We staggered off the third plane - we were 17 hours into this adventure, and looking pretty ragged. Lucy (who's six) was sprawled in a stroller I had the foresight to bring with us. Max (after much convincing) was wandering behind me, bleary eyed and ashen, through Logan Airport in Boston. My stomach was hurting so much - either from hunger or greasy lo mein two airports ago, it's hard to know for sure - that I was unable to stand upright, so I pushed the carriage with my forearms, draping my entire upper body over the handle as I walked slowly towards baggage claim. Lucy was whimpering and holding a blanket around her neck.
And then we saw the first sign of home. And suddenly, both children were wide awake clamoring for a chance to really embrace the local culture. I was so touched.
It was definitely time to make the donuts. Or at least, time to eat them. But not me - I was still trying to straighten up to my full height. Whatever was going on in my stomach would not be helped by fried dough coated in chocolate frosting, or a foam cup of coffee.
So the kids went wild, and I paid, then retreated to some chairs over in one orner of the lobby, where I plugged in my cellphone and began announcing my triumphant return to the motherland of aggressive sports fans, cut-throat driving, artisan beers and full-fat foods, fried and drenched in butter.
I really needed to get my stomach issues straightened out, because Dunkin Donuts was just the tip of the iceberg (lettuce).
Our ride was stuck in traffic, and I needed a break from traveling - at least for a short while. So we sat there and watched the state troopers threatening people who dared to linger at the curb, and the assorted Massport employees arguing about the Bruins, expletives flying coated in the thick Yankee accents of my heritage. I was home, and it felt so good.
3 hours ago