Praise the Lord we are home safe and sound along with our 4 carry-ons and 3 checked bags!
Here's a summary of our trip and some thoughts since arriving back in Aberdeen:
--We said tearful (well, I was crying anyways!) good-byes to my parents.
--We left thick, miserable low clouds/rain/fog in Charlotte.
--We had a terribly bumpy flight from Charlotte to Philly. (Note to self, don't sit over wing.) Mark somehow slept through a good portion of those bumps. I'm still not sure how except he has a stomach of steel.
--We landed in thick, miserable low clouds/fog (but no ice!!) in Philly.
--We joyfully discovered our connecting flight was the gate next to the one we landed at!! How cool is that? God was so gracious to answer our connecting flight prayers! We were even one of the first on the plane.
--We complained about the lack of personal video screens (guess we've gotten spoiled with these in past flights) and the small size of our aircraft...only 3 seats on a side, with only one aisle, not the normal two! We didn't know they flew those little guys overseas. We honestly had a bigger one from Charlotte to Philly! But in the midst of our grumblings I said "wait, we prayed we'd make the flight and we more than made it!"
--We made it out of Philly easily after being de-iced.
--We again had much turbulence the first hour or so (Note to self again, don't sit over wing). I was praying fervently the whole flight wouldn't be like that mess because I didn't think I could take 6 hours and 45 minutes of bumpiness. I was soooo grateful that we finally managed to get above or beyond the bumps.
--I was reminded that I sleep little to none on airplanes.
--During such a no sleeping time I happened to look outside to see if I could see the stars. Not only did I see a gazillion bright stars, I saw the most amazing thing. I am assuming it was the moon setting (?) and it was huge and redish-orange, and right on the western horizon. It was more like a sunset (minus the brilliant colors all around it), but that had happened hours ago. I'm trying to track down on-line what it was because I was in awe. Due to a sleeping neighbor next to Mark I didn't ask to get the camera down from the overhead compartment so no photo to show you how amazing it was.
--We landed in London in thick, miserable low clouds/fog (do you see a theme? but no ice or snow, though there was a little snow on the ground).
--All our luggage arrived to Gatwick and we noted Gatwick needs more signs about immigration. We were among other international travelers looking very lost, confused and frustrated more than once.
--We had no problems transferring to Heathrow via a coach.
--We tried to get on an earlier Aberdeen flight to no avail. They said if we were off-shore workers we could have done it. Oh well. I prefer Mark as a student rather than off-shore oil worker. So instead we waited and napped in various locations throughout the airport.
--We finally headed to Aberdeen!
That's when reality hit:
--We're back in the beautiful land of Scotland where sunsets last for 45 minutes, and are so beautiful! Would you believe that though there were some clouds, it wasn't the oppressive stuff we'd seen in every other city. We could see the last of the "gloaming" from the sunset and it was exciting to be "home."
--Back driving on the left -- woo-hoo! I really like driving on the left.
--I realized that aside from one blood sugar issue and normal jetlag feelings, I have done great health wise through this long trip. Thanks for your prayers!
--We (or least I) am FREEEEHHHHHZZZZINGGG!!! We were greeted by our cold flat! I'm glad it has warmed up a little since arriving, but Mark insisted I drink some hot tea to warm up more since all my layering hasn't cut the chill yet. People, I was not made for this cold stuff!
--We have to heat our water as needed.
--I keep trying to switch light switches up with a flick of the finger, rather than push the toggle switch with my finger.
--Mark tried to drive the car to the store to pick up dinner for him and a few food staples but the car wasn't having it. We knew before we left that the parking brake was having issues, but didn't really have time to get it checked out before leaving. In the month it has been stationary it decided to permanently make the parking brake stay on, even though the release handle is down. Trouble. Guess what Mark will be doing tomorrow?
--My biggest realities:
1. I have to cook for 2 people again. While on vacation it's been nice to only think about what I'm going to eat and I've trusted that others will take care of Mark's food (Thanks to our mom's who greatly helped in that matter).
2. I have to work tomorrow (though not until the afternoon and just my usual 3.75 hours)! Here's to hoping for a good night's rest since the maybe 2-3 hours of naps throughout the past 24 hours won't cut it much longer.
With these many random thoughts I will leave you so I can head to my bed shortly. Thank you for letting me ramble while I attempt to stay awake :)
P.S. The photo isn't actually from tonight's sunset, but he one we had from Cayman to Charlotte.