Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Great Wall has been overtaken by Vikings! And now they come home....

Never easy to say "goodbye!"
Greetings tonight from Newark Liberty International Airport!  Your writer snuck out of Beijing last night to tend to some other business back home, but left the Band in the excellent and ever-capable hands of Dr.'s Schilf and Pennington as well as our chief guide in residence, Christine.  It was a bittersweet morning to see them take off for the Great Wall without me, but I knew they'd have the best of times as I flew home up and over the North Pole on my way to "Snowmageddon" (aka, NYC).  Gee, now that I'm here, it is difficult to
actually FIND any snow, but I suppose it is best to be safe rather than sorry (right, Jay Trobeck and Shawn Cable?)

Just messaged with Dr. Schilf and he tells me that the gang has had breakfast and will soon be loading the buses ONE MORE TIME to head to Beijing's Capital Airport.  MY, has THAT place changed since we first landed there in a dust storm in 1999!  There are now umpteen terminals and gosh knows how many gates.  The security lines were long and slow yesterday afternoon, but I don't think that's the norm. There are even hundreds of shops in which they can spend any last remaining Yuan.  HA.  Come to think of it, they went to the silk market after the Great Wall, so I bet you money they have no money left! 

There is proof tonight that they DID make it to the wall.  Here is a photo of Emily Whede from her Facebook page.  (I was very honest with them that I'd think nothing of stealing any photos that showed the wall tonight!! - So far, I've only seen this one.)  Thanks, Emily!  Geesh, you really climbed up there!

For those of you who are watching these sorts of things, here are the flights that bring the Augie band home today:

Thursday January 29
Delta Air Lines  #188
Beijing, China to Detroit, MI
11:20A depart
11:50A arrive  (how about that, it only takes 30 minutes to get here!)
The group goes through Passport Control and Customs in Detroit.

They then connect to:

Delta Air Lines    #1913
Detroit, MI to Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
3:31P  depart
4:37P  arrive

Some of the (flutes and alumni) group continues on to Sioux Falls via a Delta flight:

Delta Air Lines  #2215
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN to Sioux Falls, SD
7:40P  depart
8:45P  arrive

Others will board Reading Bus Lines once they receive their luggage and head for Sioux Falls.  We anticpate an arrival between 8:30 - 9:00 p.m. if the flights are on time.

THANK YOU for following our journey.  Hope you've enjoyed keeping up with us!


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