Tuesday, December 27, 2016

November 9th: This Day Will Not End

If I had known in advance how much of a drag the trip home would be, I might have just slept in and conveniently missed my flight. But all we knew at that point was that it was time to head to the airport so we checked out of The Palace, took a taxi to the airport, cleared customs, grabbed breakfast, and boarded the plane...as the presidential election results started to pour in. (And yes, Mark and I voted! We sent in our absentee ballots well before we left the US for Dubai.)

We boarded just fine, got our little goodie bags and hot towels, and took off on time. Goodbye, Dubai...I didn't want to leave, but I'll get back there again someday!

This was somewhere over Iran. It was really pretty, and very desolate...there were miles and miles of open land.

Breakfast was pretty good, so that helped pass the time a bit. The entertainment system had a couple news options, so I had them up, cycling the headlines through. It was kind of torturous to watch the headlines bounce back and forth between the two candidates.

We were over Iran for quite a while; our flight path on the way home took us way farther north than we'd flown on the way over.

We eventually did say goodbye to Iran and pass over the Caspian Sea.

Shortly after this it became clear what the election results were. Mark and I were kind of dumbfounded, and it didn't exactly put us in a better mood when a lady a few rows over started loudly cheering and squealing (waking up a number of people in the process), and eventually demanded champagne from the flight attendant. I felt like socking another lady in the row across from us who turned to her friend, wide-eyed, and said, "do you think this is because we didn't vote?". It certainly makes for a long flight when you're somewhere over Russia with no internet access and your only access to the news is the limited stuff coming in over the Reuters feed.

Thankfully lunch killed a little time. I tried to sleep a bit and couldn't, tried to edit some pictures but wasn't in the mood, and tried to watch a new movie and just didn't care. I spent a good chunk of the flight watching Disney movies and trying to forget about all of the ugliness in the world.

After what seemed like two weeks (but was really only about 13 hours), we were over Long Island and it was almost time to land.

On very short final at JFK. I'd been a little worried about connecting through here, but it turned out to be really easy. Customs was a piece of cake (though I'm sure it helps that we have Global Entry), and a short train ride later we were at the gate for our next flight with a ton of time to kill.

I spent part of the time drinking sangria and eating risotto. It was pretty good.

We still had some extra time, so we hung out around the gate until it was time to board. You could see our A380 we'd just flown in on at one of the other terminals across the ramp.

Our last flight home was short - less than an hour. I stayed awake long enough to take this picture, then was asleep almost immediately. Normally I don't sleep very well on planes, but I somehow slept straight through all the pre-landing announcements and woke up as we plopped down onto the runway at Dulles. I'd been awake for most of the past 24 hours, so I guess it shouldn't have been that big of a surprise, but I certainly wasn't expecting to wake up and basically be home. At any rate, it had been a really great trip, it was really fun to catch up with Marcus and Megan again, and I'm really grateful we got to spend some time in Dubai. I can't wait to go back! (And who knows...if the incoming administration privatizes, then contracts out, our jobs over here, maybe Mark and I will be working with Marcus again before we know it!)

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