Wichita Thanksgiving Trip 2006 (last updated on 2006/11/26)


I spent 8 years studying in Wichita, KS, until I moved to Indianapolis in January 2005, so it's been about two years since I left there. I do still have few friends met while I was studying there. Unlike last year which I had to pay a lot of money to buy plane tickets, I purchased the tickets in advance. Because I could only stay for 30 hours, my trip went very quick.

While packing my stuffs, I had two bottles of Oliver Winery wines (red) and a box full of soaps and shampoos I collected from the travels. (Sorry but I always like to collect them so I could use...)

2006/11/23: Going to Wichita

Going to Airport

Woke up at 4:30am. I checked email in the morning and saw one from my brother. I replied his and took a quick shower. I planed to leave home around 5:00am but ended up leaving at 5:30am. I was concerned about the people at the airport, long line at the security. The car got some frost on the windows so I had to scrape them off before heading out. With a bit of hurry, I took off. The good thing is that on the way to the airport. I did not have to stop at the intersection. The highway was not crowded but people drive like crazy so I had to accommodate for them anyways I can. Arriving at airport around 6:00am. The economy parking was full already so I had to use business parking, which I used last year also and a bit more expensive than economy ones. I had to drag my bags to the terminal for about 5 minutes.

To Dallas Fort Worth: AA809 IND(7:00am CST) - DFW(8:20am CST)

 - I used a curbside check in because I already printed out my ticket yesterday so I did not need to worry about getting late much, as long as my baggage get accepted. I paid $2 for the bag, and $1 tip. The line to the screening was not too long, Thank god. Passed the security and headed to the gate B2. The boarding was just about to start. I was stopping by a store to buy bottled water, and a postcard for a friend. When I sat on the seat and looking out of the window, I realized the ground is soaking wet. I guess the planes were deiced. The plane took off to the south, and headed to west. The flight to Dallas was just smooth and no need to concern about delay. I just watched outside and see the sky getting brighter. Plane landed on time.

Getting out for Circle City

Waiting for boarding...

To Wichita: AA1066 DFW(10:45am CST) - ICT(12:00pm CST)

 I got out from the plane and took a Skyline to the terminal D, where my connection flight departs. I waited for a while to get on board. I had two hours of wait here. I even had a sandwich because I was getting very hungry. The flight to Wichita was not so busy, we had about 8 people booked on standby and everybody was able to get on board. I was just relaxing in the plane. It took off on time and flew north. I saw flying over the Red River, and also nearby Tinker AFB. I somehow could not recognize Norman, OK where my friend studied. It changed the course toward the airport at Ponka City. I am glad I know very much of the details around here. All the flying thing paid off. However, I was concerned that the plane might approach from west of Wichita because the wind was coming from the south. If so then I will miss chance to take pictures. Fortunately, the plane flew over the Wichita downtown. I took some pictures. The plane landed okay and taxied to the gate. It's a great feeling o back in Kansas... ?

Red River

Wichita Mid Continent Airport

Wichita Downtown

Arrived at airport finally.

Arriving at home - It's been a year since I cross the gate. (Actually I like this gate because this is the same gate I crossed when I come to the U.S. back in 1996) The terminal building underwent few changes, now the small sandwich shop in the terminal is expanded, and small magazine shop like I usually see at DFW or ORD is sitting there. I walked toward the baggage claim and waited for the bag. I picked it up and walked toward the Hertz Rental Car desk. The guy I met was the same one I saw last year. We talked a bit. Seems like he is doing well in his school. I joked that I might see him again next year... I got a happy colored small SUV. I drove out of the property and headed to the house. I have not forgot the place and arrived there fairly quick. The temperature is pretty warm so I did not need to wear a fleece.

2007 Ford Escape 4WD

Dinner - I had to spend some time until the dinner is served around 3:00pm. So, I worked on their PCs. As well as giving my old laptop PC to their family. One of the daughter was saving up some money but her car broke down and had to give up the plan. So I guess I gave them my old one just in time and I was very glad when I heard the story. I drove to a Wal Mart to buy some ice and paper towel for the dinner. People I have met before began arriving to the house. It was nice to meet them. After saying grace, the dinner started. I very much skipped most of the meals to day, so I stuffed my stomach with two full plates of food.

Evening - Around 5:00pm, I thought about going to visit my friend but the Sun was just about 10 degrees above the horizon so I guessed it would be too dark to visit. I called my friends who lived in Wichita for about 10 years. We were able to find a time to meet and catch up with the things since the last year. My friend had to go shopping from 9:00pm, so I had to leave. I heard on the news at the airport that stores began selling on the thanksgiving day instead of day after. I guess retailers just want to grab all the money from the consumers. Maybe next year, they will start a day before thanksgiving sales or something... I came back home, spend time working on the PC and finally identified the problem. I went to bed around 1:00am. Tired. I did not watch any game today...

