I have finally ran into some luck. I rode the metro into D.C. today for the first time and it was easier than I thought it would be. I will only have to deal with one line when I need to go to work or The Washington Center’s office. My apartment is on one end of the line, my work is on the opposite end of the line with D.C.’s main attractions such as the White House and The Washington Center, well for me, in the middle. Ah, what luck! Other than riding the metro, I have finally met the rest of the TWC media group at orientation. The other interns and our program adviser all seem pretty nice. For lunch, I met up with Teresa-one of the girls that I met last night-and it was an hassle trying to find each other-Teresa, who is in the International Relations program, had orientation in a different location. Okay, really I got lost, but I eventually started to understand their street design, which helped. After I did a huge square trying to find my way to her, we finally chose a nice cafe around the corner from our designated meeting spots. It was great with hot, delicious sandwiches and a Chinese buffet that I am going to have to try sometime-it looked so good. After lunch, my program’s orientation was over two hours early giving me time to make my way back to the apartment alone for the first time. I wanted plenty of time to correct mistakes if I made them! I also finally received a call from the airport-they are sending my luggage to me tonight. I will soon have clothes!
Waiting. It is the main thing I have accomplished all day long. I began the day bright and early at the Little Rock Airport at 4:15 a.m. in the hopes that I would avoid long lines and confusion while boarding. I also did not want to be late due to the weather.
What I did not consider, however, was the fact that Southwest Airlines did not open their doors until 5 a.m. It was a long wait. However, we were first in line to check in my luggage and my parents were able to walk me to the security check point. It was there that I discovered-well security discovered-that I was carrying lotion and toothpaste over the liquid limit allowed. It was the first time I had a bag of mine searched and it was pathetic to discover it was over a half-used bottle of lotion and an almost empty tube of toothpaste. However, I was able to get the security guard to take them both to my parents who were able to tuck them into my checked-in luggage on the way out of the airport. I was now on my own to wait for my 6:15 a.m. flight and my troubles were only beginning. I was to fly to Louisville, Ky., and then take a connecter flight to Baltimore, Md. Well, my plans detoured from the very beginning. I had a scare in Little Rock when I discovered my flight was going to St. Louis before I discovered my plane was only dropping people off and having more board the plane before continuing to Louisville. In St. Louis, I was forced off the plane around 8:30 a.m. due to the Louisville Airport closing, and the St. Louis Airport did not look that great itself as you can see below.
Southwest Airlines, however, was able to set me up with a direct flight from St. Louis to Baltimore that was supposed to leave at 10:25 a.m. though it was delayed until closer to 11 a.m. for the de-icing of the Baltimore Airport. I finally arrived at Baltimore at 3 p.m. only a few hours behind my original arrival time of 11:30 a.m. It was a foggy landing and I was unable to see anything but cloud during our landing until we were practically on the landing. Below are two pictures I took while landing. The first photo was taken while the plane was headed toward the runway, and the second photo was taken while we headed toward our gate.
I was tired but still in a decent mood when we landed in Baltimore. However, I soon realized that while I was in Baltimore, my luggage was not. I ended up waiting for two hours for my luggage to come in on the next flight only to discover my two suitcases were not on the flight. I was tired and, along with two older couples, eventually boarded a Super Shuttle bus, which took all of us to our final destination. I finally made it to my apartment at 6:30 p.m.-just in time for a apartment complex meeting for all Washington Center interns staying at the complex in Rockville, Md. My luck did turn around at the end of the day. I met two girls at the meeting and ended up traveling with them and their roommate to Target for necessities lost with my luggage. I now have sheets, towels and clothes for tomorrow! I am a happy woman! Next up now: Praying for my luggage to show up soon and waking up for a 9 a.m. orientation in D.C.
In about 12 hours I will begin the first day of my 4-month stay in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area. I am nervous and excited as I make the final preparations for my travel. My parents and I left Wynne, Ark., earlier than we planned due to winter storms. As it was, we bypassed a 6-7 vehicle pile-up involving tractor trailer rigs on the interstate near Lonoke. Traffic was backed up for over 10 miles and we were luckily stopped by the accident near an exit ramp. So we were able to avoid the hours of waiting by taking backroads. It was a smooth trip despite the constant rain, and we were able to get to Little Rock without any serious problems, well except for the time dad rolled mom’s window with the GPS unit attached to it down. It was a chilling few moments until we realized the GPS was alive and well.