I know its been a few days since I’ve written; I’ve been resettling into my life at home.
My flight out of Shanghai wasn’t until about 5:30 in the evening. I asked for a late check out, was able to stay in my room for an extra hour, until noon. Then I hung out in the lobby of the hotel for a couple hours before having the hotel call me a cab. I got to the airport about three hours before the flight and it took about two and a half hours to get through the check in line, passport control, customs, and security. If you’re flying out of the Shanghai airport, just make sure you’re there at a time that you think is way too early.
The flight from Shanghai to Vancouver took about ten and half hours, and it was so empty. It was WONDERFUL! I got to have a whole row of three seats to myself, which means I got to lay around the whole flight. It’s a pretty darn good way to travel.
If you’re connecting through the Vancouver, BC airport to go into the United States you’ll actually go through US customs in the airport here. It means going through security again, and then answering some question at a kiosk before they finally check your passport and let you through. Then you go into a terminal that is for US flights only. It’s like being in tiny America.
The final jump from Vancouver to Portland only took about an hour. And then I was finally back in Portland! After 66 days, 17 flights, and 27,475 flight miles. It’s good to be home!
When I arrived back on Wednesday I was met at the airport by my brother and my niece, who were there to pick me up; and my cousin who drove all the way in just to be there to greet me. I have the best family!
When we got back into my hometown, we picked up a pizza and my brother and niece hung out with me for a long while. I’ve sure been missing the company of loved ones, so it was so nice to have them around!
Then another cousin’s family stopped by, bringing with them another pizza and my most craved drink: root beer. Seriously, an amazing family!
Thursday, I hung out in the day with my cousin Tiffany (who had joined me Paris), and in the evening visited with Melinda (my companion in London). And Friday was a day at home to grocery shop and try to get things unpacked. Saturday my parents came up, and we had a party with my brothers’ families, grandma, and parents. It was a fun time of foreign foods, laughter, and souvenirs. Have I mentioned that my family is amazing?
After having some time with my folks on Sunday, they heading home and I headed to my aunt’s house for a birthday party for her granddaughter. And then out for a late happy hour. Today I joined a brunch for another cousin’s birthday.
If you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of my family. I missed them so much over the last months and I’m happy to back with them again. I’ve loved my time around the world! But as they say, “There’s no place like home.”