Wearing Sweaters

Well, we arrived safe and sound. Of course the trip was eventful. I would hate to disappoint you with nothing to blog about, so we did in fact make it interesting, and just for you.

The plane was late leaving Haiti, because it was late arriving to Haiti. That was okay though because we spent over an hour standing in the check-in line. You would think that when the line gets to have several hundred people in it they would add a few more ticket agents. You would think. Four ladies + 300 people = long wait. Whatever. We got checked in and still had time for a hot dog. Yes, a hot dog for breakfast. Again, this is Haiti we’re talking about here.

So, plane leaves late, and of course we just so happened to have a schedule change that made our connection time shorter in Miami rather than longer like I had deliberately booked. Late arrival and an almost two hour wait in the customs line. Blah! Do you know how nauseating it is to stand in a line that’s 20 feet long and have it take almost two hours to get to the front so it can take you way less time to go through than everyone else because you’re Canadian and don’t need to do the eye scan and finger print thing?!? I have decided and believe we should start a petition with the customs people to have a couple of lines for people not carrying visas. Seriously, it would move things along nicely. Okay, that’s my whine fest about that.

Now, you’re probably wondering if we made the short connection. We didn’t, but the nice lady at the re-check-in counter managed to get us on the next flight to Chicago where we really did have a longer layover so we’d still be able to catch our same flight from Chicago to Seattle. The flight to Chicago was painless. Well, I was getting cranky with the whole flying thing, but I knew we had our bags and whatnot so it was fine.

This is where things get really funny – for Chris. When we arrived we went and grabbed something to eat, then headed back to our gate and I decided to go for a walk. I need to tell you what normally happens when we’re flying. Usually we hang out at the gate for a while. Then they start calling seating groups. I always want to jump up as soon as our number is called and get in line to get on board. Chris always wants to wait until the last possible minute to get on so he doesn’t have to stand in the nauseating line and reminds me that we have seat numbers so it’s not like we need to rush to find a place to sit. Back to my walk. I found a magazine and was very blatantly loitering and reading the magazine in Hudson News. At some point I decided I should start heading back because I had walked a bit of a ways. I saw a departures screen and saw the time. I freaked out when I realized that our plane was scheduled to depart in about 10 minutes. I walked fast. As I got to the gate Chris was the only person standing there and waving at me to run. We were the last people on board, but there was still a line in the aisle so I was okay and didn’t have to stare at everyone waiting for me. The icing on the cake is that he paged me – TWICE – and I didn’t hear it at all! Chris spent the first part of the flight laughing to himself and at me at the total uncharacteristic airport wandering that could have and almost did result in us missing our flight. I let him laugh. Then he fell asleep and I mercilessly took this as the other lady in our row giggled along with me:

We spent the first night in Seattle with Joel and Trina and fam then drove down to Vancouver, WA on Thursday morning. It was so nice to finally get here and not have to look at another plane or know that we still had X number of hours to go. For some reason this trip felt really long. Don’t know why, it just did.

Yesterday I took off in the mini-van by myself and went to tackle the shopping list I had. Part of it was baby stuff, part of it was Christmas stuff, and part of it was Christ & Leslie stuff. Okay, Leslie stuff. Really, the list, under the right conditions, would have taken me about an hour and a half to hack through. But, when you live in the third world where you get a choice of this, okay, just this – the choices are overwhelming. I started at Target and just told myself it was going to be a couple of hours of wandering through the store to accomplish what I needed to. Pressure off, no need to hurry, I actually enjoyed the morning. I got EVERYTHING bought with the exception of a couple small things that I can find at some point over the next week or so. I pretty much felt like a shopping super star when all was said and done. I met Chris, Dad and Mum for lunch, then Mum and I took off to do some more errands. In the middle of dinner Dad asked us what time we were heading out to the theater. We had totally forgotten that we had tickets to see Jesus Christ Superstar! We gobbled down our dinner and headed out.

The musical was great and I found it interesting that less than a week from Christmas and I was sitting there watching the souped up version of the death of Christ. It was a neat mental circle to run around in for a while.

After the theater we took the long walk back to the car so we could go through a square in downtown Portland that’s just beautiful. It was the first time that I’d really been able to do any walking around in Portland and it’s a beautiful city with a really nice vibe – laid back chic. In the theater I saw people dressed up and I saw people in jeans, and it all seemed right.

Me with the Rain Man. No, not that Rainman.
Me and my mother in law.

It was a good evening. I am however, still exhausted. I’ve managed to get out of bed, but have only gotten as far as pyjamas, a sweater and a cup of coffee with Vanilla Nut Coffee Mate. I think it’s a good start so far. Today my plans are to go nowhere. I want to throw on jeans, my new Old Navy long sleeved cozy shirt, wrap presents and help Mum bake cookies. I got to decorate the tree the other night so I’m feeling all Christmassy and I LOVE it. Chris’ brother and his wife (Missy), and one of his sisters are arriving tonight, and the other sister and Missy’s parents are arriving tomorrow. It’s been nice to have a few days to settle in, but I’m looking forward to everyone getting here too.

So there you have it! We are here, we’re still jet lagged, but we’re happy and having a good break so far. Have a great 4th to last day before Christmas!

ACK! I can’t believe I almost forgot this, after I spent so much time being tricky to get it…Livesays, this is my Christmas gift to you:


I took it out on our friends boat on Sunday morning. I don’t know if Ronald had any idea what his shirt said. It was just too funny and very well timed.

PS – To my Toronto reader that passed a message through our friends at AMURT…Demeter stopped in at our house on Monday night and told me that I have a fan base there. Thanks for reading! I’m always shocked and amazed and giggle a bit when I find out I’ve got all these strangers reading about my life. Who knew?!?

This entry was posted in this is life, travels and adventures by Leslie. Bookmark the permalink.

About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

One thought on “Wearing Sweaters

  1. Merry Christmas Leslie & Chris. I hope you have a wonderful time with family and are also able to get some rest in while you are out! I would totally agree with you about the lineups at customs in Miami! We Canadians should get to go in a shorter line (and any other country not requiring a visa, iris scan & fingerprints) Glad you made your final flight to Seattle though and that you were able to be quickly rerouted! Blessings…

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