The Long Ride Home

We knew better than to expect an easy and effortless trip home. We got all our stuff together and got to the airport early, which turned out to be a good thing.

As we were checking our luggage, Traci informs the clerk lady that we have packed some wine in our suitcases. The lady tells us that we need these special air-cushioned packing containers to store the wine in.

We had five bottles of wine split up between our two suitcases. Traci had done a good job of wrapping each bottle individually in pieces of clothing and spreading them out evenly in the suitcases. While this did a great job of protecting the bottles, it worked against us as we had to throw open the suitcases and fish out the bottles so we could put them in these air-cushioned containers that the kind lady at the desk sold to us for $5 each.

So, here we were, standing in a crowded airport baggage-check line, pulling out wads of clothing (both clean and dirty) to retrieve our wine bottles. Our luggage was already overstuffed, so I was hoping that the “air-cushioning” wouldn’t be so thick that we couldn’t get the suitcases closed. Wrong again.

Fortunately, one of our suitcases (mine) zipped back up just fine. The other one (Traci’s) had a little trouble. Traci and I were both practically standing on top of the case to get it closed. I was tugging on the zipper and it was inching further and further along. Then we heard a big RIIIIP sound. The suitcase had adorned an 8-inch long rip alongside the zipper.

“Shit!” Traci said. I was too frustrated to bother looking around to see if any kids were close enough to hear her say it.

We had to pull out more wads of clothes (Actually, I should say underwear. And more correctly, Traci’s underwear. High five, anyone?) and stuff them into Traci’s carry-on bag. We finally got the suitcase zipped up and asked the kind lady at the desk if she had any way of mending the rip. She pulled out some packing tape and did a fairly decent job of patching the big rip. We finally got everything set and set out to find our gate.

We soon realized, for the first time, that our flight stopped in San Diego. This was actually kinda cool because we got to see the effects of the wildfires from overhead. We couldn’t see any actual flames, but the smoke was pretty bad.

We finally got back to Nashville around 8:30pm. We were hoping that our gimp suitcase hadn’t fallen apart during the flight. We actually found that someone had been kind enough to put some “Fragile” stickers on the front and back of it. And everything was still intact. Even Traci’s dirty underwear.

Overall, it was a great trip. We had an awesome time and we’d love to go back again sometime. Below I’ve included a link to a gallery of images that I took during the trip. There are two versions of the gallery; a condensed version and an extended version. The condensed version is only 50 pictures of the main highlights. The extended version has 121 pictures that include all the pics from the condensed version, plus some additional random and artsy shots that not everyone may enjoy. I’m using a new program to do the gallery and it won’t let me comment each picture individually, so if you have any questions about a certain picture then please ask in the comments. Enjoy!

The Long Ride Home

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