Sunday, October 08, 2006

Greetings from Amarillo, Texas!

Hi everyone.

I am writing to you from Amarillo. I found out when we landed here that "The Lone Star State" is a nick-name for Texas. I had no idea?

I am SO excited. I have never been to Texas before. It is a BIG state. See if you can find Amarillo on the map. Kristin is in Texas to talk to college and high school students about our trip to Dubai and Doha last December.

It wasn't easy to get to Amarillo. When we left Kristin's house early this morning, she told me we were going to fly on THREE different planes today to get to our destination. Kristin also warned me that I would be seeing the inside of lots of airports, rental cars and hotels on this trip. She hasn't told me the entire schedule for this trip. I guess she wants to surprise me!

Our first flight of the day was from Moline to Chicago. It was delayed over an hour. Kristin really has bad luck with flights in Moline, doesn't she? Here I am keeping watch over our plane tickets at the Moline airport.

Kristin told me when we checked in that we didn't have a seat on our next flight. I was worried we wouldn't get a seat on the next plane but Kristin told me not to worry. As soon as we arrived in Chicago, Kristin was able to get a seat. And right before we got on the plane, the woman at the gate called Kristin to the desk and gave her a new ticket. Guess what? Kristin's new seat was in first class! Kristin says she got "upgraded" because she flies so much. I am SO glad!

Here I am sitting in Kristin's first class seat before takeoff.

I've only been in first class one other time with Kristin and it was really nice. We got a small bowl of warm nuts and a chicken sandwich for lunch. They even baked warm chocolate chip cookies for us! How cool is that?

Oh, did I tell you where the plane was taking us? Denver, Colorado. See if you can find Denver on the map. Kristin said we had to fly to Denver to catch our final plane ride to Amarillo. I've never been to Colorado before. And even though I only visited the airport, I can now officially cross another state off of my list of places I have visited in the United States.

Here I am reading the Denver Post in the business lounge of the Denver airport. OK...I wasn't really reading the newspaper but it does prove I was in Denver.

Kristin told me that Denver is known as the "Mile High" city. Boy, it sure seems like every place I go has a nick-name, doesn't it? Anyway, do you know why Denver is called the "Mile High" city? Kristin told me its because the city is located in the Rocky Mountains and is more than one mile above the sea limit. I'm not exactly sure if I understand but I think that means the mountain Denver is located on is really, really tall!

Kristin kindly bought me a stuffed bear so I could remember my trip to Colorado. She also bought me an old fashioned toy sheriff's badge. It even has my name on it. How awesome is that? Thanks Kristin!

We waited about an hour in the business lounge before walking to our next gate to catch our final flight. That's when Kristin told me we were headed for Texas. I was really happy about going to Texas but Kristin didn't look very happy when we got to our gate. That's because she found out we had to fly a really, really small plane to Amarillo. Each wing of the plane had large propellers (they look like a large ceiling fan attached to the side of the wing). I remember I flew on a plane that looked like this one when I flew from Detroit to Moline earlier this year. I think these planes are really cool. But I remember from my Detroit trip that Kristin doesn't like these small planes.

I was really surprised when we got on the plane. It was even smaller than the one I was on before! It only had one seat on either side of the aisle. The plane is SO small that one of the two pilots is also serves as the flight attendant (and he had to jump into his seat from the aisle!). And guess what? There wasn't even a door on the cockpit. Can you believe that? I got to watch the pilots fly the plane! There are LOTS of controls for the plane. I don't know how the pilots can remember how to work all of the buttons and switches on the dash board of the plane. There are SO many buttons and switches! Pilots must be really smart. I had so much fun watching the pilots push buttons and flip switches that I forgot to ask Kristin to take my photo!

Kristin carried all of her luggage for this trip with her (I guess that means this is a short trip!) so we walked past baggage claim and Kristin got the keys to the rental car that was waiting for us. We had a surprise when we got to the rental car in the parking lot. When Kristin pushed the button for the trunk, a bunny rabbit jumped out from underneath the car! The brown rabbit didn't seem to mind that we were standing right by it. Kristin was able to take a picture of it before it hopped away.

We are staying at the Homewood Suites in Amarillo tonight. Kristin's room is very nice. It even has a small kitchen. We missed the Green Bay Packers game today. Kristin told me they lost. :( Tonight we are watching the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. Kristin is a BIG Cardinals fan. If the Cardinals win tonight they get to the next round of the baseball playoffs. I hope they win!

That's all for now. Until next time....