Arriving Back in San Francisco
03.01.2007 - 04.01.2007 4 °C
After more than six months on the road, we left London on the 3rd of January headed "home" to San Francisco. We were excited to be headed back, but it could hardly be called "home" given that we were returning to no more than a five foot by eight foot storage unit with all our worldy belongings and a PO Box crammed full of unsolicited credit card offers.
We were convinced, however, that forces were conspiring to keep us in London. First, our taxi didn't show up to take us to Heathrow, resulting in a frantic dash across - or should I say under - London. On the bright side, we were too stressed to be sad about the end of our trip, but arriving at Heathrow with forty minutes ahead of an international flight isn't to be recommended. Suffice to say I almost concluded the trip by getting arrested for being a little too enthusiastic with my 'encouragement' for progress in the security line. But the real tragedy was that I didn't have any time for a final English Breakfast or to stock up on the British chocolates and biccies that will prove all too elusive back in the US.
Having made it to the gate in time (just), the conspiracy to keep us on the road just seemed to deepen when our 747 was grounded for almost two hours pending technical faults. Frankly, this plane seemed to have so many faults, we thought twice about staying on it - but in the event our 11 hour flight passed without incident.
Final Destination: San Francisco
I couldn't help but smile when we stepped back onto American soil. Excited about what lay ahead? Of course. Pleased that we'd soon find ourselves in the same bed for more than two nights? Definitely. Content about having to worry less about tap water, ice and ice cream? Yup. Delirious about the prospect of being reunited with my cat? Absolutely!
Lloyd's good friend, Dave, who has supported us in innumerable ways during our exodus was generous with his time - once again - and met us at the airport. If you have to return to the real world after an adventure like ours, then it's definitely better if you have a friendly face to console you in the arrival lounge.
For too many kindnesses to mention: thanks, Dave!
The weather wasn't quite as friendly and it quickly became clear that we were lucky to have landed in San Francisco at all - indeed, later flights were diverted as a ferocious storm moved through the entire Bay Area. Not quite the California sunshine we had been looking forward to! Smarter souls would stay indoors on a day like today, but Dave braved the storm to drive us the hour or so down to our until-last-June-home-town of Los Gatos.
Before I could be reunited with my cat, Lloyd had to be reunited with his baby. Would she reject him after being abandoned for six months? Would she hold it against him that he hadn't so much as let her stretch her legs during all that time? Nope! She purred right into action, with only one low tyre to show for six months in solitary confinement.
Lloyd reunited with his baby, on the left. On the right, checking to see if our worldly belongings survived...
And reunited with my baby.
So - what's next for us? Well, Lloyd goes immediately back to work, and I start looking for my next opportunity. In the meantime, we need to find somewhere to live and - most importantly - settle back into real life. It'll be interesting to see how smooth - or otherwise - this adjustment is. We'll keep posting from time to time to let you know! And now the work begins of reviewing all the photos and videos of the trip, so you can expect some lists of favourite and least favourite things too.