I had chosen the exit row, so had lots of space, and listened to the man in front of me 'sell' his iPad to the person sitting across the aisle from him. He was clearly very enthusiastic, but I did not need his commentary to be convinced (it is on my list of absolute must-haves when I am working again and have money in the bank!). Atlanta airport was a breeze, and I had more than enough time to wander to my gate and find a smoothie to drink and another magazine to read and wait a little more. I saw a man sitting near me get an upgrade to first class, and I wondered whether I could make that happen, but it was a passing thought and I did not bother to check, since I knew my exit row seat was good enough, and I had not paid for my ticket anyway (or maybe I did pay in a roundabout way, since I used all my frequent flyer miles). The plane was not full and I had my little space to myself. I am still as excited as a child when I see the private little television screens in the seats; I watched almost three whole movies during the five hour flight, and would have watched more had there been more time. It was easy to ignore the turbulence almost all the way through the flight. I did not talk to anyone, it was as if I was in my little bubble, quite oblivious to the world around me.
I was nervous at Immigration, concerned about my status and three computers in my backpack, but again, both Immigration and Customs were a breeze, and I was relieved to see both Eric and Maya waiting for me at the exit. Maya appeared to have grown a bit in the week that I was gone, and I realized how much I had missed her and how good it felt to be home again. Home is where your family is, so Quito is home, and I am home.