Thursday, May 9, 2013

Finally, Home Sweet Home.

Boy, am I happy to be on land and to sleep in my own bed! I departed Vienna, Austria on Monday at 7:40 am, headed to London where I had a six hour lay-over. I had tried to reroute my trip through Brussels, Belgium instead of London to have time with in-country friends, but the cost to change that leg of my trip was outrageous. Just not possible or feasible for me at this time and I knew I could keep myself busy at Heathrow Airport with my Kindle and with people watching.

However, six hours are six hours and they dragged on and finally, I headed to JFK Airport, the longest leg of the trip. I actually dreaded that flight as I don't usually find sleep when I'm flying, it has always eluded me. But, I'm happy to say that as the passengers got settled in their assigned seats, I had two empty seats, one on either side of me! That has never happened! The guy across from me had four empty seats in his row and I could tell we were both dreaming of stretching out. I might be able to sleep, I thought!

The guy and I eyed the stragglers who entered the plane minutes before take-off and I was praying that they wouldn't be sitting next to me. At that moment, more than any other time, I wanted that door to close! Close, dammit! Ha ha~! Passengers around me eyed empty seats, wondering how fast they could stand up and claim a seat or two once the doors closed and the pilot asked the flight attendants to take their seats. When we heard the doors close, the guy and I exchanged high five's like we'd just made a slam dunk! Yes! Sleep was possible! He immediately stretched out across the five seats and I gathered the three blankets and pillows, ready for a movie on my choice of three screens! Life is good!

I watched one movie and actually fell asleep during the second film, only to be woken by the flight attendant asking me if I wanted a beverage. Nooooo! I sat up, politely asked for a Bloody Mary, heavy on the vodka, hoping it would lull me back to sleep. Nothing doing. I rewinded the movie (isn't that an awesome feature?!) and watched until the end and then, dinner was served.  And, what a wonderful dinner it was--curried chicken on basmati rice. I was able to catch a few winks and before I knew it, we were landing in JFK. I took the red eye to Washington, DC and boy, were my eyes red!!

British Airways, I love you.

All in all, I had a wonderful time with my friend K in Austria, Romania and Hungary. I miss her already. I had a great flight back to the DC area where my friend D and her boyfriend picked me up at the airport. I spent two relaxing days with them, spoke to my gorgeous children and caught up with the daughter of my oldest and dearest friend N who passed away while I was gone. I missed her by a day and also missed her Muslim funeral on Monday as I was flying home. She will be sorely missed.

My friend N never regained her speech nor mobility after her stroke. I believe I grieved for her during the year she spent in the nursing home or it just hasn't hit me yet. I miss our morning phone calls and I'm reminded of the many trips we took together in my 20's onto my 50's. A long friendship that I will always treasure.

N kept a photo album of all our trips and I asked her daughter if I could possibly have that album. N always managed to get the best photos of our trips and it will give me a lot of comfort. Her daughter graciously said yes and for that I am very thankful.

Rest in eternal peace, N. You will never be forgotten.

Peace and love,
Ellie




2 comments:

  1. Hi Ellie!! I'm just reading about your trip now!! I'm so glad you had such a good time yet....I'm SO sorry to hear about your friend N. I didn't know she had passed. I know you have lovely memories of you and she over the years, and I hope those memories sustain you for the rest of your life.
    I have missed you dearly, but was never able to leave a comment, for whatever reason. I'm trying again with this comment. I sure hope it goes through!! Much love my friend ♥

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  2. Thank you, Dani. SO good to read your comments! I've had trouble commenting on Ashley's blog posts! I appreciate you trying again :)

    I had a wonderful time traveling and visiting friends, but a bittersweet arrival in the US with N's passing. My kids and I went to the cemetery yesterday, surreal...I am left with years of memories and for that, I'm grateful.

    You are such a dear and I miss you, too :) I hope all is well with you and that you have a beautiful May! Much love to you and the boys :) xo

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