After rounding the Chicago tarmac like fighters in Michael Jackson's "Beat It," we took off about 1/2 an hour late. Our plane traveled north over Milwaukee, and it was wild to see how things just lined up so nicely with the two cities as we over passed them. We traveled right over Green Bay (and can see the prominent stadium) before making our way to Canada, which looked more like the Frozen Tundra than the eponymous Lambeau Field (that's where the Packers play for you non-football followers).
We then traveled over a continuous stretch of rivers and lakes in what I think is Winnipeg's province? I don't know, I'll need to check with Graybill what territory is straight above Wisconsin. Then when we reached Hudson Bay, I was in awe. It was just majestic sheet of icy cold and frigid current mile after mile. We then turned hard left over Juneau and then into Russia's Kamchatka peninsula before going south across Manchu as we begin our descent for Beijing (it's pronounced BAY-jing and not zing as many want to pronounce it here).
Before we hopped o the plane, we got some decent food for airport fare. I also got to reacquaint with Crystal, Kentucky's teacher of the year who teaches behind bars, (and a true mover of the profession), Joyce, a choir director from Illinois, and Shelly, a 4th grade teacher from South Dakota. There are plenty of characters on this plane, but most of them are Chinese and just keep to themselves. Thankfully that's not the culture I grew up in; hell, they'd probably had put me in the looney bin.
On the plane I kept myself entertained by watching some more Jim Jefferies, the Amazon Video show Catastrophe (highly, highly recommend for both hilarity and uncomfort), and then tried to watch some Dave Chappelle specials (they sucked, he complained about how he's lost it because, well, he's lost it) and the Star Wars Rogue which I had trouble feigning interest in. I spent most of my time jostling between sleep, chatting with Jennie about life, and listening to music.
Jennie's husband Josh and her son Jackson head out about now for an extended baseball tournament in Georgia. I told her that Jonah is going to be the BEST friggen reader one can ever imagine, and that he'll win all the reading tournaments. Local ones only, though. She enjoyed that, but I'm not joking - Jonah, no travel sports. Mom and dad want a life, so they can go to China and run away from responsibility.
Speaking of, I've been thinking a bit about how things are going with the packing. Today (it's 3p on Thursday), Justin's contract (he's our prospective renter, a DOC officer, and a good guy) actually ends with us. I guess it'll be up to he, Devin, and Greg to figure out how the renting game works here, and I hope it does. I normally would refuse to accept the fate is out of my hands, but, 7,000 miles away, it very much is. I haven't prayed more for myself and our family in a long time as I have to ensure all goes well for our move, and that includes all the moving pieces (double entendre there).
Thankfully today isn't as jam-packed as others will be. We simply have orientation and probably a dinner. That's good, because I only slept 4ish hours before getting on this plane, an hour on the Chicago plane, and about 5 hours on this plane to Beijing. That might seem like a lot, but for what will literally be a 48 hour day by the time we touch these wheels to the ground, it ain't sniz. Thankfully I was prescribed plenty of Lorazepam and Benadryl to put me down for good, healthy bursts of naps. In about 6 more hours, I'll be back to that slumber. Hope to get to chat with the fam before that happens.
1 minute until landing! And it's pouring!