Monday, July 21, 2008

bittersweet surprises

I always love being with family on both sides of the ocean, but sometimes it's really difficult to feel that I am leaving one home behind, not to mention the people. The only redeeming part is leaving the hugs and tears and entering the arms of loved ones. It also shows me what it really means to miss someone, which only makes me appreciate them more. Never in my life did I expect to put my emotions through this roller coaster, but I can't really complain when I know that I am so fortunate to be traveling out of love.

With that being said, Stefan and I planned a little surprise... I booked a flight home on Friday and came to surprise my Dad for his birthday. After starting an early morning today (4am!) Stefan drove me to the airport and reassured me that missing each other wouldn't be nearly as difficult as it was when we had to spend months apart. It never gets easier, but it is nice to have a definitive date to be back together. I boarded my flight with stops in Amsterdam and Detroit before finally arriving in Cincinnati. (The photo is of the Allianz arena while we were driving past early this morning in Munich).

One of my favorite aspects of traveling (besides making people happy by gracing them with my arrival) is the whole airport culture: watching people, observing different cultures, hearing different languages, and finding small things to appreciate while the world rushes by.

I was so happy to stop over at the Detroit Metro Airport's McNamara Terminal. There is a walk way with changing lights, calming music, and it's simple soothing, relaxing, and invigorating all at the same time. I typically stroll along and then walk back and admire the lights once more. I wouldn't recommend this tunnel to people that are epileptic - it may be a bit much, but I love flying through Detroit - it's modern, efficient, and going through customs is no nonsense. The light tunnel never hurts to kill time either.

So on to the surprise... my sister and Mom greeted me at the airport and drove me home. My Dad was already home, but I could tell it took a few minutes for it to register that I was really there... and then came an enormous smile and hug. He said my uncle was just asking him the other day if he thought I would make it home for his birthday to which he responded he 'didn't expect me to make it home for a long time.' It is really nice to be able to surprise people and do something fun.

It's also very nice to see my dog again, and to try on the loads of clothing I've ordered over the last few months. Now I have things that I like and don't have to spend my time shopping - (OK, as much time as I would have).

I may even have another fun surprise or two coming this week! I'm already excited to share those.

As a side note, I am not sure how many photos I'll be posting during my visit, because I left my Mac in Munich. 'Weißey', as Stefan calls it, will be entertaining him with slingbox and my video chats while I'm away.


andrea said...

I'm so glad you made it home safely and it was a good surprise! Hope your dad has/had a great birthday!

Caitlin said...

I'm so glad you went. I teared up reading this post and thinking about your dad...I don't even know your dad! I hope you have a wonderful time back deserve it!

Emily said...

Thanks so much! His birthday is tomorrow. I have a fun gift for him, which of course I will post photos of.

You're too sweet! It was funny when we were eating dinner (Panera, of course) and he just kept starring at me and said it took a bit for it to sink it. Let me know if there is anything you need me to bring back / send to you!

MBQ said...

Yay I love when you're back on this side of the ocean, even if I don't get to see you. And you never told me about this blog missy, so you better expect that I'll be reading it every day. :)

Bluefish said...

Have a good time at home. It's always nice to see family and friends after a long time.

I work at an airport and the whole airport culture drives me nuts. I have countless stories about passengers and I think I can write a novel about it. As a matter of fact, I sometimes document the nasty encounters that I had.

Have a great time in America!

Jelena and Mark said...

Have a great time with your family and friends! Glad you made it there safely and enjoyed the trip!

Jelena and Mark said...

Have a great time with your family and friends! Glad you made it there safely and enjoyed the trip!