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September 08, 2006


10:23 AM
I'm sitting in row 39 on flight number # 1049. There is nobody to the left of me and there's nobody to the right of me. Yes, that's right......total freedom to stretch every which way. The flight is about 70% full and this is the first time in quite a long while that I have had such a spacious flying experience. I've already slept 30 minutes and now I'm drinking ice water watching Mission Impossible 3 which is dangling from a 10 x 14 monitor just a few feet from my head. Upong arrival on this Continental Airlines flight, I noticed no individual televisions and no monitors in the aisle, but suddenly these monitors dropped from overhead. Like magic. Unfortunately the movie is MI:3. Plus you have to pay $5 for headphones. Damn, I should have brought mine. I always forget. The big tease was the original announcement that XMEN 3 would be the movie and they even started playing a preview, then the steward came on the loudspeaker and said "DOH!!! Wrong movie, you get MI:3 starring Tom Cruise".

My flight arrives in Newark NJ at 4:30 PM. Just 3 more hours. How wonderful it would be if that was my final destination, but then it's another 8 hours to ZURICH, SWITZERLAND. Ugghhh... It's cool, I'll make the best of it. If I somehow am granted the same spaciousness for the next flight, then I've got nothing to complain about. Pre-flight ritual of getting stressed was just that. Me running around making sure I have everything, but at the same time feeling like I'm forgetting much. Add the fact that our home has fleas from my friends dog didn't help the situation. I know have no less than 20 bites along my feet and ankles. Itching like crazy and prepping my home for a flea bombing.

Monica made dinner last night, which we moved over to my moms home due to the fleas. My sister and brother and law came over and we were treated to an Italian meal of pasta and all the fixins that only a true Italian could prepare. Albeit Monica is only 25% Italian, but hey....her maiden name is Nappi so who would know? It wasn't the most relaxing of meals as I still had much to do and my brother in law had a phone meeting that he had to tend to during dinner. But we wanted to get together regardless of circumstance one last time before I left for tour.

Monica and I stayed at my moms last night. My final steps of preperation had me packed, teeth brushed, pajamas on and in bed by 11 PM. I managed to stay up another hour reading. The later it got, the more interested the reading became and the realization that I had to be up by 5 AM had me spinning a bit more, but like clockwork my morning stamina is superhero like. RING RING RING(That's the sound of the alarm) and my body is up and standing in no more than 3 seconds. And I am wide awake. A quick shower and on the road by 5:26 AM.

With no traffic we made it to SAN FRANCISCO INTL at 6:06 AM. But there was no CONTINENTAL AIRLINES in the INTERNATIONAL TERMINAL. Another lap around to make sure we didn't miss it and then I went inside to see the place empty. Over to Domestic and yes, this would be the correct place. But I'm going to Europe. Isn't that international? Well, I unloaded and Monica took over the driving duties and parked the car while I checked in. A short line at Continental had me in and out in less than 5 minutes. Take note UNITED!! Monica was having trouble finding the parking garage, so I met her outside and parked with her. She was crying because she likes to get emotional and I like making fun of her, but yeah it's confusing at SF Airport. I parked in the wrong garage, but it's ok as we used the extra distance for much needed exercise. Just an hour remained with Monica. She gets quite sad when I leave for tour. It's difficult as I love to travel so much. It made me realize that my touring days are going to be limited. With a wife and baby on the way my priorities will certainly change. But that's ok, I'm excited for my new life.

We ate breakfast at ANDALE'S. I don't think anybody knew they served breakfast as the diner serving the usual pancake type meals was packed, but not one person at Andale's. I approached and asked if they had a breakfast menu and thank goodness as I was eating Huevos Rancheros with corn tortillas. Washing it down with different salsa and fresh squeezed orange juice. It did cost $25, but I didn't care. And it was worth it. Perahps I'm turning a corner in my spending habits? Hmmm... Ok, I've written way too much. I'll try and post this in NEW JERSEY. Hopefully they have free wireless. I'll write more on the second half of the flight. Be well.
Peace,
Mike Park

10:17 PM CALIFORNIA
1:17 AM NEW YORK
and 7:17 AM ZURICH, SWITZERLAND

This is the current time in the two places I have physically set foot upon today and the last is my final destination. Currently, I am just 1.5 hours from completing this marathon that started at 5 AM. I have managed maybe an hour of sleep on two different flights. My conclusion is that I am physically to big for economy. I must fly business or first class. How do I achieve this?? I am not sure, but it must happen for future journeys overseas.

My mind, body, and soul are tired, but I am calm without the insanity that plagued me from my flight home from England last month. But at the same time, I'm confused and disoriented. Actually I'm hungry. Food was a long time ago and there haven't been any snacks. Just water, which I have consumed a total of 8 cups. I should keep drinking, but I'm tired of urinating though it's an activity that kills time. We have personal entertainment screens and I am sitting alone on the right side of the plane. Two seats are just for me, but I was never able to find a comfort that put me in a deep sleep. To be honest, I fell asleep before we ever took off and have been awake ever since we started our ascent towards 38,000 ft.

My stomach is growling and I see the crew getting ready to serve us drinks and hopefully a snack. Oh, I see bagels. Good deal. Give it to me please!!

Ummmm.. yeah, the entertainment screens are fantastic, but the selection is sub par. The movies are...I KID YOU NOT:
DR. DOOLITTLE 3
THE WILD
THE LITTLE VAMPIRE
and THE DAVINCI CODE

What?? Don't they usually blast us with blockbusters? But I get DR. Doolittle 3? Did this even go to theaters or was this straight to video? These are not movies that I care to see. I tried watching the Davinci Code, but couldn't get into it. I opted for DR. DOOLITTLE, which actually was my favorite. Yes, I am easily amused. I just wanted something better.. I ended up watching the sit com channel as a result of the bad movie selection. They even have video games, but they are video games that I would have played on my Commodore 68 circa 1984. We're talking BLACKJACK, HANGMAN, CHECKERS type games. Oh boy!! But the food is almost here, I'm gonna take a break. Be back in a bit. Ok, that took me about 174 seconds to finish. Breakfast was a croussant and bit of fruit. Man, I'm full.
Just a bit more than an hour to go til we land. TICK TOCK TICK TOCK

Hmmmmm.... Peace, mike park