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 pancakes7:15 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