Brian’s flight from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport was expected to arrive in Newark at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. To be honest, I had been counting down the minutes since I left Cleveland exactly two weeks ago. While Skype and the iPhone equivalent provide the facetime needed, pun intended, when three hundred miles separate us, nothing compares to an exaggerated bear hug in person. The minute hand on the wall clock was barely reaching for 6:45 a.m. when I sprung out of bed. The sunshine emanating from the side window was blinding, its rays peeled my eyelids open while the scent of fresh coffee lingered in the air. As hard as I tried to count sheep and revert back to dreamland, drowning myself under the shadow of a charcoal colored pillow, I could not sleep. The anticipation of Brian’s arrival was equivalent to a dozen shots of a double shot espresso. I lingered around the home in my polka dot pajamas, first to the kitchen to rummage the cabinets and refrigerator, then to the bathroom to wash up. I spent the first hour tidying up my bedroom, then headed to the mall to return a few items. Finally, after several long hours, I headed for the airport around 3:30 p.m.
 
I had every intention of capturing a photograph of Brian walking towards me through Gate 72 at Newark International Airport. However, when the moment arrived, I was so excited to see him that I just ran, full speed (almost past security), to give him a welcome hug and kiss. I savored that moment and I couldn’t let him go. My jaw hurt from smiling so much.
 
We spent the afternoon and early evening with his family before heading out with friends. Then, bottle of wine in hand, we headed to a quiet park underneath the George Washington Bridge, where we sipped on Moscatto and Reisling while listening to the water of the Hudson hit against the shore rocks. Sometimes we plan extravagant excursions to celebrate important events in our lives. However, sometimes it is the simple nights – nights like these – with good friends and a good bottle of wine – which are the most memorable.
 
Welcome back, Brian.

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