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Thursday, August 25, 2005
Nashville... Part 4

...Sunday, the final day, dawned clear and early for we needed to get Kari to the airport in the morning for her flight. She and I cleaned out our room, and then loaded our stuff in the truck.

The ride over was filled with all sorts of fun conversation about what we had seen, and what we might see on the boards after we'd returned. I was hoping that the world would just remain the same, and thankfully - it hasn't. It's gotten warmer and more personable, probably because I have faces with the more of the names, and I have voice inflections to go with those words. It makes all the difference.

Anyway, we got Kari checked in, and then waited with her near her gate while we discussed a little bit of security regulations, and then it segued to the military, and various other related topics. Part of it was colored by the rather good looking military men walking through the airport. And they weren't necessarily part of the security staff based on the bags they had slung over their shoulders.

Anyway, we walked Kari on so that she wouldn't be late for her gate, and it was a rather tearful goodbye. She was going to miss us terribly after our four days of bonding and fun. That and she was afraid that we wouldn't like her anymore, since we'd spent time in email and IM together (with all of us together and separately) and we had to tell her that that was just silly. In all honesty, we were afraid that *she* wouldn't want to play with us anymore (that was Wendy's statement of the events, I had to borrow it for this). We all realized that we were sort of feeling the same thing of each other, at least for those of us who hadn't met before. Once Kari had dried her tears, and hugged us all, she moved on to the security lines. She put her bag up, and we all yelled "We Love You, Kari", and the people next to us said "We love you too, Kari!", and she smiled and we all waved. I could tell we slightly embarassed her.

When we got to the car, she called me - apparently TSA told her that they loved her and wished her a safe trip. As did others down the concourse. I tell ya, when we've got our minds set on it, we really have a knack for giving really good send offs.

From the airport we headed back to the hotel to finish checking out of the rooms and to head back to the mall so that Suz could pick up the puzzle that she was after. We spent a little time in the front office chatting with the woman behind the counter and made sure that the high speed internet charges were removed from the bill considering that the high speed was very much less than so. Then we headed to the mall for shopping. We found the puzzle shop and Suz had her puzzle put aside so that she could get it on the way back after we took Wendy off to the bra shop for something that would improve her posture and scare people. That mission was pretty much accomplished with something that was on sale and really impressed her with what she looked like after putting it on. We hear that her husband, Rob, was rather impressed with it too.

We grabbed a quick lunch at the food court, grabbed the puzzle and headed for the airport. We knew that this was going to be hard, considering that Wendy needed to drop us off and run, leaving Suz, Stasha and I to wander the airport, leaving on different airlines at different times. We hugged Wendy goodbye and wandered off.

After getting checked in, Stasha came and spent some time with me in the United line, since the curbside checkin lady was having a smoke break and rudely informed me of such. After we got all taken care of there, we went off to see if we could catch Suz before she went on to her security line. We found her and decided to spend some time in the rocking chairs watching the planes come in and take off and chat a bit. After an entertaining moment or two while we cleaned up the condensation off the salsa container that Stasha was bringing home, and a quick conversation with Suz's DH, I headed onto my gate. It's a good thing that I left when I did, since I had to hustle down to the gate. While I was on the people mover, and was moving at a pretty good clip myself, Wendy called to let me know that it was awfully quiet in the car, and that she'd called her DH and pulled a B (cried on the phone unintelligibly).

We chatted until I sat down by the gate, which was about one minute to boarding. I turned off my phone, and settled into my plane ride home. I felt rather... lost. I'd had a great weekend with an amazing "broad squad", and I already missed it, after 2 minutes on the plane.

The ride to Denver was uneventful except for some turbulence through a bit of a storm system, and we were left sitting on the plane for a short bit while they allowed the ground crew back outside on the tarmac so that we could disembark. After a quick run through Denver, a very fast stop at Rocky Mountain Chocolates for a treat to bring back home, I was sitting at my gate for about 5 minutes before boarding. Denver to San Jose - blissfully uneventful, other than we needed to route north of the storm. I was so happy when we touched down in San Jose only because I knew I wouldn't have to deal with any more flight delays, no sitting around and waiting for a flight that might not happen, no running across airports.

I walked down the gates towards security and called Wendy to let her know that I was home and safe. And then I started looking for DH. I scanned the airport and caught him as he stood up. After a brief hug I was tackled by two small children, and boy, but boy was B happy to see me. She wouldn't let go of me for even a second - not even while we were at baggage claim to collect my suitcase. She sat next to me at dinner at a local Mexican place where the salsa had no heat. I swear Suz's salsa ruined me (just kidding). After getting home, the presents distributed and the shower out of the way, I was beat. I fell asleep after a quick phone call with Stasha and a soft pillow while I was watching Lord of the Rings: Two Towers with DH and the kids. I outlasted B who was laying down next to me, but not by much.

Anyway, like Kari said in her blog recently recapping the trip - I feel like I made friends that will last a lifetime. It's certainly a time that I will never forget, and it wasn't even the entire group that originally was going to be with us in that little extended stay hotel that we were at. I hope that we can have the whole group together one of these days, or that I can at least meet some of the others that I haven't met yet. We'll get there... one by one. I thank my traveling companions and cohorts in crime for helping me to relax, making me laugh, and letting me just be me letting it all hang out (figuratively) for a few days. I want to thank all the TWBBers and Wagoneers that I met because now I have a face and a voice to put with your posts. I'm recharged and ready to rock and roll.

So there you have it... the long (and not short) of the Nashville trip. I *have* forgotten a few of the more memorable one liners from the trip, and I'm compiling those as I remember them. That and I have to do the audioblog of B's phone call with me after I landed in Nashville. Trust me, that's definitely something worth audioblogging - after recounting that incident to a co-worker today over the phone, he was in stitches, and I think you'll like it too. And yes, I'll list the stash and presents then too.

Until then... live well and laugh often.