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Jun 27, 2011

Our Journey To Germany: The Airplane

Finally! The posts you've all been waiting for! Or at least I hope you have. :) Sorry for taking so long to start writing...jet lag is no bueno...we're still fighting it! We've officially been in Deutschland for 5 days now! 5 days! I can't believe it sometimes. Just a little over 3 months ago we got word of our pending PCS to Germany and now we are finally enjoying this beautiful country! Over the next few days I will be posting re-caps of our crazy journey.

Let me start my story stateside in NC. We left NC last Wednesday morning at 8am and drove 7 hours to Baltimore to catch our nonstop flight to Germany. Even though we were kind of uncomfortable all squished up in the car with my parents (our 4 large suitcases and 2 carry-on's took up way more space than anticipated...oops!), we enjoyed getting to spend some quality time with them. After arriving in Baltimore, we checked into a hotel and hung out there (for another 7 hours) until we needed to be at the airport. We checked in at the airport about 11:45pm, said our "see ya later's" to my sweet parents, and waited another 3 hours until it was time to take off to Germany...at about 3am. Talk about being worn out. D and I were up for over 24 hours straight. This was simply because neither of us napped on the way up to Baltimore or in Baltimore. Just couldn't calm ourselves down enough to sleep. Thankfully, the lack of sleep exhausted us enough to allow us to doze off, uncomfortably, mind you, for a few hours on the plane. More on that later.

As we boarded the plane, D and I were shocked at how large it was. It was the largest one either of us had ever flown on. 50 rows of seats, 10 seats across. D was nice enough to let me have the window seat since I am a whiny butt and he gracefully took the middle. The flight wouldn't have been so horrible if 1) the plane hadn't been so HOT and 2) the rude men in the seats in front of us hadn't decided to recline their seats back as far as they'd go (which was farther back than any airplane seat I've ever seen)...we were like sardines cooking in the tin they were packaged in. So uncomfortable, so grouchy. Additionally, my headphone jack at my seat wouldn't work. Normally I would have been royally pissed about that, but Harry Potter was the first of the in-flight movies and I could totally care less about that little wizard. So, instead of suffering through Harry Potter-the silent version, I popped my Melatonin pill, put on my eye mask, and settled in to get a few hours of shut eye. Fat chance! The second I started to drift off into some level right above dreamland I hear, "Breakfast ma'am? Eggs or Pancakes?" SERIOUSLY? I'm sorry, but since when do people enjoy their breakfast at 4:30am? The average Joe isn't even awake and getting ready for work then. I was flabbergasted...but I replied "pancakes" anyway. Thought it might be the only chance I'd have to eat, so I grimaced through the meal. In hindsight, I should have passed on breakfast altogether, because what D and I ate would certainly not have qualified as "breakfast" below 30,000 feet. "Pancakes" must have been airplane slang for brown tire rubber with a fruit flavored sludge topping...we just missed the in-flight memo. Barf.

To add insult to injury, the guy in the aisle seat beside D literally slept the ENTIRE FLIGHT. So, did D and I bother to wake him to use the bathroom or walk around? Nope. I'm sure we could have, but he was snoring and looked incredibly comfy for some odd reason. I would have spit nails if someone would have woken me up from sleep like that...so we let him be. Thank God Mother Nature was kind to both of our bladders, because it really wasn't that big of a deal...at least the going to the bathroom part. As far as walking around and stretching our legs goes, I should have attempted to do that. About 5 hours into the flight, I noticed my feet were swelling a bit. This happened to me on a 13 hour flight back from Uruguay back when I was in high school, but that was after 10 days of limited water intake and super salty foods. I was a little nervous it was happening pre-foreign country and only 5 hours in. I stuck my carry-on under my legs to prop them up a bit and that seemed to help. Thank God. Last thing I wanted to do was walk off the airplane tired, grouchy, and with cankles. I could almost hear the customs guy as soon as I walked off the plane, "I thought you only had 1 carry-on, those aren't permitted in the country!" Hardy har har. 

So, the flight continued on pretty uneventfully. Another movie (which I still couldn't watch), another inedible meal came round (if that was a ham sandwich then I've been bamboozled all these years) and thankfully, a few hours of some kind of sleep made an appearance. After all the pre-flight Target runs we made to get magazines and snacks, we never even opened our carry-on's to enjoy our purchases. This was primarily because it would've taken too much effort and inconvenience to pull things out and try to put them back when we were done. Screw it. We sat in a mild form of agony for 8 hours. Thankfully, the flight was 2 hours shorter than we had originally expected. I wouldn't have survived 2 more hours on that plane. The man in front of us surely would have been slapped straight across his face at hour 3 if he hadn't been in uniform...and if I was that kind of person. We finally deplaned in Ramstein at 4:00pm Germany time (would have been 10am NC time). The 6 hour time difference was already taking it's toll. We slugged our way through customs, claimed our giant bags of luggage, and made our way outside to find D's sponsor (who vaguely resembled a knight in shining armor...I'm sure I was hallucinating from fatigue at that point) with a sign that read "THE COTES." 

We made it. We're finally here. All the planning, all the tears, all the stress has finally brought us to this point in time, our final destination. As horrible as the flight was, I am still grateful we're in Germany, safe and sound. 
God is good. God is SO good.

photo credit
 To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. Yaay! Glad you made it safe & sound! Can't wait to read more about your trip!


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