Arrive Back at Home
Sep 2, 2007
|After 3 hours of sleep, our final day had arrived more quickly than desired. We are now back in the port of Seattle and are waiting for Customs to clear the ship. Since Julie's purchases exceeded the $800 limit, she had to be in the Vista Lounge to declare her items at 6:30 am. This meant Sleeping Beauty had to wake up early.
Julie took the abrupt ending to her slumber in a rather good mood and she quickly retreated to the shower to prepare for the long day ahead. In no time at all, she was completely ready and out the door on her way to Customs.
I got dressed and waited for Julie's return. Everything was packed, I had done the habitual "once over" of all the drawers, under the beds and in the closets and waited somewhat patiently for Julie. Since we had chosen the option of "Express Disembarkation", this meant that Julie and I were responsible for getting our own luggage to shore. Even though that task was a feat on its own, it was worth the trouble since the "Express" path also meant that we were among the first to exit the ship.
Everything went well during our departure and we made it through Customs with no problem. By 8:00 am, we were in a cab and headed to the airport. That's a record for me. Our flight isn't scheduled to leave until 11:00 today so we are in no hurry.
After an uneventful return to the airport on yet another beautiful day, Julie and I realized that this was the last leg in our adventure. As we checked in our luggage, Julie (still under the 50 pound weight limit because she is carrying everything with her as a carry-on) and me still over the limit, were greeted at the counter with the fact that both of my pieces now exceeded the limit. This encouraged me to extract some shoes from one piece and add them to the other to avoid paying the $25 fee twice. This proved to be a comical transition as I bounced on my luggage lid while it was still sitting on the scales in attempt to close my bag. Fortunately, with the assistance of a Ticket Agent, I finally succeeding in completing this chore, but not before I had been considered "entertainment for the day by my fellow travelers who were laughing at me by this time". Julie stood there patiently trying to pretend she didn't know me and finally once again, we were on our way.
Our next stop was through Security. Having stood in line for quite some time before reaching the Security Guard, it was finally my and Julie's turn. This proved once again that I am God's jester for today as the Security Guard informed me that I had no Boarding Pass. I had been handed my traveling documents by the Ticket Agent, but she had failed to add my Boarding Pass. Realizing that "bouncing on my luggage" might have been a little distracting to her, I quickly returned to the counter. Upon my arrival, with her apologies, she handed me the Passes. She gave me an Express Ticket to put me in a "fast lane" through Security so Julie wouldn't have to wait on me. Once through Security and successfully locating Julie - who is clearly acting as if she doesn't know me at this point - we proceeded to Julie's first Starbuck's stop in 8 days. A leisurely breakfast and Julie's final "shopping" trip in Seattle and we were soon on our way to Dallas.
During the layover in Dallas, Julie made yet her final purchase for the trip, we ate some lunch and boarded the plane to return to Charlotte realizing that the adventure would soon end, but the memories would last forever.
13 and a half hours later than our trip had begun that morning, we landed safely in Charlotte Douglas. We retrieved all of our bags, loaded our vehicle and started our 2 hour journey home.
As we made it down Interstate 85, we couldn't help but notice the most unique moon that either of us had ever viewed. It was a very befitting ending to the final leg of this trip. We attempted to take pictures of it while traveling at 80 mph and laughed at the way they were turning out.
In the early hours of Monday Morning, Julie and I finally arrived home. We are most appreciative for this adventure and for your following our paths. It has been an incredible journey and we are glad to have shared it with you.
Our gratitude for today: We are safely back home with those we love.
Our High Point: The memories that will last a lifetime
Our Low Point: The end has arrived.