No, this was not a soft Landing. I had grand ideas for a series of posts laying out my travels and love affair with Australia. I wanted to convey my sheer delight of the trip in sequential order, very neat and tidy and organized. All the things experience and learned along the way. How I’ve been changed yet again in the best possible way.
I thought I’d have more time to savor the journey. But what I faced when I returned had to be addressed i.e. purged from my angry little fingers, lest I be incapable of capturing the raw glory that is OZ. To detail in print all the reasons I’d like to get right back onto a plane today and take off again this second. (No. Really. Like NOW!)
My mother actually forbids I move there. This shows how worried she is, and with good reason. I told her my high school friend, Supernova, was already plotting my emigration visa qualification status. My mother asked for her email, to nip it in the bud.
Somewhere mid Pacific my right foot and ankle had begun to swell something fierce. Of course I’d forgotten to put on my compression socks and the seat belt sign was up most of the time. That meant not much moving about the cabin.
By the time I arrived in Honolulu I was completely sore. Immediately I hit the beach and traipsed around town ignoring my foot. By evening I could barely walk. I filled the hotel tub up with cold water and soaked my paws, then slept with my legs propped up on pillows hoping to effect some change.
It was to no avail. By my 5 am shuttle pickup it was really bad. I considered getting a wheelchair at the airport at TR’s suggestion. (Note to self: the Honolulu airport is sprawling. Keep with one airline. There is a huge expanse between International and domestic.) Then my gate got changed after my arrival and I had to walk from Gate 27 to 33. Not far right? Wrong. I’d say four football fields at least, maybe the other side of the island. Okay, perhaps my foot was really bothering me and making me a wee bit overly dramatic but this is my story, I’ll recall it as I wish.
Now that I was on US soil I called people to touch in while awaiting boarding. I shared my leg debacle. My mom of course worried I had blood clots. “This happens to people when they fly long distances and your body has been through a lot lately”. Fuck me! Now I was worried about clots.
So I made the executive decision to pay $300 and get my seat from Honolulu to LA upgrade to first class. I knew I could use the leg room. This time I made sure to wear the compression socks and soaked up all the luxury Hawaiian air had to offer. (It was worth every last penny.)
I felt a wee bit better and the swelling was decreased by the time I reached LA. Of course this is another airport where you don’t want to have to change airlines. Next time I’ll be taking the Hawaiian flight direct to Seattle, none of this changing in LA Crap. Again it was a hike. And to boot I had to exit the gate and then reenter screening for the next gate and flight out. Yep, go through the screening process all over again.
Can you guess what that meant? I had a full water bottle in my bag I didn’t drink on the plane. I forgot all about it. So when my bag went through the X-ray I had fluids that had to be checked. I thought about just giving them my glass water bottle to keep. But the TSA agent assured me she would move me back to the front of the line. I had an hour and half so why not. So again I went through the X-ray machines. I seriously fear I’m going to start to glow. If I don’t still have cancer then all this scanning may give some.
I called a few more friends while waiting to board the plane to Seattle. Looking around the airport for all the handsome men I once had readily in my field of vision. No such luck.
We all know vacation doesn’t last forever. Eventually we have to return home, to reality and all that it entails. To everything we were running away from and trying to escape to begin with. But I planned to hold on to the revelry of sunrise beach walks, time with TR and her boys, Noicy Nights and all the fantastic that encompasses OZ.
I was pleasantly surprised when DT² and PRPSA picked me up at the airport together. Seeing them was fabulous. I’d almost forgot how fun my zany friends are. They were having a go at one another per usual. PRPSA explained that DT² was annoyed with him for being in a mood.
“And then she got upset with me at Starbucks.”
“When did I get upset?”
“When I offered to pay for the coffee because I owe you.”
“Owe me? You don’t OWE me anything.”
“You’ve paid the last three times it was my chance to offer something up. I actually had the cash in my pocket.”
“So our friendship is about money.”
“No, but I thought it was my turn. That I owed you something in return.”
“Look, don’t tell a Jew you owe them. If you really owed them, then they’d want it back with compounded interest.”
“So shall I give you a pound of flesh as well?”
“No thanks, I already have plenty.”
I bust out laughing, as did they. I missed these rebel rousers and the banter. Still feeling far away it was a fond reminder of what I love about home. (We are planning on starting a Vlog very soon).
Next I shared photos from my trip. DT² nearly drove off the road a few times. I don’t know what I was thinking flashing all that beauty in the car. I began discussing the wonders of Australian Men. Legs and thighs Oh my!
“Nothing like being hung like an Aussie!” PRPSA himself is a self-proclaimed size queen. We all agreed that “There are a multitude of character flaws that can be ignored if a man is big enough.” So apparently size really does matter. Sorry guys.
“Well, this is my first one night stand, ever. I’m not wired for them.”
“That IS a problem” DT² commiserated.
“I want MORE! Whoever said you can have too much of a good thing was full of shit. Oh God, I’ve become stereotypical American girl abroad.”
“Why?” PRPSA inquired. “I always hook up when traveling.”
“Yes” DT² and I replied in unison.” That’s because you’re an American Girl!”
We said our goodbyes, vowing to meet up later in the week. Lugging my bags I found my way inside. It was rounding 10PM.
I couldn’t wait to crawl into bed, close my eyes and hear the ocean waves. To pull the covers tight, dive in and swim the edge of the reef’s clear blue waters. I had to be at work at 7am, was exhausted and in pain. All I wanted was to lie down and dream.
I turned the knob to my apartment and came face to face with a ransacking. I no longer worried about not being able to put clean sheets on the bed before leaving. My apartment was in disarray.
While I was away you might recall they were doing the Asbestos Abasement on my apartment. I had received an email from the building manager to let her know if things did not get put back where they belonged. So I had a heads up to some mayhem. But this? I couldn’t figure out if ANYTHING was put back in place.
My stuff was piled up and pushed to the far side of the apartment. My bed propped on the walls- half in the bedroom, the other have in the living room. There was dust all over the floor and floorboards. A window blind was broken. And part of the new insulation in the kitchen was already peeling back.
So there I stood realizing I’d have to sleep elsewhere. My foot was still swollen since gimping off the plane. I pondered talking myself to the emergency room versus more ice and propping it up. Perhaps it could wait for my pre-op appointment the following afternoon. I realize I’d be seeing the colon doc but he might have an opinion about the severity of the ankle, whether or not I need to worry about it.
The next morning I arose early to head to the office, drove along the water’s edge. I’d vowed not to let go of the beauty of vacation, of noticing and enjoying life. So I pulled over and took in the sunrise. This had been my morning vacation ritual after all.
I was humbled. Reminded why Seattle is one of my favorite places on the planet. But we know that OZ and the Emerald City go hand in hand after all.
My work day was rough. There was a ton to do upon my return and as the nature of my job goes I spend the good part of my morning trouble shooting issues with our portfolio tracking software created by the server change that took place while I was away. Technology makes me nutty.
In the afternoon I went to my pre-op appointment and the consensus was made that Deep Vein Thrombosis i.e. blood clots in my leg would need to be ruled out. So I was sent for an ultrasound.
Now I have to go back to do my pre-surgery bloodwork and EKG another day. It looks like next week I’ll be going to surgery. But until then I plan on taking in the sunrises/sunsets, enjoying my nutty friends and dreaming sweetly of azure blue no matter what the universe throws my way.