October 14, 2006
One fun part of our long distance relationship was sending letters and packages back and forth. He would send me Chilean (cafe) coffee, candy, and all kinds of fun things. One package he sent me a bottle of Chilean wine and a book by my favorite author and a natural quartz crystal from the mountains in Chile. Nobody had ever sent me a bottle of wine before or cared enough to even remember what my favorite author was... Another very special gift was an alpaca poncho to keep me warm in the winter. I always get cold in the winter. One year for Christmas he surprised me and sent me a digital camera! The dial had broke on my digital camera.
His first visit:
I arrived before dark in the early morning hours at Atlanta International Airport in Georgia to pick A up on his first trip to Alabama. I did a bit of worrying and some frantic rounds around the airport before I finally saw him. He explained later what had happened. He was actually put in the security orange room because when they asked him his return flight date he honestly could not remember the actual date. Welcome to the USA via the orange security room, right?
He had mistakenly got his Mom's tickets to Argentina instead of his own return flight tickets. Imagine A's surprise when he reaches in his bag to show them his tickets and they are his Mom's tickets instead. (Mierda!) He was honest with them and after some verification they let him through.
We stayed busy going places the whole time he was here. We had a lot of fun and sadly, the time flew by. We took a trip to Biloxi, Mississippi (before the hurricane did so much damage there.) We gambled and got free drinks, had lazy sleep in mornings and enjoyed the view of the sandy beaches and water. He was so caring and loving and he made me laugh a lot. I was on cloud nine!
My sister gave me an early birthday gift of a hotel room for Armando and I in Birmingham. That was so sweet of her and her husband. We got a bottle of Chilean wine and sushi and just relaxed. Later we went to the Science Museum with my sister and niece and nephew. We also went to the Birmingham zoo. We both love animals so it was fun.
On the day A had to return to Chile, I tried hard to be strong and not show sadness but I found myself tearing up on the drive to the airport. I was going to miss him a lot. On the drive back to Alabama, I cried and got upset and then resolved to try and be strong and focus on the day he was to return to live here.
Our plan was for him to return to Chile and finish his classes so he could get his degree and then he would move here and I needed to find a job that had health insurance. We knew it would take some time for us to go through the immigration process and marry but the most important thing was the love that we have for each other. We can work through the rest.