And I'm home! It was quite an eventful trip home, so we'll start there.
I left for the airport in Santiago the prescribed three hours in advance. Why do they tell you to arrive so early to the airport, when the planes never leave on time? Our almost 11 hour flight to Toronto was delayed for the most ridiculous reason. Apparently the air space over Lima was being used for something and we had to wait for them to finish. I'm sorry, what?!?
Air Canada made up for it by having those nice-ish chairs on the airplane with individual tvs. It's worth noting that I saw the WORST movie to watch on an airplane: Contagion. In case you haven't seen it, it's about a disease (basically avian/swine/elephant/porcupine flu on steroids) that spreads all across the globe, killing millions of people. Great. There I was, sitting in a metal tube, inhaling recirculated air, watching a movie about a killer airborne virus. Wonderful.
Okay, back to the delay. We arrived in Toronto around 7am. My connecting flight to Newark departed at 8:30am. Even with over an hour, I still missed my flight. For whatever reason, those of us entering the US had to retrieve our luggage before entering customs (all things I thought I would be doing in Newark). There was a large group of us who all missed our connections due to the fact that most of the luggage was delayed. Thankfully, I was able to get on a 12pm flight.
I was not the only one flying from Santiago to Newark that day. I joined forces with another American named Alexandra, who works as an English teacher in Santiago. After receiving a double dose of politeness, the guy behind the ticket counter felt compelled to bump us up to executive class and give us meal vouchers. Not too shabby!
After another delay, we finally arrived in New Jersey around 3pm. Only 5ish hours after we were supposed to arrive. It was nice to finally see my mom and Joe again, with a Dunkin Donuts bag in hand. Having left a country where it was 90-plus degrees, I was shockingly underdressed for the 40 degree weather that was waiting for me.
It's only taken me a few days to get used to the weather. And the fact that it's almost pitch black outside by 4:30pm. These past few days have been filled with reunions with family, friends, and Jeff Probst.
And today I had my first sensory overload while shopping at Walmart. The checkout line alone made me feel like Augustus Gloop inside Wonka's factory. They've certainly come out with many new candy bars since I left 15 months ago. Good thing I have two months to try them all.