Email: Greetings from New York

┬źNew York City

Date: Tuesday, 23 September 2003 23:19 PDT
Subject: Greetings from New York

Hello Everyone!

We are sending out this first email of what we hope will be a continuing series of updates as we progress on our trip. We really appreciate all of your good wishes and prayers as we move along our way. We hope to send updates about once a week, with Darren and I alternating and even Lauren and Kristen occasionally contributing!

After weeks of planning and researching and packing, the day of departure is here. Even with all the preparations that we had made, we were still busy literally up to the time we left for the airport on Sunday morning. We had staged all of our final packing in one of my parents’ bedrooms and took turns, one at a time, to pack each of our backpacks. First Darren, who is the most disciplined (and only male) traveler, packed his bag and checked everything twice.

Next, each of the girls underwent Darren’s scrutiny as he questioned the number of tops, pants and shoes that were in the bag. Items came out, lightening the load somewhat. That was made up by the school paperwork that we brought. We had taken special pains to get that down to the bare minimum. Each backpack was adjusted to the each girl’s height.

Then Darren and I packed the two garment bags holding “cruise gear”; evening wear plus some nice casual gear that will be appropriate day wear on the ship. These two bags will be sent back home when we get to England.

Finally, at 10pm, I started on the final packing of my bag. Having the same weight/bulk problem as everyone else, I struggled to take things out to lessen the load. I managed to finally get my bag closed and found that I could at least lift it to put it on my back. So far so good, at least to New York City, our first stop. There will always be time for adjustments later.

Take Care –