2006/11/24: Coming back to Indy

Visiting my friend's grave - I woke up around 6:30am. My body clock is still in EST. I stretched my body and got ready for the day. In the morning, I have a place to go. I had a good friend from school. I never saw him graduating because he died in a skydiving accident back in 1999. I left the house around 8:00am and I drove to a town called Belle Plain, KS. I used Kansas Turnpike system so I paid like $0.40 each way. After driving up the place. I paid respect to him. I drove back to Wichita around 10:00am.

Visiting my friends - After spending morning taking care of PC, I drove to east side of the town. I drove on I-54, saw Rusty Eck Ford dealership got a lot bigger, and some changes over Towne East mall. Because today is a day after the thanksgiving day, people went to shopping like crazy. The parking lot was very much full. I know they were wanting to know what I was doing over the year, I brought my laptop PC to show some pictures. We met around noon and left the Panera Bread around 1:30pm.

Visiting friend - After the lunch, I drove to a place near by WSU to meet a friend. She is a world record holder in masters swimming in her age group. On the way to the place was a bit of mess. People wanting to go to Best Buy at 21st and Rock Rd. I had to be careful on driving around there. Also on the way going there, I have found out that Storage USA is renamed, and also 21st street is now a 5 lanes at some location. Taco Tico was still there but some places nearby changed. I met and talked to her a while. I am glad she is doing well just like when I was still lifeguarding at a pool.

Stopping by at WSU - Well, I know they are building a new engineering building but I did not know they are still working on it.

Coming back to home - I had to stop by a bank which I opened account while I was in Kansas. There is no branch in Indiana, amazingly... The bank clerk also was surprised to hear about it. Well, kept driving on the 21st street to the I-135. The old dance club near by Fairmount Towers was totally gone and now it is a fire station.

Going to Dallas Fort Worth: AA1821 ICT(6:00pm CST) - DFW(7:20pm CST)

 I stayed at house until 5:00pm, tried to fix PC as much as I could. I did not have enough time so I exchange hugs with them and left the house. I already filled the tank so I just needed to drive up and return the car to the Hearts location at the airport. I wanted to bring back some of my personal belongings so I had many books with me and worried about paying extra fee (exceeding 40lbs will cost me $25 more) but the scale at the counter was broken! (I should have put more textbooks!) Anywaays, I scored to bring back a box of full mails which I keep mine, and a series of books I like reading and two textbooks. I had to go through a pat down check because of my PC. My laptop PC always have problem passing the test. Agh. While I was waiting for the boarding, I called one of my good friend. They were in town over the break so I missed a chance to see them this time. The plane took into the sky getting darker. The plane took off to the north and turned right. I get to see the Towne East mall, Spirit America (formerly known as Boeing Wichita). The flight was not totally bump less but smooth. The plane approached to the airport by flying over well lit city of Dallas. I even get to see the downtown in a distance. The plane landed too early so we had to wait for 20 minutes. While we are waiting, I called the home in Wichita to check if everything is okay with the computer. When I was getting out of the plane, I saw a lady in front me carrying a backpack with "Windows XP embedded" on it. I asked her what she does and she works for a company does the packaging. I am not sure if she will switch to Windows Vista coming out next year.

Evening in Wichita

Going back to Indianapolis: AA508 DFW(8:00pm CST) - IND(11:00pm CST)

 I got out from the plane around 7:20pm at terminal A, The connection flight was at terminal D, so I took a Skyline. On the way there, I saw a couple needing to get on the plane but were lost. I gave them directions and hope they made it. I stopped by McDonald's before heading to the gate since I was hungry. The boarding was already began when I got there and there weren't anybody waiting in line. Inside of the plane was awfully HOT! I had to turn the air vent knob so I could get some cool air. I just don't know why the plane was that hot... Anyways, it took off into dark sky and I sometimes slept in the plane. The plane landed okay and walked out from the terminal after getting my bag. It was 11:00pm so there was no more plane to take off and place has no people around.

Indianapolis Downtown

Coming home - I walked out of the terminal building toward the parking lot. I started my car and stuffed my baggage. I was driving slow, one is because I am a bit tired. Get off the highway but there was a guy wanted to race and annoyed be a lot. Got home, and took a quick shower, but I knew I had to check email and others. I went to bed around 2:00am.

Wrap Up (Total cost $400?)

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