Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Airport Scene

When I finally arrived at the Austin airport last night after 40 hours of traveling, it was truly magical. Epic theme music was playing as I ran in slow motion across the terminal, and glitter fell from the ceiling when I leapt gracefully into my boyfriend's arms and he spun me around. Everyone was wiping tears away and sniffling.

Ok, so really my plane landed early and Patrick hadn't even gotten to the airport yet. I came down the steps to baggage claim searching in vain for him and the 10 or so friends who were driving down from Temple to welcome me home. About half-way down the stairs my friend Jen appeared, a happy but concerned look on her face.

"Jen, where is everybody?"
"Girl, I don't know. They're not here yet. You'd better go back up those stairs and come down again after they get here."
"I'm not going back up the stairs."
"You have to! You don't want to miss the Hallmark moment. Just go on back up the stairs and wait a few minutes. I'll take pictures."

I didn't go back up the stairs. We went and picked up my luggage, then found a spot to sit and wait. Before I could sit down, Jen said "Oh, wait, I think I see them! Aren't those some of his friends?" I turned around, saw Pat walking in the door, and at that point I don't really remember what happened in my brain, I just lost control. Poor Jen, I dumped my bags in her arms, abandoned her and took off running - definitely NOT in slow motion. The graceful leap was more like a body slam that almost brought us both to the ground. Pat didn't even see me til I was about 5 feet away, at which point I realized I running too fast to slow down. He had time to throw his cell phone at Chris and say "hold this!" before I almost knocked him over. He claims I broke a few of his ribs...but I don't think he minds.

It's good to be home.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Back in America!

It's been a long 2 days, but I'm almost home! Yesterday at noon I went out on the dock for my last round of Mercy Ship goodbyes...only this time, I was in the Land Rover, not standing on the dock. Freetown traffic was awful, we probably could have gotten to the ferry quicker if we'd walked. But we finally made it, and then had a couple of hours of waiting before the ferry took us across the harbor to Lungi. There were over 20 people disembarking yesterday, so we had plenty of company. :) On the other side of the harbor, we all loaded up in SUV's and minivans and drove to the airport. After getting our bags through, we all gathered in a corner of the non-air-conditioned airport and sat for hours before it was time for our flight. It was very hot and humid, but that's been the norm for the past 6 months. Winter is going to shock me this year. An 8-hour flight got us to Brussels, where we had one last round of goodbyes as everyone went their separate ways. Then I had a 6-hour wait in the boring Brussels airport. At least I didn't spend money on stupid airport souveneirs or overpriced food, since I didn't have any euros. (well, Rachel did buy me a cup of coffee). After the long layover, I had a 9-hour flight to Washington D.C., where I'm currently enjoying the incredibly fast, free airport wi-fi, and a Starbucks frappucino. :) One more flight left, and I'll be in Texas with my honey! I'm dirty and sweaty and crumpled and grubby and tired, but so so excited!!!