Welcome Home

flight home

Denial.  I was in denial that we were actually flying back to the U.S. until about 8.5 hours into our international flight when we started making the final descent for landing.  Until that point all the craziness of travel just felt like a normal day for us going to another country…

The day started out without any sleep and the fire alarm going off in the hotel at 1:30 in the morning.  Our 6 am taxi pick up for the airport was right on time, but his clutch went out in the car.  Luckily, we were close enough to coast into the airport terminal.  Our first leg was from Dublin to London Gatwick, which went well.  Then when we arrived to the gate in London Gatwick for our flight to Orlando Jon got pulled aside and questioned by a guy in a suit, who took copious notes to all his answers.  Finally, Jon said, “I saved up money for years to come on this trip with my wife, we didn’t work, we didn’t live off your government, we are going home.”  I think you can read between the lines 😉

plane wing

After watching a ridiculous number of movies that were all new to us, I looked out the window and reality hit.  Yes, we were going to a new country.  A country that we had not stepped foot in at all this year.  And yes, that country was the U. S. of A. and instantly the tears started falling.  And I mean a full on cry.  Jon started rubbing my back as I turned into a complete mess right there on the plane.  The problem was, I was not excited to be going home because I felt like I was leaving home.  Then I had to have one of those self conversations to pull myself together…Jessica, you traveled Europe for 9 months with your husband.  You got to live your dream.  What is there to be sad about?  You are so blessed.  What an amazing year you have had, all the places, all the adventures and you got to share it with the most important person in your life.  Finally, the tears stopped and I felt a bit childish but that was the reality of it.

Then we had to go through customs State-side.  Both of us were uncertain of how being out of the country for 9 months would go over.  But at least we would be allowed in, we are citizens, right!?!  We had the luxury of going in the resident line, which didn’t have anyone in it.  Apparently, the entire plane was filled with Brits going to Disney!  We walked right up to the customs agent.  He asked, “How long were you gone?”  “9 months, sir” and his response….”Welcome, Home.” and bam, bam went the sound of the stamp back into the United States.  Not going to lie, I think we both had the biggest grins on our faces.  What a relief!

We got on the tram to get to the main airport to meet my cousin and her family that were picking us up from the airport.  As we rounded the corner we were greeted by the most enormous WELCOME HOME sign!

welcome home


I let out a scream of disbelief!  Talk about feeling special!  We couldn’t believe it!  Being welcomed back in a big way, by family we love, it doesn’t get much better than that!  I forgot about all the tears and our faces were plastered with big smiles for the rest of the night and plenty of hugs.

This next part of the journey is going to be filled with family, friends and loved ones that were with us every step of the way while we were abroad…..

Let the next adventure begin!


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