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A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind

The Flight Home

By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 9/26/2021
Occurred: 2/10/2017
Topics/Keywords: #Cross-Country #Florida #KeyWest #Places Page Views: 460
John and I say goodbye to the Rizzos and fly back to Phoenix.

Since I was on the sofa, I had expected—even looked forward to—having Gianna awaken me in the morning. But she politely kept her distance until I roused, though she was more familiar with her Uncle John (whom she calls "All Done") and whispered his named louder and louder until we both woke up.

Today was the day John and I were to return, by air, to Phoenix. Our flight didn't leave until 12:30, meaning we didn't need to be there until about 11:30.

Though I offered to cook, Jenny made us another delicious breakfast, after which I thought I would grab some photos of the new house, since Jenny had made such amazing advances with it in just the few days I'd been there.

Starting at the back of the house, which was built in 1934, is the pool. Originally this was a cistern to hold rainwater. This is the fence that Jenny had stained white, and the hibiscus flowers are the ones we bought from Home Depot a few days earlier.

On the porch, near the sofa I spent most nights on, is Jimmy, still recovering from his own jet lag.

But not too tired to play with his infant son.

This is Jenny and Jimmy's bedroom. Jenny chose to decorate with flower photos, which is very in keeping with the Key West vibe.

In the main area we have the living room, dining area, and kitchen. Gianna had taken some time off from jumping and climbing to watch a few minutes of…be still, my heart!…something other than The Good Dinosaur.

Meanwhile, John was ready to go.

Gianna's room…

…and Dominic's, where not all the art has yet been hung.

John and I made our goodbyes to Jenny and the babies, and Jimmy drove us to the airport. FYI: When you see the sign at the entrance to a restaurant that claims to be our last chance at hot food—believe it. There's only a deli after one passes through security.

After our plane took off, the captain gave us a nice aerial view of Key West. This little island is actually twice the size it was when white people found it, thanks to many acres of landfill being added.

We headed almost due north, reaching Florida's sparsley-inhabited Everglades after a short hop over the Gulf.

The flight to Miami was short, even shorter than planned.

I enjoyed the unique artwork in Miami Airport.

I had purchased a cheese Danish, a turkey sandwich, trail mix, and a Diet Pepsi at the Key West airport deli. Of course, I had not yet been able to eat any of it except the Danish, due to the short first flight. But now we were facing a 5 hour trip back across the country, and I was afraid I would starve before we got home. So, when John and I passed a Mandarin Wok next to our departure gate, I couldn't resist buying an orange chicken dinner with noodles and vegetables.

When I got to the gate, boarding was already happening so I had to bring the dinner on board with me. However, I managed to eat it—with chopsticks!—before we took off.

I actually dozed during much of the flight, spending the rest of the time reading a book on the mythologies of the Navajo people.

The flight was absolutely smooth, and I complimented the captain when we landed. "Sometimes we luck out," he said. I understood what he meant, considering that the entire northern half of the country was currently experiencing blizzard conditions.

Keith picked us up; we drove John to Chandler and then back to Phoenix. We grabbed dinner at Panda Express (I was still craving Chinese food for some reason), and reached home about 7 PM.

Another cross-country trip, completed! John and I had lucked out.