Category Archives: Observations

Speed Trap

I was sitting in church this Easter morning listening to my pastor give his sermon, and he starts talking about getting a speeding ticket on Wednesday on the same road I was on! Huh, he got a ticket on the same day, same road, and same speed trap I got my ticket. I just had to laugh. Not because getting a ticket is funny (way not funny) but because my reactions were the same as his.

I thought for sure the motorcycle cop behind me wasn’t coming after me. But he was. Well, it turns out my pastor was going the same speed I was and he got the big speeding fine. My cop was nicer to me and lowered my speed and it saved me $100. And really I didn’t do anything or ask him to lower my fine. Sorry Mark. But I also got a fine for not have my insurance info with me so I’ll be downtown tomorrow getting it all fixed.

So I did I receive grace or mercy? Or both?

Either way, I’m glad for Jesus, that he died on the cross and rose again so I can have grace and mercy.

Flight Observations

nullWhen flying to Puerto Rico from Orlando I’ve made a few observations. Both flight were full of Puerto Ricans and a few Americans. BTW, Rob took this picture of Puerto Rico from the plane.

In both these flights:

Gate & boarding announcements in Orlando are said in Spanish. They are not translated into English for people like Rob who don’t speak English. But, luckily he has me.

People are talking all throughout the safety presentation so you can’t even hear the intercom person.

The flight is generally louder than an all American flight.

Always clap when you land in Puerto Rico.


Conversation overheard at the Starbucks at the San Juan Airport. Rob and I were 4th in line and in the front was Big Scary American Lady (BSAL).

Barista: What can I get you?
Me: gives the Barista the “you poor thing” look
Barista: gives me the “thank you, this lady’s crazy” look
BSAL: Finally hangs up after a few minutes and orders and leaves.

All are relieved the ordeal with BSAL is over.

Obnoxious Germans

If you’d like to read about our adventures in getting home from Kenya you can go to our ministry website where I wrote about it. It was quite an adventure and a good lesson on trusting God and living by faith!

Anyway, here’s one story about our adventures in getting home.

The line at Kenya Airways was chaos when we arrived at the airport, a good 3 1/2 hours ahead of the flight. However, there were only 3 agents working behind the counter. Unfortunately I picked the wrong line, as the guy working our line was new! He took 30 minutes to check each person in. We stood in line for 1 1 /2 before we made it to the front. In the mean time there was a German couple who had been in front of us and after talking with them, they told me the flight was full and they would not be on the flight.

They were desperate to get home, and annoying as well. Do you know what they did? All of a sudden the German man became “ill”. He laid down and started acting like he was sick and his wife kept checking on him and playing it up! All the while she would walk back and forth harassing the agents telling them they had to get on the flight because her husband was ill! Oh my gosh!

This went on for a good hour (we were still waiting for our new guy to get to us). I thought for sure she’d bothered them so much they would ignore her. In the US the would have. But Kenya Airways gave in and gave them their seat assignments. They were probably tired of listening to her. All of a sudden, the husband was fine again! Ironically, they got stuck everywhere we did. And they were also trying to push up to the front of the line.

One guy in the group we were traveling with didn’t let them get in front of them. They saw the whole thing. And everyone thinks Americans are obnoxious? That may be the stereotype and maybe mostly true, but we’re not the only ones!

Shopping after Thanksgiving

Black Friday at Staples – 5:50am

Originally uploaded by jbcpez.

Are you one of those people who get up at 5 am to stand in line for good deal the day after Thanksgiving?

I’ve never been one of those but I’ve loved going shopping every year on Black Friday. It’s become a tradition for me. Growing up my family would sometimes do it too. But I usually get up around 7 or 8 am and head out to the stores that have what I’m looking for. And then I’m usually home aroung lunch time.

Not this year. We’re in SC this year for Thanksgiving. But that’s not the reason I didn’t get up to shop. I was just plain exhausted and decided I needed my sleep more than fighting the crazy crowds at 8 am to buy something I didn’t really need. Of course the crowds here would have been much more polite because South Carolinians are nicer, or maybe it’s just their accents that makes them more polite.

