The Return 

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I think I’ve referenced a couple times that for the past four or so months, my younger sister has been on an all expense paid “vacation” courtesy of the US military and yesterday she finally returned!

I think if you asked both of us – Wednesday did not go as planned at all. Granted; she was originally supposed to be back on Tuesday night, but with all things related to military..it didn’t exactly go off without a hitch. I took Wednesday off and drove over to Baltimore in the gloom and misting rain…it was a very “Autumn” day, winding through the mountains that are slowly turning muted shades yellow, orange, red and purple…

Between some miscommunication combined with excitement – I arrived a good two hours early. Whoops! Once I spoke with one of the ticketing agents, I realized it was probably in my best interest to go find some lunch and pass the time somewhere besides the airport…

When I arrived back at the airport, it was easy to find the location where the military members returning from deployment were coming into the airport. Banners, signs and flags were decorating the walls and people were milling around..waiting… As I took a seat, a woman approached me and asked who I was meeting – and informed me that they would be taking pictures of all the returning soldiers and their families as they were reunited.. which I suppose is fine. I was feeling a bit emotional and I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted that capture for the world to see – but okay…

After about thirty minutes of waiting, Lindsey text me that she was through customs and just a few seconds later – the doors opened and there she was! I think we probably both would have cried had it not been for the people snapping pictures, so maybe their presence was a good thing? I don’t know…

Oh – for a bonus laugh for you – below is what happens when you don’t realize your picture is still being taken… awkward much?

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What with the delayed flight and an impending flight for Lindsey to Vegas, we stopped by the hotel she was supposed to have stayed at on Tuesday night and she got changed and freshened up before we headed to; in Lindsey’s opinion, heaven – Chick Fil A!

And yes – I did take a picture of her ordering Chick Fil A – I certainly did! We munched on our chicken and chatted about life.. I think she was pretty pleased to be drinking sweet tea and eating delicious chicken and waffle fries again and honestly; I’m just glad they’ve got their chicken tortilla soup again! It wasn’t a lot of time together, but it was more time than we’ve been able to spend in the past four + months. And little did we know…

We returned to BWI for Lindsey to catch her flight to Vegas – only to find out that her flight from Baltimore to Houston had been delayed, leaving her no time to make her connecting flight from Houston to Vegas. She could take the flight to Houston and stay there for the night or be re-ticketed on a flight from Dulles on Thursday morning (that’s today y’all)! After some thought, she decided to go for the straight flight from Dulles…and we ended up spending a few more hours together because we then had to drive from BWI to Dulles in the middle of 5 o’clock traffic…

DC Traffic – I love you not even a little bit. It took two hours to go about 50 miles and it was misting and miserable the entire time. Thankfully the company in the car was stellar!

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I helped Lindsey get settled at her hotel in Dulles and as much as I’d have loved to stay and help her repack her bags and finish watching the Nationals game (they beat the Cubs 5-0 to force a game five…) – I needed to head home; as it was I was going to be arriving home after 9:00…

All in all – Wednesday was nothing short of crazy. Life rarely goes as planned and Wednesday was a classic example of that. However, if you get to go through the missteps and failed plans with the right person, it’s at least that much better – you know?

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When all is said and done – I’m so glad Lindsey is home again! Knowing how chaotic Wednesday proved to be didn’t damper the joy of getting to see my best friend again after all these months. And even if I’d had less time to spend with her than I did, I’d have done it all over again!

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