I woke up as a light flashed in the hallway. I immediately reached for my cell phone to check the time. As I had suspected, it was a half hour later than I had planned to wake up. I figured out later that I had turned the alarm off the night before when I had changed the time. Usually when this happens, I feel panicky and my heart races.However, this time I stayed calm and just set about getting everything ready.Luckily, I had packed everything the night before, so this morning I only had to get dressed, grab breakfast, and do a final check of belongings.We loaded my big suitcase into the back of Kimberleigh’s SUV; my carry-on (a backpack) and purse went into my car.The two of us then zipped up Rt 2 towards Annapolis.I definitely was driving over the speed limit but that is normal around here so I wasn’t worried until we passed the first cop car.
I watched my rear view mirror for several minutes and then picked up speed again.Of course farther down the road we passed another cop car.This time I had actually noticed a reflection and had started to slow down before we were right on top of the car.However, I still kept an eye out for red and blue flashing lights.Happily, no one followed us.In Annapolis we went to another friend’s condo complex to leave my car.In five days she would pick me up from the airport and I would drive myself the rest of the way home.Right now though Kimberleigh and I rode together the rest of the drive, about 20 minutes to BWI.Once there Kimberleigh dropped me at Southwest where I found the rest of the group in varying degrees of awake.Krista, with her dose of Cuban Coffee was full of energy while Kira, back from a week of counselor training at River Valley Ranch, greeted me much more sedately with a hug.Josh passed out tickets as each person arrived.Once our group of 27 had fully assembled (around , I think) we got into line to check our luggage.My large suitcase weighed 39.5 pounds.It was a little strange to check something since my family really leans towards carrying everything on.In fact this suitcase had not been checked since 2004 even though I have flown at least once every year since.Going through security was a breeze.We gathered at our gate to wait for departure.Some people played cards, others read and chatted.Quite a few of us visited the Au Bon Pain across the way for a breakfast snack. Kira definitely was pleased with the fruit. I found my usual orange scone. Loading was easy; we were in group B for the open seating that Southwest offers and we were able to sit all near each other in the back of the plane.The plane had an aisle down the middle with three seats on each side.My row had three teenagers on the other side and then myself, Kira, and Ashley.Take off went smoothly although Jaime was a bit nervous.