Well, we made it back in one piece. Despite nearly missing our flight in Iowa (icy roads made our drive a bit longer than usual and the guy who was checking me into the flight was s-l-o-w!) and being delayed over an hour in Phoenix, we made it. Nathaniel fell asleep in the car before we even made it out of the parking garage and I'm ready to hit it myself.
I was so sad to leave Iowa and my family. I had a twinge of regret as I sat on the plane in Des Moines, wishing that I had just moved back home after everything to wait out this deployment. But, I know I'm here in Cali for a reason, and I love the people here so much that I would soon get bored in Iowa without my friends and "family" out here.
I have a lot of pictures to post and some fun stories to share, but those will have to wait. I will say that one of the highlights from this trip was seeing everyone and observing how much people have grown up the past ten years. From my friend Ben who is currently receiving stem cells as an effort to save his life from cancer to my friend Emery who is expecting his first child with his wife, everyone has changed so much, but we are all able to get together and just relax for a few hours.
I do have to say that U.S. Airways sucks butt. They put me in an Exit row for both of my flights today and on the second flight separated Nathaniel and I. When I asked the people at the counter to change my seat for me they told me they couldn't and that the flight attendants would have to do it. That's fine, but then the flight attendants told me that the people at the counter should have done it. I was moved just fine, but the people who were shifted were so mad at me for taking their seats. One guy leaned into me, pointed at Nathaniel and said, "He's in my seat!" and was upset when I explained the mix-up. I would have been grateful to have gotten rid of the center seat for an aisle seat in an Exit row, think about the leg room! Not to mention that beverages are no longer complimentary on U.S. Air and as we were taxi-ing to our gate in Santa Ana the pilot literally slammed on the brakes and turned sharply because he nearly missed his turn. Egad!
But, now it is late enough for me to go to bed! Good night. I will update more later. I miss the quietness of the country...