"Last seen in Houston" was not a comforting assessment of our bags when we inquired AGAIN today. "Last seen in Houston??? WE last saw them in Houston - when we re-checked them after customs!" Comforting, isn't it? Not naming any airlines, but we are really hoping to be UNITED with our luggage soon.
We are thankful to be here, even if we are missing two bags. My parents greeted us at the airport with a bag of fresh baby carrots - YUM. This may sound like an odd thing to get excited about but we haven't had the luxury of many fresh, raw veggies in a while. It's amazing the things you miss. Salad is on my daily "To Eat" list for a long, long time.
We were slightly frustrated over our lost luggage but managed to drown our troubles with some great Mexican food right after leaving the airport. Growing up in Texas I immediately think of Mexican food when I hear Latino music and Spanish, which means that I have been CRAVING chips and spicy salsa for 5 months. Ecuador has some great food - but spice is just not part of their culinary agenda.
We went to bed last night after enjoying HOT showers and slept in a full size bed. As Geoff said, "This bed is GINORMOUS!" We aren't likely to miss our lumpy twin size bed anytime soon. We slept great and woke up ready for our first day Stateside.
First things first, we headed to Early, Texas (yes, early this morning) to see friends and family and of course, to pick up our beloved Reyah dog. We restrained from going immediately to our dear pup and visited some dear friends to meet their new, ADORABLE, baby boy. Then we went to lunch where we met up with more friends and Geoff's parents who drove in to meet us from Abilene. It was great to see them and we look forward to our time in Abilene with them next week! We enjoyed great conversation and of course - salad - and then it was time to go see our girl.
We worried about Reyah's reaction after being away for 5 months. She had it great at her "new home," what if she no longer wanted us? What if she harbored resentment for being left out of our recent adventure? Would our little family of 3 require immediate counselling for abandonment issues? These are the questions that have haunted us for the last 5 months...
Well, we are happy to report that in true doggy form, she seems to harbor no resentment! After passing a brief sniff test, to confirm our identity, we were covered in doggy kisses, cries, and hugs - doesn't get better than that.
We are forever indebted to the family that loved her for us while we were away. She will return to them when we leave for Israel in January, but we are thankful for our "joint custody" arrangement that allows us at least this brief time with her. We had a great visit with her host family, who we affectionately refer to as our "great-parents" due to their age falling between our parents and grandparents. Beyond that, they really are great in so many ways. There aren't many people we would trust to care for our little lab, but we trust them more than we trust ourselves!
We loaded a happy pup up into our borrowed truck (thanks Grandpa!) and headed off enjoying one of the most beautiful gifts of Texas - sunset. We are thankful to be here and looking forward to fellowship with friends and family as we regroup before our next adventure. For now, I've got a pup to go snuggle with. Chau!