Today was my day off: to shop, to be by myself, to rest after visiting tons of family, to not have to chit chat.

While Rob and his dad were at the Clemson/Carolina game and the rest of the state was watching the big rivalry on TV I decided today would be a good day to shop. And I was right, the stores were kind of empty until the football game ended. Sorry to Clemson, they lost.

On a side note: As I was walking around it was interesting to see how intense this rivalry really is. Those who weren’t at the football game were showing their where their loyalties lie. Just about everyone today had on their Clemson clothing or their Carolina clothing. Since we’re closer to Clemson there was a lot more orange. Go Tigers! I did see on man wearing his Va Tech shirt! Go Hokies! In my world Hokies come before Tigers. Sorry Rob.

Back to shopping.

I didn’t buy much but the stuff I did buy was a great deal. This year SC decided to have sales tax exempt days on Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving! Even better deal as every penny adds up.

I enjoyed my time alone.

My sister in law, Lera (pronounced lee-rah, like the Italian Lira), joined me at 7pm and we continued to shop and talk together until 10 pm. Then as I went to drop her off at her house we sat in her driveway and talked for another 30 minutes.

Today was a good day.


I finally went to the gym yesterday after a 2 month hiatus, not on purpose of course. It felt good to work out again. It was a short work out as I have to be careful not to overdo it.

Finally I used my iPod Nano for real for the first time at the gym since I got it for my birthday. I love it!!! So much cooler than carrying a CD player around, which I did the last time I went to the gym. Not only did I feel a decade behind, but I also dropped the CD player and it broke. No, I didn’t break it on purpose.

Finally I woke up earlier than noon today. My alarm went off at 8 am and I didn’t hear a thing. Luckily Rob came home from his appointment and woke me up at 9 am so I could go to work.

Finally I went to Life Group tonight! YAY!!! It was game night which really ended up being hang out night which is just as fun. It’s been a month since I’ve seen everyone. I had a great time despite not feeling well. But I’m an extrovert and people give me energy. I just get exhausted when I get home.

I think that’s all my “finally’s”.

Flying Into DC

I flew in Washington’s Reagan Airport yesterday. I’ll be in the area staying with different people for most of the month. I’m excited to be up here again. I grew up in this area and I’ve been missing it a lot lately. Northern Virginia is a beautiful place!

Yesterday’s flight into DC was wonderful! The flight itself was okay but the view as we landed was magnificent. I wanted to be able to see the monuments as we landed and I thought for sure that I was on the wrong side of the plane. But it turns out I wasn’t.

As we landed we flew right past the Washington Monument; I could see the National Mall and the Capitol Building at the end, the White House, which by the way looks really small compared to all the other buildings around it, and the Jefferson Memorial.

I was so happy to be on the correct (left) side of the plane to see all this, because I normally fly in and out of Dulles when I come up here.

Those sites also brought back a lot of memories.

Every year my school always went on a field trip to the Smithsonian Museums. It was usually the one with the dinosours in them (Museum of National History). But we also went to the Air and Space Museum, which for years I thought was named after a guy named Aaron Space. Okay, I confess I was, oh, about 18 years old when I finally figured it out!

Come to think of it we probably hit most of the Smithsonian Museums plus the Capitol Building, the Library of Congress, the place where money is made, and the saw the Declration of Independence. Also the National Zoo when Ling-Ling (female) and Hsing-Hsing (male) the 2 original pandas were still there.

So much fun back then. Still so much fun now.

One interesting side note is that becauase the Smithsonian museums are free, I thought all museums were free. That’s one reason I haven’t been to any of the museums in Orlando yet. I don’t want to pay for it. In a town know for its theme parks, are the museums really any good? Serious, let me know.

My family would also go down to the mall to spend the afternoon on weekends. Sometimes is was a museum, or just walking around, or riding the carousel. Those were fun days. When I was in junior high we starting going into DC to see the Christmas tree and all the little trees representing every state and territory that is part of the USA. Each tree was and still is decorated by a state theme. Always a fun thing to do every year.

Yeah, I miss this area.