Monday, February 28, 2011

From Home to Home

The other day Gary said, " Jimmy took me to a restaurant that tasted just like the food at home."

That's what we thought of Malaysia...HOME!

Even though America will always be where we were born and raised and hold that special place in our heart, we do feel that Malaysia felt like home.  The way we were welcomed into that country is indescribable.  I was given a book entitled "Honk if your Malaysia."  My mom has borrowed it since she is a much faster reader than I am, but I had skimmed through it and one of the chapter titles was something about the hospitality and I'm here to tell you that Malaysians know hospitality!!! 

Anyway, this post is supposed to be about the traveling from Malaysia to America.

As many of you know, Gary and I didn't arrive in KL together, therefore, our flights returning to America were different as well.  Even though we set to depart 5 minutes apart from each other Gary wasn't scheduled to arrive in Nashville until 4:30pm on Saturday Feb. 19th because he had a 14 hour layover in LA (gag me!). 

Saturday morning (Malaysia time, it was Friday night in America) we woke up, went to our last breakfast in the Sheraton, finished packing, and then just relaxed until our friend Steven Shee came to pick us up for one final lunch and drive us to the airport.  Steven took us to eat off banana leaves, because seriously where in Nashville, TN can you do that?  A sad, but quick goodbye at the airport and the journey back to the states began.  My co-worker, Jonathan, and I had found out the week before that we were on the same flights ALL the way!!  Thank goodness I didn't have to fly solo again!

Gary's flight was scheduled to take off at 4:45pm and mine and Jonathan's at 4:50pm.  Jonathan hadn't eaten lunch so we got him some food and did a little last minute shopping before departure.  Gary and I have officially decided that afternoon flights are by far THE BEST!!  You get to sleep in and take your time getting ready, granted if you did most of your packing before last minute.

Our first flight was from KL to New Dehli and Gary's was from KL to Hong Kong.  Our flight took 5 hours and 30 minutes and Gary's took 3 hours and 45 minutes.  Our 2nd flight was from New Delhi to Chicago and it took 15 hours and 35 minutes.  Gary's 2nd flight was from Hong Kong to LA and it took 14 hours and 30 minutes.  Our 3rd flight was from Chicago to Nashville and it took 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Gary was supposed to have a 14 hour and 30 minute layover in LA, but he got put on stand-by and ended up leaving earlier.  He had to stop by Dallas and he actually ended up getting back to Nashville 30 minutes after us!!  So, what we thought was going to be a long day of going to the airport twice turned into a long day of one airport trip!  Let me just repeat that it was a LONG day!!  I think Gary and I both only slept for a couple of hours on our flights.  I guess it was the anxiety of the long flight and getting to come home to see everyone.  Like I said before, Gary and I have traveled around the world!  Thank you we will take our award now please!

Side note: We had to walk outside in Chicago to get on our plane and it was the first time in 6 months...actually longer than that because it was warm when we a year that I had seen my breath when I breathed (not sure if that is the correct grammer, but you get what I mean).  Needless to say, I was freezing and on top of that I didn't have my sweatshirt on my body, but in my bag.  Also, I had to leave my rolly suitcase to be put on the bottom and stupid me wasn't prepared for all of that so I had to stand outside in the cold and put the tags and stuff on.  Don't worry I took time before all of that to throw my sweatshirt on.  I think my teeth were chattering for half of the flight though.

Jonathan and I arrived in Nashville at about 8:30am February 19th.  When we came out from the gate, there were about 20 people there cheering and clapping with signs yelling for me!  It was a great moment and yes we did get it on video, THANK YOU RACHEL!!!  I plan to put a little video together, but remember I'm SUPER busy so who knows it might be a year before that gets done.  As we were wrapping all the hugs and such everyone started saying we better hurry to get to Gary's gate....wait what??????!!!  That's right, Gary ended up getting back 30 minutes after me instead of 4:30 that afternoon!  It was a major blessing!  All of our bags didn't show up so we trusted that the airport would take care of delivering them to our house and they did a great job!  Everything got there safe and sound the next day!

We went to eat at Cracker Barrell for our first meal back with everyone that was at the airport.  It was a little hard to get to talk to everyone, but it was sooo much fun!  I definitly enjoyed the pork bacon!!  We went to see Gary's grandfather in the hospital and he was actually getting discharged that afternoon, but since he lives in Pulaski it worked out he was in Nashville.  It was good to see him and we can't wait to get down to Pulaski to spend more time with him Christine.  I got my hair cut, just trimmed, so not much different, but man did it feel great.  I think we started unpacking our boxes that we took to our parent's houses while our renter lived in our house, but everthing seems to be a little fuzzy from that day and the couple days that followed...oh yeah because I was a little sick and slept A LOT!!!! 

Being back has been GREAT!!!  I got back to work with no major issues.  I did forget a few things so I will have to have some refresher courses.  Going back to Highland has been so much fun.  You might remember that I was nervous about going back to the big church, but I have loved being back at our home congregation!  You should have seen me last night, I was just holding one baby after another!!  It was the life!! 

We celebrated Christmas with my mom's side of the family yesterday and it was awesome!!!  It seriously felt just like Christmas and my grandmother is amazing!!  We had all the same foods, everyone was there, my aunt kept her tree up, and it was incredible.  I really felt like it was december and Santa had just traveled the world the night before!  Thanks Grandmother, Mom, Aunt Kecia, and the rest of my wonderful family for making my Christmas feel sooooooo real!!!  Yes, there will be a blog post about that later.

We still have 2 more Christmases to celebrate and one Thanksgiving!!

Happy Holidays,


Juliane McCorkle said...

Yay! I'm so glad you are enjoying your time at home, but we understand what you mean when you say Malaysia is home. We feel like China is home. And we are on the same page with you guys about afternoon flights too! You get home at bedtime so it's nice you don't have to stay up a whole day before going to bed! Better (nothing's perfect) on the jet lag!

nat said...

Good post. Glad you all arrived safe and sound and how lucky that your flights arrived only 30 minutes apart - that was a blessing. I look forward to reading about your holidays!

Anonymous said...

I am so very glad you are back home and everything worked out smoothly with your flights and arrival times!! Can't wait to spend more time together!!