Day 1 & 2 – travel
Tuesday morning was spent making breakfast with my sister. We (myself, husband, and three kids) had been living with her for the past three weeks. We were trying to make the most out of the last few hours we had together.
Bacon, croissants, doughnuts, frittata, strawberries, mimosa.
Jonathan and I had some last minute errands to run and left the kids at home. When we returned, it was last minute packing, and one final trip to Target. Snacks, new headphones for the kids, and we were ready to go.
Saying good-bye was not easy. The kids had gotten very attached to Aunt Lisa, and so had I. But we couldn’t put it off any longer. The van was loaded and our driver was ready to go. So, with hugs and tears we pulled away and were off.
We made really good time getting to the airport and were one of the first in line at check-in. A friend of ours met us at the airport and stayed with us until the counter opened and we could check in. Once all of the bags were checked, we made our way through security and to the terminal. Now, to kill the next five hours (we were really early). We had dinner at the only restaurant in the terminal and stretched it out as long as possible. Then, made “camp” by the window so the kids could watch the plane. Jonathan and I took turns walking the kids around and for the most part, they were very well behaved. At long last, it was time to get on the plane. Boarding went smoothly and before too long the city lights of Balt/DC were far away.
The flight was about nine hours. Jonathan sat with Beta and Charlie by the window, while Alpha and I sat across from them in the middle aisle. After beverages, snack, and an actual hot meal were served, the cabin lights were dimmed and everyone tried to sleep. Beta and Charlie finally crashed, eventually Alpha too, but sleep did not come easily to Jonathan or I. Thankfully each seat had it’s own screen that was individually controlled. I watched Jake the Giant Killer, Wolverine, and several television shows. Turbulence was minimal and overall, it was a very quiet and smooth flight.
Just about the time I thought I could not endure sitting down in that tight seat any longer, we began to make our approach. Our landing was very smooth, but disembarking took some time. Customs was relatively painless (except for the 10 minute Charlie meltdown), then it was off to baggage claim. Again, just a bit of a waiting game, but in the end, everything arrived as it should.
Finally, around 14:30 Wednesday, we stepped out of the airport and had feet on the ground in Germany.
Two of Jonathan’s co-workers met us there. They took very good care of us, getting everyone and all of our luggage to the temporary living facility (TLF) in one trip. They had already picked up the room keys and done a little bit of grocery shopping for us so we could go straight to the apartment to settle in. After all of the luggage was unloaded Jonathan went with them to pick up our rental car and finish checking in to TLF.
There is a park right in middle of the TLF buildings so after relaxing, unpacking, and dinner, we took the kids outside. We have some friends from a previous assignment also working here, they arrived a few weeks before us and are still in TLF as well. They met us outside and while the kids didn’t remember them or their children, it took them no time at all to begin playing as if they had always known each other. The weather was beautiful and we managed to stay out until 20:00-ish.
We put the kids to bed and found ourselves crashing around 21:00. It was odd, waking up in the USA and going to bed in Germany. I’m glad we finally made it.