Friday, October 17, 2008


Ok, I am home. Its been an ordeal to get here....and here is the summary. I am blogging as a way of unwinding before I go completely crash into the bed. (Note...I didn't finish this when I first started...I got about five minutes into it and went to bed.)

  • I couldn't sleep last night...for a variety of reason, which more resembled a small circus than actually going to sleep. I forced myself to stay in bed and rest. However, between the hours of 10pm and 2:45am, I only slept for 45 minutes. Nice.
  • By 4am, I had mananged to lug my suitcase (all 49 pounds) and my carry on down two different flights of stairs without waking the dead and was waiting with my boss on the curb for out taxi.
  • By 4:30am, I was checked in, my luggge was checked, I had cleared security, and we were just waiting to board our planes (she was on a separate flight and separate carrier because she had arrived five days later than me).
  • At 5am..normal take off from Kosice, Slovakia...but I couldn't chill out enough to sleep. That was fine...I had another flight and then my trans-atlantic (and in a bulkhead seat) to sleep. Oh, if I had only known.
  • My flight from Prague left at 7am....our flight arrived at 6:35am. No worries...until I find out I have to clear security AGAIN. I was pushed to the front of the line because by the time I got to security it was 6:50am...and the man said...your flight will close in four minutes...and then a pushy grandma appeared from nowhere. She was in the same position, just a different flight. She literally elbowed me out of the way. I still made it through and RAN all the way to my flight. I got on the plane panting. Somehow I had scored a three seat row to myself. Yippee. Until we got on the tarmac and made a U-turn. Until they cancelled our flight because of mechanical issues. Once back in the terminal, it was an all out self preservation event. You could tell who knew what to do....and those of us who did, were running to the transfer counter. I was sixth in line....with around 160 people behind me. All the tickets had to be re-routed...and then had to be hand written. So, instead of flying to Amsterdam and Detroit....I was now going to Paris and Atanta...with hand written check in cards. Oh joy. My flight from Prague left at 10am....I know, for a fact, that if I had been further back in the line that I would still be trying to figure out how to get home...and I tried to call home...but my method didn't work and then I remembered that it was 2am at I would wait for Paris
  • I was sharing a three row seat with a guy from Prague to Paris. He got up before take off and never came back. We had some kind of plane problem with luggage....I nearly started laughing. We finally got to take off about 30 minutes late....I crashed. I woke up right before we landed. And the running began again.
  • I had an hour to figure out where I was supposed to be going and how to get there....only to discover that I have to clear customs again and secuity again. Let's just say its Paris...and Europe...and they do things how the want...and sometimes without regard to whether it needs to be done quickly. They had one guy working the customs line for all passengers going to the terminal for outbound international flights. I cleared and got on my bus...and am pretty sure I rode halfway around the airport. By the time I got to my gate, we were boarding. I frantically looked for a phone because by the time that my plane landed in Atlanta, my mom and Kale would be in the Little Rock airport wondering why I haven't shown up. I nearly cried right then. My next option was to find anyone speaking American English on a cell phone. Score. God sent me an angel. I found a lady and just stood in front of her. I said "I will give you $10 if I can please just call my mom to tell her my original plane got cancelled and to come to the airport later" Please? She wouldn't take my money....she let me call and leave messages with both my mom and Ep....hoping that the two of them could get it figured out.
  • Then, I moved on to boarding my flight and told the ladies that I had no idea what my next flight number was...could they please help. It was hand written (remember) and was pretty illegible. They looked me up and printed a boarding pass for me for my flight from Atlanta to Little Rock. That small gesture probably made the difference with me getting on that flight. For my transatlantic flight...I got to sit in the dreaded seats...the ones that don't fully recline as much as the other seats because they are right in front of a wall. That flight was like a circus as well....more on that later...probably in another post. We took off...I ate a few pieces of my food and then did my best to sleep...that lasted 1.5 hours. Ugh. As we finally approached Atlanta rain and fog delayed everything, but we finally got got our turn and landed.
  • Run, Run, Run...down to customs....cleared....over to baggage claim (hallalujah, my bag somehow made it!)....took back to recheck it and threw it on the belt. Then, get in line for security again. Cleared...and took off running. They were working through the stand by list when I got to my gate. They asked if I had an assigned seat and I said yes....gave her the card and she said you are good. By asking about my ticket in Paris, I had fully secured my seat on this next flight. I nearly cried walking down the corridor to my plane. I am certain that I would have been bumped had my seat not already been assigned.
  • It was a quick flight...and my little boy was on the other end of that long hallway. We had a joyous reunion. And he was very taken by all the activity of the airport as well, but was looking around and asking for his da-da....and I told him that he would be home in a couple of days.
  • Then, the final snag of the luggage, which had somehow made all the transitions with me throughout the day, did not get put on our plane to little rock. Wouldn't be suprising if it was only me....but half the plane didn't get their luggage. I was just laughing. Everyone else in the line was whining and moaning and griping. I wanted to tell them to shut up...seriously...and mom started asking me questions about my flights. I answered truthfully and some of them shut up a bit. I mean, I had been in airplanes or airports for 24 cancelled, had mechanical issues that delayed, had rain/fog delay, and had run through three different airports....and cleared customs and security in all of them. Some of the mumblings started to die down. I guess something about me smiling anyway made an impact. And my luggage will get delivered today, hopefully.

Kale was so wound up by the airport and all of its activity, that he promptly sacked out on the way home. He is sleeping with Nana tonight. My body is telling me I need sleep right now but my brain says its 11am (well, it is in Slovakia anyway). So, I have taken some medicine to crash back out. It seems to be working...and thats all for now.

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