Where to begin? The last 18 months or so living in Europe has felt like an invisible wall keeping me away from all my loved ones and familiarities. I've simply been dreaming not only about seeing my family but also all things American. Junk food. 24 hour drug stores. Big cars. Cheap cocktails. Ice cubes.
Our flight over with Delta was surprisingly nice. Personal TV screens with free programs, and not only recognizable, but tasty food! Quite a pleasant surprise as compared to our previous experience with Air Canada. The only trouble was getting in and out of Seattle, buried in a freak snow storm. Between Atlanta, Seattle, and Missoula maybe 7 extra hours of airport delays. Gross. But it could be worse, in SeaTac hundreds of suitcases and passengers were stranded with no flight in sight.
But after more than 30 hours of being awake, we made it into Seattle. We spent the night at the Stranges and it was very nice to see them again. Surreal to be driving around Seattle, which for months had inhabited only dreams and memories. We hung around the house eating and playing games until it was time to head back to SeaTac.
The flight to Missoula is always funny, usually full of 'good ole boys' pointing out their ranches from the plane window or girls who know someone you went to high school with. In the great big wide world having the Missoula connection is a magical bond. Its the one flight I stow my ipod and acclimate myself to the Montana's slight drawl.
And finally, more than 60 hours after leaving Munich, we walked through the tiny security gate at the Missoula International Airport and I saw my family for the first time in over a year. It was just as great as I remembered.