Homeward Bound Hoedown

3:30 a.m…. You might ask, why in the world are you awake? For America, that’s why. I stayed at a hotel in Naples the night before to make sure I wouldn’t miss my 6 in the way too early morning flight back home and after a few hours of anxious slumber I awoke to catch my cab and head to the airport. It was there where I had to say my final goodbye by to Sammy who had been accompanying me thus far. After we sadly parted way I headed to check in.

There must have been an angel watching over me that morning because I know for a fact my suitcase was at least 60 pounds, no less, but the kindly Italian woman merely gave a wink. Security was a breeze and as I boarded my flight to Frankfurt I found myself seated next to a friendly Italian couple. Although I don’t think either of them knew a lick of English, we chatted all the same. Talk about a true Italian Final… real life edition. So we landed in Germany and I made my way to find my next gate, which was easier said than done mind you. Fortunately a kindly man who was flying to Dallas as well overheard my distressed inquiries and gave me a hand. And with even greater fortune he must have taken a liking to me because he then continued to get me into the Airport Club and through both priority security and boarding. Now, if you are unfamiliar with an Airport club, let me fill you in. It is this magical place in nearly all airports where there is an abundance of wi-fi, free food and drinks, heated toilet seats, and super comfy chairs. As I was the only one there below the age of 50, I made lots of friends.

So I got settled on my flight to Dallas (WINDOW SEAT WHAT WHAT) and let me tell you, when you’re going to Texas, you will know. Not only could everyone understand me and I them (goodbye language barrier), but most were more than eager to strike up a conversation with anyone who cared to join (It. Was. Like. Christmas.) And to top it off, the plane’s movie selection was better than I had ever imagined, the second Sherlock Holmes AND Social Network?? (Birthday AND Christmas!) Eleven hours and numerous snacks later (who knew they served so much food on those flights? I must have eaten at least 5 cookies) I arrived at DFW.

Upon claiming my luggage and passing (barely) through customs, I wheeled my suitcases though the exit to find a handsome man in salmon and a strangely similar looking to me girl standing ahead with a pimped out poster and my terribly missed pillow pet Garth the Dolphin in hand. After jumping on my sister and handing my bags to my Dad (thanks Dad), we hit the road. Of course we stopped (per my request) at PF Chang’s along the way for a welcome back dinner of delectable Chinese cuisine. The car ride passed quickly (probably because I was passed out) and I must applaud my sister for safely delivering us home with just a driving permit under her belt. It was 2 a.m. when we made it to Springfield and my mom had stayed up just to see me (talk about a convenient Mother’s Day gift, am I right?). Happily and sleepily I made my way up the stairs and into my room where I crawled into the best bed in the world, my own! Finally… I WAS HOME!