Wichita Thanksgiving Holiday Trip(Last updated on 2005/11/26)

It's been a quite while since the last time I visit Wichita. I believe it was last Christmas. I would call the place as my second home town because I spend my eight years of school life there. I found out that I don't have to do a company function over the break, so I decided to head back there. I purchased the ticket for $420, not so bad for short notice.

2005/11/24 Going to Wichita, KS

Woke up at 5:00am but stayed in bed until 6:00am. I have been busy whole week and I was quite tired. Went for a walk as I was doing laundry. Packed up, but gave up on carrying company assignments with me. My car was still very dirty from driving under snow yesterday so I wanted to take it to carwash but I guess have no time. Oh well, I left my apartment around 10:20am, just drove for 40 minutes and I was at the airport. Itís always nice to drive on highway with no accident or construction. The economy parking lot was full so I had to park at corporate parking (still only $8/day). The check in counter and gate were not busy at all so I was able to proceed to the gate by 11:20am. Now I have more than 1 hour to waste. I learned my lesson. Itís not so busy on Thanksgiving day. Anyways, I was just sitting in a chair nearby the gate, watching TV showing the Macyís Thanksgiving paradeÖ

AA4421 Indianapolis - Chicago O'Hare (Depart 12:41PM, Arrive 12:51PM)

ERJ-145 at Indianapolis.

Got on the plane and had smooth flight to Chicago OíHare. I had to waist few hours for the connection fight. I finally got on the place to Wichita, but did not take off for a long time. The flight attendant told us that plane has a missing screw from the previous flight, and had to go through paper work (so NTSB will know that engine of this place swallowed an screw before getting into an accident). The paperwork took a lot longer than anticipated, so initially told that we will be at Wichita 15 minutes early, but ended up being late. My flight arrives to Wichita around 5:30pm, which is 30 minutes later than scheduled.

AA3981 Chicago O'Hare - Wichita (Depart 2:51PM, Arrive 4:53PM)

Lake El Dorado, my playground when I was taking flight lessons...

Airplane arrived at Wichita airport.

After picking up my baggage, got a rental car from Hertz, they offered me a Toyota 4 Runner but I picked Chevy Malibu instead. I am a bit uncomfortable driving an SUV under high wind. The car had a remote starter so it was quite nice. To start the engine, I just needed to press LOCK, then holding the TURNING button for 2 seconds. I like it and had to show it to my friends on later days.

Arrived at my host familyís house before 6:00pm, had dinner, got to talk with the family members and their friends. Joined their evening activities, played some Guesstures. While spending evening okay, I also set up internet connection to my PC and checked emails for my work. Ah, I never be separated from work now. Going to bed after midnight. Usual life for this familyÖ

2005/11/25 Going to Lawrence, KS

Woke up around 7:00am, stretched my body, took care of few businesses. I realized the family was using the expired antivirus software for 6 months, and also one of the PCs is having problem with burning a CD-R. I need to take care of those when I come back... Left Wichita around 9:15am to Lawrence. I dove through I-54, Kellogg street and found out they are still doing some constructions. Between Hillside and Rock Road, people had to use roads on the sides. Entered to Kansas Turnpike systems from Kellogg, and headed North on I-35. Passed Andover, El Dorado, and called my friend to let him know that I am coming. Passed Emporia where I keep going on I-335(?) to Topeka. I got off at a toll at South Topeka, and paid $5.00. I thought it was cheaper when I drove last time. I donít know when they raise the price! Picked up a friend there then headed East on I-70, to get to Lawrence, arrived at another friendís place. After getting a tour at his new house, all of us went to go pick up the fourth friend at an apartment near by. All of us went to a restaurant call Marisco's, and had lunch together. I had a smoked salmon salad and was quite nice, also had good conversations to catch up with things in general. We decided to eat a pumpkin pie at our friendís house so we stopped by at a Dillonís and bought a whip cream. I called a host family while waiting for my friend getting the cream. We drove to my friendís house after that, to chat a bit.

