The TDF is over, and wow, I can’t believe it’s already been one week since our arrival in Paris.
I went to the airport Monday morning, the day after the race. I was there about 4 hours before my flight was to leave, quite anxious to get home because my wife was super pregnant. After a tiny wait for the airline to even open, I got all checked in. But leaving wasn’t as easy as I planned. When I was going through the passport control they noticed I had over-stayed my allowable 90 days so they took me into the back room and asked me a bunch of questions. When they were all done they basically said I couldn’t come back into Europe for 90 days. When I finally got on the plane they gave me a middle seat with not much leg room. I’m not sure how that happened as I reserved an aisle seat months ago. Whatever, I just wanted to get home.
I kept drifting in out of sleep and I was on fire. I think there was some kind of electric blanket in my seat because I sat there sweating for 11 hours straight. I couldn’t get up easily so I was ringing the button for the flight attendant to bring me some water. No one came so I started pushing the button every 10 seconds. It actually took about 10 minutes for someone to come and get all huffy puffy with me. “What do you need,” she said rather irritated. “I need some water, I’m on fire here, why is it so hot?” She asked the woman next to me if she was hot, but of course she’s not hot, she has the f’ing blanket on. Hey let’s get back to me here. I need some water. She actually tells me I can go get it, and I explain the dude next to me is sleeping, “so how do you want me to Houdini myself out of this seat and get water. Can you please get me the water and keep it coming.” I drank as much ice water as I could, through the whole flight, but it was just very uncomfortable.
Landed in LAX, with a great sigh of relief. You know those little beagles that sniff your bags for fruit or other things. Well I was getting my bike and the security woman with the beagle approached me. “Didn’t I see you on T.V.” she asked. “You might have, if you like bike racing,” I answered. She was pretty excited to see old Dave Z. and had me autograph a little Custom’s paper for her. It was a nice welcome home.
Once out of the baggage claim and through Customs, and there’s my very pregnant wife and my son. I was super happy to see them as it had been over 50 days since I had last been in LA. We got home and I was able to stay awake until about 6pm until the jet lag kicked in. Then I woke up at 3am and my wife was already awake. She said “it’s time” and off to the hospital we went. By 12pm we had our new baby boy. 8 pounds, 12 ounces, 21 inches long with the name, Bo D. Zabriskie.
We spent the night in the hospital and I slept on some crappy cot, but it was still better than some of the hotel beds I had just been in. I woke up at midnight, starving, and called the diner on the street below to see what time they would be closing. “2am” was the answer. God bless this country. I walked down there and I was under-dressed and pretty cold. There was a club next to the diner and I heard this guy say, “this place is popping!” Was he talking to me? Did it look like I was going to go clubbing? I went into the diner and ordered a chili omelet with hash browns and took it back to the room. It was a highly enjoyable meal.
Daylight came and I wanted to get my family out of the hospital and bring them home, but for some reason it took quite a long time. I don’t think we left there until 4pm. The rest of the week has been somewhat of a crazy, but enjoyable blur. I’m not sure how many times I’ve been able to ride. But I’m just happy I made it home in time to enjoy all of this because as crazy and tiring as it may be, I absolutely love it.