Airports to me signify two things – happiness and sadness. When I’m at an airport I’m usually either jumping on a plane home to see friends and family, which of course makes me super excited. Picking somebody up who has flown in to visit, again, super exciting. Or there’s the departures area which usually involves a heck of a lot of tears and sadness as goodbyes are said.
This past couple of weeks has seen me experience both those airport feelings. Just over a week ago my best friend Clare came to stay for a week with her little girl, also known as Lily, my goddaughter. As you can imagine my level of excitement for this trip was off the scale! It was her first trip out here since we moved as last year she was either preggers or had a new baby – not the best way to travel trans-atlantic! The poor German had to deal with a countdown for weeks, which then turned into days which eventually turned into hours. He was off work so came with me to the airport where I couldn’t keep still in excitement, waiting for those two beautiful ladies to walk through the doors and when they did I sprinted towards them, started crying and gave them a big hug! Happy days and happy tears – I love the arrivals lobby!
Once we’d stopped crying (Clare and I, not the German or Lily!), Lily had realized what was going on (she’s 14 months old and had just got off the longest flight of her life!) and the German had organized his new hareem of girls, we quickly headed home to start one of the best weeks in America so far! We hit up the playground on numerous occasions which Lily loved, went shopping which Lily pretty much hated and were ladies what lunched.
We went to a cabin in the mountains for the weekend with the German, did some bear spotting but failed, relaxed in a hot tub, explored Blue Ridge and Ellijay and tucked into smores. We went to an apple festival and attempted to go apple picking but the weather soon put paid to that, stupid rain.
We went to the zoo and checked out the animals. Fearless Lily went straight into the petting area and made friends with some goats – Aunty Rachel unsurprisingly stayed well clear of that endeavor! It would appear Lily is a massive animal lover, just like her mum! I also taught Lily what a gorilla does to add to her repertoire of animal noises – good work Aunty Rachel!
We took Lily to her first pumpkin patch where some of the orange wonders were nearly as big as her! She wasn’t too down with sitting amongst the pumpkins and staying still for a picture but we managed to capture some whilst she was on the move! We picked out a beauty that I’ve since made into some tasty soup and Lily came away with a mini pumpkin of her own, which is also in the soup pot as she couldn’t really take it back on the plane.
We had massive best friend catch ups, drank some wine and gossiped just like the old days. It’s probably the most time we’ve spent together non-stop since we last went on holiday together at the tender age of 18 and it was bloody brilliant. But, last Thursday, all good things had to come to an end and we had to go to the place I dread the most – airport departures.
Saying goodbye to loved ones is the WORST thing about living in America. I literally hate it. The thought of heading to the airport fills me with sadness, especially when you realize it will be a long time until you see these people again. As the day wears on I can feel the sadness at the thought of heading to the airport starting. The car journey is usually pretty quiet and once we get to check-in I’m usually silent. Then comes the actual moment when it’s time to head to security and you have to say goodbye.
I try to be strong but sometimes it just doesn’t work, like when Clare left the other day. I knew the tears would be flowing, they nearly were when I thought about it in the afternoon when we were at the playground. As soon as the hugging started the tears were flowing, like full on flowing, from both of us. We must have looked pretty bad because one woman actually asked us if we were ok! I
hate having to say goodbye and knowing that we won’t be able to have a coffee together or explore a playground until at least Christmas. I hate not seeing them both for months, by the time I see Lily again she’ll probably be so much bigger and chatting away. I feel like I miss out on so many things and this does make me sad. I called the German whilst I was driving home and had tears streaming down my cheeks, so much so they were practically dripping off the bottom of my chin, oh what a pretty picture I paint for you guys! When the German walked in the house I burst into tears, so upset at the thought of not seeing Clare and Lily for over 2 months.
But, that’s the price you pay for being an expat. I knew this would happen when I agreed to come and live out here. It’s just something you have to deal with. Yes, I miss all my friends and family lots but, being here with the German is what I chose to do. Things do go on without me back home, but thanks to the joys of social media, FaceTime and WhatsApp I’m kept in the loop, and when I do see people again, it’s like we’ve never been apart.
It’s just those blummin goodbyes that I hate.