On our final day in Rome, we took our bags to the train station and boarded a train that took us out to Da Vinci Airport. We flew from Rome to New York. We had the obligatory wait on the tarmac at JFK and missed our flight to Seattle. However, there was another flight to Seattle leaving three hours later, so it gave us time to get our bags, go through customs, eat a little dinner and say goodbye to my dad, whose flight to North Carolina left first. Then Mary and I boarded our plane for Seattle and encountered something I’d never encountered before: built-in waiting time on the ground. Airlines know how crowded it is at JFK, and so they actually include an hour of waiting in line to take off into the flight time.
But we did get in the air, and arrived in Seattle at about 11:00 at night. We had missed the shuttle that we were going to take up to Bellingham, but fortunately we could re-schedule it for the next day with no fees. We spent the night with some friends who live in Seattle, and then took the shuttle to Bellingham at 10 on the morning of June 20.
It was a fantastic trip; my only regret is that we weren’t able to spend more time in each port. But that is the nature of cruising. It is hard to complain because we got to go on a wonderful new ship and see some fantastic ports. In all, we saw ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites (five in Greece, three in Italy, one in Croatia and one in Vatican City). I visited two countries that I had never been to before (Greece and Turkey). I got to travel with two great people who are easy to travel with. For the most part, we all agreed on the things that we wanted to see and do. I couldn’t have asked for a better trip to celebrate my graduation, on the one hand, and my dad’s 60th birthday, on the other.
(It is now Choose Your Own Adventure time. If you would like to end on a positive note, stop reading here. If you would like to hear about what has been going on since we got back, read on.)
It has now been almost a month since the trip finished. When Mary and I got back, we decided not to go to Alaska to work this summer, as we had been planning on doing. With unpleasant new developments in the company that we had worked for, we decided it was time to move on and remember the good times as they were. So we were left in Bellingham, looking for jobs.
And we’re still looking. Turns out lots of people want to live in Bellingham, despite the fact that it is incredibly difficult to find a job here. Every day I expect to find a Ph.D flipping my burger or serving my latte. Mary and I have been surfing all the job boards we know of: Craigslist, the Bellingham Herald, WorkSource, Western Washington’s student job board, etc., etc. The result: Bupkus.
But hope springs eternal. I’ve got a good lead on a job or two, but I will mention no names until I actually start working. I’ve been spending my newfound spare time studying for an adult Sunday School class I hope to teach at my church in the fall. The weather has been great. I finally know what people are talking about when they continually sing the praises of the summers around here. If I knew it was this nice, I sure would have grumbled a lot less during the drizzly, dark, purgatorial winters. God, after all, is faithful. I can’t end any better than that.