Tuesday December 1st came and Shelly and I were apprehensively excited. It was time to reverse the events of November 1st, and return back to whence we came. This day however proved to be a bit longer and much more testing.
An old friend of Shelly's picked us up and took us to the airport. We had condensed a great deal of luggage into the bags we had as we did not return with 200 diapers, and we disposed a number of items of clothing because kids or adults:
2. soiled/ruined beyond cleaning
3. just didn't need anymore
A day before we left a former colleague whom I worked with at Victoria Public School, Diane Budnark, said to me, "When I travel I take half as much clothes and twice as much money." Great advice Diane, I should have listened more carefully!
So eight of us piled into the 9 seat airplane to take us the 100 miles or so to Puerto Rico. Weight is very important to these little planes. So much so Molly had to sit solo in the back, and the pilot had to reaffirm our weights, and our levels of honesty, so that we didn't over burden our aircraft. Satisfied, the pilot commanded the machine down the gravel runway, turned 180 degrees, and gunned the engine to create lift. We caught one last glimpse of the shack they call an airport, and Virgin Gorda. So long.
The challenge was the waiting. We had a five hour lay-over first. There was a bit of a buzz in the airport however because Miss Puerto Rico was there, along with an entourage band of Caribbean steel drums, trumps, and various other percussion instruments. There was a bunch of media too, filming a holiday cheerio, as she was off on some ambassadorship duties - no pictures from this guy.
But time did pass and finally we were aboard another, much larger, airship and off to NYC. The kids did not sleep, and both became increasingly, yet predictably, bothersome as we traveled north. However, it could have been worse. I think Shelly was ready to strangle Molly at one point had there been some more privacy. I would have been a willing accomplice.
We got to NY, and just leisurely made our way around. It would be another wait, this time 3.5 hours, until our final flight of the day would leave. We slowly poked around the terminal, and had a decent meal and got a few bottles at duty free. It was in New York that I would recognize someone from Goderich who I knew quite well.
An unshaven, pirate type looking guy, was ambling around on his phone. He was also seated in the general area of the other passengers waiting to fly to Toronto, and he was with another feller that had a "Tortolla" souvenir t-shirt on. I just kept looking at him, and staring, but he was more involved with the conversation. Anyway I said to Shelly that looks like Pete, and sure enough it was Pete Wick, and his buddies, returning from the Caribbean as well on their annual sailing extravaganza. Pete had said he just saw my dad two weeks ago. He had a great time, and like many others find it to be a wonderful place to sail, relax, and have a few beers.
We got all of our stuff, cleared the different points of inspections, and got our vehicle and it was 11:30 pm. We left Virgin Gorda at 8:30.... We still had to drive home, which wasn't so much of a big deal. The kids were both asleep by the seat belt clicks. There was no traffic, and we were home just before 2:00 am. Yes, it was a long day, but it all went mostly smooth.
Molly hit up school the next day. My furnace had gone on the blitz so I got that looked at, clothes were put away, winter tires on Shelly's Jeep - me truck is sounding a bit wonky, I went out deer hunting and saw nothing, we were home. I talked briefly to my cousin, and my one observation was the importance of not wishing away time; I was all set and keen to come home, yet it is so nice and beautiful there... I think that is natural though and quite common. It was exactly how I felt about leaving Rossland 5 years ago. And I remember it clearly.... I was just soooo ready to leave and wanting to be out-of-there, yet, when I got home I was thinking I was hasty on my decision wanting to leave.
Nothing is planned next, yet. I will keep posting on the blog, but with a bit less regularity throughout December. Excitement seems to find me, or maybe I find it, so there ought to be a few more tales and events to post about.