Monday, December 17, 2012

My Long Trip Home

Oostende Holiday lights.

  Finally home, and it feels so good.

  After struggling though another game Saturday night, I had a bright side to fall back on: I'd be headed home for a Holiday break!

  The game left me restless, and almost sick to my stomach, so it was definitely time for a break from basketball, both mentally and physically.

vs. Léon Trégor.
  In no mood to do much else after the game, I started gathering up my things, trying to organize my bags for the 20-plus hour trip home the next day. Once I felt I had wandered and puttered around my apartment long enough, I thought I should at least TRY to get some sleep. I put in my last load of laundry, set my alarm for 5:30am, started a movie, and settled in around 1am, hoping to fall asleep, for a few minutes anyways.

  Anytime I let things get quiet enough to think, my mind immediately went back to basketball, which unfortunately, made sleep impossible. With the minutes ticking by, and my window to get any rest getting smaller and smaller, I thought it was time to give in, and do something productive. You know how it goes.

Game action vs. Léon Trégor.
  I was bound to be a zombie the next day anyway -- whether I got three hours sleep, or 15 minutes. This way, with having gotten no sleep at all, maybe there was an even better chance I'd sleep my way across the Atlantic.

  Five o'clock came, and I decided it was time to start my day. Though, I guess it's hard to say when Saturday officially ended and Sunday began.

  It's always exciting to know you'll be home soon. But it's hard to get excited for such a long day of travel. It's a necessary evil. I am so thankful to be able to go home for the Holidays, so traveling 20 hours and 7,000 miles is well-worth the uncomfortable seats, tired eyes, and wobbly legs.

Lily & I trying to show off our Buff pride!
  We started out for Brussels from Dunkerque around 6:45 Sunday morning (9:45pm Saturday Portland time). My flight left Brussels at 11. I'd fly through Chicago, so once I made it through customs and found my way, it was time to settle in until my next flight. I did what I've always do once I land Stateside: I grabbed some Starbucks and found a TV to watch some Sunday afternoon football, as I waited for my connecting flight to Portland.

  I always find myself a little chattier than usual when I first get back to the US. I think that comes from not being able to really communicate with people on a regular basis when I'm out and about while overseas. When I'm in France, I don't exactly chat up the checker at the grocery store, or talk to people passing by the way I might when I'm in the US.

  Heading home a week before for the real Holiday rush was a nice change. The airports were busy, but not their usual jam-packed madness you often see mid-to-late December. Thankfully, everything was on time, and my flights went smoothly -- I even arrived early!

Holiday lights along the beach in Dunkerque.
  I was welcomed home by the glorious Portland rain (and my mom, of course). We rolled into the driveway at home at 6:45pm Sunday (3:45am Monday morning
Dunkerque time) for a grand total of 21 hours travel time. And you thought I was exaggerating. ;)

  I'm looking forward to these next few weeks at home. It will be nice to take my focus away from basketball, and enjoy the company of my family and friends.
Dunkerque Holiday lights.

  Hope you get the chance to celebrate the Holidays with loved ones, and really enjoy and appreciate what the Holiday season is all about! I know I will!


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