Saturday, October 8, 2011

The trek across land and water and how 29 adds up to 2

Turns out that 31 was our magic number yesterday.  Let me break down why--15 hours. 3 different planes. 2 stops in 2 different countries. 6 hours of layovers and 1 hour of delays equaling 2 passengers happy to have arrived!   So there you have it, 15+3+2+2+6+1=2.  Turns out foreign tv channels with no English are prompting my creativity. :)

We were up at 4:45 am to leave the house for the airport.  My mom drove us there and we both managed to set off security a bit. haha  Oh the joys of non-fully functioning brains at 5:30 a.m.  It really wasn't bad, we were both just unprepared for how quickly we would suddenly feed to the front of the line.  Robert left his belt on and I forgot to tap the laptop out of the carry-on.  Turns out one will get you wanded and the other will get your bag searched.  It was enough to make us sort of laugh at ourselves and carry on, so we repacked our stuff and went along on our way.

Proof that setting off security isn't bad enough to get the smile off our faces!
The first flight was bumpy, but not terrible.  They had the seat belt sign on for probably 2/3 of the flight and amazingly--no motion sickness!  There was a point that came pretty close during our first ascent and I was afraid that we were in for a long day, but it all turned out to be...exciting but not terrible.
Four hours later, we were at Dulles International in Washington D.C.  It was beautiful to be able to look out the window as we landed as it was so green everywhere!  That flight in itself was a great accomplishment as someone that had never taken a flight longer than two hours!!  At this point it was noon, or about 2 in DC and we were both starving so we grabbed some burritos and headed over to our next gate.
This flight is the one I was worried about.  Eight hours.  And landing in a foreign country no less.  We had no idea what to expect, but neither of us had prepared for such a nice trip!  The plane was very comfortable, we had a large selection of free movies and shows to watch, the meals and snacks were good and the attendants were fantastic.  Again, a little turbulence but not unmanageable and we both got some sleep.
Made it across the ocean!
Getting so close!

 Once we landed in Frankfurt, things got a bit interesting.  We had to do another security clearance. This time I passed, Robert did not once again.  He got a quick reminder that pocket change is enough to set off a metal detector. :)  Again, no big deal.  Just a wand and we were off once again.
We also got to take a small two-car tram over to the main concourse to catch our connection.  It was kind of fun and Frankfurt has a very big airport! 

Definitely the first time on a huge plane!
 We had a three hour layover here and just wound up sticking nearby our gate.

16 hours in and still smiling!
As we waited out the layover, we started getting close to boarding time.  I decided to make one last run to the bathroom and coming back to where we were waiting, I noticed that the screen at our gate that had stayed blank for three hours now listed a flight to Moscow. 
Nope.  Not where we are going.
So with our departure time just fifteen minutes away, we booked it to the customer service desk and found that our real departure gate was now just about 20 feet away. Phew!! 
Not only was it close, they hadn't even started boarding.  We had plenty of time to spare as our flight was delayed about 40 minutes.  We found out that all flights into Frankfurt were delayed because of severe wind.  And that was about how that flight went.  Miraculously, neither of us got sick on the flight, but I think both of us were fairly close.  We had a couple drops that made me probably leave fingernail marks in Robert's hand from squeezing it so tight.  Regardless, we made it.  In one piece, with all our luggage, in good health and still happy!

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