My flight from Newark to Austin was delayed. Nothing unusual for travel but inconvenient nonetheless. I sat at gate C133 until an email informed me of yet another delay along with a gate change. As I walked to the new gate my body ached from the two bags weighing down upon my shoulders and the plastic bag with cake pans I was carrying. Somehow I would have to figure out how to travel with less.
At gate C107 I waited for ten minutes before deciding to walk across the way to the duty free shop. I browsed the large chocolate bars as I was hungry though at a price of $17 per bar I decided to stay hungry for a while longer. I walked through Hudson's bookstore knowing I would not buy any more books but needing to pass time in a way better than simply sitting at the gate.
Aware of the time left until departure, I walked back towards the gate looking for a place to charge my phone. I found an open area of tables and chairs with iPads available for use. There was also an option to order food from nearby restaurants. I ordered what I usually order whilst waiting in Newark. The falafel sandwich from Flora Café.
As I waited for my pita sandwich to arrive, I played solitaire on the iPads at the table. I was tired and simply wanted to get to Austin. Sooner rather than later. I already knew I would arrive too late to Skype with my boyfriend but at least we had the chance to text and talk on the phone.
My seat on the plane was changed due to the change in aircraft. Technical problems with the original airplane was the cause of the delay as we all waited for another airplane to arrive from elsewhere. I sat in my window seat next to a 4-year old girl named Wesley and her father. They were traveling from Manhattan to visit family for Thanksgiving.
The girl was spunky and chatty for a 4-year old. At one point I pulled away towards the window as the girl's rainbow candy cane crossed into my seat. Her father apologised and took it away. Later when we landed he thanked me for 'putting up' with them. I told him I have three of my own not much older than his daughter.
I asked the girl's father how often they fly as it seemed his daughter was quite used to traveling. He told me they get out of the city at least six times a year as they have no yard for her and her 7-year old brother to play in. Wesley kept busy during the flight watching movies on her iPad and scrolling through family photos. All the while I kept thinking how great an impact environment has on a child's upbringing as growing up in New York is quite different than being raised in a place such as Austin.
As we approached Austin I texted Mario letting him know I would soon be landing. He was already home from work and wished to Skype as I walked towards the baggage carousel. Instead, we talked and texted as I simply wanted to get home. Travel takes a toll on both the mind and body particularly if you have been away for a month.
I arrived home by 20,00h and went to bed two hours later. This morning I awoke early and chatted with Mario before he left for work. Afterwards I drove to my usual three grocery stores to restock the refrigerator and cross off the other errands on my to-do list which included getting my mail at the post office I put on hold for the past month. The return to my life in Austin has begun once again as I continue to wait for the time Mario will join me on this continent.