Sunday, August 09, 2009

So Tired yet So Happy!

After 36 hours door to door we had a miracle happen and we got five of the last 10 seats for Germany and we made it here safe and sound.

I took this photo at the second airport we went to, to catch a flight. I had put the two little girls down at a table to get them some food at a food court on a base in New Jersey. When I came back with the food this was what I found, Sally Jane who had fallen asleep sitting up at the table. All of them at some point so far have had an instantaneously sleep like spell fall over them.

So here have been our travel adventures so far.

10:30 pm - drive to Delaware to catch a flight the first available flight to Europe. It was going to Spain at 2:00 am


12:30 am - get to Delaware and run into our friends who are also trying to get to Spain
2:00 am - we make roll call and have 5 seats allotted to our family
2:30 am - try to figure out how we are going to get to Paris from southern Spain without retracing our steps from last summer. We meet Harold and his wife who are living in Germany and giving us advice on how we might get up to Paris from Spain. Harold and his AP lit teaching wife are retired military who teach at the American school on base in Germany.
3:30 - get on old school bus to be driven onto the Tarmak where all the C-5 planes are. Sit on bus for over an hour while they try to fix something on the plane. (this is very common with these large C-5 planes)
4:30 - we get driven back to the terminal and told that we need to wait in security for another hour for the flight to take off. At this point Jeff realizes he has been up for 24 hours straight and he starts teetering on his feet. We lay out our sleeping bags out on the floor and crash. I actually gave our blue sleeping bag to a mother with her two kids as she had nothing. I then laid down on the hard, cold, filthy airport floor and did not care one bit because I was exhausted.
6:00 am - they announce the flight is canceled.
6:15 am take photos of the sunrise coming up over the airplanes
7:00 am we reassess our plan. No more flights will be leaving for Germany that day but we could likely get on the 4:30 pm Rota Spain flight. We decide to drive another 2 hours north to New Jersey to try for a 4:00 pm flight to Germany that only has 10 seats available. The odds are against us.nice joe dirt shot eating pancakes
7:15 am we find ourselves at McDonald's with everyone else that goes to McDonald's so early on a Saturday morning. ( I wanted to scream - why are you awake?) We are exhausted, tired and find our spirits a little down. Flights had been canceled all week and the bases are crowded with people who have been trying to get out for days. We realize that neither of us are in no shape to drive and must find a place to sleep.
7:30 - Jeff and I are sleeping in the car at a rest stop on the side of the road why our kids are playing in the car.
9:00 am The kids are caged animals in the car and we realize we must get going and just get to the airport in New Jersey.
11:00 am We get to Air Force base and discover that yes, there are only 10 seats available and at least 3 times as many people who want them. The other 60 seats on the C-5 are already reserved. We also run into Harold and his cute wife who also came up to get on the flight. Flight is scheduled to leave at 4:00 pm.
1:00 pm - after lunch and all of us are incredibly cranky and Jeff and I can barely stay awake we go back to the terminal to see if there is a place on base we can take a shower. While in the terminal we find out the flight has been pushed back to 1:00 am on Sunday morning.
1:15 pm - we check into the sickest Days Inn for $100 right off base (base housing was all full) We CRASH! The shower alone was totally worth the $100.
7:00 pm - we find out flight is now moved to 11:30 pm.
9:00 pm - we come back to terminal and hang out with Harold and his wife and share travel stories. Terminal is packed with desperate people trying to get to Germany, lots of tired kids who have been living there for 2 days.
11:30 - Miracle. our name gets announced. We made the flight. Harold and his wife did not. They have been trying to get home 2 days longer than before we started. Because he is retired he has the least priority on the flight ranking system.
We then realize that we could give our hotel room that we have until the next morning to them, so they have a place to crash. We also gave them our car to use to pick up a rental car the next morning. They have given up on Space-A and will be buying a one way ticket home from New York. They will park our car in long term parking on base but we only have one car key. So we will be picking up our car key from them in Germany before we fly out.
The wife said to us before we left, "how do you we won't just leave town with your car?" I told her if you have been sleeping on the ground for 4 days to end up with my silver mini van than maybe you should just have it. We are going to stop by their house in Germany before we fly out to get our car keys and share with them what we did for these two weeks.

2:30 am - Annie Kate rips out one of her teeth that has been bugging her just before we get on flight.
3:00 am - 8 hour flight finally leaves for Germany and we can't believe that it actually takes off.

6:00 pm Germany time we land.
our key positioning in being the first through customs gets out to sign in to return home first as well as run across the street to the Ramstein Lodge to get the last family room available.
8:00 pm - we walked to the commissary stocked up on yummy bread, incredible cheese and one of a kind chocolate and are in 2 bedroom apartment with our own washer and dryer for $40 American dollars and watching Princess Bride.
We are too tired to talk about what we are going to do tomorrow, but we luckily got a rental car for 2 weeks and are ready for an adventure

ahh sleep!


andrea said...

