December 29, 2013 – Going Home

It has probably taken me a month to write about the trip home because it was so horrible…

We have a lot of legs to our trip home. First we are going from Rome to Frankfurt, then Frankfurt to Houston, and finally Houston to San Francisco. The first leg goes smoothly.

Our trip to Houston is delayed. Then it is routed in a great arc trying to avoid weather over the northeast U.S. It is very, very long. Deplaning, we are hoping that we might still make our connection. Houston has a giant airport. The walk from the plane to immigration must be a mile. We hobble along as fast as we can. United has promised us that we have enough time to get through immigration and on our way because there are few international flights. Tonight, though, there are others. The line for U.S. citizens is very long. There are only three agents. While standing in line, we miss our flight. United has been kind enough to go ahead and book us on a later flight supposedly leaving at 9:30 PM. We crawl through the line. By the time we get through immigration, it is 9 PM. We still have to collect our luggage and go through customs. After getting our bags, we recheck them and then have to go through security again. At 9:15 we send Sarah ahead running to tell them we are on our way.

Sarah meets us half way to the gate to tell us that the plane is delayed until 11:40 PM. We have spent a lot of time sitting around today. We have been traveling almost a day’s worth at this point and we still have 4 hours to SFO. The United employees tell us that even though we have Business/First seats that we will have to sit in coach. Finally we get on the packed plane. Babies are crying and people are coughing for the next 4 hours. We arrive at SFO around 2:00 AM. By the time we collect our car, drop Sarah off, and make it home it is 4:00 AM. I swear I am never going anywhere again.

Of course, here it is now the end of January. Memories fade. Yesterday I said to John, “Gosh, it seems like we’ve been home forever! We need a trip!” But maybe a road trip this time.

What we did a lot of on the way home…

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