Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Long Trip Home

Our European vacation was amazing, to say the least.  But, all good things must come to an end!  Thomas, Karin, and Kim drove us to the airport in Dusseldorf so we could catch our flight home.  They waited in line with us and kept us company until it was time to go through security.  It's crazy to think that we might not see them again for years.  I hope they all get the chance to come visit us someday soon!  We said our goodbyes and took a few last photos.

 Host Parents and Daughter - Reunited!

Long-distance friends!

Our first flight took us to Dublin.  It was a fairly short flight, so no problems there.  Once we arrived in Dublin, however, things went downhill.  Dublin holds the distinction of having the worst airport I've ever seen.  I'm not exaggerating - IT'S THE WORST.  Maybe they had us segregated in the worst terminal or boarding area or something, but that's the only exposure I had to it, so it wins the prize.  We head over to our gate to discover that they don't have a large enough seating area for passengers.  This means there's a huge crowd of people sitting in the walkway, or in-between the aisles, or wherever they can find space.  We find a spare piece of floor and set all our bags down.  Jer stands guard over them so I can find a restroom.  I see a sign, and start heading in that direction, weaving my way through the crowd of waiting passengers.  When I finally arrive at the restroom, I find myself to be the 10th person in line.  Awesome.  When I finally make it to the front of the line, I discover why.  There are only three stalls in the bathroom, one of which is out of order.  So, two toilets are supposed to suffice for all of these people.  It's not like there was even another bathroom that I could've walked to; this was it.  I weaved my way back through the crowd and found Jer.  We constantly had to adjust our positions on the ground or adjust our bags so that people could get around us.  It was frustrating!

          We need more room!

We finally got on our 7- hour flight, this one taking us to Chicago.  We were seated in the second row of the main cabin behind, who else?  One year old twins.  Of course we were!  Jer and I gave each other "the look" but held out hope that maybe the kids would sleep most of the time.  Apparently "most of the time" meant the grand total of 30 minutes.  They cried.  A LOT.  From what we garnered, their parents were strong believers in the Ferber method.  In other words, they didn't try to comfort them when they cried.  They just ignored it and went along their merry way.  After a couple of hours of this, I wanted to walk up there and offer to try and console one of the kids.  I mean, seriously!  Who just sits there and watches their kid cry to no end?  Could they not at least have tried a little rocking or soft singing or a bottle or something??  Anything would've been better than the ignore method.  I felt bad for the kids, not just for myself!  At one point I looked over at Jer and he had both hands on his ears, pushing his earphones as far in as they would go.  I just had to laugh.

  Seven torturous hours!

When our diabolical flight was finally over, we weren't even home yet!!  We still had to catch a flight from Chicago to DFW.  Luckily our plane had the individual TV monitors in the seats, so that helped the time go by quickly.  My sister, Jo, was waiting to pick us up when we landed, and she brought along her daughter Livy to cheer us up!  It was a great plan because it made me completely forget about the 17 hours of travel we had just endured.  We made our way home and greeted our 3 doggles, who were just a tad bit excited to see us!  After bringing in our bags and attending to the dogs, the first order of business was getting some Rosa's.  I needed my queso fix!  Europe - we loved you, and we'll be back.  But, going overseas sure does make you appreciate what you have waiting for you at home. 

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