Well, the day has finally arrived; we headed home. Jon said to Dave yesterday that it is probably with mixed feelings, but we don’t think that’s the case. Forty days away from home is a long time. We’re not sure if it’s just because we knew the end was in sight or if we were just ready, but the last two days were very tiring and we were ready to go home.
We got up early today, Dave at 05:45 and Linda at 06:30 and caught the airport shuttle at 07:30. Oh, wait, the shuttle didn’t leave until about 07:45; it’s late. This wasn’t really a problem, though, we were plenty early. When we arrived at the airport, we walked what may have been one-half mile, seriously, to our gate. Along the way, however, we had a 25-minute delay. They were only letting people through to the check-in area three hours before you flight time. Oh, well, something to remember. Check-in, security, and emigration were quick and easy. As was picking up some colorful pasta at the duty-free shop (we never found this in Milan).
We were fortunate to be able to wait in the lounge at the airport. That let us sit in comfortable seats and get some pastries to eat.
The flight from Milan to Atlanta went off without a hitch. Linda slept maybe 30 minutes on and off and Dave stayed awake for the whole trip. We arrived in Atlanta a few minutes late, but sailed through immigration, customs, and security. We think we got through all of them in about 30 minutes. We were really surprised by the Global Entry process. All we had to do was have our picture taken by the machine. We then walked up to the agent who greeted us by name and asked if we had anything to declare. That was it; they never looked at our passports until we went through security.
The flight from Atlanta to Charlotte went well, too. We departed about 20 minutes late, but arrived on time at a little before 9:00 pm. We each slept for a half hour or so on this leg. Joseph picked us up at about 9:20 pm and we headed to his house. We each did a rapid COVID test in the car and they came up negative (we didn’t think infecting their household would be a nice thing to do, if we were positive). After spending a little time talking with Vivien and Joseph, we headed off to bed at about 10:30 pm For those keeping score at home, in Eastern Daylight Time, we woke up between 11:45 pm on Tuesday and 12:30 am on Wednesday and went to sleep on Wednesday at about 10:30. Averaging it out to starting at midnight, that means we were awake for about 22-1/2 hours. That’s a long day.
Dave woke up this morning at about 3:15 and got out of bed at about 4:30. Linda slept until 6:30. We will be leaving Indian Trail around 10:30 and will stop for some groceries, so we should be home around 2pm.
We plan to do a recap in the next few days with things like, “What would we do again?”, “What did we bring that we didn’t need?”, “What will we not do next time?”, etc.
Looking forward to being home on the mountain!