As we met in the lobby to check out from the hotel, there were a lot of sleepy eyes and facial expressions that said, “I don’t want to be on a plane for 14 hours straight”. However, I think that almost everyone was ready to go home. We took a couple of busses from the hotel to the airport, where we then had to go through the long, grueling processes of checking in, going through customs and security. Basically, it’s just a lot of standing in line. You almost feel like cows being put in the barn one by one.
After making it to our gate, everyone was trying to spend their last bits of Australian money on last minute gifts, snacks and anything else you can think of in an airport duty free shop. Since it was 10 A.M., I was wide awake and boarded the plane with too much energy, only to sit down in my seat and have the realization I was going to be on that plane for 14 hours. We took off and I started catching up on my movies.
I thought the food was much better on the way back than the way there, but that’s simply my personal opinion. Dinner was served first about a couple hours into the flight, then lunch a couple hours after that, and finally breakfast two hours before we landed. I’ll admit that the taste of the plane food did grow on me a little, but at the same time it made me look forward to a home cooked meal that much more. I’m not sure how everyone else fared, but I couldn’t sleep very much on the plane. After waking up early and going almost non-stop for two weeks, my body wasn’t really into the whole sleeping thing.
Landing in Vancouver was a great feeling and I couldn’t have been happier to get off the plane. Then, it was standard airport procedure time; customs and security. It was kind of nice that we didn’t have a long layover in Vancouver. Actually, we barely had time to sit down before loading onto the next plane and at this point the lack of sleep was starting to catch up with me. We all said goodbye to Jeff and Christian and got on the plane. Shortly after taking off, I put on a movie and snoozed until we landed in Ottawa.
We waited for what seemed like a hundred years to get our luggage and then got right on the bus to go back to Potsdam. Everyone took their seats, made their own little sleep spot and most of us closed our eyes to try and get some extra rest. Going over the border was a quick process and before we knew it we were back in Potsdam. It was cool to see the happy looks on the faces of everyone’s families that came to pick them up.
Unfortunately, I got off the bus to see my car had a flat tire. At first I was feeling a little bummed out about it, but then a voice with a heavy Australian accent came in my head and shouted “No worries”. So, I took it with a grain of salt and thankfully Floyd and others came over to help me put on the spare (thank you all!). Floyd followed me down to Stewart’s where we put air back in the tire and he helped me put it back on. After saying a final goodbye to the Ormsbee’s, I snagged a sandwich and a large red bull and hit the road. On the open road, I was able to look back and reflect on all the great times I had with my classmates and newly made friends. I couldn’t help but smile the whole time as I thought about the memories we made together in Australia.