I hate Dulles airport. It's far away, the lines are always long, and there just has to be a better way to start a trip, even erev Christmas eve, than their disorganization. I got the airport 2.5 hours before my flight. Which turned out to be good, because I waited in line for an hour just to check in. And then to drop your bags off to check, you had to weave in and out of all the other people checking in to get to the x-ray machine. And then there was security, and then the shuttle to the terminal, and then really, really long lines at all the places I wanted to stop and get a drink. oh well.
I got on the plane, found that might seat was thankfully much closer to the door than I expected, and sat down in my window seat. There was already someone in the aisle and no one yet in the middle seat. And by the time the plane took off, we realized we had the only empty seat on the plane, next to us. So we started talking. I was headed off to birthright, and he was heading to Jedda for the Haaj. We figured between my trip to Israel and his for the Haaj, someone either figured we needed the space between us, or deserved the space between us. And I got an invitation to his family's kabob restaurant in Faifax when I get back....
I changed planes in Frankfurt, and really, they just shouldn't tell you that you're going to be delayed while they de-ice the wings, you know!? So I said T'filat Haderech again figuring it couldn't hurt.
Landed in Israel, handed off a laptop and a big check to the person meeting me (I'm not sure I'm allowed to name her here, but for those that know her - she's the one that meets all of the Hillel groups), met my cousin Ayelet, picked up a car and drove to Afula.
It was nice to catch up with Steve, Galit, Or, Nadav and Ayelet now, because starting today, the craziness hits. Plus, they have a new cute puppy (who did not pee on my stuff).