June 27, Tuesday - Philadelphia/New York/Helsinki

The busses were pretty much on time, and loading went quite smoothly. The fact that a number of the people involved have worked with loading the buses to go to the church's youth camp probably helped here. (Photo 1-1: Brian Clancy ashamed of his haircut. With Kirsten Toso and Brian Middleton.)

Much to my surprise, the passport check and departure both happened pretty much according to schedule. The bus ride to New York was mostly uneventful, except for the unexpected (to us) tour of part of the greater New York City slums, then a Jewish neighborhood. I think that the drivers made a wrong turn and then weren't willing to admit it.

No briefing before boarding the airplane, which was nice. We got there a little early, because Linda wisely allowed extra time in transportation steps. This let us sit in the airport and chat for a bit. One snag here - Jim Mackie had taken a lot of time coordinating all of the people's seating preferences into a master pllan that would accomodate most or all of them, and submitted it to Finnair, who had agreed to let us do this. The snag comes in because they apparently lost it or forgot it or something like that, as we were randomly placed all throughout the airplane. (It was a MD11, with something like 300 seats, so we were only a large fraction of the seats, not even the majority.) Other than this, I found Finnair to be a wonderful way to fly. On this flight, I had a bulkhead aisle seat, and was able to stretch out and sleep pretty well on the way over.

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