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California – Day 6

Oh Day 6, how I wasn’t prepared for you to arrive so quickly.

It was to be the day of our departure from our Rooster and precious bonus daughter.

I woke up at o’dark 30 to get in a workout.  I knew that a long day of travel was ahead of me, so moving my body was of utmost importance.

It was me by my lonely self – probably because I’m the only crazy person who works out at 4am.

The payoff is always worth it, as it was that final morning in CA.

I put in a little over four miles on the treadmill after my Obsession workout, keeping a close eye on the time.

Rooster had made it clear what time we needed to leave, and I’d been warned that I’d be left behind if I wasn’t ready.

Nobody was awake even after I’d prettied myself up, so I put the finishing touches on my packing.

The camo bag was my carry-on, and the green bag was going to be my personal item.  I don’t pack light, y’all.  What can I say?

After a final hug for Gus, we headed out . . . 8:30am . . . plenty of time to make it for our noon-ish flight.

The weather was strange as we drove, sunny but with smoke or something covering the tops of the hills.

The weather grew more overcast the closer to San Francisco we got.

The traffic situation also worsened – to the point where we were crawling – as we neared the toll booth.  I think it took us forty five minutes to travel eight miles.  It was a very good thing that we’d left early!

Once we paid the toll, we moved a lot faster and arrived at the airport two hours after we’d started.

But yes.

Now I’m going to tell you that I do not do departures very well.   Try as I might to prepare myself, it is very, very difficult to let my kiddos go.

Ugh.

I’ve always had a hard time with this, but being a military mama has made it even more difficult.

There’s a saying in our world:  There aren’t any goodbyes, just see-you-laters.

Goodbye feels more permanent; whereas, see-you-laters hold promises of future get-togethers.

I also tend to like to draw out our moments, but that didn’t happen this time.

Rooster and N didn’t plan to park and walk us in, like we always do when they visit us.  I couldn’t imagine the cost of parking, and the airport was a serious madhouse, so it just didn’t make much sense.

This was actually better for me, because when he pulled up to the curb, we had to hurry to get the bags out of the trunk.

I tenderly hugged N and told her how much I love her.  She is MORE than what I prayed for as a wife for my boy.  She is thoughtful and tender-hearted.  She is so freaking smart and gentle.  She’s as beautiful on the outside as she is on the outside.  ❤

Then, I hugged my boy and told him how proud I was of him.  Gosh, but I can’t even type this without getting tears in my eyes.  This boy of mine has grown up so much in the past two years.  He was always incredibly smart, but to see him doing life with his sweet wife and adorable dog.  Well, y’all, I guess I should stop calling him my boy because he’s a man now.

Getting to live in my kids’ world for awhile was an incredible experience.  It brought peace to my heart and created a connection between their world and mine.

I turned back to watch as they switched seats – overhearing an impromptu deal about who was driving and who was navigating the return drive home.  I wanted to wave to their car as they drove off, but the reality was that we needed to get checked in and through what we expected to be a long security line before we could truly relax.

So we headed in.

Ok, so one thing we could not figure out was how to print our tickets at the kiosk.  On our trip over, a sweet Delta employee had walked us through it.

I had the Delta app on my phone, so my reservation information was there, along with a QR code for both of our tickets, but we were old-school and wanted paper copies of the tickets.

Since we couldn’t make them print out at the kiosk, and we still needed to check one bag each, we got in the ticket line.  The gentleman who assisted us told us we could just use the app.

Okayyyyyy.  We were nervous.

Just as we thought, the TSA security line was l-o-n-g.  Summer travel was full speed ahead, and unfortunately, we had not remembered to do the pre-check-in, so we had to wait.

It took almost forty-five minutes for us to get through.  Before entering the line, we had to show our tickets.  This was the first time we used the app, and it worked like magic!

After being all cleared, we found our gate quite easily – it was the first one after the security check in, and took turns looking for food.

While I waited for the Mr. to come back from his scavenger hunt, Rooster texted me to see how things were going.  I explained that we’d just sat down and asked how his trip home was proceeding.  He said that they were almost home (remember that he was navigating).  It took them about an hour to get home – half the time to drive to the airport.

Sigh.

When the Mr. came back, it was my turn to find food.

I’m not going to lie.  I bought all the things because I was nervous about being hungry like our first trip had been.

I got myself a delicious wrap and bought boiled eggs and fruit for the Mr.

Then we waited for our flight to board, plugging into the entertainment system as soon as we sat down.

We got to see the score for one of the World Cup games that day.

Then, I settled in for a movie that I’d spied on our first trip.

I had new ear buds I’d purchased at Walmart the day before (see the green plug there), so I was set to go.

We had already picked out the extra snacks we wanted.  This was a box loaded with all vegan-friendly food.

I completely embraced the flying thing.  I mean, what better way to splurge on your healthy diet than with snacks and tomato juice, handed out by friendly flight attendants?

For the record, I brought home most of my box, uneaten.  I was actually full after the wrap I’d eaten for lunch and the free snacks they provided.

I knit my way through the movie.

And through an episode of Chopped . . .

I had the middle seat, and there was a lady sitting/napping to my left next to the window, so I couldn’t take any pictures of the land we were flying over.  Bummer.

We landed in Atlanta with plenty of time to spare.  The Mr. and I grabbed dinner and waited, actually running into a guy from our church who was also headed home and would be on our plane.  Small world, eh?

Departing from Atlanta at 9:30 was a neat experience.

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The city lights were beautiful as we gained altitude.

The final leg of our journey was only 35 minutes.  We’d barely gotten off the ground before we were landing.

Chicky picked us up, and the first thing I noticed when we stepped out to the car was the heat and humidity – even past 11:30pm.

Hello, Florida.

The dogs were so confused when we got home.  They thought they were going to bed with Chicky; instead, they were returning to their normal routine.

We were so thankful that Chicky had held down the fort while we were gone.  She’d cleaned part of the house – the kitchen and my bathroom.  It was so nice to come home to a clean abode!

So that, my friends, was our wonderful trip to California!  We had originally tried to plan this last summer.  I am so glad we didn’t with all of the health issues we had going on.  We would not have enjoyed ourselves as much as we did with the trip taking place this year.

I am grateful that we had the opportunity to make incredible memories during this special trip.

 

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