(We left NYC on March 28th)
It was great to end our trip in New York amongst family members. Although we had been treated very well by all our hosts around the world, nothing really compares with family. We started the trip out seeing family in California and then in Hawaii (Dave’s second cousins Kathleen and Jean-Paul) and ended it with family in New York (Julianne, Valerie, Bill and Susan). It really made us feel like we were coming home.
So after a 4:00 AM wake-up call we were out in front of Bill and Susan’s place ready for our ride to the airport. Luckily we were still on London time, so it did not feel all that early to us. Bill, of course, saw us off from the front steps.
Caleb managed to find the latest Garth Nix book at the airport, so he had some reading material for the flight home. Also note the little mouse on his lap: it was one of the toys he got at FAO Schwarz.
6 hours later we were back in the Northwest, although it was Seattle, not Portland, where we first landed. The flight was on time and we relaxed most of the way, although everyone was excited about getting home. From Seattle it was only 45 minutes by plane to Portland, but it was on a small commuter plane, which have never been popular with Meta. But her time travelling in much riskier conveyances seems to have given her a different perspective and she did not mind the flight at all.
We were picked up at the airport by Anna’s kindergarten teacher, Sasha Etzel. There was no one else at the airport to meet us; we had been hoping for a crowd. But it was fantastic to be home and the weather was clear and bright. It was wonderful to see Sasha’s smiling face (and big car with seatbelts!) and we talked and laughed all the way home. It was about 2:30 in the afternoon when we pulled up to our house (school was still in session next door at Cedarwood).
As we drove up we could tell something was brewing from the huge signs all over our house.
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Out in front of the house were at least 30 kids and adults from the school that all screamed as if we were the Beatles as we drove up.
We were mobbed once we got out of the car

And the fourth graders picked up Caleb and carried him around like a hero coming home
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After the cheering stopped Ms. Abi-Nader led the class in their goodbye song.
It was a truly wonderful greeting that we will never forget. It was great to be back home!

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