Some of you are probably sick of me talking about my impending trip to Scotland. This will be the last post until their is a real life on location update. I am leaving tomorrow morning. The next time you hear from me I will be typing amid the fog with the eerie cry of bagpipes as my soundtrack.
You all know that I am not looking forward to this trip. Leaving Arica and Braden behind for three weeks is going to be the toughest thing in the world. On top of that I am going to get my first stab at driving on the wrong side of the road. I am sure the car will be a stick shift as well. So there I will be driving on the wrong side of the blacktop trying to shift with my useless left hand. If anyone reading this lives anywhere near Glasgow consider this your warning.
Hopefully I can manage well enough to avoid any Griswolds stuck on the roundabout type moments. If I am lucky I won't run over any of the cast from Monty Python either. All these difficulties will pay off handsomely in the end. There is one truly great thing about travel. It is a constant. No matter where you go or how long you stay. The best part about travel is always coming home.
Before coming home I will be able to see my family at least. Using Skype and the web cams will allow us to have video chats every day. Technology really is an amazing thing. I am so thankful for the Internet, computers, and all the other whizzing little thingamajigs that make it possible for a regular Joe like myself to own what is technically a video phone. I feel like George Jetson.
While I will endure pain that many of you would be perfectly happy to avoid, I will also enjoy one of life's truly great pleasures. There is no way I can describe the feeling if you have never experienced it yourself. To see Arica's smiling face after weeks away is a truly amazing moment. This time I will get to add Braden's little smiling face as well.
My return will go something like this:
The embracer regional jet comes in low and fast just skirting the edge of the muddy Arkansas River. We touch down with a slight bounce then make contact with the runway again. The flight attendant pipes in with her welcome to Little Rock spiel, but I am too excited to even listen. Soon my tired aching body will be bursting forth into the terminal to see my family. The plane eases to the gate as all the passengers begin to shift in their seats. The familiar ding of the seat belt sign going off is followed by the hurried bustle of passengers retrieving their luggage from the overhead bins. Nearly everyone stands with hunched backs in the small cabin as we await the signal to exit.
The door finally swings open and we file out like good little soldiers. I have a hard time walking in the single file line up the jetway. I want to elbow everyone out of the way and run. I resist and enter the terminal in an orderly manner. Those awaiting their planes always give you a smug look. I can't tell if they are angry with us for reaching our destination or if they are looking down on us because we live in Arkansas. Either way I don't care.
The walk through the airport is only a few hundred yards, but it feels like ten miles. I hurry past all the sparsely populated gates and a few restaurants. Then I make my way past the security checkpoint and head towards the escalator. This is the big moment. I step on the stairs for my ride down one level. As we start down I scan the crowd. Where are they?Frantically my eyes dart from side to side checking each bench. Just as I began to panic they come around the corner. There smiling and beautiful is Arica. Perched in her arms like a giant teddy bear is our son Braden. This is the greatest feeling in the world.
There is no place like home.