Driving on Kansas Turnpike.

Left Lawrence around 3:00pm, dropped off my friend at Topeka after buying a CD-R burner at Best Buy. Came back to Wichita around 6:00pm, and stopped by Spangles at Kellogg and Rock before head back to the house. I know it is a junk food but I really missed the burger and fries.

Almost sunset

Came home, took care of the PCs. I installed antivirus software for both PCs, and replaced a CD burner. Now they can After that, I took a shower and headed to my friendsí apartment. They and I came to the U.S. almost at the same time (March 1996), but our friendship only began when we worked at Heskett Center together on campus back in 1999. We chat a bit and I stayed until 10:00pm, drove back to house, and finished up the maintenances on PCs. Stayed up until 12:00am, and went to bed. I will be heading back to Indianapolis tomorrow.

A decorated tree at a park nearby my friends' apartment.

2005/11/26 Going back to Indianapolis

Last day of staying at Wichita. Woke up at 7:00am, stretched my body. I knew we drank all the milk and orange juice, so I went out and got them, but at the same time as my host mother went out to different grocery store to do the same. Now we have 2 gallons of both. Decided to pay a visit to my friendís grave in the morning at Belle Plain, KS. He died back in 1999, and I felt like it was so long ago. I was having hard time finding his headstone. Gave him some flowers and left.

I was going to meet up with my other host family members but I was at wrong place so I missed them. I stopped by WSU campus on the way back to home and ate. Spending afternoon at home to pack up what I needed. On campus, there are two things I found new, one is the completion of the welcome center, other thing is the construction work of new engineering building. The trees on campus still had leaves to it was very nice to walk around.

Welcome Center is completed

New engineering building to be built here

Leaves still sitting on the ground

My host family came back from workout. I should have brought my swimsuit so I could swim with them. The sky was getting cloudy as evening approaches, and quite windy. When the time comes, I had to say goodbye to them. Leaving the house around 4:30pm, arrived at airport around 4:50pm after refueling a bit. I saw a VC-10 at the airport so I was wondering what was going on. I returned the rental car at the airport. There werenít many people around neither so I must have picked okay dates for both on the way and back. I think I could live with a schedule like this but hoped my host father was available. He is also working over Christmas holiday, too.

Called my friends who I missed seeing to apologize. I went to a wrong Panera bread store. Oh wellÖ Saw sunset as I was waiting by the gate. Watched to ERJs arrived but no sign of S-80 yet. The airplane finally came, and the boarding starts on time.

AA2059 Wichita - Dallas Fort Worth (Depart 6:36PM, Arrive 8:00PM)

The flight to Dallas was okay, it was nice and quick. However, the thing was different at the airport. Because we have arrived too early there was no gate to park, so we waited for extra 20 minutes on the ground. Maybe the air was moist, the Finally arrived at terminal B and I needed to move to terminal D, which I have never heard of. They must have expanded the airport then. I used the Skyliner for the first time. It was faster and nicer, but very squeaky as usual. I wish I was using it when the sun is up. I should be able to see farther.

Inside of Skyliner, bigger and nicer than predecessor

AA0694 Dallas Fort Worth - Indianapolis (Depart 8:59PM, Arrive 11:59PM)

Moving to the terminal D, which looks pretty cool. They even have US VISIT portals within the place, so foreign citizen like myself can do the paperwork quicker. Good. I was getting hungry but many places were closed, I think it is very late on the weekend. I bought a sub at a store with bottled tea. When I get to the gate, the boarding was started already. I joined the line and got onboard.

S-80 to Indianapolis waiting at Gate D-40

I was very much sleeping on the plane, it was a bit bouncy ride because of the atmosphere. The plane arrived on time and headed to the baggage claim. I think the airport functions close in the night because the stores were very much closed. Got out of the airport finally, it's past midnight and I really wanted to go home straight. I could not go so fast because I was sleepy but managed to get home in a record time due to the amount of traffic.

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