I forgot to mention the hat. I was also carrying one of my fedoras with me – well, wearing it, not carrying it, as i didn't want to scrunch it in my bag. My man asked me to bring it – he looks so damn good in it – so of course i complied.
So maybe i looked European, i don't know – but i was treated really politely by the German airport staff and security people – and they all immediately spoke German to me. Thankfully it was simple enough German that I usually understood what they were saying! So i nodded or shook my head – didn't say anything except Danke or Bitte. Compared to last time where they mostly ignored me, or pretended they didn't understand English, even on the plane, it was pretty cool. Maybe this time i was just not nervous (about meeting my man) so i paid more attention and looked more relaxed?
I guess i'm also more "well traveled" now. i'm still pretty OCD about things, but i'm not panicked or wide eyed and confused.
So i wore my hat, carried my big soft jacket, a plastic bag with the vuvuzela sticking up out of it (THAT got some weird looks from people, including security!) and my backpack. i trundled slowly to the departure gate. stood in the line to get my boarding pass there. got asked a lot of security questions by the Delta people. but they let me through and put the little red tags everywhere (including the plastic bag with the vuvuzela – after i explained what it was). i found a spot on a chair so i could watch the entry point to see when my man arrived. plonked my stuff down and tried to stay awake and aware. i hadn't slept on the plane, and i didn't sleep much the Tuesday night before either. i was tired. very tired.
about 40 minutes before boarding, i started to worry that he wasn't going to make it in time. but it seems Delta only board 20 minutes before. my heart sank as i thought i would have to face the flight to the US without him. and what would i do when i got to Atlanta? Would i have to rush to the next flight without him too?
but then i saw him being let through (with no fuss of course, if he flashed his military pass) and my heart leapt and a stupid smile appeared on my face. nice jacket. wow. his belt in his hand as he'd just cleared security. he looked at me, but didn't see me and he made his way to a block of seats a few rows ahead of me. i waited to see if he'd seen me, but he clearly hadn't. so i gathered all my crap up and carried it over to where he was. a lady a few seats down watched us and i saw her smile when we hugged our hello.
i even got a kiss this time. my heart was pounding. i sometimes wonder if he notices that.
i got very warm too. when i'm with him – instant ignition of the inner furnace. he just has that effect on me.
he put his belt on and settled himself next to me. was so good to hold his hand and just _smell_ him and feel him near. everything was ok again.
he had lots of extra bits and pieces (a garment bag with his dress blues. *swoon*) and his backpack.
finally we boarded and settled ourselves in our seats – he let me have the window seat. such a gentleman.
it was a shorter flight than the one to Frankfurt – and made easier by having him there as company. We watched movies and he slept and i watched over him. I tried to sleep a bit too. but my neck got sore pretty fast. i'm not made for economy class! my lot in life.
We landed at Atlanta (with rumours of delays and a major storm coming in – but we didn't pay too much attention) and dashed off to get our luggage and recheck it. found my ERS, handed it over to the dude at the conveyer belts, made our way through the next security line (took about 20 minutes) and then on to the next flight (after finding our new gate) to Newark NJ. We walked to the other terminal just for fun and a chance to stretch our legs.
We boarded for the 5 hour flight to Newark and squished into the tiny seats, next to a large business man who overflowed into my seat. We were incredibly tired and stressed and we both tried to sleep. my legs were cramping and my back was aching, and my mans knees were killing him from being so folded up all the time.
And then we landed in Newark, and went down to get our baggage.
It was ICY cold in the airport and we stood there waiting. Out came my mans baggage, almost first on the carousel.
My ERS nowhere to be seen.
We waited and watched the luggage go around a few times. Checked the OTHER carousel. No luck.
So i went and stood in the long line at the baggage claim office.
Took me about 25 minutes to get to the front of the queue (bear in mind i have not slept in 2 days and i am now severely PISSED OFF) and i explained my situation, where the luggage came from, when i last saw it, described it in detail. Lady could not help much but said hang around a few more minutes (she meant 30.) for the final plane from Atlanta to come in and see if my luggage was not perhaps on that one.
We waited. We looked at the luggage that came in. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero.
So I went back to her. I explained that everything was in there including wedding clothes and gifts. She was sympathetic. she gave me a voucher for $14 for breakfast.
i was underwhelmed. another trend.
By this time i was on the point of tears i was so unbelievably tired, and incredibly angry. i don't like people seeing me cry, so i bit down on my savage words and took my claim number and left. My man was reeling where he was standing, he was also very tired. so we decided to check in to a local hotel for the night before embarking on our trip to Princeton as we could hardly keep our eyes open.
We called around and finally found a reasonably priced room at the Holiday Inn Express just down the road. (I like Holiday Inn Express)
We waited in the freezing cold (the icy air helped me cool my temper a bit) for the hotel shuttle and then packed in and drove to the hotel with everyone else.
Checking in took a few minutes and we went up to our room. threw down our stuff.
i'd been in the same clothes for 2 days and i felt really shitty.
we showered, felt better.
and then we just fell on each other.
can't put it any other way.
i had waited and waited and i couldn't wait any more.