…or in my case, a giant shamrock. My Aer Lingus flight arrived into Dublin just after sunrise. The flight was uneventful, at least for me. I slept the entire 6 hours 45 minutes. I heard we had turbulence and I missed both meals, but sleep and I had a date that would not be disturbed! You see, my final night in Texas was sleepless…hmmm, Sleepless in Austin.

I had to repack my bags at 2am after realizing all three were over the maximum weight limit. Thank goodness for Little bigs who are up late at night and willing to run to Walgreens for scales! High heeled, teary eyed night owl saves the day! Coma like, the bedroom floor was again an explosion of STUFF!! Shove, toss, whatever. Just before 7am my little Big drug herself out of bed and drove me down to the airport (what an angel) where I secured a trolly and lugged the bags in, hoping the airline would take them. Anyone? Take my bags?? As it was I paid overage fee, but after being up all night wrestling with them I didn’t care. At least they loaded them. The security lines at ABA snaked back into the ticketing area. Step, step, scoot, scoot. The world looks strange through sleep deprived eyes. Delirium, it turns out, is helpful when one has a 6 hour layover in Chicago.

The international terminal was a bumpy train ride away. I dreamt of stretching out at my gate and napping. Not to be. There is no food behind the security check point at terminal 5. They steered me away from screening and toward an uncomfortable food court, without electrical outlets or padded seats. I chatted via skype with Himself, watched other international passengers, and browsed the Duty Free where I made my first such purchase; cologne for Himself and YSL Touche Éclat for me. I experienced another first while at O’Hare; my first body scan. Blue screen x-ray of death. Once aboard the big green shamrock there was sleep, beautiful sleep!

….though not enough to clear my head for immigration. I was terrified thinking of what to say. I’m not sure why, other than the old fear of driving in front of a police officer. What if I’m doing something wrong? What if my tail light is out? What if I accidentally swerve? Silent, I handed over my passport. She asked how long I was staying. Out blurted, “I”m not sure. Maybe forever.” She looked up for that one. I explained that my partner and I had applied for permission for me to remain. I told her I had a pic of the letter we were sent on my iTouch. She looked it over, entered my name into the computer, snapped my pic, and approved 30 days. I was instructed to present myself, along with original documents (the pic not being good enough), to immigration within that time frame. I was tremendously relieved to have navigated this by myself after a delirious plane ride. I will have partner support next time.

Site for sore eyes. There he was. Can hugs last for an eternity? We came home…… holy cow! Home!! Nap, tea, toast and then a drive to Ikea for household shopping (wooden hangers and blankie for the couch) and then a skip over to Malahide to touch the water. It started pissing rain sometime around then. The water decided to touch me! Into a pub for pints.
We ended the night with Chinese take-away, a dvd and hanging up my clothes.