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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Overdue Hugs

~Thursday, August 19, 2021~

Day 431 (Travel Day)

Wow, Ohio was amazing and like we say about most places, wished we had more time to see things. We absolutely loved Amish country and am sure we only saw a sliver of what this Buckeye State has to offer. We’ll definitely be back. As we were packing up, we noticed our neighbor had an IAFF sticker on his truck, so we struck up a conversation with him about the fire department. He and his buddy who is staying next to him, worked for the Orlando Fire Department for 30 years. One has been retired for 17, the other 25. Jeff’s dad was a fireman for South County Fire for about the same amount of time, retiring as Chief. His uncle and his cousin also were firemen. Definitely brought back fond memories for Jeff about his dad.

Quite a long drive, again, as we’re headed to Youngstown, New York, just outside Buffalo to meet up with our son whom we haven’t seen since Christmas. Too long!! Our campground at Four-Mile Creek State Park was the perfect location between the airport and all things Niagara.

As we were setting up, we were keeping in touch with Shane’s arrival from Oakland, CA to Chicago, IL then finally to Buffalo, NY. His flight from Chicago was delayed by an hour. Originally, we weren’t sure how our arrivals were going to coordinate and didn’t think anything of just having Shane take a Lyft or Uber to the campground. But when he found out the 26-mile fare was going to be $110, he called us. The pandemic has certainly caused issues in the car rental business. With the lack of travelers in the last year, many rental agencies sold their inventory at the height of the pandemic. Anyway, of course we were happy to pick him up. While I finished setting things up and got dinner going, Jeff made the 45-minute drive to the airport. I knew it was a very long day for Shane since his flight left at 5:30 a.m., and with the 3-hour time difference, made for an even longer day.

Then finally!!! I got to see my son!!! Big hugs all around and wow, just so much to catch up on. We are so happy he managed to get some time off to join us. But there was a story about getting here today.

We found out that Shane nearly missed his flight out of Oakland. I guess while his buddy was driving him to the airport, Shane had fallen asleep. When Shane woke up, he noticed signs for Sacramento. 😳Oh my goodness. Then of course there was the “you said”, “I said'' thing while trying to race back the other direction to the right airport. Thank goodness they didn’t get all the way to Sacramento Airport or Shane would have definitely missed his Oakland flight. His buddy gunned it all the way. Thank goodness it wasn’t commute hour. But the next part is funnier. To make it to the gate on time, Shane had to cut through the TSA line to get to the front with no one seeming to mind. If they had minded, the story would have turned out much differently. They were on the last boarding when he finally made it to his gate. So stressful. We’ve experienced some close calls in our day as well, and it’s no fun!

But aside from the airport debacle, things are going terrific for him. Over dinner, we got caught up on things. His job is going very well, he has a great group of friends, he enjoys his outdoor activities, i.e. hunting, fishing when he has time, AND adores his parents. What more could you ask for?

The initial plan was to have Shane bring a small backpacking tent and air mattress, but he just didn’t have room in his duffle bag. And he didn’t want to intrude with sleeping in the trailer (we have 2 options of sleeping on the extended sofa or converting the dinette into a bed). So, we offered an alternative with a hammock,

blankets and pillows. Shane loves sleeping under the stars anyway since it’s how he grew up camping. So grateful for all those amazing family vacations over the years.

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