At about 4:30pm, we got in line for the Madinah flight. My mother and I were separated at the lineup; and I didn't see her for a few hours until we reached Madinah.
We took a taxi here after retrieving our luggage. Showering felt quite good. In retrospect, we should have waited for the rest of our group at the airport; we would have saved over 40 riyals. The rest of my group showed up at our hotel less than 2 hours later.
It's quite cold here. I went to Masjid Nabawi, but got kicked out shortly afterwards as it was closing. Though I was extremely hungry and didn't know where my mother was after we were kicked out of the masjid, I just collapsed on the bed and was fast asleep. I didn't notice the others come in. Eventually my mother found the hotel, and we slept until 3 am, waking up with the adhan for tahajjud.
Masjid Nabawi is more beautiful than I remember it, having last been here during Ramadan 1999-2000. Maulana Bukhari's seminar at ICQ helped me appreciate some of the details. We haven't been able to visit the grave of Rasulullah SAW yet because of major crowds.
The hotel isn't great, but Allah SWT has given me patience. I've been working on increasing my khushoo' in salaah.
Incidentally, my notebook (that my whole family scoured the whole house looking for on the day we left Montreal) has been found, as I expected. It was blue, not yellow, which is why it was never found. The Haj journey really begins much before the actual rites of Hajj.
So the journey has really begun.