When I got up to the American Airlines check-in counter, I was dismayed at how long that line was. It was now about 5:55, and I had a 6:45 flight. There was also a long line waiting to get through the x-ray machines. Drama. I ended up making it on time, but by then all rows had been called to board.
I sat next to a rather nice lady (we had an empty seat between us) who was heading to Maryland to attend her Aunt's funeral. She mentioned that she was doing something for the first time there, and that was taking the metro into Union Station and then switching to the red line to head up towards Shady Grove. This is the exact thing I do when I go see Jeanie-baby, so I told her it would be a piece of cake. She seemed very together, outgoing, and adventuresome. I'm sure she did fine.
I had less than an hour layover in Chicago. I checked in with Steve, reminding him to bring my house key when he came to get me at the airport, as I did not have my keys with me, and I was afraid James might have the one from the shed. I also called Robert, just to say hello. He sounded great. I can't wait to see him.
Waiting at the gate for the Raleigh-Durham flight, I sat next to this family traveling together -- a mom, dad, and four grown kids. I suspect one of the kids was just the friend of one of the three other kids, but I'm not sure. After about 10 minutes, I had to get up and move because these people (the parents) were getting on my nerves. The wife was talking too loud, and saying things like, "What time do we go to Rome on Thursday?" And then the husband makes a cell phone call, "Yes. Do you rent cars in Rome?" These people were bound and determined to let everyone around them know they were going to Rome.
On the Chicago to Raleigh flight, we had a female airline pilot, and a male senior flight attendant. It was very strange. All the announcements you usually hear made by a man were made by a woman, and vice versa. I loved it. The only unpleasant thing about the flight is that the Rome family ended up sitting right behind me. Three of the six of them, including the husband and wife, were in the seat directly behind me, and the other three were in the row behind them. The boy sitting in the row behind me (with the parents) is saying to the brother/sister/friend in the row behind him, "This reminds of the time we flew from Great Britain to..." Blah. Blah. Blah. Yeah, okay, we get the picture. You all have a lot of money and travel around the world.
We arrived 10 minutes early, and my bags were the third ones off. I rang Steve, and he was still in Garner. I waited outside for him, enjoying the people watching. He arrived with a big smile, helped me get my bags in the car, got a big hug, and then he drove me home.
It was strange seeing my own car in my spot. It looked small for some reason. It was just strange being back in my house after being gone almost a month. The frame to the deck was out back, and boy, is it big. It's going to be real nice.
I opened the two packages that had arrived while I was gone. One was from Amazon.com -- the electronic version of Catch Phrase (my birthday gift from Steve S.) and the book "Hiding My Candy." I forgot that I'd ordered that book. I was going to have Steve wrap it and send it to Robert for me, that's why I had the package delivered to his house (and the fact that I was going to be gone when it arrived). While in Irvine, I went to Barnes & Noble, bought the book, wrapped it, and mailed it to Robert. Oh well. It might become a Christmas gift, or I may keep it to read myself. The other box had some Christmas gifts (which shall go unidentified here), which were breakable. I was happy to see they arrived safely.
I went through my big stack of mail. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but there were several items in it that just irriated me. Namely, the item from The Nature Conservancy, and two items from the Wildlife Federation. I'm sure The Nature Conservancy sold them my address. That irriates me to no end. Especially since I have tried twice now, with way more effort than I should have to, to get The Nature Conservancy to stop sending me that thick, heavy magazine they send me. Can't they see the irony in a nature conservancy continuing to send me mail I don't want?
I took a short nap.
Robert called just after 8:30 to say he was stuck on Wade Avenue in the traffic letting out from the State game. More anticipation. He finally arrived at about 10 till. He looked great. We had hug and smooch time, and then ate a KFC meal. I'm such the cook.
Let's just say we went to bed early. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!