My son’s wedding in Pennsylvania
It was an early morning trip to the airport on Friday to travel to Pennsylvania for my son’s wedding (thanks for the ride Lisa). My travels would take me from Wichita, KS to White Plains, NY by way of a connection in Chicago. Checking in and going through security in Wichita as very easy and quick, so I headed for my departure gate. Upon arrival at the gate I came across my friend Darrin Hackney and we struck up a conversation. As it turns out, he is flying on the same two flights as mine, heading to Connecticut to shoot a wedding. While we were waiting for the plane, in walks another photographer friend Toshio Kawawa, on his way to a meeting in Cedar Rapids. This was the first time I’ve ever traveled out of Wichita and ran into friends who were traveling on the same flight. Timing was all great on the trip to White Plains and as I exited the Westchester County Airport my sister Sue and her husband Joe were arriving to pick me up. Darrin was picked up by his ride just moments ahead of Sue & Joe’s arrival.
From White Plains we traveled to Creekside, PA with a little stop for lunch along the way. All was good on the drive across Pennsylvania except for some heavy rains we hit, but they passed without incident. We struggled a little to find Luckenbach Penna where the wedding was being held, but resolved that in just a few minutes. We found Jon and Angie after a little bit of walking around the facilities and after some greetings got down to the business of talking about the wedding. That was followed by a dinner up the hill at High Point where we had a lot more opportunity to visit with everybody and get a lot of introductions.
Friday night was spent with Jon, Ryan, Shawn, Jimmy and Bob, building a killer fire and drinking beer into the wee hours of the morning, and in general having a good time. But I must say that getting to bed at 3:30 made 9:00 roll around awfully early. That’s when we got up and got to the business of getting ready for the wedding. Jon and the boys took off to pick up some supplies for the reception while I got my gear and myself ready for the day’s work. Somewhere around 11 I got a lift up to High Point so I could do some shooting with the girls before the services and then we went back down to Luckenbach somewhere around 1:00. At that point the guys took over setting up the tables for the reception and I also got some shots that we needed, including some of the formals. I must say that the folks at Luckenbach did a great job of providing a good facility for these kids.
The wedding got started pretty much on time around 3:00 and it was a nice short service (just the kind that everyone likes). After that we took off to do some more formals at the American Legion in Indiana (that’s where Jon and Angie met). We all had a lot of fun taking those shots and toasting (or ‘cheersing’ as some call it) to the newly married couple. After that little trip we headed back to Luckenbach for the Reception. There were many more photos to take when we got back and we had a very nice dinner too. It was all-in-all an outstanding event and we all had a great time there.
Saturday night Sue, Joe and I stayed at one of the hotels in Indiana, PA before departing for White Plains on Sunday morning. We had breakfast at the hotel and hit the road around 8:30 (giving us plenty of time for our trip). Instead of going through Punxsutawney as we did on our arrival we opted to go through Altoona, so I could see the wind farms going in down there. Our trip to White Plains went off without a hitch and the weather was fantastic. We arrived early in White Plains so we went over to Harrison, NY for dinner at a restaurant we found a year ago. Sadly Trevi was not open until 5:00, so we walked down the square until we found a nice little pizza joint. We all had a slice of pizza and a little ice cream and enjoyed a little more time together before they dropped me off at the airport.
Let me tell you a little something about the Westchester County Airport: It is so much easier to get in and out of than any of the other New York City area airports, but the air conditioning sucks! Ok, to be completely honest; the boarding area and the security area kinda suck too, but I’m just sayin’. I was there plenty early and after some time found my buddy Darrin again (we were booked for the same flights again). He and I had a lot of chat time in the boarding area since our departure was delayed for over 45 minutes.
We got on the plane and the flight crew wasn’t real happy about the delay either since they had been waiting all that time for an arrival gate. Although they did what they could to hasten our arrival in Chicago, we missed our connecting flight to Wichita. And of course; it was also the last connection to Wichita. American Airlines booked us on the first available flight in the morning and got us a good rate at the Hyatt Regency hotel. Darrin and I shared a room so we could save a few dollars and hopefully I didn’t snore too loud all night. We got up bright and early to get to O’Hare for our flight and spent a long time in line for security (it’s just not a good place to be on Monday morning). Arriving at our ‘assigned’ gate early I opted to change my seat to a window seat (which was available and no hassle) and found out that we had been moved to another gate. Darrin met me there after he stopped for a coffee and then he got his seat changed too. The new seats were pretty handy since we were the 2nd and 3rd seats in the aircraft and were able to get out of the plane quickly in Wichita.
But the saga never ends! We pulled back from the gate very close to being on time and just then a huge thunderstorm descended on O’Hare. That gave us another 45 minutes on the ramp before we could get off the ground, making our trip back to Wichita all that much longer. It was a good flight after that and we arrived without further issue at Wichita’s Mid Continent Airport at around 10:40. Then we went to the baggage claim to retrieve Darrin’s camera bag and we had to go to the American Airlines desk to claim our luggage that arrived last night with the flight we were supposed to be on. Finally we left the terminal and many thanks to Darrin for giving me a ride home after that amazing travel ordeal.