At 3:00AM my alarm sounded and I slept through it.
I woke up at 4:00AM in a panic. But, then, realized that I had set my alarm far too early to begin with because I am crazy when I travel. So, I got up and took a quick shower before making sure that, once again, everything was ready to go for my trip.
Lars lay in bed, watching me as if I were a crazy person, and, in some ways, I was. But, everything that needed to be done had been done. And, if it hadn’t, it was too late now.
We brewed a pot of coffee and sat out on my back stoop smoking cigarettes together. My suitcases and bags packed, zipped, and ready just inside the door.
Then, Lars helped me load my bags into his van, and I kissed my sweet cat goodbye.
The sky was still dark as we drove to PDX for my flight which left at 6:55AM.
Lars drove calmly and, I sat, figiting in the passenger’s seat. Ready for my adventure, but, knowing that 18+ hours of air travel and layovers lay ahead of me. I was ready, but, I was anxious too.
As we took the exit ramp for the airport from the highway, I felt the surge of adrenaline. The day had come. It had seemed like it wouldn’t at all, and now, it suddenly felt as if it had come too soon. That fear. That unknown feeling, excitement and dread combining to create something new and strange.
I hugged and kissed Lars goodbye at the curbside drop-off before I headed to the designated smoker’s area. There, I sucked down cigarettes until I felt sick. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to have another one until I stood on Irish soil.
Check-in, bag check, security check. Check. Check. Check.
I got to the gate where I called my mother to wish her a happy Mother’s Day. And then, off to the kiosk to purchase water and in-flight snacks.
Then, the loud speaker. Time to board.
I threw my bag over my shoulder, and, clutching my passport and boarding pass walked up to the gate.
It’s time for my great adventure to begin…