Monday, May 19, 2008
I was ready to come home. Really ready. We got up and headed down to breakfast. Our bags were all ready to go - we dropped them at the bell desk so they would be ready for the bus. Our bus was leaving around 8:30 - we had some time to visit with everyone one last time. It was sad to say goodbye to these people that we had shared such an experience with. We hope we'll see them again someday. We compiled a list of email addresses from everyone on our trip, so we can keep in touch.
We got on the bus and headed the airport. I was not looking forward to the long trip home. I bought 4 bottles of water at the airport, after security. As we were getting on the plane, they did a bag check and took my water. I just about had a panic attack - I was getting on an 11 hour flight with no water of my own. Not a good way to start this trip. The plane wasn't completely crowded - it was very full. Our plane left right on time. Then began the movies and the food and before we knew it - we were back in San Fran. We got through customs, had breakfast and headed to our gate. Our flight was delayed a bit, not too much. On the flight back to Portland, I slept the entire time. We had left Beijing at noon on Monday and we arrived in Portland at 1 pm Monday afternoon. All that flying and it was only an hour later than when we left. By the time we got to our house, we had actually been awake for over 24 hours and we were so tired.
Our pets were so happy to see us and we were so happy to be safe and sound at home. This trip was really a once in a lifetime adventure. I learned a lot about a very different culture. The people were just like us - working day to day to make a life and a living. I suspect it is the same everywhere. I learned a lot about myself - I really can do anything I put my mind to. I also learned that I can survive through some pretty strange conditions. I am blessed to have made this journey with Trevor. I could not have a better partner in my life. Now we have to figure out what our next adventure will be...