The Final Countdown

July 22

3:24pm: Take last shower
3:44pm: My parents pray for me.  Very sweet and awesome.
4:15pm: Eat final meal with parents.  Panera…don’t judge me.
5:00pm: Leave Panera at exactly 5pm per our pre-planned schedule.  My mother and I are planners.
5:23pm: Get to airport way earlier than necessary.
5:25pm: Ready to go to my gate…it’s a small airport.
5:27pm: Final photos and goodbyes with parents.  We all stay decently composed.
6:35pm: Board plane bound for Newark.  17 passengers = leg room!
7:05pm: Read through big chunk of The Heavenly Man.  Good book so far.
10:55pm (eastern): Depart plane.  Collect luggage.
11:05pm: Meet (insert driver name I forgot) from New Dehli.
11:08pm: Have great conversation in the car about life and family and Kansas City (the closest he has been to Arkansas) as he drives me from Newark to hotel next to JFK International Airport (I have crazy flight itinerary).
11:42pm: He shows me the Atlantic Ocean.  It is nighttime so the ocean is a bit underwhelming.  Big black space with no lights.

July 23

12:07am: Check in at hotel.  I am traveling alone, but they still give me two chocolate chip cookies!
12:15am: Write blog post.
12:47am: Set alarm for 7:18am.  Go to bed ready for big day tomorrow.

Don't be fooled. The tearful goodbye came shortly after this photo was taken.

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