Sigh. What an amazing trip!
Our homecoming was equally amazing.
We read on the weather before leaving South Africa that huge snowstorms were predicted for the Washington DC area for the day of our return. We were worried about our flights getting cancelled, delayed, or diverted. We boarded on time, and flew to Dakar, arriving around midnight on Saturday. The pilot announced that we had been directed to take a three-hour departure delay and that there were too many people already in the airport, therefore we needed to stay on the plane. He actually said: we would rather take the delay than be diverted.
So instead of arriving at Dulles at 6am, we arrived at 9am.
The runway was in good shape, but we drove around the airport while they kept sending us from gate to gate, trying to find an open on. See, all the morning flights had been cancelled, and the airport was jam packed. Finally off the plane, after 23 hours of sitting in the same seats, we made our way through passport control pretty easily. We then went to baggage claim and waited, and waited, and waited. A woman came on the PA and announced that the baggage handlers we're being safe in getting our luggage off the plane and to the terminal. She actually said:
As I'm sure you noticed, it's icy out there, so they are being safe.
I was very tempted to find where she was hiding behind her microphone and ask how, then, was it safe for us to LAND?!
Anyway, two hours of waiting for bags, 30 mins waiting for a cab, a snowy drive to our neighborhood, we finally made it to our street, and the cabbie asked that he drop us off on the corner and not go down the snow-lined streets.
We were both laughing as we pulled all the bags through the snow, trumped through the two-feed deep yard, walkway, and porch to get to the front door.
Of course, we didn't have a snow shovel yet... and for some reason, nor did our Chicago neighbors (?!), but they had borrowed a shovel from the guy on their other side, and he was gracious enough to let us use it too.
The dogs couldn't make it up the pile!
This is the back porch. Look how high the snow is on the railing, and on top of the Weber.
That was an entertaining homecoming!
It took a week for us to get a shovel because the stores were sold out. It took 4 days before I could take my car out because they didn't ever plow our street, and I have these performance (not all-weather) tires, so there was no way I was going to risk it!
The weather was also a good excuse to build a big fire, get the house cozy, and slowly reenter our lives.