I arrived back in my hometown of Austin, Texas a couple hours ago. Complete with "Welcome Home" banner and lion balloons courtesy of my sister and brother-in-law's family. I have to admit, it's nice to be missed and welcomed back. My two dogs were going absolutely crazy with excitement.
The trip back was pretty rough. I can't sleep on planes and have gone most of three days without sleep. But I'll wait until tonight so I can attempt to get back on some kind of regular schedule. My body is still on Africa time. The trip back consisted of the following: a 2 hour drive (then overnight at a lodge), a 2-hour flight (then 5 hours of layover), a 10-hour flight (then 6 hours of layover), then one more 11-hour flight to Dallas. Overnight at my parent's house, then one last 40 minute flight to Austin.
The flight from Frankfurt to Dallas was the absolute worst, mostly because I had the misfortune of being seated in front of a beast of a woman whose sole mission was to make me as uncomfortable as humanly possible on the gruelingly long flight. This was no tiny wisp of a female either. Standing about 6'2", my guess was that she tipped the scales at 350 pounds of pure venomous anger. For starters, she refused to let me recline my seat, angrily telling me to put the seat back upright. In German. Very angry German. When I tried several times to sneak in a 1/2-inch recline, she'd kick the back of my seat repeatedly until it was manhandled back to its original upright position. Finally I just gave up and resigned myself to either sit bolt upright or attempt to crumple myself over with my neck contorted over my shoulder. Yeah, not the best flight I've ever had. Note to Self: Next Africa trip, you're flying business class. You've earned it.