Tuesday, January 13, 2009

We're Back!

It was a whirlwind trip back to the States, our first in a year. Three weeks to see family and friends, do some serious shopping (keeping in mind it has to fit in our suitcases) and numerous doctor and dental visits plus try to fit in Christmas. The time flew but it was anything but unlike this gas station sign, it was anything but a quick trip.

While waiting for our flight at Incheon Airport, we found the Traditional Culture Experience Zone where you can try Korean crafts for free. You only have to show them your boarding pass and you are ready to go.

I decided to make a miniature panel using hanji which is a Korean papercraft.

It was well organized and the Korean teachers knew English and were very helpful.

I am putting the hanji onto the panel. Our plane left on time and 13 hours later we were at O'Hare in Chicago. The weather was perfect without any snow to worry about so we thought. We had a three hour layover so we found the nearest Chili's and pigged out! It was delicious. We really love their chips and salsa.

We got back to the gate only to find out that our plane, which happened to be coming from Minneapolis then returning to Minneapolis was delayed due to weather in Minneapolis. They were having five inches of snow. No big deal. The plane finally arrived about 45 minutes late and we boarded only to find out that we were being delayed two hours.

The pilot said that the weather had taken a turn for the worse and Minneapolis was having trouble keeping runways open due to blowing snow. Luckily, we took off after about an hour. The flight is only 45 minutes long and after we had been flying about 45 minutes, the pilot informs us that Minneapolis is down to one runway and we have been diverted to Madison, Wisconsin.

We landed in pretty snowy conditions along with a few other planes. We pulled up to a gate and a few passengers actually got off and decided to rent a car and drive to Minneapolis. The pilot kept us well informed and said that we needed to be refueled before we could take off even before we got clearance from the air traffic control. After another hour or so, we were fueled, deiced and given clearance to take-off.

We landed in the Twin Cities eight hours after our original scheduled arrival. We had a ton of luggage and proceeded to get our rental car for the week. The drive home was a little dicey with plenty of slippery spots and my poor sleep deprived husband at the wheel.

We arrived home to be greeted by our daughter and grandson. It was fantastic to see them after so long. They stayed overnight and we hit the bed about 10 pm.

We were planning on heading down to Rockford, Illinois for Christmas with the folks on Monday but after getting home so late Saturday, we decided to drive down on Tuesday. It turned out to be a lousy day travel through the Midwest.

We saw car after car in the ditch. I finally got out the camera to shoot a few pictures.

Traffic was at a crawl at many places and rightfully so. It was snowing heavily and extremely windy.

Our normal 5 hour trip took 8 hours and we arrived tired and dazed. My sister was having a family party that night but we graciously bowed out and hit the sack early.

Christmas was great and we left that day to have Christmas night with our kids. Both had work conflicts so they couldn't come to Illinois. Luckily, the trip home was uneventful.


CreekHiker said...

Glad you had a fairly uneventful trip.

I wish the US valued our handicrafts enough to set up teachers in the airports!

Helena said...

Oh wow, what a horrible drive!
That's so cool that they have crafts at the airport! Amazing.

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