Monday, November 1, 2010

The beginning of the END (of the deployment)

Well, I guess if I continue to keep the blog, I might as well blog!  No, really, between not having internet for the first month we were here and 2 little houligans to keep me busy, I just haven't had the time to blog.  I should have been writing down what I have wanted to blog because o so many times, I have thought how nice it would be to blog about that.  My mind is so stretched these days that I am afraid most of the little moments I want to remember won't be something I do remember.  So, without further adue, here is my thoughts on our trip over here, way back 7 weeks or so ago:

After a tearful goodbye from my mom (and a small mini meltdown on my part), we headed off to the airport.  Upon arrival there, Grammy and Aunt JuJu let the two little ones burn some energy off while Dad and I work on our bags and car seats and extra luggage and 2 strollers (you get the idea, we had A LOT) with the Delta agents.  Hey, I'm not a light packer and on top of that we were MOVING to Germany.  Need I say more and in my defense, we were not nearly as bogged down as the real MOVE to Germany, but then again, we weren't on orders and we didn't have lots of free baggage to throw around.  My one extra bag was $50!  OK enough of that.  We leave there and get through security which really wasn't all that bad and we got lucky and has some security scanners with a heart.  For some reason, most of them operate like robots and have no feelings or sympathy, but we got lucky!  After dinner at McDonald's we head back to our gate where Sadie (who is now past her bedtime) continues to run around like the energizer bunny.  Mason's too worried about getting somethign from the gift shop!   Anyhow, we get on the plane on time (amazing I know and wow, such a blessing)!  After a quick discussion as to whether Sadie's seat is airline compatible (we now know it's not), it is installed TIGHTLY in the seat and we're ready to go.  Within minutes of taking off, Sadie is in dreamland!  How much better can this get?  Mason plays with all of the gadgets on his individual TV screen for a while and Sadie and I doze (and I watch a movie). The whole flight really goes off without a hitch!  Praise the Lord the kids did most excellent and we are now in Amsterdam for leg 2 and we have approximately one hour to make our connecting flight!  As we get ready to get off, we wait for most of the plane to clear because we have SO much stuff.  In trying to get Sadie's seat unbuckled, we encounter a major problem.  The seat was not really airplane compatible, so the buckle on the seatbelt is so tight (the flight attendant kept making me tighten it) that we can't raise the lever to get the seatbelt unbuckled!  Maybe 20 minutes later, every flight attendant and both pilots, the seat belt unscrewed and removed later, the seat is removed!  Our entire personal entourage has taken all of our carryons, coats, etc, out for us and as we exit, the cleaning crew is waiting on us and so is  not one stroller but two!  Seriously?  Oh and to make matters worse, they're soaking wet.  WE have no option but to take both strollers at this point if they are both to make it to the next plane, so we pile suitcases in them and Sadie and Mason in one and BOOK it to our next flight!  Of course we have to go back through security now and fold BOTH strollers up to pass them through the x-ray machine and of course, we are met with people who are not kind in the least bit!  To make matters worse, I am "randomly" selected to be practically strip searched in front of everyone so Dad manhandles both kids and attempts to get both strollers up and running again.  We are a tad stressed at this point :)  One quick run by to make sure the gate is still the same and we're off!  As we make the gate, they are boarding (the busses that is).  We now have to take a bus int he rain and board our aircraft in the rain.  In tow we have one single and one double stroller, 4 carry ons, one car seat, and 2 kids.  It is COLD at this point, too.  Remember we left 90 degree weather and we're now in rain and cold!  Down the ramp we go to reveal an entire set of stairs.  Some nice man grabs my stroller and puts it o n the bus with me, so I am o nly left with the 2 kids and we get on the bus.  Dad, on the other hand, has about 3 of the carry ons left along with a stroller the carseat, and himself of course.  On the decent down the stairs, his luggage takes a tumble from the top to the bottom of the stairs and he comes on the bus practically throwing some of the luggage and runs to get the rest.  He is D-O-N-E at this point. To make matters worse the bus driver is just standing at the bottom of the stairs offering NO help and even shakes his head at Dad.  That's when the whole foreigners thing sets Dad off!  He decides to ride in a different part of the bus than us.  We arrive at the plane and i make the exec. decision to leave our unairline friendly carseat in the belly of the plane.  It seems perfect as there are three seats on our row (they have put Dad in a different row than us) so Dad can sit with us and i can put Sadie on my lap.  As the flight attendent ever so RUDELY announces that we cannot do that because there aren't enough oxygen masks in our row for four, Dad takes his seat between two people in the back of the aircraft and we stay on the front row of the coach section.  The ride goes off without a hitch and i only encounter a small problem when I have to go to the bathroom to find him sleeping so Sadie goes in with me!  That was an interesting experience.  After arriving at the airport in Nurnberg,  Dad has to run to the bathroom himself as he has had to go since we exited our first plane in Amsterdam.  I begin getting our luggage (which all made it amazingly enough).  Upon his return, I get a cart and we begin to figure out how the two of us will make it out to meet our ride with both kids and all of our luggage and strollers.  We figure it out (minus one piece of luggage that I don't discover is missing until 3 days later!)  The trip was made.  We only lost a hat of Dad's in the struggle and that darn piece of luggage that I FORGOT I had!  Seriously?  WHO FORGETS THEIR OWN LUGGAGE AT THE AIRPORT?  AND WHO TAKES THREE DAYS TO REMEMBER THEY HAVE FORGOTTEN IT?  Yep!  This proves why two kids is more than enough for this girl (for the time being at least :)  )  The funny thing is I knew I was missing items and I kept asking my Dad if he was sure I didn't have anything else left in his suitcase (yes, I over flowed MY stuff into his suitcase, too)!  The hour long drive back to the airport actually ended up helping me out. See, I had not really driven a lot on the roads the first time I was over here (Brent did most of the driving), so I was nervous and it gave us a trial run for returning Dad to the airport.  By the way:  the roads aren't just different, the signs are different, the way the pople drive is totally different, everything is different except thank goodness, they DO drive on the same side of the road as we do in the USA!  Anyhow, that was our adventure in a nut shell.  Jet lag reared its ugly head for several weeks really after that, but we adjusted and here we are 7 weeks later..ready for this doggone deployment to END!

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