Our adventure started several weeks ago with a phone call. Incredibly, my wife had won an amazing trip – to South Africa. And so we planned, and planned, and shopped, and planned some more. Not really knowing what to expect, we read travel guides and reached out to anyone and everyone who might know something about our destinations. Finally, the big day arrived. We found ourselves standing at the South African Airways’ terminal in JFK Airport, New York.
We worked through the seemingly endless layers of airport security, finally arriving at our flight’s gate. The plane was there and we watched as ground crews hurried about with their carts, tractors, and trucks. We chatted with other passengers and then, three hours after arriving at the terminal, boarded the plane. The flight crew welcomed us as the plane was slowly pushed back from the gate and busily moved up and down the aisles preparing the plane for take-off. And then we stopped. And waited. Soon, the pilot informed us that the tug used to push our plane from the gate was unable to disconnect – a pin was stuck – and we would be delayed. It took nearly an hour of hammering, shaking, pushing, and pulling before the pilot announced that the pin had come free and we would be on our way.
And then we were there! After nearly 24 hours of traveling across 7 time zones, we arrived at our hotel. After working through a mix-up in our reservations (the only real glitch in the whole trip), we dropped our bags in the room and headed out onto the beach.