HOMEWARD BOUND

Finally I’m home and it seems like it has been a long traveling day/night. A brief summary: I arrived about 12:30 in Santiago – did have a wheelchair meet me – he wheeled me to the AirCanada ticket counter and no one was there. In fact, no one came until 5pm. So, I wrote in my blog and people watched.

I’m watching parents say goodbye to their daughter and baby granddaughter. I think the grandparents are American. Everyone is kissing and hugging one another and the baby is being held by each one of the grandparents receiving many kisses from each. Then the grandmother holds her daughter in a long embrace and pats and rubs her back. The daughter then goes to her father who embraces her, kisses her, draws apart, comes back together , embrace again with tears running down their cheeks. I have tears in my eyes too. This scene, together with saying goodbye to Jody and Tim is leaving me an emotional wreck. I think I had better just walk around a little bit.

I tried several of the restaurants close by but even when ordering an item, no one had WiFi. I was hesitant to go too far afield as I had the large luggage with me. At five, I went to the ticket counter, checked in and without my luggage, got another wheelchair to take me to the Gate. Found another Dunkin Donuts — Had quite a good sandwich – cheese, hard boiled egg, lettuce, mayo on a croissant. Even had coffee and a donut there which surprisingly wasn’t bad.

My plane from Santiago to Toronto was an hour delayed -apparently a severe tropical storm in Buenos Aires from where the plane was coming – the flight was fine, sat with a nice woman who spent 6 months in Vancouver with one daughter and six months in Chile with her other daughter. She was, in fact, born in Chile . Food was terrible – last night’s dinner and this morning’s breakfast – I didn’t eat the breakfast.

As expected, the delay made me late for the 8am departure to Vancouver. Then news came that there were 55 people on my flight that were scheduled on the same flight to Vancouver so they held the plane. Again, thank heavens for the wheelchair – she whisked me through – and I, along, with almost everyone else made the plane. Instead of 8am, we left at 8:30am which wasn’t too bad.

The wheelchair connection was good in Vancouver and they wheeled me down to Baggage, found my luggage quickly, and was walking out from the area when Johnny came running over and gave me a big hug. My brother too was with him. I was really glad to see them. The half-sleeping pill didn’t work and I really didn’t sleep during these different legs of the trip. Johnny did a great job leaving the airport and driving through the Border. A long, long line was waiting but I was very impressed with the Border Agent (I thought he would question me about what I brought back) – when Johnny said he was my grandson, and my brother his Uncle – the agent smiled and said we have the whole family together. Only asked where I had been and when I told him, I said I had received a few things from friends, he said it sounded like a great trip and sent us on our way.

It’s hard for me to write this last sentence of my trip and to say Adios to Argentina and my friends there. I can only say, “I hope I can return. ”

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