It's a wonderful feeling to know you are loved. We were greeted at the Charleston airport with many friends and family when we arrived off of our last plane. I must say that after 4 flights and about 32 hours of travel, they were a sight for sore (and dry, red, scratchy) eyes!
The travel was great overall. From Bangkok to Tokyo to Los Angeles to Washington DC to Charleston, we had minimal turbulence, lots of sleep, and not-too-long layovers. In fact, our LAX layover was JUST enough time for us to deplane, go through immigration ad customs, recheck our bags, go through security, and get to our next plane. We were the last ones to board that plane, and it was just in time. All the other travel was seamless, and we even traveled as far as Los Angeles with another GES teacher, Tyler.
So, when we arrived at Charleston and saw Dad and Gail, Steph and Steven, Laura, Eddie and Frances, Cindy and Jerry, and baby Lilly, we were so excited! (A bit 'shiny' and smelly, I'm sure, but very thrilled to reconnect with so many great friends and family). After we got our bags (which all made it!), we headed out to the cars and met up with Adam and Valerie. Even more love! I was holding baby Lilly (4 weeks old) as we walked outside, and I said to Valerie, 'this is the REAL reason we went to Thailand', and she and Adam both believed me. Hilarious. I think they thought we adopted a baby, but Cindy and Jerry were quick to claim their beautiful daughter.
After saying goodbye to some, Steph, Steven, Val, Adam, Matt and I headed back to our temporary home. Mark was waiting for us and helped us lug in all of the baggage. We passed out gifts, told stories and caught up until about 2:30 in the morning when Adam and Valerie left. Then, Steven, Matt, Steph and I stayed up talking more until about 3:30.
7:30 came early when Matt was waking me up--excited to eat at Chick-fil-A and to go get Nala, he couldn't sleep anymore. So, we were up and waiting on someone to wake up who could drive us to get our car and our first child from Laura's house. Finally, at 9:00, Steven gave in to our 'pathetic' pleas for him to wake up and spend the day with us (which he had so sweetly taken off from work).
Our first full day back started with breakfast at Chick-fil-A which was sooooooo good. Then, we headed over to Grandma and Grandpa Powers's and hung out with them for a little while. We then drove up to Ladson and met Laura at her place, which is where we were finally reunited with our baby girl, Nala! Such a fun reunion. I think she was pretty overwhelmed at first, but she was definitely excited to see us. Took her a little while to remember us as 'mommy and daddy', but she does. (This is very good for our hearts!) Hung out with Laura, Keto and Nala at their place for awhile, then got our car and headed back West Ashley. It was so strange driving at first, Steve said I was driving like a grandma. Matt sat in the back with Nala, which didn't surprise me one bit.
We hung out at Dad's with Gail for awhile then headed to Mount Pleasant and dropped Nala off for a grooming appointment (she needed to be freshly cleaned and to have nice, short, trimmed nails to come with us to Steph and Mark's.) Then we went and saw my Mom at her office and hung out with her there for an hour or so. Then back to get a fresh and clean Nala bean and drive back to West Ashley. Drove around a little looking at houses for rent and then dropped in to visit Gary and his dog Dublin. After being there for a bit, we headed to Dad and Gail's for a great dinner with family! By 7:00, it was very tempting to fall asleep, but we were able to stay awake in a semi-social state until about 10:00 when we had made it back to Mark and Steph's and were finally able to crash.
... And yes, Nala slept with us last night. Best I've slept in months!