Sunday, August 8, 2010

Louisiana Journey (Part I)

The journey started (or re-started for the sake of continuance of the relationship between my grandparents and I) on March 1st, 2009. A few days earlier, I had discussed with my aunt a plan to make my way to Louisiana in order to help take care of my sick grandfather. From what we knew at that point, he had been suffering from the results of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, presumably from a trip to another of my aunt’s wedding in North Carolina the summer before.

The aunt calling me down tells it as though I had been in some sort of indecisiveness towards coming down, which is untrue. I was skeptical about my situation with the girl I was in love with and how my relationship would pan out with even more distance between the two of us. I wasn’t skeptical about my traveling to help.

So March 1st rolls around, my bags are packed, and my stomach is in knots. It would only be the second time in my life that I had been on a plane, and the first time being alone on one. My father drove me to the Baltimore Washington International airport in Baltimore, and my best friend Rene tagged along to see me off at the gates. There was a snowstorm approaching the area that would hold off for my flight to take off and get over. There were some flurries on the way to the airport. We walked in, found the correct section, and talked for a few minutes to kill some time. After I hugged the two of them, I continued through security and waited for my boarding call.

The flight went okay; I spent the majority of the time listening to Black Label Society on my iPod. Through several hours of pretty severe turbulence, the plane landed safely at George Bush International in Houston. I had to get to the next terminal to make my way to Lake Charles from Houston. I struggled finding my way through the airport, one of the things I most feared about my travelling this trip alone. I managed to get to the terminal I needed to be at, and sat down with a cup of Coca Cola and a splitting headache from the turbulence on the flight. My flight changed gates and was slightly delayed, but when it arrived, I got on a small jet. I had to duck to get in and walk through this one. That was not fun at all.

I sat next to this guy who wanted to talk the entire way. I just wanted to eat my bag of pretzels, have another Coke, and go about my way with my iPod on. I found this flight to be far more comfortable, and it went faster than they had predicted. I landed in Lake Charles at about 8:30 local time, and stepped off the plane on the runway (the terminal had been closed due to damage from the hurricanes which had previously ravaged the area) and met my uncle Pat at the gate.

We stopped by CVS for me to grab a few of the necessities and then continued on to my grandparent’s house. I walked in the door and gave them each a hug and kiss and got settled in, and ready for bed. My jetlag was brutal, and they decided to go to bed early so I knew what to expect with my grandfather’s condition – she followed him to bed with his body belt. I went to bed expecting a recovery.

To be continued…

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