After being in the San Juan, Puerto Rico airport for five hours, I think I love Minneapolis more then any city in the world. Mostly because it's mine. And especially because it's familiar. Our tickets to board the Sun Country plane said we were to board at gate 27. After about two hours of waiting, milling about, sitting on the floor, various bathroom breaks, changing clothes in preparation for Minnesota cold, reading, and sleeping, a voice came over the loudspeaker and announced something indistinguishable.
"What did he say?" we all asked, looking to a group of women sitting next to us on the floor. One woman shrugged. "I don't know, I think something about moving to gate 26."
Confused, we gathered our things and moved toward Gate 26 across a hall and in the next room. As soon as we rounded the corner, we could see the orange and blue Sun Country symbol on a plane outside Gate 28. So where to now? My dad attempted to talk with a man at the desk (the only employee anywhere in sight), but he mainly answered our English questions in Spanish. when he did announce things over the intercom in English, bless his heart, but he had a lisp, and we could not understand anything he was saying. It was ridiculous. (I can say this because I was a lisper myself as a child.)
A few hours later, we got on a plane. Another hour later, we took off. Then we flew six hours.
When we arrived in the cities at 10 PM, I couldn't have been happier. Or felt more at peace when we walked off the plane into a nearly vacant airport. When we were wheeling our bags through the skyway, I felt like hugging the stranger walking towards me, simply because he was from Minnesota. When we walked out the automatic doors in the parking ramp, the air smelled cold and sweet instead of muggy. Things were motionless at last. When we were driving in the taxi, all I could do was stare out the window at the city lights and the straight streets and the clean driving and feel like I was home.