“We’re halfway there”

Kennedy Airport, New York – This morning started rather early, about 6.30 CDT to be precise. After bidding farewell to the pooch, who was rather sad about it, and having breakfast, I gave my parents big hugs and said “Slán anois!”

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“I gave my parents big hugs and said ‘Slán anois!'”

The first flight was unmemorable for the most part. I will say it was cool to look out the window when we made our first major turn and see that we were flying over either Lake Erie or Ontario, I think the latter. After another 45 minutes I looked out my window and saw the fields giving way to a more man-made landscape. There were some sort of towns and cities on either side of a rather large river. My initial thought was that we could be crossing the Delaware somewhere in northern Pennsylvania/southern New York. But, I was mistaken. In fact, it was none other than the Hudson. And those towns that I saw below turned out to be Yonkers and the Bronx. Next thing I knew I was looking down at Manhattan; at Central Park, at Times Square (a little speck of dust from my altitude), at the skyscrapers and many grand buildings. Then came the greatest sight of all: the Atlantic.

I was last in New York in January 2006, when my Mom and I flew into Islip Airport on Long Island to go see Monty Python’s SPAMalot on Broadway. A true sign of the recent history and status of this city came into my window’s view when we landed at JFK: the newly constructed Freedom Tower.

This is one of the largest airports that I’ve ever been in! I exited from my first plane onto the tarmac, taking a sort of covered walkway into Terminal 2, which I have to say was not quite as clean as I would have thought a terminal in one of the country’s busiest airports would be. At first I was confused, as there was no sign or notice saying which terminal I was in, and my tickets that had been picked up in Kansas City didn’t say which terminal I’d be landing in and which one my London flight would be departing from. So, I figured the best thing to do was to follow along behind the group of French students who had been on my first flight, figuring they were heading towards the international terminal. This turned out to be a good plan, as I ended up on a bus with people going all over the place, the guy to my right was heading for Moscow, the lady across from me home to Brussels, a man in front to Amsterdam. Considering I was also heading to Europe, I figured this must be the right bus, and if it wasn’t, I’d just take it back to Terminal 2 and find my way to my gate else ways.

Luckily, that was the right bus (Buíchos le Dia!) Luckily also, I had a good 2 hours 45 minutes until my next flight left, so I got a chance to explore. This is one place that I would be willing to come through again, if going to some more distant places from the States, like Russia, China, India, or the Middle East. I found a restaurant, and had lunch at a nice late 16.00 EDT.

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All sorts of airlines operate from here. In this photo one can see Delta, Swiss Airlines, and El Al jets.

So, here we are, waiting around at the gate for the next flight. I had a good laugh when I first got to this gate, as it was packed with Russians waiting for a flight going to Sheremetyevo-Moscow Airport. Coming from Kansas City, where the most exotic and foreign flights head to Toronto and some holiday destinations in Mexico, this was quite a sight. I can see some rain clouds coming in from the west, which will make things fun. Next stop is London, a new country, a new day, as I’ll be arriving at 7.05 BST (2.05 EDT and 1.05 CDT). Tá for now.

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