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,


  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 ♥

  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