Into the Great Wide Open…
Well guys, here we go again… Boarding pass, check. Passport, check. Camera bag, check. Overweight suitcases, check. Chaotic check-in agents, check. Middle of the middle of the airplane seats, check. Quick and painless take-off, check. Scenic views, check.
After another long, fruitful and incredibly enjoyable trip, it’s time to pack up our bags and head back to Belgium. We crammed so much fun-ness into this last Californian excursion that the whole thing seems have both, paradoxically, flown by and lasted a lifetime. Isn’t it odd how time has a way of doing that? It’s almost as if time secretly exists on two planes between which we’re constantly alternating… fast-forward and slow-mo. When I think back on all of the seconds spent hiking, strolling, giggling, eating, shopping, singing and playing games, it feels as if I’m buzzing through years of my life… but stopping to remember each moment separately creates a much more realistic image of our time spent in California.
In my sick and stuffy pre-departure stupor, I was treated to one last amazing surprise. My sister showed up for a last-minute send-off! Eva, who was as surprised as I was by the last-minute trip planned by her wonderful husband in coordination with my Dad, arrived just in time to provide the best remedy for my cold… sister silliness!
As amazing as it was having Eva there to wave us off, it made saying good-bye on Saturday all that much harder. In case you didn’t already know this about me, I’m terrible at saying good-byes. As a matter of fact, I’m a blubbering, emotional mess. As we walked away from my family and headed toward the security line, I found myself thanking all powers at be that I was the one with the camera in my hands ;)
Once we got the go-ahead from the perma-grumpy airport security folks, we found our way to the departure gate. An $8 (doh!) fruit cup in hand, I enjoyed watching the busy bees on the tarmac doing their jobs. The plane was loaded with fuel as the pilots checked all of their gizmos and gadgets.
We boarded the plane and settled in for the long haul overseas. I’m not a huge fan of flying, and take-off is, by far, my least favorite bit. This take-off, however, was somewhat serene and full of nice scenery. Despite being sandwiched smack dab in the middle of the plane, I could still enjoy a peek or two and the shrinking buildings and bridges below.
It was fun to see Dutch popping up all around me again… even if it was bad news (weather) and boring news (finances).
Things quickly turned dark as we, literally, traveled back in time. The darkness serves two great purposes: 1) it always offers up a few prime hours of much needed sleepy-time, and 2) it provides some of the most beautiful sunrises just before landing.
Our windy and grey touch down in Amsterdam made for a bit of a shock. Cold? Yikes! Rain? Yikes!
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll get some nice snowfall sometime before spring… and until then, I’ll enjoy planning and planting this year’s garden! :)
Have a wonderful day, and I’ll see you tomorrow!