Is This Really Happening?!?

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Flag of United States  , New Jersey
Friday, June 15, 2012

Finally, the day has come. The day that we start traveling to the Galapagos Islands & Continental Ecuador. Jonathan, Ricky and I have been talking about this volunteer trip for months and now the day is finally here. Our day officially began at around 4:30 a.m eastern time. I barley slept due to all the excitement I had and the same went with my two friends. My parents and I had a mission to leave the house by 5:15 since I had a 9:30 flight and the airport was an hour car ride away. After getting my bags and bringing it downstairs it was time for me to say good bye to my 2 brother, Liam and Tyler. Unfortunately, they weren't able to come to the airport with me because both of them had school the very same morning. Saying goodbye was definatley hard but I came to the realization that I was about to go on a trip of a lifetime! So it's about 5:20 a.m and I'm already late, so I rush to the car with my mom and dad and we leave for Newark International Airport. I wasn't sure if my other 2 friends have the left their house yet but I knew I wasn't going to be late

I arrive at Newark International Airport, Terminal C approximately at 6:15 a.m. We park the car and start walking into the United Airlines Terminal. I still wasn't sure If I was the first or the last one to arrive so I walk to the Check-In counter and see my Asian friend, Ricky sitting on the bench with his parents. I walk up, say my good mornings and ask "Did Jonathan come yet?" It was apparent that my other friend has not yet arrived but I just wanted to make sure. And just a couple minutes later I see Jonathan walking in with his 4 bags and his parents right by his side. By now it's around 6:30 a.m and we all decide to walk into check-in together before the line gets bigger. 

It's finally our turn and we get ready to check but already we have a problem. Our ticket information does not match the flight information the agent was telling us. Our flight number on our paper that we printed out said United Airlines Flight #1148 to Fort Lauderdale but really we needed to be on United Airlines Flight # 1250 to Miami. After discussing with the agent and solving the problem we get our boarding passes and walk to the security check point. This was probably the saddest part of the trip and we didn't even leave yet!!! It was time to say goodbye to our parents. The ones' who made this entire trip possible. I said goodbye to my parents first, then Ricky said his to his parents and lastly Jonathan said goodbye to his dad. But wait! Jon didn't say anything to his mom...and happened. Patricia started bursting into tears wishing that Jonathan wouldn't leave her. It was a sad moment. I've never seen Jonathan's mom so sad and upset but it was finally time for her to let go the good boy she raised. I think it even hurt Jonathan a little to see his mom that emotional and he might of even shed a tear. But there's nothing wrong with that.. Eventually, my mom and Ricky's mom pulled Patricia away and Jonathan, Ricky and I left for security.

By now it was 7:05 and we walk into the line of other passengers. To our surprise, this stage of the process went by relatively quick. In less than 5 minutes we were up at the front of the line unfastening our belts, taking off our shoes and removing all metal objects from our pockets. Jonathan went first through the metal scanner, followed by Ricky and lastly I went through. We were all clear and ready to go. We grabbed our backpacks, put on our shoes, and made sure we had everything ready. Such as our passports and boarding passes. At last we took our final look at our parents on the other side of the checkpoint and waved good bye. Jon turns his head and looks at Ricky and I and says "This is it."

Now its 25 minutes passed 7 o' clock and we start walking to the gate. Gate 98 was all the way on the other side of the terminal. As we were walking Ricky and Jonathan start walking ahead of me not realizing they were walking in the wrong direction. They happened to be walking in the direction of gates 25- 81 but with a quick save by me I redirected them and made sure I was in the lead. After spending the last 10 minutes walking we made it to our gate. We still had another hour before out plane departed. Jonathan and Ricky  decided to do their Calculus and AP Chemistry summer assignments while I just sat around listening to my Ipod. It's been an hour and half and we started to get ready to board the plane but there was only one problem: our plane still wasn't at the gate. I saw other passengers starting to get frustrated and question "where is our plane?" Soon after, a United Airlines Representative told us that our flight has been delayed since a flight from Puerto Rico has still not landed. It's now 9:45 and they reschedule our flight to 10:00 am. And right as it seems that we will be waiting for a long time we see our plane arrive at gate 98. I've never been so happy and anxious at the same time. It took about 20 minutes for all the passengers to de-plane and for the United flight crew to clean the aircraft. 5 more minutes pass and its 10:15 and we start hearing passengers getting up off their seats and getting ready to board. The United Airlines Representative opens the gate doors and announces "We are now boarding Zone 1 &2" I look down at my boarding pass to see what zone I'm in and tell Jonathan and Ricky to get their stuff and get in line. We were zone 4 out of 8 and in a blink of an eye the same representative announces "We are now boarding Zone 3 & 4" I walk in the front of the line, hand the lady my boarding pass and walk into the air bridge. Jonathan and Ricky are right behind me. I see the plane and my heart just started beating faster and faster. I finally came to the realization that there is no turning back and this is actually happening. We find our seats and luckily we sit in the same row. I got the window seat, Jon got the middle and Ricky had the aisle. It's already 10:30; and hour past our original departure time. Once all the passengers boarded the plane backed up from the gate and made its way to the runway. This was it! Miami here we come. At around 10:45 the planes takes off and we can now see the beautiful NYC Skyline.  
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