WEST PALM BEACH, Palm Beach County — Hundreds of flights touched down at Palm Beach International Airport on Wednesday as travelers flew into Palm Beach County to see family and friends for the holidays.
Two travelers waiting for family in Concourse C were Rick Erebia and his girlfriend, Susan Silvester.
"My heart is racing," said Erebia. "Usually, I'm in the corner waving like a fool.”
Erebia has two twin sons and a daughter, all flying in on the same flight.
“I literally filmed the plane as it landed, and watched it go to the gate. They should be coming any minute now," Erebia told WPTV.
Erebia and Silvester said this reunion is an emotional one for them. It is the first time both of their families will be able to spend a holiday together due to the pandemic.
"We started dating, and because of COVID, things got messed up the last couple years," said Erebia. "This is a big holiday for us. We're definitely excited.”
Another couple, who asked not to share their name, waited anxiously for their son, daughter-in-law, and two young grandchildren.
"They’re going to be running [towards us],” said the grandmother.
While the couple said they did get to go visit the children over Halloween, it's been a long time since the children and their parents paid a visit to them in West Palm Beach.
“They haven’t been down here in a long time," the grandmother said. "I’m just so excited they’re going to come."
The couple added their grandchildren are just as excited.
"Henry said the other night, 'Grandma, just two more sleeps and we're coming,'” she said.
As many other passengers passed them by, the couple said waiting for their family members felt like a life time.
"It's not very often the luggage beats the people off," joked the grandfather.
Still, the couple didn't discount the special moment of seeing their family walk towards them after the hours of anticipation.
"When you think about it it makes your heart smile," said the grandmother. "They’re excited to see us. Someday they might not be as excited, but now they are.”
Out near ground transport, John Williamson checked the clock in anticipation of when his father picks him up to take him home and surprise his mother.
“There’s nothing better than seeing my mom's face and give her a big hug when I walk through the front door," said Williamson with a grin.
One family, who didn't speak English, allowed WPTV to film their tearful reunion, one that hardly left a dry eye in Concourse C.
It was an emotional moment for Nicholas Erebia, too: when he and his two siblings finally arrived at the concourse to see his father and his father's girlfriend waving excitedly, it brought him right back to his childhood.
"Just to see him at the gate, it reminds me of the holiday memories growing up, being happy and having joy," said Nicholas Erebia.