Saturday, November 28, 2015

Traveling to Latvia

Day 1 
In line for security I meet some nice folks. They were speaking another language so I asked them where they were from. She said they were from Chile but have been living in Texas for a while. They are going on a 5 week trip to Europe. Two cruises. She said the cruise was only about $900 for 6 days, a place to stay, and all your meals. She considered it practically free and considered it her duty to go. They were also going to Riga for a bit.

There was a Ben and Jerry's I have been to before when going to Ethiopia. I didn't get anything but was tempted to.

Standing in line to board the plane I meet a senior finance major at the University of Arkansas. He was going to Barcelona to finish his Spanish minor and was backpacking with a friend.
The man next to him in line heard us talking and heard I was going to Latvia and he said he was going to Latvia too! He was going on a business trip to Russia. His wife was meeting him there and they would take a bus to Riga.
I am always glad to hear when people go to Latvia since not a ton of people do.

Before boarding the man that checked me in looked at my red suitcase and said coming home it needs to be smaller. I don't know why if it fit.

On the plane I say next to a nice British lady. She was in Texas for the last month. Her daughter lives in Texas. Her son in laws work brought her daughter and grandsons to Texas.
She was very nice. I loved her accent and the way she said things.
I asked her if she wanted to play cards but she couldn't because of her bad sight. She appreciated my asking.
It was faster for her to travel from Dallas to Amsterdam then to London from where she lived in England.

I slept for some of the flight. I took one melatonin. 4 hours later took another one. It helped some.

I meet Marcia Smith at the airport. She is very sweet. She reminds me a lot of Grandma because of her northern accent, hair cut, and nail polish color.

We found a Starbucks and I ordered a grande cool lime refresher. The barista replied, "I'm sorry." They didn't have it. They didn't have much of what we have in the states. I found another good drink to get.
Since I didn't have any euros and wasn't going to get any since we won't be here long Marcia gave me some of hers. I will find a way to pay her back.
They have frappucino hour every day for an hour. As opposed to the states that have it for a few hours for a week.

When Marcia and I were sitting down having our Starbucks a lady came over and commented on my A&M shirt. She had children that went to A&M and Baylor. She was from North Arlington. She was going to Tanzania to help start a pro life center there. She said it was very needed in Tanzania. She left then came back on her way out of Starbucks and gave Marcia and I the two brackets she was wearing. They are bracelets about the gospel. It was very kind and unexpected.

I bought a nice mug in Amsterdam and a magnet. They have lots of tulips you can buy because I think that is what they are known for.

I asked Marcia if we have time to look in another shop. She said no and they don't have anything in there you need. I agreed. She will keep me on my toes.

It is neat to see new fashions, food, and languages here.

I had to check my bag in at Amsterdam. Since it was a different airline my bag was to big and I had to check it in.

When I got into my seat I felt like I should talk to the guy next to me. I asked if he was from Riga. He said yes but it didn't seem like he wanted to talk much. I was wrong. we started talking and didn't stop for a while. I found out he is a professional beach volleyball player. He has a wife and a three month old baby named Amelia. He travels all around playing beach volleyball. His dad is his coach and his brothers. His brother played in the Olympics. His brother did really well in the Olympics. No one had heard of Latvia and after the Olympics the number one question was where is Latvia?
He said beach volleyball is way better than regular volleyball.
They had a 2 month practice in Cairo.
He told me some good places to go, and made sure I knew some Latvian words.

Marcia's luggage is lost. Hopefully it will come soon.

After a 2 hour drive we finally arrived in Talsi. We saw finishing activities of graduation.

We all went to dinner at a good restaurant. We all got to try some salads. There was a cheese salad, garden salad, and tuna salad. I had chicken and potatoes for my entree. We all had two desserts - one was like bread pudding but more of a pastry. The other dessert was like a creme puff but with strawberry sauce.

Marcia and I got some groceries and are getting settled in.

Looking forward to a nice breakfast and church in the morning. The kids will come around 5:30.

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