13. Almost there

En route. As I was scheduling my trip, a good friend of mine said that since I had to fly via an airport near him, I should stop over and visit with him and his wife.  Actually, it wasn’t so much a “should” as a “must” - his invitation had been open for a number of years, but this was the first time that I was truly in the area.

Obviously, my first priority was Nook, and whatever was awaiting me when/if we met.  I thought about scheduling a day at the end of my trip with her to visit my friend, but it seemed more sensible to do it on my way there.

You see, my friend’s invitation had a hidden bonus.  An opportunity to relax, to laugh, to partially take some of the edge off what was destined to be a very tense few days, and to do so with some people who were genuinely interested in the story thus far.  Nook and I were very cautious about who we had shared this story with, which is really a subject for another posting on this site (stay tuned) -- but this friend knew many of the details and it would be good to be able to talk openly about it.

So I scheduled my trip in such a way that I’d spend a night at his home, having a spectacular meal (and even more spectacular wine(s)), and then continue my onward trip towards Nook.

Once I arrived at his home, it meant I was in the same timezone as Nook for the first time on many years, and that much closer to our actually being able to see each other, depending on which of the scenarios transpired.

I’m grateful for that evening, I think that without it I probably would have been far more tense and nervous during my actual meeting with Nook, which was actually not for another few days.


Keeping in touch.

As I began my journey to Nook via my friend’s home, I was eager to keep in touch with her and give her updates as to my travel status.  Obviously, there would be moments when I would have to go radio silent as I was on a plane, but before takeoff and as soon as I landed I had sent her GPS screen grabs from my iPhone, showing her where I was along my journey, and of course SMS and email updates.

Incidentally, one of the iPhone applications that Nook and I use is HeyWAYPro -- I’ll explain why later, but it was one of the better apps I found for being able to update (with push notifications) a very select group of people, or just an individual, with your globetrotting.

So Nook knew I was edging closer, and as soon as I arrived at the airport closest to her, I sent another GPS screen grab in email to let her know I really was there.  That this was real.

As I mentioned before, Nook had to work a day that she was hoping to be able to take off.  This meant that after spending the night at my friend’s house, I travelled to Nook’s city and had the evening to myself.   To say I was restless that night would be an understatement.

Nook and I emailed as much as we could that night, but, as she was at work and occupied, she wasn’t able to talk much.  Eventually jet-lag hit me hard and I had to attempt sleep, and Nook and I said goodnight.  Hopefully for the last time before we actually met.

I think that I woke up hourly that night.  Checking my phone to see if Nook changed her mind and wanted to see me sooner, or changed her mind entirely.  It was not comfortable, not in the least.  All in all I probably got about 3 hours sleep in total.  I wasn’t sure how I was surviving, but the thought of finally meeting Nook pushed me through.