I've had a great month of travel and friends, but I am so thankful to be home again! Sometimes we have to go away to realize how much we love a place, and how integral our families are to our lives.
I had a pretty good flight home, and I have to say I highly recommend flying out of Reagan Airport (as opposed to Dulles) when leaving Washington, as the lines are extremely short and you barely have to walk at all to get to the gate. At least, at terminal A!
Also, while I'm at it, here's a shout out to Sun Country. My family and relatives have been flying it for many years and we really like the service, the non-stop flight options, and the prices! In a climate of rapidly rising fares, Sun Country remains in the more affordable end. Also, today I discovered they offer hot chocolate as one of their complimentary drinks. Win!
Another cheap flight recommendation is Spirit Airlines, which I used when flying to Chicago. If you do everything online, including checking your bag ahead of time and printing out your boarding pass yourself, you can avoid almost all the notorious fees they tack on. Might not be something you'd want to use on a long flight (especially if you need to bring a lot of luggage), but for a shorter distance it's a fantastic way to save $$$. (Also, they don't make this extremely clear, but you CAN carry on one personal item without paying the charges they add for other carry on bags. Otherwise it is cheaper check bags than to carry them on.)
Final travel tip. You can't carry your own beverages through security, BUT you can take an empty water bottle and fill it up at the drinking fountain on the other side.