Today is the last day and I have successfully blogged for 9 days straight. Winner winner, chicken dinner!
The last day was the roughest day of any day that I was in Kansas. This was the day I had to leave. I had a plane ticket for around 10:30 and was dreading every moment of getting to Wichita. We had to leave relatively early that morning and I believe it was right around sunrise. That was the first Kansas sunrise I was going to see. It was just as beautiful as the sunsets.
Excuse the dirty windshield but Marilyn and I were driving at that point! Just imagine it though; as the sun started to peek up from the ground it gave off a stunning pink and orange glow that radiated though the Kansas prairie. We stopped in Pratt to meet up with Marilyn’s daughter, Nikki, to get breakfast. At that point, hunger was not on my mind. All I wanted was to turn around and stay in Greensburg but that was not possible, no matter what. I told Marilyn, she was the first to see me cry and the last to see me cry! I do not cry much but, when I do it means there is something serious going on; or else it is lack of sleep! Marilyn had a way with words; she knew exactly what to say at that time to make me feel better.
When we got to Wichita, my stomach was in knots from sadness. I walked into the airport, checked in and started walking towards TSA. Marilyn could only go so far with me before I had to say goodbye. I watched her walk away as I was left there standing in the airport, all by myself, ready to fly 965 miles home. TSA in Wichita Intercontinental Airport was awesome. They were so nice and happy compared to TSA in Pittsburgh International Airport. As I started to walk to my gate, the thought of watching Teigan (student from KS that came to PA) run through the terminal to meet his mom after just getting to KS, was replaying in my mind.
I sat on the window ledge and watched planes come in and take off as the tears streamed down my face like a river. I am currently getting a tad teary eyed typing all of this! When they called my flight I knew it was time to just go home at that point. I was beyond sad and did not want to leave. Yep, that last sentence has me crying now! The last thing I wanted to do was sit on a plane all alone but; you know what, if I learned anything during this trip it was to be independent. I knew I could fly alone, I just did not want to get on a plane and go home.
I was on boarding group B #44. When I got on the plane I chose the last seat on the plane on the right side. I figured if I have a chance of not having anyone not sitting next to me it would be back here. Plus I would have a great spot for my carry on suitcase! I thought in my head for a while “Yes. yes. yes. Middle seat is going to be empty!!!! WOO!” I saw a man in his early twenties I would say sit down a few rows ahead of me on the other side of the plane. Guess what, when the plane started to fill up that guy moved TO MY ROW…. He was already in an empty row and he moved to my row! Then the plane filled up and this is when I got thoroughly irritated. The flight attendant pointed out the last seat in the plane; the middle seat between this guy and I. What happened next was NOT okay. The guy got up and moved to the middle seat. In my mind I was thinking “BASTARD.” Not only was he too close for comfort he was not exactly small. I soon found myself practically smashed up against the wall of the plane. Then he started talking to me which was absolutely fine. There is a certain extent to how much you should talk to a someone, that you do not know, especially after you have just stopped crying and collected yourself enough to turn your cell phone off for a few hours. Like buddy, why must you move this close to me after you moved too many times already? Do you think I look like a nice person to talk to? Do you think I am attractive because the last thing I care about is something thinking I am attractive….ever. Seriously. Just STAAAP.
Side note, I took a pretty cool aerial photo of a bunch of pivots after taking off!
It gets worse though so just wait. This flight had possibly the worst turbulence of all flights and should have made it into the Guinness World Records book for worst commercial plane turbulence to date. Every kid on the plane was crying and screaming and I am sitting there thinking I am going to die next to a creeper/stalker! At one point the plane dipped down quickly from the turbulence AND THE GUY NEXT TO ME GRABBED MY ARM AND HAND! ABSOLUTELY NOT OKAY!! Can I jump out of the plane yet? When the pilot finally said we were reaching Chicago and that we would be landing in approximately 10 minutes, I said something out loud that was honestly kind of funny. I will include a photo of my Facebook status too! I could not wait to get away from this guy next to me either! If flying does not scare you this should!
I had a layover in Chicago for an hour and I had enough time to buy my sister the t-shirt she desperately wanted. Her goal is to have a t-shirt from every major city. So of course, I did the nice sisterly thing and got her one in Chicago and Wichita. All I wanted was Chick-Fil-A and I wasn’t about to eat anything but that. I was waiting until I got home to get it! I think I may have gotten a smoothie but that was it!
I quickly learned that our flight was overbooked and Southwest was offering a free voucher to anyone willing to switch to a later flight that evening. I met a business man who was going to miss a conference meeting in Pittsburgh if he did not get on the flight. I almost offered my ticket to him because, I wanted that free voucher for a trip back to Kansas, but I never offered. I just wanted to go home and get back to my life at home. My flight to Pittsburgh was fine and my phone was near dead at this point. I failed to charge it at Chicago! Once we were off I of course took photos before I turned it off to save the battery!
That skyline is amazing right!! Chicago was awesome and I really would love to see it with my two feet on the ground someday!
When I landed in Pittsburgh I knew my dad was on one side of the airport subway and my mom was on the other. I think my parents were overjoyed to have me home again but I cannot say I had the same feelings about being home. It was great to see my parents but not great to see the Steel City again. The only thing I had on my mind was food and I had to settle for fast food because I was beyond starving! I am not a fast food eater so when I eat it I am more than desperate!
This was the end of a beautiful and life changing adventure. An adventure that made me happier than I have ever been before. Since I was there, I have never felt that level of happiness again and I really do not think I will until I return back. Until then, I have to keep this chapter of my life open but start a new one at the same time. A year later, I am still in love just as much as I was with it when I got there close to midnight that first night.
Stay tuned until tomorrow for my final thoughts on this entire trip and more! Plus a sneak peek on what I will be blogging about from now on!