry for your loss of such a good friend, and so glad of your warm, loving family who cling close in such times, comforting each other. I'm a step-mom, as well, and have known these "kids" for thirty years. They treat me with such love and respect, as do all their little ones who are my GRANDS. And their mother is cordial and friendly, as well---I think it's just normal to be so to someone who loves your children, as I do these.


  6. I haven't flown since 2008! Working up the courage to try it again so I can go to Florida to see my son and his family. I miss then so much! I really enjoyed reading your blog.


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