THURSDAY, JUNE 12TH – NASHVILLE TO MANILA:
Taking a quick trip to The Philippines with Darryl Worley to entertain some of our Special Ops guys down there. It’s like the awesome tour we did in 2012 to Afghanistan and only visited Special Ops where there were 20-25 guys/girls at each stop. It’s just me, Darryl and Soir and their 2 acoustic guitars. We land late Friday night and stay at a hotel. Then early Saturday morning, we depart for 3 different camps and will stay overnight at the last one. Have to leave our suitcases at the hotel and only take an “overnight bag”. Do you have any idea how hard it is to pack for a “weekend” and include a bag for just one night. I have no problem packing for a month – just take everything I own – but this one has stressed me out. I’m sure I forgot some important items, too, and won’t be able to rush out and purchase on the local economy. But, hey, it’s just for a weekend.
Darryl and Soir were already at the airport when I arrived. Check in was painless and we had time for a quick breakfast at Noshville before boarding the flight to Atlanta on Delta. We departed and arrived on time and went to the Sky Lounge. I was able to get quite a few emails answered in the 2 hour layover. We boarded the Delta flight to Tokyo on time and all our aircrafts “over the water” are now the double deckers and we’re up top. I love those airplanes as much as I can love any airplane. The fight crew and flight attendants were super nice which was a welcome surprise! We departed on time only to have to return to the gate because a light came on for the generator on Engine 3. They had to shut it down, check it out, fill out all the paperwork and by the time we finally pushed back again. We were 2 hours late. And our connection in Tokyo is only 2 hours and there are no more flights out of there to Manila that night. I had my office checking alternatives but it doesn’t look good.
I had downloaded “Lone Survivor” but was pleased to see that it was one of the movies finally offered on the plane. I read the book years ago because Marcus Littrell (“the Lone Survivor”), assisted with a fund raising event for me at the Palm. I loved the book but not so much the movie. It was a great movie and very, very “intense”. Since I’m so familiar with Afghanistan, it was very “personal” to me. I was just disappointed that the script for the movie didn’t follow the facts in the book. I’m assuming that since Marcus wrote the book based on his experience, it is correct and the writers in Hollywood took “creative license” with the facts to make the movie more interesting.
I slept for about 5 hours – off and on. Still dealing with pain from the Planter Faciitis. I brought my “splint” with me that I have to sleep with and really glad I did. Don’t think I could have walked after I got up if not. I did not bring my “walking cast” and decided to just “tape and use a compression sock” until I get back home. Not wearing the walking cast is probably why it’s not healing but it’s just so cumbersome and inconvenient when traveling – which I do every week.
We have about 4 hours left in the flight and only made up a few minutes of the time we lost on the ground. The pilot called ahead and said Delta has agreed to hold our flight until 6:45 pm. It is scheduled to depart at 6:20 pm. We have to go through “security” when we get off the plane before we can board the next flight. That always seems strange to me. If we were strip searched before boarding in Nashville, “what” could we have picked up while flying to Tokyo when we never left a “secure area”. Even if we make the flight, I’m worried that our bags and guitars will make it. Without those, we pretty much don’t have a “show” — no guitars, no autograph sheets. L
Once again, the seat power is not working on the plane. It hasn’t worked on ANY airline this year. Very frustrating. And, of course, these long flights don’t have WiFi.
Darryl got deathly ill on the flight. He thinks it was something he ate and we’re hoping that’s true because a “virus” right now would not be a good thing to pass around. Bad news is, Soir and I ate exactly the same meal he did. L I watched “Captain Phillips” with Tom Hanks and anything Tom Hanks does is excellent.
We landed at 5:45 pm and were told the plane was being held for us and several other passengers. When we got there, they had just started boarding the business class passengers. I got the ticket agent to check out luggage tags and she advised that all 5 pieces were on the plane. Of course, I didn’t really believe her. Then, I got pulled over for a random security check when walking to the plane. I told the girl next time to stop a passenger who doesn’t have 2 ½ million miles on Delta. So that’s 3 security scans for me since leaving Nashville!
After we boarded the plane, it was another hour before we departed. That is good because it gave them more time to get our bags on the flight. I ate dinner or whatever meal it is and watched some of “Labor Day” but didn’t finish it. Slept for 2 more hours.
When we landed our military escorts were waiting for us – Allen and Pablo. They took us through a special line at Immigration so we were out before the long, long lines of other passengers. The guitars came out first and then Darryl’s and Soir’s personal bags. All our items were tagged “Priority” but I have learned that means the bags will be the last to arrive. We waited and waited for mine and I was stressing out. All the autograph sheets and cds and challenge coins are in my checked bag. I know I can “live” without my other stuff after the disaster in Qatar a couple of weeks ago. But if the bag didn’t show up tonight, we wouldn’t have any of those items for our one day of visits with the troops! Allen went to the Delta counter and the scanned my bag tag and said the bag was here. He went to the back and came out with it! Evidently it had just come off the plane.
There is a Special Ops guy here named Dillon and he is from Darryl’s home town. I rode with him to the airport and he has 4 kids back home in Washington State. He’s flying out of here tomorrow to go back home. Really nice guy!
The hotel is beautiful – Makati ShangriLa – 5 star. Didn’t see much but the lobby because it was after midnight by the time we got checked in. We have an 8:30 am lobby call. We are storing our suitcases here and taking an “overnight” bag with us. So, it’s 2:15 am now and I still have to “repack” everything for the trip. I won’t send a road report tomorrow night since I won’t take my laptop….only my iPad.
Darryl Worley – Manilla, Philippines – SFS Tour
THURSDAY, JUNE 12TH – NASHVILLE TO MANILA:
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