Just like that, I'm back.
The world is whiter now than when I left, although today is beautifully clear and sunny. Yesterday I flew in just before the storm really established itself on one of the last flights from Washington, DC for the day.
Tuesday morning began in what had become typical morning fashion. Oh those mornings where the sun was completely up by 6.30! Washington DC's morning was still grey and dull at 8 o'clock. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Thanks to a domestic flight that didn't leave until after noon, there was time for coffee and tea and some therapy before leaving. Releasing some tension and getting rid of any pre-flight jitters is always a good idea, so I followed the path to an old building on the property and was handed loaded weapons and careful instructions on how to point and shoot. For an authentic experience, it started to drizzle as I stood there in a borrowed army green t-shirt and flowered rubber boots with a pistol aimed more or less at the bull's eye.
Definitely on the count for the happy days challenge! (17/100)
|one last picture of Recife|
I was sent off with hugs and lovely cards (oh I will miss them!), but my departure was trumped by an accident that warranted more attention (warning: don't leave sharp things on the floor!). The flights were mercifully uneventful. Sao Paulo's airport sees so much air activity that there aren't enough gates for all the planes, so they have a bus system set in place that brings you from the plane to the terminal (and vice versa). The scheduled 6 hour layover was shorted due to the first flight that came in late, but there was still plenty of time to get my bearings enough in order to check in again, find the proper gate, and to wander about aimlessly for a while, trying to decide what on earth I felt like eating. The duty frees were disappointing in their selection of overpriced souvenirs, even with the 3 that were within a 5 minute walk from each other.
United Airlines is a great airline to fly with, especially on an overnight flight. The food tastes real and is piping hot when you get it, even in the lowly economy class, they give you the whole can of juice or pop and not just a cupful, the blankets are cozy, the pillows are substantial, and I had plenty of leg room, especially with the extra seat that I shared with the lady who sat in the aisle seat. I think she thought I was under 20 as she expressed sympathy for me travelling so far and alone.
The passengers had to wait on the final plane from Washington DC to Toronto while the area where we were to disembark was cleared off and made passable. I'm pretty sure it took longer to walk from the gate to the customs booths than it did to go through them. Customs lineups were short to non-existent, my solitary suitcase made it through quickly and without issue, and the getaway car was ready and waiting as I stepped out into a world covered in wet white stuff. Travelling made easy!
The house is clean and quiet and empty. Welcome home cards were found about the house, but mainly on my bed that was recently vacated of little brothers and thousands of stuffed animals. But my darling mother always things of me: food and wine was waiting in the fridge to make dinner easy.
One sleep later, and everything feels back to normal. Or perhaps that's just the mountain of laundry I ought to be folding…