Kansas Travel Log

Sunday, December 12, 2004 at 5:44 PM

So Stephanie, Mom, Shelly, Carla, Dick, and I went to KANSAS this weekend to go to my grandpa's funeral. I kept a log as I went, and I will share it with you.

Before we could go to our gate, we had to go through airport security. It was much more extensively done than before. For example, they dug through our bags and had us stand with our arms out as they used a handheld metal detector to search us for guns, land mines, etc. Then we boarded our plane for Dallas, Texas for our layover. Then to Kansas. Actually, Missouri.

12-09-2004 About 1:50 PM CST
American Airlines Flight 1694 (Dallas/Ft. Worth to Kansas City)

We safely arrived in Dallas, Texas at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport for our layover. The first thing Shelly and I noticed was that the land was very flat. We also noticed a lot of cowboy hats in the terminal, and several boot polishing stations. I can't eat on an airplane, so this was the perfect place to get a burger. Fortunately, the terminal had two McDonald's. I wasn't too hungry, and I didn't really want to fill up and get full (in case I lost my lunch on the plane), so I ordered a cheeseburger and a Sprite. When I sat down to eat my burger, I realized that they had forgotten to put in the patty. I returned to the McDonald's and requested another burger. This one was fine. This one was good. It was a terrific burger. I felt satisfied and fulfilled.

12-09-2004 10:41 PM CST
Extended StayAmerica Hotel Room 210

I was surprised to see Aunt Karen pick us up at the gate at the airport in Missouri! Uncle Henry was with her too. We got our luggage. Then we went to Alamo Car Rental to get our rental minivan. We were walking around the lot, looking for the right one. I started to open the door of one particular dark blue one, but it wouldn't open. Only when I stopped pulling did the door open ... AUTOMATICALLY! What a cool van! We all knew we were getting this awesome van with the door that opens for you.

Then we drove to our hotel. It's pretty nice for a "two-star" hotel. It's neat in the fact that the room with the beds are separated from the living room and kitchen. Two different rooms. Three including the bathroom. We had a bit of trouble opening the doors with the keycards, but I figured it out: you have to push down on the door handle hard. Mom, Steffi, my cousin Shelly, and I have one room, and Uncle Dick and Aunt Carla have the other room.

Then we went to visit Mary, Grandpa's wife. We sat talking for a while, and admiring a ceramic light-up Christmas tree Karen made. Then I helped Shelly edit some letters.

Then we went to Sonic Burger! Oh, finally! All the dumb TV channels air commercials, but there aren't any in Washington! We ordered our food (me: bacon cheeseburger, coney (hot dog), fries, and Sprite), but Shelly had to use the restroom. They wouldn't let her use the restrooms inside for security reasons. So we said hold on, and went to Walgreen's across the street. They used the toilets, bought pop for the fridge. Then we returned to Sonic and ate the food. YUM..we HAVE to go back.

12-10-04 11:13 PM CST
Extended StayAmerica Hotel Room 210

We went to the funeral today at the church. There were tons of people I didn't know. Shelly gave a good speech. Then everyone gathered in the dining room to talk and eat cake and remember. It was a little weird that people were hugging me, remembering me from when I was two—and I didn't remember them at all. We got to see Matt—I hadn't seen him in three years, and even then, it was only for a minute.

Then we went to Smokehouse BBQ with a few guests from the funeral and their daughter, Laura, a college freshmen. She was nice, but she was uncomfortable because she didn't know any of us. I think she liked us less when Shelly and I tried to make a siphon with the drinking straws and Stephanie's strawberry lemonade. On the way back to the hotel, Shelly and I tried to sing The 12 Days of Christmas, but couldn't remember any lines from the 6th day and on.

12-11-04 10:45 PM CST
Extended StayAmerica Hotel Room 210

Today was Grandpa's burial in the small town called Bushton. However, it's about a 5-hour drive from our hotel. So we woke up really early and ate in the breakfast room in the hotel. Then we got in the van and just drove west. We stopped at a McDonald's about halfway there at 10:40 AM to get lunch. Guess what. They were still serving breakfast. Aww, I wanted a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. So I got a Sausage Biscuit with Egg instead.

The funeral was in a small town in the middle of nowhere. It was cold and windy. I thought they were going to lower the casket into the ground, but Shelly said that would be too hard for people to watch. Then we went to Oteka's house—she's Grandpa's sister-in-law. We had lunch. While all the grown-ups talked, Shelly, Steffi and I played Go Fish and War. Then, on the way back, we stopped at Russell Stover Candies to look at chocolate. I looked at jelly beans. I got A&W Root Beer and Tutti-Frutti jelly beans, and Mom got Sizzling Cinnamon jelly beans.

After we finally got back to the city our hotel is in, we decided to have Wendy's for dinner. I had two Caesar salads, a chili, and a bacon cheeseburger. On the way back to the hotel, while listening to a Christmas CD I made, Stephanie, Shelly and I tried to sing The Twelve Days of Christmas, but couldn't sing along very well.

12-12-04 About 10:30 PM CST
American Airlines Flight 1267 (Kansas City to Dallas/Ft. Worth)

Karen went with us to the airport. We also met with my dad's father and aunt. Then I bought an airplane keychain that lights up and makes airplane noises. Going through airport security was a pain this time—MCI security isn't very well organized. We're going to transfer planes in Dallas/Ft. Worth. We won't have much time to get to the next plane—we won't have time to shop or eat. Since our tickets are last-minute, our seats on the plane to Seattle suck. Each of the six of us sit in the center seats of six different rows. I won't be sitting next to anyone I know. I'll be surrounded by strangers. I hear Kevin and Terry are going to pick us in SeaTac.

12-12-04 About 1:45 PM CST
American Airlines Flight 533 (Dallas/Ft. Worth to Seattle-Tacoma)

We were worried when we arrived at the Texas airport because it didn't look like we'd have enough time to get to our next gate to depart for SeaTac. We only had 20 minutes until boarding, and we had (as I later found out) three miles to the gate. Three miles, with all six of us, would probably take us at least 40 minutes, walking quickly. Fortunately, we could take the TrAAin (AA is for American Airlines) right to our next gate. However, while walking to the TrAAin Station, we came across the man in the trolley. It's like an extended golf cart without the canopy. The guy was glad to give us a ride. So we rode all the way to our gate on the other side of the airport. It was fun, and we still had ten minutes to spare.

Thanks to the nice ticket lady at our gate, our seating arrangements were changed to allow us to be seated closer together. We're seated in pairs, which is better than sitting alone. I ate a yummy bagged bistro meal. It inclused a turkey sandwich, a bag of baby carrots, a bag of Ruffles, and a brownie. Shelly gave me her Ruffles. I also bought Sun Chips back in Texas. Oh, and I bought a keychain that says "Don't Mess With Texas".

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