February 4 – the journey begins

The hardest good-byes

The gift of a hotel room near the airport for the last 2 nights in Dallas made it easier to store our bed and wash our bed linens, etc. We did our final repacking of our bags on Wednesday night, being sure that we both had clothes in all 3 bags in case anything was delayed or went missing.  The bags were close to the baggage limit and the hand carry items were heavy! The way of missionary travel!

Thursday morning, Emily came to the hotel to say good-bye. She helped us take our bags to the entrance where Sarah was waiting to drive us to the airport.

Oh, it was hard to say good-bye to our girls! We hadn’t seen them all the time, but there was the comfort of knowing they were just a short drive away if they needed anything. Being on the opposite side of the globe from family is not easy. We are grateful to friends whom we know will provide support and help if it is needed. 

We got to the airport and after checking in our bags for Los Angeles, we gave Sarah a last hug and started on our way. After finding our seats and settling in, there is always the feeling of relief of finally being on our way. 

Once we arrived in Los Angeles, we collected our bags and headed to the International Terminal. We were early for the flight and received excellent service from the Emirates employees at the check-in desk. In addition to presenting our passports, we also needed to present the negative Covid test results, a requirement of the United Arab Emirates. 

The Emirates agent also helped us find great seats on the plane. There were only 60 passengers on the Boeing 777-300, so she found us each a window seat in a row of 3 seats so we could stretch out. Nice!

Along with our boarding passes to Dubai,  the airline provided vouchers for a hotel near the airport, since we were going to be in Dubai for 13 hours. They were unable to provide us with boarding passes beyond Dubai because there were complications with flying through New Zealand. We had applied for and received permits to transit through New Zealand as we would be in the country less than 24 hours. However, since the flight into the Solomons was a special flight, the airline system wasn’t sure how to handle our situation. In the end they told us we would need to get our boarding pass for the Auckland portion in Dubai.

We had been told by Solomon Airlines to try and get our checked baggage tagged all the way through to Honiara. The Emirates staff was able to take care of that, to our great relief!

It was time to head to the gate. By that time we were hungry and wanted a bite to eat. Tim said he had a hankering for Mexican food so we asked a terminal employee if there was a place he could recommend. He pointed us to a nearby restaurant and where we enjoyed a delicious meal of Yucatan-style food. It will be a while until we have good Mexican food again, so we thoroughly enjoyed this ‘last supper’. 

The flight went well and we got some decent sleep in between and sometimes during movies! 

Here’s the route of our flight:

Los Angeles to Dubai




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