Our Twenty Third Year - A Season of Giving.

Scotland Memories

Monday, August 7, 2006 - written by Sandy Finnerty

The long awaited day had finally arrived! Bags were all packed, and even up to the last minute we were adding things and taking others out of the suitcases and backpacks. After a quick stop for lunch at Arby's, where we found out that Kurt and Holly also had the same idea, my husband Joe and I went to wait for the bus at Round Barn.

It was great to see the others travellers arrive. And what was this? Steve Acord, Jan Sabey, Norm LaDuke and Philip Meadows showed up. Had they been secretly rehearsing so they could surprise us and go with us to Scotland afterall? Well, no such luck, but it was wonderful that they had come to see us off.

Aside from the pleasure of seeing the others and knowing that the trip was at last beginning, we enjoyed a couple of other things before the bus closed its door and we were off. Of course there was exploring the goody bag to see what was there. (Chocolate-good!) There was a cameraman from Channel 15 doing his thing and making us all feel like celebrities. Then there was Pat Neyens who had the perfect solution for Julie when she says during rehearsals, "I should be seeing your eyes" and "Look up here." Pat brought glasses with permanently opened eyes embossed on them. Perfect. Also, Julie had reminded us so many times to prepare for lots of rain in Scotland, so perhaps the drizzle in Champaign was to be great preparation for the trip.

Once we waved our goodbyes and the bus started rolling, we were officially on our way. The sun came out, and Bob the Bus Driver safely took us to O'Hare. On the bus Julie spent the time walking up and down the aisle and, I think, managed to stay vertical without losing her balance and ending up on the floor.

O'Hare was O'Hare-very busy with lots of people. Once we all got checked in and through security, we went in search of toilets, our gate and lunch--most of us in that order. Fine dining was at the food court, with restaurant choices including Burrito Beach, Manchu Wok, McDonalds, and Dunkin Donuts-a last chance to experience good ole fast food and a fitting goodbye to American cuisine.

During lunch, this roving reporter asked some of our group members to describe this fine dining experience in 3 words or less. Here are some responses.

  • Chuck Matz, "Conversation was informative." (What does that tell you about the food?)
  • Kate Stout, "Food was sustaining." (What does that tell you about the food?)
  • Gingie Stout, "Food was okay." (What does that ....)
  • Cara Day, "Brought my own." (What does that.....)
  • Kelly Hartford, "Expensive, overdone, entertaining." (What does that....)

In addition, the ever friendly Cara and Kelly made some new friends at their table and must have given them quite a story about the Chorale and where we're from. When one new friend was asked to give his take on lunch in 3 words or less, he described Cara and Kelly as, "Good hometown ambassadors." Keep up with that good PR work you two!

Once we got on our plane things continued to go smoothly. We were given a supper meal. Then some tried to watch the movies while others talked, read, or did suduko puzzles. Everyone tried to sleep at least a little before the lights came back on and it was suddenly morning.

There is a postscript for this day's journal. The organizer of these journals said that her name had to be mentioned at least once in each daily journal, so here it is, Ginny Muhich. (Was there ever any doubt who would require that???)

the next day