I love following your Europe trips. A few weeks ago I checked your blog and realized you hadn't gone to Europe this summer so I'm glad to see you made it. My favorite part about the post is your adventures with Harold and wife. Your car lending sounds like something my husband and I would do. Have a great trip. Love the updates.

Natasha said...

Ok this is going to be one serious adventure!

patsy said...

You have got guts girl!
Hooray for making it- I am so thrilled you are blogging from the road too-

Have a GREAT time :)

The 5 Bickies said...

Your adventure is off to quite a start! I always love to follow along. Have a great time!

The 5 Bickies said...

Your adventure is off to quite a start! I always love to follow along. Have a great time!

eve said...

Sounds great! Try and hit up some flea markets--Flohmaerkte in german. The Thursday issue of the Stars & Stripes tells you about them. Have fun! I'm only about an hour away from Ramstein!

Melissa said...

WOW! What an adventure. My husband served his mission in The Neterlands, so if it's on your list feel free to email me if you have questions about where to go and what to see.
Have fun!

Marla said...

I don't know how you do it, but I cannot wait to hear more!

melissa's life said...

I love hearing about your trip. So do you get better priority on the flights than most because of your husbands ranking?

everything pink! said...

melissa ::
yes it is done by categories.
we are catagory 3. active duty on leave and then his rank may have something to do with it, but I think it is more the fact that we are traveling with him and that he is active duty.
i should no more about all this.
thanks for the question

Alisa said...

I love getting to hear about your adventures! What an amazing thing to travel like this. A dream for some! You are living it!

Melissa said...

Hey sorry forgot the email... it's mortenson [at] insightbb [dot] com...
He says that yes he remembers an Elder Markoff... is that you guys? if so funny small world!

Emmalee said...

oh what an adventure already.. made me tired to read it... so worth it though. awesome that you lent them your car!

have a great time, have fun!

Emmalee said...

oh shoot that comment from emmalee is actually me, lauralee- whoops I guess she was online!

michelle said...

Whew! And I thought our trips to Paris were long!!

My favorite part of all of this is you giving your hotel room and van to the people you just met. And your response when asked what if they just ran off with your car? You are truly one of a kind, Kristi.

eve said...

Kristi--We're in Mannheim, it's about 15/20mins away from Heidelberg. You are welcome to crash here too! We have an extra bed, one couch, and sleeping bags. If you happen to go to a base library, look for the book "Never a Dull Moment". It is by the German American Women's Club (GAWC) and lists things women want to know--like places to shop, eat, and sleep.

LJ and DC said...

Hurray hurray hurray!!!

Esther said...

I am so excited that you guys made the cut for the flight to Germany!!!! I can not wait to hear all of your adventures.

Dirt Joe is looking pretty good though...she very cute.

Traci said...

how exciting you made it to germany after all!
it did make me tired to hear of your travels getting there!
i would love to go to germany one day! so eat some great chocolate for me and find yourselves some lederhosen too!

Liz said...

Oh what an adventure!! I am so glad you made it! I don't know if I could take on the kind of crazy travel plans you and Jeff have. I hope it is a fabulous 2 weeks for you!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on a safe arrival. Love you and your journeys, but am oh so glad that you are NOT my travel agent...Have fun

Jen F

Jennifer (mom of four) said...

Holy Cow Kristi! I was reading this to Walt just now and he used to live Landstuhl. Look up the hill to the East of the base at the three large Appt buildings. Enjoy the "Worst and Brochen" he said.

melanie said...

You are giving! I'm so impressed that you didn't have to report multiple, crying meltdowns with the kids in the middle of the nights at the airport. That alone in completely impressive!

Take Europe (hopefully France) by storm!

Sharon C. said...

All I can say is WOW!!! You guys have a lot more stamina than most. I hope you have a great time and continue to keep us posted on your adventures.

Jill said...

Holy Crap! I cannot believe the craziness and uncertainty of all of this. It makes for great blogging, but I don't think I'd handle all of this very well if it were me. I don't do so well with being dirty and tired.

Price Cream Parlor said...

HOLY COW! That is much to go through just to get going! You guys are one brave little family!

I love your interaction with Harold and his cute wife!

Can't wait to see what adventure you guys have this time around!

Be safe

Paige said...

Kristi, I miss you and can hardly believe the miracle of being able to read about as your trip as you're doing it! I love that you gave your keys to Harold and his wife and your response when she asked why you would let them have it. You are soooo good and trusting and pay it forward. I hope you have a great trip. I can't wait to hear all about it.

elshmobelsh said...

wow- i don't know if you read all these comments- but I guess I'm one of your normal commenters now since I don't ever get to talk to you in person. :( Your wait for your plane makes our 24 hour trip to Houston seem like a party.:) I'm glad you finally made it! Hope you have a great time!!!!!!

Holly said...

I can't wait to hear more of your European adventures!
Have FUN!!