Sunday, January 6, 2008

The final leg

The jet continues east all the way to the west coast of the Florida peninsula and out a bit over the Gulf before turning north. With Disney World behind us, literally and figuratively, we settle in for the flight to Dallas.

I get a ginger ale from the flight attendant and enjoy my M&M’s, and then I doze off. Actually, I sleep – hard. I’m out for half of the flight, waking about forty minutes before landing. It’s a nice way to pass the time.

Becky tells me she dozed some as well, but not as much as me. Benjamin… is still out like a light, draped across his lap tray. It’s pretty cute.

We get another semi-interesting view out of the window as we pass just to the southwest of downtown Dallas. I take a picture of the skyscrapers, and then try to spot landmarks, ending up with finding the red brick, four-story Sammons Center for the Performing Arts, where the Vocal Majority practices each Thursday. We’ve had a few weeks off following our Christmas shows, and I’m ready to be back singing with them!

The flight lands right at 12:52 – Central time, now. Within thirty minutes we have our bags and wheel them out to the Super Shuttle stand. There’s a couple of families waiting there already, but we have a prepaid reservation, and a van comes to get us within a few minutes of our checking in!

Along the ride back to Becky’s parent’s house, Becky calls her friend and fellow church children’s choir worker Tina. Becky and Benjamin actually have a rehearsal this afternoon, preparing for a joint musical debut with another church’s kids! Tina , her husband Rob, and their son Ryan will be taking their first trip to Walt Disney World in a few months, and Ryan was one of the kids to whom we sent a “postcard from Mickey” a few days ago. Becky asks Tina if he got it, and laughs when she realizes that Rob and Tina didn’t realize that we had sent it – they thought it was just a magical Disney thing!

The ride back to Bob and Linda’s house is otherwise uneventful. With a choir practice to get to, we’re not doing the traditional “viewing of the pictures” on the TV, just loading our minivan and heading out. I get my keys from where I’ve left them in their house and pull the minivan around front. We load the luggage, say our goodbyes, and start to leave…

…only to find that the right rear tire has lost some pressure. I get word to Linda to have Bob meet me around back with his air compressor.

I pull to their driveway in the back of the house, and when I get out, the tire is hissing audibly. Uh oh. I must have run over something. Becky and the boys go inside the house to wait while Bob and I work on the minivan.

One tire change later, we repeat our goodbyes and thanks and are finally on the road. We drive through a Wendy’s to grab lunch before getting on the freeway, and eat on the way.

It’s a very different atmosphere in the minivan, compared to the end of our last two Disney vacations. With both of them, we were heading home, settling down after nine days of exhaustion. Now the kids are older and more involved, and we have to hit the ground running. Oh, well, life goes on.

We drop Becky and Benjamin off at their rehearsal, and then Brandon and I stop off at the grocery store and then, finally, head home. We unload the suitcases and put away the groceries. Once that's done, I fire up the computer for the first time in a week and a half. There are 122 emails waiting – and 1,720 new posts on Stupid Guest Tricks!

The adventure never ends.

Stay tuned – one more post coming!

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