I want you all to know that I really, really love hanging out with everybody and spending time all together and the last week was an absolute blast that I wouldn’t change for the world.
But I was SO HAPPY to be back home again last night. To shower in my own shower and put on fresh pajamas and curl up under the covers of my own bed.
Traveling home yesterday wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I’m pretty sure you all already know that our flights that we booked back on August 29th were supposed to take us from Minneapolis around 10:00 to Chicago and then out of Chicago around 1:00. But when we checked in for our outgoing flights on Wednesday last week, the second leg of our return trip had shifted so instead of leaving Chicago at 1:00, we were leaving after 6:00. Meaning we would land in Jacksonville, FL, around 10:30 and then drive 2 ½ hours home, get into bed around 1:00 am, and then I would get up at 5:30 to go to work for the first of several 12-hour-long days. This plan sucked sour lemons.
So Justin called the airline on Monday, gave up his hopes for great Chicago pizza, and found us a different route home. He spoke with a woman named Stephanie who booked us on a flight leaving Minneapolis at 9:10, connecting through Houston, and landing in Jacksonville at 4:00. It sounded AWESOME.
Now, of course, I know what a hive of craziness the Houston airport actually is and I hope to never, ever fly through there EVER again.
Tim dropped us off at the airport and we checked in for our flight around 7:15 (for a 9:10 departure). And then we stood in the security check line for a very long time. I think we finally made it through around 8:00, if not a little after that. We made it to our gate in plenty of time (I got coffee and then spilled coffee all over my pants) and everything was going just fine.
The airplane was tiny, only 3 seats wide across the whole thing. And the flight into Houston was just fine.
Once we landed in Houston, though? MADNESS. First off, none of the bathrooms were open. None of them. At the whole airport, so far as I could tell. Second, they changed our gate three times in 30 minutes. We grabbed lunch between gate changes and then made it to where we were actually supposed to be waiting. We were at gate 84, which is less of a gate and more of an enormous waiting room, with space for more than 200 people, and 4 doors that lead to a hallway. You sit in the waiting room, listening for the flights to get called out, which seems to happen in no particular order. Once the gate is called, you go to the door that called it, they scan your boarding pass and tell you to walk through the door, down the hallway, to a lettered door. Once you get to that door, another person will check your boarding pass and then you walk *outside* across the tarmac and get onto the airplane. Another tiny, 3-seats-wide airplane.
The waiting freaked me out. I did not like being in a room with so many flights and so much uncertainty about what the heck was going on. Our original flight time was supposed to be around 12:30. With the gate changes, the time shifted back to 1:11. By the time we were all boarded on the plane, it was later than that. And then we taxied around the whole airport a couple times, I think, because we didn’t leave the ground until 5 minutes before 2:00.
We landed at the Jacksonville airport at 4:40 (EST), about 30 minutes late. And I love the Jacksonville airport for so many reasons. The main reasons yesterday were (1) it’s nice and small, (2) the bathrooms work, and (3) it was the last airport of the day. Also, it was 70 degrees out and wonderfully humid – my dry sinuses immediately threw a party.
We got to our car and made it home around 8:00.
We were both showered and in bed before 9:00.
And then Justin had another sleepless night with his sinus infection while I snored away most of the night (I woke up several times, too) before getting up at 5:30 to go to work. Hopefully, since it’s a dark and dreary day outside, he’s been able to get more sleep this morning and beat off the infection closing up his sinuses and lungs.
And that’s our travel-home story. Not very exciting, but there it is. And I miss you all terribly, but it was so wonderful to sleep in my own bed last night.