Travel Date: Tuesday, June 3 2014

I awake to no alarm clock and I frantically look for my iPhone because I am worried that I missed plane. I blindly feel for the iPhone on my backpack and grab it and bring it to my face staring at the time.

Whew. I got up 15 minutes early to the alarm. Funny how your body knows when to wake you up when you really have to be somewhere.

I get out of bed and pack my stuff. Check out and walk to the train station, and get to the airport. The airport is confusing, and I’m not sure which terminal I should be in, so after some re-discovery I finally get to the correct terminal and get my tickets.

Get to my boarding gate after a game of 500 security questions with the Madrid Airport security (exaggeration). And I am ready for America.

I get on the plane and take my window seat. 8-9 hour trip from Madrid to Atlanta. And then a 1 hr trip from Altanta, Georgia to Roanoke, Virginia. Travel time doesn’t bother me. Not getting a window seat does. This big 5 year old is very happy.

My aisle buddy is wonderful and friendly and we hit it off. But for most of the time I am watching movies on the plane, sleeping and drinking lots of unhealthy soda. Yes it is my vice. Finally about 1-2 before we arrive I noticed the plane on the TV is above the coast so I open the window, and behold the beautiful Virginia coastline.

We arrive in Atlanta on time and I am excited to see the plane that is going to take me home … or so I think.

We get on board and we are delayed. Almost an hour passes by and we finally are next in line on the runway. The pilot starts the acceleration and then I notice as we start to pick up speed we slow down rapidly, and detour away from the runaway. WHAT???

Apparently the steering on the plane was off and the pilot pulled over to have it inspected. 20 minutes later, we are told that we are going to be taken back to the terminal. There is a mixture of grumpiness and frustration. I am happy because we still have our lives. Things could have been horrible if we did take off with a bad steering wheel.

40 minutes later at the terminal we are told that we are going to board a new aircraft, and 1 hour later we are off on the plane heading to Roanoke, Virginia. YES!

On the plane my seat partner notices a beautiful circular rainbow above the clouds. Perhaps this is why we delayed – rationalizing the delay. It is a wonderful site to see and I’ve never see a circular rainbow before.

As we land the sun is beginning to set in Roanoke behind the mountains so there is some beauty to witness. Perhaps this is why we delayed – rationalizing the delay again.

Finally I am picked up at the airport by my dear friend Jason. What a wonderful guy! He takes me to downtown Roanoke and he treats me to dinner at Jack Brown’s Burger Joint.

My good friends Tammy and Sri also come by. I also run into one of my favorite bartenders Jessica. It is great to feel welcomed by them even if it just for a few minutes. They are all wonderful people!

A few of us head over to Jason’s and we watch the movie The Way since I just completed the walk and they haven’t seen it yet.

I do some laundry and my body is just ready for sleep so this OLD MAN cannot hang watching the movie and I crash on a very comfortable bed. No more hostel or albergue mattresses today. #smallwins!