Technically I can sleep in — check out is noon, my airport pickup is 1:30pm. And I was up so late (and I’ve been so obviously sleep-hungry) that you’d think a sleep-in would be just the thing. And maybe it is, a bit, but I am still up and about by 8:30, down for breakfast by 9, and checked out of my room before 10. I am just finding myself a seat in the lounge and getting a free cup of coffee when Di races by, unkempt, trying to squeak into the buffet breakfast before they close it up. She does, barely, then comes out and joins me for a while. Mike comes down a bit later, apparently having been the first up of all of us (construction just outside his window having awakened him).
Ellen and Terry had earlier flights; they’re already gone.
Di races up to get a shower (finds she has no water; also construction) and comes down, more put together but still not quite feeling like herself, just in time to check out.
By now we’re all over-caffeinated and have the malaise that comes with travel days.
“Waiting around to something you don’t want to do” as Mike puts it.
It is a day of waiting. For our bus, for security, for the flights to open, for the plane, to take off, to land, to get off, to get shuttled to the terminal, to go through customs, to make our way to wherever we’re headed.
I get separated from Mike and Di – headed to JFK – early in the process as they stop for a last cigarette before entering the airport. I expect to bump into them inside – the airport really isn’t that big – but ultimately don’t. No real goodbyes – but I know Di has my contact info (and Mike will email me photos later the next day so I know she shared it, and they’ve arrived home).
I take off in the dark, the sun having set an hour before. During the long flight south and west we will chase the sunset – a fiery red ring on the forward horizon, but a race I know we’ll lose.
I land after 8pm in DUL, arrivals smooth enough as these things go. I’m at a hotel for the night; rather than do another one-way rental, my dad will come get me in the morning.
A flub with the wrong room on my key card, a meal ordered in, quick call to my parents confirming the early morning schedule (to stay ahead of the approaching snowstorm) and in short order I have showered off the sulfur (my hair immediately less coarse in response), have set out the last change of clean clothes for the morning and fall exhausted into bed.
I did nothing but wait around and mostly-sit all day. Amazing how tiring that is.
At 3:28am I wake up briefly. Check my phone – no message from Dad saying he’s up and leaving. He probably will soon, but no worries. It’s fine. Not surprising I’d wake — in Iceland it’s the morning. I go back to sleep expecting Dad will text any time now…
At 4:46am the phone rings. Dad’s here.
He was getting in the car when I woke earlier. So much so that it was as if his closing the car door to leave may have awakened me. He didn’t text as he left and was making such good time he didn’t want to stop to text/call en route.
Anyway I already have everything in order. Up, readied, repacked, checked out, coffees in hand, off we go. Dad has to hear the trip in probably more detail than he needs. But by 6:30 am we’re back in town, and I have my car back just as the snow begins.
Timing. And also:
It was wonderful. And it’s good to be back.